Why “We” Believed Jackie’s Rape Story7 Dec 2014 / Paul Epps
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 . . .