Erdely’s Privilege

I could never take UVAgate seriously.

To be unapologetically blunt, even if it was all literally true, all those lurid accounts of broken glass and so forth… so what? There are about 15,000 homicides in the US every year. Rapes are an order of magnitude higher; around 250,000 per year as of 2011, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). Though as no other than Steven Pinker himself pointed out, that is probably on the high side:

Under pressure from activist groups, common definitions of “rape” and “sexual assault” have recently been broadened to include, for example, a man verbally pressuring a woman into sex, and a man getting a woman drunk and having sex with her; even, in some surveys, sex that the woman regrets afterwards.

Why was that story so important anyway? Why does it justify a multi-thousand word account in a leading magazine and not the 249,999 other rapes? The vast majority of which do not, incidentally, take place on college campuses, which are in reality some of the safest places for young women – and for people in general – in the entire world. Sure if it happened it would certainly be bad and the perpetrator(s) should be punished but what purpose does a huge magazine article (as opposed to, say, a police report) actually serve?

Speaking specifically of UVA, there were a grand total of 14 recorded sexual offenses on campus in 2013, which translates to a rate of around 70/100,000 rapes when adjusted for just its 20,000 student body. That is lower than the overall US rate of around 100/100,000 according to the NCVS, even though a campus, which becomes truly striking when you consider their respective demographic profiles and the fact that 75% of all rapists are under the age of 25. Age-adjusted, the rape rate at UVA, and pretty much all other schools for that matter, are probably something like an order of magnitude lower than the US average. This would be very surprising to the typically mentally unbalanced ideologues who rant about campus rape culture, but it would not be surprising to Bell Curve-aware people who understand that places with average IQs of 115+, such as UVA, are simply not all that rapey.


So why was this an issue? There are a few reasonable answers, not mutually exclusive.

First, advancing said narrative was in someone’s or some group’s interests. Second, man bites dog stories are good clickbait (though this is a questionable point, because it presupposes that people have the common sense to know that men don’t usually bite dogs; as Cochran pointed out, we can’t actually take that for granted). Third, colleges are a pretty easy target for the SJWs, as illustrated by this brilliant cartoon from the #shirtgate days.

After all, it’s much safer to rant about “campus rape culture” from an actual campus full of white knights and beta orbiters happy to humor you than from within some inner city ghetto, let alone from some Third World country where there actually is a rape culture.

In any event, what UVAgate and Jackie Coakley’s lies – yes, name and shame, proudly! – did, is inadvertently illustrate what can only be called false rape culture. It is almost as prevalent as real cases of rape – my statistical reasoning can be found here – but it is almost never punished, even though a false rape accusation can ruin lives just as surely as actual rapes.

We see this in action here. The “journalist” who broke this story, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, isn’t even getting fired. So far as Western MSM is concerned, it is okay to display epic journalistic malfeasance, slander people and institutions without even bothering to get their side of the story, make life tougher for real victims okay that isn’t actually going to happen, and follow up with a pathetic nonpology when the whole thing comes crashing down. But do something really bad, such as criticize Israel, report on possible Neo-Nazi war crimes in Ukraine, or contribute a few articles to Takimag, and you’re FIRED!

What should we call this? Maybe… privilege?

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Anatoly Karlin says

    Let commenting begin.

  2. Anonymous says

    Well you pretty much nailed the whole thing down. Could only add that in Sweden, the most feminist-brainwasht country in the world our home-grown feminist-SJWs love to claim that “all men are rapist”. The only problem is that when you actually take a look at those sitting in jail for rape in Sweden, 50% need a Swedish translator in court, and to judge from their names 90% are neither swedes nor even from Europe but a very specific region down blow…
    But be sure that if you say it straight out the same feminist-SJWs will scream that you are a racist pig….

  3. Speaking specifically of UVA, there were a grand total of 14 recorded sexual offenses on campus in 2013, which translates to a rate of around 70/100,000 rapes when adjusted for just its 20,000 student body. That is lower than the overall US rate of around 100/100,000 according to the NCVS

    You shouldn’t compare the rate of recorded offenses at UVA to the rate of offenses based on victim surveys. Fewer than 50 percent of the offenses reported in victim surveys are reported to authorities, so UVA’s rate of 70 per 100,000 recorded offenses is higher than the corresponding national rate. Is the nature of offenses even the same? “Sexual offense” at UVA versus rape in the NCVS?

  4. Erdely and other so-called journalists with chips on their shoulders are a plague on civilized, honest discourse.

    Contemporary media seems to require evermore deconstruction and parsing of backstories to get at whatever truth there may be.

    One silver lining is that articles on and similar sites help lay readers pierce the media veil.

  5. Fran Macadam says

    The definition has even been loosened to include publishing, er, punishing leaks, if you are a certain Australian found in the territory of a close conservative Swedish ally with laws simultaneously ridiculously liberal and draconian.

  6. Trayvon Zimmerman says

    It’s not white privilege. It’s Weiss privilege.