Swetnick’s accusation, simply put, is not credible. It may never be definitively shown as false—and she shouldn’t be subjected to formal reprisals unless it is—but the information we have severely undercuts the story. To believe Swetnick now is to disregard the facts and embrace blind faith.
I have often criticized fourth-wave feminism for doing just this: asserting that we must always and automatically believe self-professed victims of sexual assault. In response, critics sometimes tell me that the activists do not literally mean to believe all survivors—they only want society to show women respect, hear them out, and not dismiss their claims.
No doubt there are some activists for whom the hashtag “believe survivors” means just this. But activist groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL that continue to side with Swetnick and Avenatti are implying that they mean “believe survivors” in the literal sense—that belief, not mere respect, is what intersectional progressivism requires.