This I Believe

megan - Cupertino, California
Entered on March 8, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that judgments about things often are made too quickly. When it comes to whether or not something is right or wrong it is usually based on a stereotype or the connotation of the activity.

I experienced something this week that made it very apparent that a negative allegation causes people to judge without full knowledge. People rushed to judgment on an incident without having the facts about what happened. I attended a birthday bash for a friend of mine last weekend. I arrived with my boyfriend, who is a part of the baseball team, and the place was filled with De Anza College students. The baseball team and softball team usually get together on weekends to hang out because of what we have in common.

The baseball team is well-known for their athletic ability and crazy party habits. At least that is their stereotype. I was at this party for about 2 hours. There were girls there that I was not familiar with at all but they sure made a huge impression on the regular baseball/softball crowd. One of the girls acted belligerently drunk and very scandalous. My boyfriend and I left right after she had pulled several guys into a bedroom. I judged this girl because of what she wore and how she acted, but didn’t really know her.

The next morning I got a call saying that the girl who was in the room with multiple guys the night before had accused them of sexual assault. I was completely shocked. It seemed like what she did was something that she wanted and asked for.

What I thought was interesting was the fact that she acted the way she was dressed. What she wore was equivalent to a stripper outfit and what she did was full of consent and willingness.

The press immediately got involved with the case. Several news stations and reporters swarmed the baseball field and the campus on Monday. They were drawn by the negativity of the story. Eight baseball players who happened to be present in the room that the girl was in were suspended from the team. What was weird was the fact that all of this happened before any of the guys were questioned at all about the alleged sexual assault.

The press and the news stations involved themselves in this case so soon because it is their job to interview people about facts and thoughts about the situation. But there was no proven evidence that the players were guilty. This was a sensational and negative story about college students that the press believed was something people wanted to read and hear about. What bothers me the most is the amount of negative publicity De Anza College has received in the last few days. I think it is important to give police the chance to sufficiently investigate the rape before placing judgment of the baseball players. I’m wondering if we will see the same level of publicity when the case is resolved. I doubt it.

I believe that knowing the whole truth about any situation or person is important before judging their actions and characteristics. Society seems to love to hear about a negative accusation, even before it is proven. I believe giving people a chance to speak and the discovery of hard evidence is something that helps justify a valid opinion.