Believe Some Persons

Democrats don’t really “believe all women”, at least insofar as the women in question are claiming that they have been sexually assaulted by Democrat politicians. First, there was Bill Clinton. Now, there is Joe Biden. It follows that women are to be believed only when they accuse Republican office-seekers, or persons nominated to office by Republicans.

The foregoing is obvious and has been noted many times by conservative writers. So I won’t dwell on it here.

What I want to know is why women should be believed automatically in the first place. Is there something about women that causes them to utter the truth unfailingly? Are women in fact less prone to lying than men? The evidence is mixed — if you can call psychological studies “evidence”. And we know what such studies are worth, which is to say not much.

There are some reasons to believe a person unreservedly; for example:

The person isn’t trying to sell you something, where the something might be a used car, a house, or a story that will advance that person’s interest (including revenge against particular person of class of persons).

You have known that person for a very long time and have never known the person to attempt deception, other than to tell a “white lie” to spare another person’s feelings (e.g., you’re not fat) or to get a child to do the right thing (e.g., Santa Claus is watching you).

You are engaged in a business relationship with the person and it is a sure thing that he will suffer financially if he is being less than honest about his side of the deal.

Accusations of sexual assault don’t fit the bill, unless you know have known the accuser for a long time and trust her (or him) because of her (or his) record of veracity. But accusations should be taken seriously and investigated.

As for Christine Blasey Ford: Her story was incredible from the beginning because of its vagueness, lack of corroboration, her known animus toward conservatives, and Brett Kavanaugh’s track record with respect to women.

As for Tara Reade: Her story isn’t incredible because of its specificity, partial corroboration, Read’s long-standing political views (a rather left-wing Democrat), and Joe Biden’s track record with respect to women.

But I am withholding judgement about Reade’s story — unlike most Democrats (who refuse to credit it) and too many Republicans (who are eager to believe it).