You accuse one skeptic of rape, and next thing you know you’re the guy who’ll accuse anyone of rape. I get mentioned in this article about Tchiya Amet, the woman who is saying Neil Tyson raped her. She sounds credible. I can believe something happened. She definitely experienced some trauma around that time that led to her dropping out of grad school. She definitely believes she was the victim of a non-consensual sexual assault by Tyson. But…
I expect a little bit of corroborating evidence. Unfortunately, there isn’t any. A friend who testifies to her distress at the time, signs of a pattern of abuse by Tyson to others, anything. There’s nothing. Apparently, a news organization (Buzzfeed, maybe?) tried to investigate, but hit a wall where there was a complete absence of any indications that he’d been a predatory dudebro back in the day. That was where I was stuck, too. I don’t have any investigatory ability, and all I had was this one person’s words.
She doesn’t help her case with her willingness to invent patterns where there are none. She confronted him at a talk; she interprets him talking about black holes in an astronomy talk before the Q&A as some sleazy reference to having sex with her, even before she asks a question. When she gets to the microphone, she’s wearing a feathered headdress and Indian warpaint, and she raises a foot-long ankh before saying,
Today is national sexual assault awareness day, during national sexual assault awareness month, and I’m here because when I was a grad student at UT Austin in 1984, you raped me. I’m here to speak for all the people you’ve raped, assaulted, molested, violated, denigrated…and all the pain and suffering you’ve inflicted on them, and their parents and families and their children, including myself.
The presentation does not inspire confidence. When she says, “all the people”, I’d like her to name names to an investigator, because if it’s true that he perpetrated all these crimes, there’d be more evidence than a lone woman in an Indian costume waving an Egyptian symbol to support her accusation.
David Gee thinks there should be an investigation. It seems he’s even hired a private investigator to look into it.
Reporters could be hesitant to talk about this because of their love for Tyson, or because of their distrust in spiritual individuals, but no matter what, it is completely unacceptable. I’m not saying you should believe Amet 100% and take her story at face value because I’m not doing that. All I’m asking for is a real investigation, so we can find out what really happened.
If you knew Tyson and/or Amet during this period, or you have information about similar allegations, please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. You never know what information might help.
Well, yeah, it should be looked into. But the first thing that should be examined has got to be offered up by Amet herself. She says that there were multiple instances of rape, assault, molestation, etc., and is willing to say so publicly. So who, when, where? Provide some leads. If she can’t, it sounds like she’s willing to throw around wild and false accusations with nothing to back them up, which hurts her credibility further.
Even people with weird beliefs get raped, but even people with weird beliefs ought to be able to provide some tangible clues if we’re to act on their accusations.