Writer and political analyst Zerlina Maxwell wrote a column for The Washington Post today with this original headline:
The headline has since been changed to this:
It’s a minor alternation, but an important one, seeing as allegations of rape should be taken very seriously and vetted thoroughly, if you’re doing a report on an alleged incident like Rolling Stone did.
Conservatives took note of the change on Twitter:
— Miranda Celeste Hale (@mirandachale) December 6, 2014
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) December 6, 2014
— Dan Gainor (@dangainor) December 6, 2014
Oh good @ZerlinaMaxwell's editor changed the headline. Now just a general dismissal of presumption of innocence instead of an automatic one.
— Neal Dewing (@Neal_Dewing) December 6, 2014
Maxwell argues in the column itself why it’s important to take the word of women who come forward with such claims, no matter what the woman in Rolling Stone‘s piece said:
The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might de-friend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching, consuming his books, or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.
The cost of disbelieving women, on the other hand, is far steeper. It signals that that women don’t matter and that they are disposable — not only to frat boys and Bill Cosby, but to us. And they face a special set of problems in having their say.
You can read the full column here.
[images via screengrab, featured image via Gil C/Shutterstock]
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