So Just When Do We Believe the Woman?

Social justice activist, David Gee, best known for his contributions to The Friendly Atheist blog, has posted allegations of rape against Neil deGrasse Tyson:

A woman says famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson drugged and raped her when they were both grad students in 1984, and you’re about to hear her tell the story in her own words.

Her name is Tchiya Amet, and she’s a musician who once studied Galactic Astronomy in the graduate program at University of Texas in Austin. Amet says Tyson slipped her a “Mickey,” a drug used to incapacitate victims of sexual assault, and caused her to drop out of school.

What is fascinating is that another social justice activist, PZ Myers,  doesn’t believe the woman:

You accuse one skeptic of rape, and next thing you know you’re the guy who’ll accuse anyone of rape. I get mentioned in this article about Tchiya Amet, the woman who is saying Neil Tyson raped her. She sounds credible. I can believe something happened. She definitely experienced some trauma around that time that led to her dropping out of grad school. She definitely believes she was the victim of a non-consensual sexual assault by Tyson. But…She sounds credible. I can believe something happened. She definitely experienced some trauma around that time that led to her dropping out of grad school. She definitely believes she was the victim of a non-consensual sexual assault by Tyson. But…

I expect a little bit of corroborating evidence. Unfortunately, there isn’t any. A friend who testifies to her distress at the time, signs of a pattern of abuse by Tyson to others, anything. There’s nothing. Apparently, a news organization (Buzzfeed, maybe?) tried to investigate, but hit a wall where there was a complete absence of any indications that he’d been a predatory dudebro back in the day. That was where I was stuck, too. I don’t have any investigatory ability, and all I had was this one person’s words.

Hold on.  Are we sure PZ is talking about Tchiya Amet?   After all, PZ Myers is using the exact arguments many of us cited for why we remained skeptical of Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation.

To borrow from Myers, yeah, something happened to Ford and yeah, she definitely believes she was the victim of a non-consensual sexual assault by Kavanaugh. But…

We expected a little bit of corroborating evidence. Unfortunately for Ford, there wasn’t any. A friend who testified to her distress at the time, signs of a pattern of abuse by Kavanaugh to others, anything.  There was nothing.

Yes, given the massive amount of publicity generated by the politically charged and consequential story, some did try to manufacture a pattern of abuse, but all they could come up with was some uncorroborated dorm party story rooted in a recently recovered memory and another uncorroborated story filled with crazy accusations from a person who had a long track record of credibility problems.   Put simply, no pattern.

And just about every news organization tried to investigate the various allegations against Kavanaugh, and they all hit a wall where there was a complete absence of any indications that he’d been a predatory dudebro back in the day.

That was where we were stuck, too. We didn’t have any investigatory ability, and all we had was this one person’s words.

Myers is so brainwashed by his ideology that he simply cannot comprehend that many of us were skeptical of Ford’s allegations for the exact same reasons he is skeptical of Amet’s accusations.  Perhaps this speaks to the unearned privilege of social justice activists – they get to demand evidence when they, and only they, feel like it.

Anyway, it’s good to see that Myers has rediscovered the importance of evidence.  For as someone who rejected Ford’s allegations because of lack of evidence, I also reject Amet’s allegations for the same reason.

But here’s where it gets the most weird – Myers embraced the allegations of Ford and Swetnick.  Hook, line, and sinker.  Why is that?  They had no more evidence than Amet does.

In fact, if you compare the two cases, it actually looks like Amet has a stronger case than Ford:

fordamet

Why so firmly believe Ford yet be so skeptical of Amet?  And  this is not just a problem for PZ Myers; it is a problem for anyone and everyone who has embraced Ford’s allegation as truth.  If you think Ford is telling the truth, then you are rationally obligated to believe that Amet is telling the truth and Neil Tyson did rape her back in the 1980s.  If you disagree, then you must find some piece of powerful evidence that Ford has and Amet lacks.

And keep in mind that the social justice narrative does have an explanation for this inconsistency, for why PZ Myers, and those like him, believe Ford yet demand evidence from Amet.  The only explanation on the table as of now….

Ford is white; Amet is black.

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6 Responses to So Just When Do We Believe the Woman?

  1. Doug Peters says:

    Ford is white; Amet is black.

    Oh. My. Goodness. And — once again according to the “narrative” — when race can be part of the answer, it is, of course, the entire answer.

  2. TFBW says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it also the case that Kavanaugh is white and Tyson is black? If so, that kind of cancels out the race card (unless only the race of the woman matters for some reason). I’m of the cynical opinion that nothing about the woman actually matters except that she’s a woman: the question of whether or not to believe the accusation rests entirely on whether it makes a useful pretext to take action against the man on some completely unrelated issue. Kavanaugh is a white, Christian conservative who was up for nomination to the Supreme Court. Tyson is a black, agnostic liberal who atheists value for his PR services to Scientism. Maybe we can put the question to PZ as to which of these aspects matters most to him, but the potential for multi-factor motivated reasoning is obvious.

  3. nsr says:

    There is one thing SJWs can be guaranteed not to provide, and that is consistency.

  4. Michael says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it also the case that Kavanaugh is white and Tyson is black? If so, that kind of cancels out the race card (unless only the race of the woman matters for some reason).

    According to the logic of intersectionality, while Tyson is black, Amet is both black and a woman. Thus, she is the most victimized. If we were to assign victim points, Amet is a 2, Tyson is a 1, Ford is a 1, and Kavanaugh is a 0. PZ does the right thing in believing Ford (1 is greater than 0). But he doesn’t believe Amet, when 2 is greater than 1. So it must be racism.

  5. Kevin says:

    I think it’s nothing more than a typical case of tribal hypocrisy. Had Kavanaugh been an Obama appointee, Democrats would not have believed Ford, just like the way they treated Clinton’s multiple accusers. And Myers would be full attack mode against Tyson if Tyson was a Christian.

    When Michael Shermer and Lawrence Krauss were accused, Myers believed the women. With Shermer he admitted he had no evidence beyond the accusation, but he believed women. With Tyson, he says he can’t believe the accuser due to a lack of evidence.

    What’s the difference? Shermer and Krauss are the Dawkins brand. Tyson is a defender of Islam, at the very least, and Myers smears any critics of Islam as racist, as any good social justice warrior does. An amazing feat of hypocrisy for Myers, certainly.

    It’s easy to “believe women” right up to the point someone you like is accused. Then suddenly we need evidence. Defending Islam seems to be the most crucial pillar of social justice, even with the treatment of women, homosexuals, and minorities within Muslim society, so Tyson is definitely an ally in Myers’ eyes.

  6. TFBW says:

    @Michael: your point about intersectionality is well made, but I still can’t embrace the “logic”, which I counter thus. It can’t be sexism because he believes the man in one case and the woman in the other, thus offering no consistent pattern of discrimination. It can’t be racism because there are two whites in one case, and two blacks in the other, thus offering no opportunity to discriminate on race. The only way I can coerce a “logical” conclusion is if I accept your additive intersectional calculus (which I had always thought of as multiplicative) and then note the ratio of victim points rather than their absolute difference. The zero-to-one ratio is mathematically undefined: one might informally (if inaccurately) describe it as infinite. Perhaps the mere one-to-two ratio in the latter case simply does not reach whatever arbitrary threshold PZ has set for accusations without evidence.

    I must confess, I like giving this nonsense deadpan serious analytical treatment.

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