Duke Lacrosse: Metanarratives, the Telephone Effect, and the Falsely Accused

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About Clarence W

Clarence W is a long time resident of Baltimore who occasionally has worked in and written about the technology fields and is a long time commenter on "gender" issues at various blogs. He followed the Duke case almost daily for about a year back in 2006.


  1. Richard Aubrey says:

    I followed the case, partly on Johnson’s Durham-in-Wonderland, probably the best source of all, and on feminist blogs.
    Watching the feminists’ vitriol as they watched the case disappear was amazing.
    It convinced me that few people are honestly misinformed. They believe what they want to believe, and as with most feminists who commented, don’t have the slightest interest in the facts.

  2. David Byron says:

    I never took an interest in the case. Just figured it was probably another witch hunt. I’m pretty good at sensing that stuff but with a criminal case with a man accused by a woman it’s the same as a case where the US is accusing North Korea. The accusations can be anything at all because the media is never going to do anything but take one side. As a result there’s simply no point paying any attention to the accusation until there’s real evidence and you’ve heard the other side of the story. And that’s a pretty good level of skepticism in general.

  3. To me, perhaps the most interesting reaction was on the part of the Duke Faculty.

    Shortly after the accusations, the “Group of 88″ professors posted the “Social Disaster” ad in the school newspaper. At least one of the professors insisted on referring to the lacrosse students as “hooligans” and “rapists” well after the truth had come out.

    The most interesting part, to me, is that the group included a majority of the staff in the African Studies, African American Studies, Women’s Studies, and Cultural Anthropology programs.

    No faculty members joined the group from the Engineering, Anatomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, Neuroscience, Psychology, or Law programs.

    Indeed, after the truth came out, 17 members of the economics department issued a letter in support of the players that apologized for the conduct of their colleagues.

    To me this was really instructive of the great divide in academia, between those departments that are actually interested in analyzing evidence to get at the truth, and those departments that are interested in advancing a narrative-based agenda. It’s been incredibly difficult for me to take Gender Studies (and other narrative-based fields) seriously ever since.

    • When Duke Lacrosse case happened, I was not in the U.S., but reading about it in newspaper and on the Internet, it seemed as if the prosecutor had lot of clinching evidence due to which he was sure of getting the accused convicted. But as the investigation progressed it became clear everything was a sham. I lost my trust in all media. After reading the case of New York McDonald’s beating in newspapers and watching the YouTube video, I came to the final conclusion that media was totally biased against men, and truth was dispensable.

      You are absolutely correct in pointing the great divide in academia, as a member of academic I confirm it. In my opinion, those academic streams which you mentioned before do not form any part of education, they constitute just political indoctrination. They should start Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry and teach these subjects there exclusively and leave real universities for real education.

    • DavidByron says:

      That’s terrible if true because those faculty members have a duty of care and they didn’t just fail to protect those kids but actually turned on them. You should get fired for that. Also of course it’s pretty lousy that people who are supposed to be studying human interactions are often so hopeless at figuring them out. It does seem like evidence that they aren’t studying anything at all but just preaching, and preaching bad religion at that.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      They should press a libel action against them. Noone should be called a rapist in public like that.

  4. John Sctoll says:

    Rare: Coming or occurring far apart in time; unusual; uncommon: a rare disease; His visits are rare occasions.

    That is a word that brings up a meaning when you hear it. For me I have my own definition. I won’t give that here but point out a recent discussion of the word with some offline friends regarding “Fault accusation of rape are rare”. Those friends pointed me to studies that show that false accustions are between 8 – 10% of all accusations.

    Let look at that though, lets assume for the argument that it is 9% (in the middle between the two numbers) but really is a 9% occurance of something really rate. After all it means 9 out of every 100 is a false accusation. Is that really rare. Lets put this into perspective.

    Lets say you live in a town that has a single crosswalk, the number of people that cross this crosswalk every year is the same as the number of rape accusations (whatever that number happens to be). Now I feel pretty confident saying that if 9 out of every 100 people that crossed that crosswalk got hit by a car , making it 9% , then I highly doubt anyone would say that it is “RARE” that people got hit at that intersection.

    This too me is the crux of the argument about false accusation, even if we were to us the already much discredited 2% number, is that really rare anyway. Again look at the cross walk analogy. If 2 out of a 100 got hit, it would never be called rare.

