Telling Your Truth: The Anonymity credibility dilemma

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

Who are you? Why should I believe you?



Photo by Cassidy Dickens on Unsplash



I wrote an article recentlyMen, We Need You To Tell Your Truths Too. My opinion, shared by others, is that the gender narrative is dominated heavily by victim feminists who see the world through the rust-colored glasses of powerlessness and a patriarchy looming larger in their heads than it does in ours.


One must wonder how galling it is for men to read endless — and I mean endless! — articles by women telling them how to court women (often contradictory) and how to be a better man.


It seems like a good time to discuss credibility levels with male, female and other truth-tellers.


Hail Ansari, full of ‘Grace’

It was Aziz Ansari’s accuser who made me consider the limitations of anonymous testimony.


‘Grace’ did for feminism what Jeffrey Epstein did for yacht parties.


She related an anonymous story of an evening with comedian and actor Aziz Ansari that came across as somewhat less rapey-sounding than portrayed. Aziz pushed her a bit for sex and stopped when she asked. She came nowhere close to getting raped, unless you count the inherent risk in going back to someone’s home you’ve only just met.


She felt the discomfort of a young woman who made a decision, was in over her head and came out of it less wise, it seemed, than she might have.


She didn’t consider when she got Ansari’s invitation to come home with him that celebrities are famously entitled and think they can (and often do) get away with what mere mortals can’t, but she was young so I’ll spot her her inexperience. Still, she was old enough to know going home with a guy you barely know isn’t exactly a Best Practice. She’s lucky he wasn’t another Coz.


Controversy erupted. For those of us who know equality means female responsibility and that men should accept no means no, Ansari did exactly that and she looked like a clueless teenager who shouldn’t be allowed to go to parties with beer and boys.


Only he took the fallout with those who thought the night was rapey, even if no rape occurred. ‘Grace’ took some criticism and fallout too, but until someone revealed her real name she could go about her day without anyone knowing she was that Grace unlike Ansari who was that Aziz Ansari.


‘Grace’ backpedaled feminism for women fighting the millennia-old perception that it’s their fault when they get raped, while validating an infantilizing feminism portraying women as never responsible for their personal safety or for making their boundaries clear. The definitions of ‘rape’ and ‘sexual assault’ have bloated over the years to trawl a wide variety of male behaviors which didn’t fall under those categories before, and the victimhood set was plenty happy to rake another man over the coals even though he stopped when she asked while never wondering whether Grace should have an 11PM curfew.


Male critics accuse women of not knowing what rape is anymore, and I fear they may be partially right.


When Feminists Make It Harder To 'Believe Women': How can we be sure she was raped if she doesn't understand the difference between 'rape' and 'consent'?


‘Grace’ depended too heavily on subtle signals indicating lack of willingness to pursue a sexual liaison that Ansari failed to pick up. ‘Grace’ may have simply been unaware men often don’t pick up on nonverbal signals, so women need to be more verbal and up-front with what’s okay and what’s not. It wasn’t her youth; it’s uncommon knowledge. I won’t fault her, but we all need to understand men aren’t mind-readers.


‘Grace’ essentially held Ansari up for public ridicule, hiding comfortably behind anonymity (not unlike a troll) until someone dug up her name. Then she had to face the public consequences, too.


I came to realize something which will make the #MeToo set cringe or turn red with rage, but I think it’s true, like it or not: Truth rings more loudly when you tell it under your real name.

On some levels, anonymity is for cowards.


The feminist troll

I understand why women don’t want to tell violent tales of abuse, rape, sexual assault, stalking, genuine gaslighting and psychological manipulation under their real names. Men be crazy.


Especially vengeful exes. Especially angry, incel trolls, themselves hiding in sexually frustrated cowardice behind their 4Chan monikers.


I don’t condemn women for anonymous testimony. It’s necessary.


But, it also opens her up to the legitimate suspicion she may be lying, or not being entirely truthful, or stretching it a bit.


When #MeToo exploded, with tales of terror on Twitter and elsewhere, I wondered how many of the anonymous were lying?


Yes, I think some women lie about rape, but not the way men think — where she falsely accuses a particular man. That happens, less than men believe, more than women believe. I myself have seen it twice.


Feminist trolling is real, and it becomes easier to lie about rape and sexual assault — or anything, really — when there’s no chance anyone can identify you.


A few years ago here on Medium, I read a perfectly reasonable article on gender relations by a popular male writer who received a lot of positive response.