For my male peers reading this, do you think the sexual assault allegations against Bryan Callen are most likely true?
Or do you find yourself questioning the accuser? Maybe she has an alterior motive?
I brought this up in a mostly female room on Clubhouse yesterday, and overwhelmingly received the most negative response I've had in my life.
But I gained an important perspective all men can learn from in the process...
Who should we believe?
That's the question. Your answer actually defines your current belief system.
If you believe the accused assaulter did it... you're probably right.
If you, similar to me before this experience, believe the accuser may have an alterior motive, I want to explain what I learned and why it changed my thinking on sexual misconduct allegations going forward.
He most likely did it.
Why are we afraid?
I think many of us are afraid of the current state of the internet. You can be accused of anything. Who knows what to believe anymore?
I have followed Bryan Callen for a while now. He was never my favorite comedian, but I thought he was okay. For some reason, I found myself coming to his side when I heard the news break out.
All I had saw at that point was the headline. I've never been aggressive with women, so assumed the same for him too and gave him the benefit of the doubt.
I mean, maybe he broke up with her years ago and she's still upset about it. Who knows?
There's also a certain anger prevelent in cancel culture that I linked to this situation too.
But they're not the same, and there are very good reasons why it's unlikely she'd make it up.
What made me change my mind?
The feedback I received from a mostly female crowd was that I should consider why I naturally assumed the accuser might be lying.
I learned about the many negative consequences to coming forth with rape allegations, making it extremely likely women are telling the truth.
On the other side, men who are sexually aggressive are likely to have a pattern of it, and lie about it after too. They think differently than us "normal" guys who treat women well.
When I read the LA Times article on Callen afterward (yes, I definitely should have read it before bringing it up in public conversation), I realized it's pretty obvious he has a pattern of sexually aggressive and not-okay behavior.
I didn't want to believe it, but between reading the personal accounts in the article, watching his IG response (seeing some body language that he was lying), and that conversation... I came to the conclusion that it's more likely he did it.
Even though I'm afraid of reputation-destroying attacks being made these days without due process, I encourage my male peers out there to appreciate the female perspective of this issue.
Sexual assault is still widespread.
What was your initial reaction when you heard about the Bryan Callen allegations? Do you naturally assume sexual assault accusations are true or false?
Please share if you feel like more people need to hear this.