    This I think is the whole problem with false accusaton, they effect a large number of men each year, those men are destroyed by these accusation and by calling them rare people are further victimizing those men. I don’t mean to be callous about women who are raped but quite frankly the fact that some pundits say we shouldn’t prosecute false accusers because it will harm women who have actually been raped is kinda like saying we should prosecute insurance fraudsters because it might harm real people who have valid insurance claims.

    • I’m going to agree it’s probably not less than the 8 percent number as much as some feminists might like to think so. There are incentives to lie about it, and the lies are rarely punished -even more rare is a punishment beyond “community service”, though I know that some are imprisoned once in a blue moon, usually for, at most, a year – so its going to happen with some frequency, and probably an uncomfortably high one. That’s why, at this point, I always fight any more attempts to farther restrict the rights of those accused. We’ve been doing that for 30 years now, and its manifestly led to unjust convictions, and yet, supposedly, the problem of rape and the problem of not reporting it is as large as ever. So it’s not working. Lets try something else.

  5. Under Archy’s fun world of leadership, ANY reporting of names of the accused or accusers would be punishable. I cannot stand trial by media, both the accuser and the accused should have full anonymity and if they are guilty, then you can talk about them. I especially wish this were true for accusations of child sexual abuse, here in Australia an accusation like that makes you a pariah instantly. There is a valid reason why men fear false rape accusations, even though they’re rarer than real accusations it still is a genuine fear of most men who do not believe they will rape someone.

    Punishing willful false accusations (not ones that simply fail on evidence, but ones that are admitted to) is necessary, keeping everyone anonymous ensures the least amount of bias because a jury cannot have bias. A person’s reputation should never be destroyed on the basis of an accusation, but we have a witch hunt society that makes that a reality sadly.

    I totally support going after rapists, but I also totally support ensuring protection of innocents and that means the accused until proven guilty. There is NO benefit to publishing their name, ever. Society does not need to know who is on trial for rape, if that person is under danger then the police can monitor them or arrest them, otherwise STFU and allow justice to be done. If they are innocent and found innocent at trial, their name should NOT be talked about, you don’t have to know Joe Bloe is on trial, or was on trial and found innocent unless Joe Bloe tells you and shows you proof from court documents.

    Sometimes I really hate the media, the trial of a sex offender here was put in jeopardy by the media biasing the general public.

    That said I view the witch-hunt behaviour to be sickening, I lost all respect for certain authors after reading their comments on such matters. People were so hungry for blood they shot the innocents in the process and feasted on their pain, but good luck for most of them to admit they were wrong and publicly write an article about it. They should ALL be writing an apology to those players, removing the offending articles and doing their best to restore the reputation of those players.

    • That said I view the witch-hunt behaviour to be sickening, I lost all respect for certain authors after reading their comments on such matters. People were so hungry for blood they shot the innocents in the process and feasted on their pain, but good luck for most of them to admit they were wrong and publicly write an article about it. They should ALL be writing an apology to those players, removing the offending articles and doing their best to restore the reputation of those players.
      Well there was this one feminist that did the second half of your suggestion. She sure hell removed her offending articles but as far as I know she never apologized or even admitted to backing the wrong horse. She’s written here a few times in fact….

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      There are some benefits, the same benefits that apply to having the name of the accuser be made public knowledge: It allows people with a possible connection to the case and potential character witnesses to come forward.

      I would say, however, that if the crime is serious enough to consider protecting the identity of the accuser then the accused deserves similar protection.

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    Tammy Bruce has said that organized feminism exists to serve the progressive agenda. If women’s issues are helpful, organized feminism will push the issue. If women’s issues are not helpful for a particular point, organized feminism will ignore women’s issues.
    The progressive narrative–demonstrating the white man’s sexual violence against black women–needed to be pushed hard, which accounts for feminism’s energy in the issue Duke lax hoax. However, concerning the rape of Duke student Katie Rouse, who is white, at about the same time, by a bladk man at a black fraternity house, demonstrates the meme of black men’s sexual violence against women,which is why feminists ignored their dishonored and raped sister, as did the university.
    All depends on the narrative. The actual facts are irrelevant.

    • Yes but there are interesting complications. Like for instance Street Harassment. The primary street harassers are black men.. And street harassment legislation will primarily hurt black men and minorities. So here we see feminists basically targetting the minorities and the lower class. But I supposed all of this is fine because feminism is a growth industry and street harassment is just the latest feminist crusade.

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