No, I do not know whether soccer player Hope Solo is telling the truth when she claims Dancing With the Stars expert Maksim Chmerkovskiy smacked her around. She could be lying; she could be telling the truth. That is not the point of this article. The point of this article is to address the comments and attitudes of the readers.
Peppered across the comment section were men (and some women) claiming that Solo is lying because she tends to be an attention hound. They claim she could have and/or should have hit back, called the police, told the media earlier, quit the show, or used another trainer like the TV station offered (if they knew what was going on, why didn’t they fire Maks?)
There are many comments that assume that Hope is lying before there is enough evidence (“they tape the show rehearsals, so why don’t they just show the tape?”) [they do not tape every single minute of rehearsals’]; “she’s just looking to ruin his career”, etc. Would they assume Maks is “an attention whore” or that a man could be lying? No. They prefer to assume women lie, especially about abuse and rape sort of stuff, and refuse to look further into it.
It is not right to assume anyone is lying until proven otherwise, but it is especially horrendous when done to women, because we all know that women are even less likely to be believed than men- i.e. there is no “men are liars” idea that runs through our society, so men know they have a fair fight when accused, whereas we don’t.
Women, in addition, are accused of being “crazy” when they make accusations that are potentially false, as if dishonesty and insanity were the same thing. Then, when the woman understandably gets angry at being labeled “crazy”, they label her crazy for getting angry, as if anger and insanity are the same thing. It’s no different than it was 500 years ago, or 150 years ago, during the Victorian era. It’s just a little more toned down, and they are less open about the sexism. But it’s still there.
If Hope Solo is lying, then that is a shame. But it does not mean that it is fair to assume someone is a liar because they are a woman. It is only fair to make judgments about someone based on the content of their character.