Why “We” Believed Jackie’s Rape Story

7 Dec 2014 /

That’s the title (minus the quotation marks) of an article on politico.com regarding Rolling Stone‘s retraction of a story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia. The article is written by a female student at that university.

“We” believed the story for the same reason Rolling Stone didn’t fact check it: because when you know little, it’s easier to fit everything you do know into a simple story about the world, e.g., “white men are rapists.”

Also because people can maintain an unshakable faith in any proposition, however absurd, when they’re sustained by a community of like-minded believers.

On the flip side, a different group of people can now use the incident to confirm their simple story about the world, e.g., “women are liars.”

Personally I find labeling and smearing people based on genetic traits ugly and offensive no matter whose agenda is being advanced . . .


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