To exercise belief in circumstances other than personal knowledge

“I am sad we are still in a place where women aren’t believed when they come forward about sexual assault, and that it’s such a matter of fact of our culture that The Onion can satirize it. I’m sad and sorry for the women who had to wait until a man came forward to call out Cosby in order for the cultural tiller to shift in their direction.”

John Scalzi on the New York Magazine cover.

The response certain people have to women – not just in large, public cases such as this one – who claim to have been assaulted is abhorrent. I still believe that those who err to the side of disbelief and skepticism as a default reaction to any claims of such sad behavior are not living their life in a happy way. Presenting a lack of compassion and empathy describes someone who is unhappy with their own life and, unfortunately, do little to improve the situation.

Having spent a little time peeking into toxic communities (or anti-communites as it were) I only see folks that seem dissatisfied with aspects of their life. Maybe it something small that happened to them in the past, maybe it’ a lack of success (however they measure it, not I), or maybe it’s a strong conviction that blinds them, but regardless, they can’t be an ally when they aren’t content themselves.

Something grinds against these disbelievers and “Hold on a moment!” types that prevents that compassion and empathy. Why? What do they lack? How can they be helped? How can we progress?

The victims of this class of crimes need more people on their side. There are too many who are not, and that I don’t understand.