Brace Yourselves: Today Brings Even More Rape Controversy

Get informed. Then get mad.

Clothing, Hairstyle, Eye, Coat, Eyebrow, Collar, Outerwear, Suit, Dress shirt, Bangs,
(Image credit: Getty images)

In some ways it's felt like we've had a whole year's worth of wins (opens in new tab), but in others...not so much. Between sexual assault on college campuses and the attack accusations against Bill Cosby, there's been a whole slew of stomach-churning rape news in 2014—but a lot has happened this week alone. (FYI: We're only two days in.) Here's a rundown:

1. There's an Oberlin alumnus who, just like the rapist Lena Dunham wrote about in Not That Kind of Girl, wore purple cowboy boots and had the name Barry. His lawyers hinted that they were going to sue Random House, so the publisher is now altering (opens in new tab) future versions of Dunham's memoir to make sure non-rapist Barry's reputation isn't damaged. Update, 12/10: Dunham has written a response (opens in new tab), in which she apologizes to the wrongly accused Barry and further explains her intentions for sharing her story. "Speaking out was never about exposing the man who assaulted me. Rather, it was about exposing my shame, letting it dry out in the sun. I did not wish to be contacted by him or to open a criminal investigation," she said. "I am in a loving and peaceful place in my life and I am not willing to sacrifice any more of it for this person I do not know, aside from one night I will never forget."

2. After Rolling Stone retracted its feature article (opens in new tab) on UVA rape survivor Jackie amidst claims that it hadn't properly corroborated the details, someone is coming forward to back her up. Emily Clark, Jackie's freshman-year suitemate, wrote a letter (opens in new tab) to defend her friend: "Whether the details are correct or not, and whether the reporting was faulty, or the hazy memories of a traumatizing night got skewed…the blame should never fall on the victim's shoulders. Jackie is a victim, as are so many others, men and women, young and old. So many stories have gone untold and so many perpetrators have been allowed to walk free."

3. A Newsroom writer says showrunner Aaron Sorkin lashed out at her for suggesting that Sunday's much-beleaguered plotline casting a college rape survivor in an unflattering light be cut. In response to New Yorker TV critic Emily Nussbaum's heated review (opens in new tab) of the episode, writer Alena Smith tweeted (opens in new tab) that Sorkin didn't respond well to her questioning: In other words, he kicked her out. If you watched the episode, you'll know the plot, which featured a male character on the show claiming that—although the rape survivor seems genuinely shaken and completely authentic—he's "morally obligated" to believe her attacker is innocent. Because ...why? We're not really sure. Maybe Nussbaum put it best: "WTF LOL OMFG."

Related Links:

BBC News Premieres A Revealing Video On Sexual Assault On Campus (opens in new tab)

The Fight Against Sexual Violence on College Campuses: Only With Consent (opens in new tab)

The Fight Against Sexual Violence on College Campuses: End Rape on Campus (opens in new tab)

55 Colleges Face Investigation Over Sexual Assault Cases (opens in new tab)

The Fight Against Sexual Violence on College Campuses: One Student (opens in new tab)

Images via Getty

Chelsea Peng
Assistant Editor

Chelsea Peng is a writer and editor who was formerly the assistant editor at She's also worked for The Strategist and Refinery29, and is a graduate of Northwestern University. On her tombstone, she would like a GIF of herself that's better than the one that already exists on the Internet and a free fro-yo machine. Besides frozen dairy products, she's into pirates, carbs, Balzac, and snacking so hard she has to go lie down.