Bill Cosby’s gotta be done now, right?
In case you missed it, there have been a string of rape allegations thrown in the way of one of America’s favorite TV fathers, Bill Cosby. The last time I checked, 15 different women had claimed that Cosby had drugged them and raped them at some point in the past. That’s an alarming number, but it’s nowhere near the most alarming part.
It’s crazy to think that this is just now being discussed. Most, if not all, of these allegations against Cosby were to have taken place some 25-30 years ago. Many of the alleged victims have kept quiet about their ordeals, because they didn’t believe charges would stick. Only recently have many of the other alleged victims began to tell their stories. But the thing that made everyone pay attention to this story at all was a video recorded stand-up comedy routine of Hannibal Burress, where he semi-joked about Bill Cosby being a rapist. That made people go back and dig for those initial stories from the first women to speak out.
There are two big conclusions to be drawn here. First, we live in a society were women can be sexually abused by men, but feel forced to keep silent due to the backlash and victim blaming that comes along with it. Bill Cosby had such a golden reputation that most of these ladies knew that bringing the allegations to light was a futile effort. In fact, at least one of the alleged victims has been voicing her story for several years only for it to fall on deaf ears. This is a HUGE problem. Somehow, it’s become easier for the general public to assume a woman is lying about being sexually assaulted than it is to believe her story. Somehow, it’s easier for us to tell her what she could have/should have done to keep herself from being raped than it is for us to tell sex-crazed lunatics to control themselves.
The second conclusion to be drawn is in the fact that we are only now starting to believe the allegations because there are so many of them. Despite the fact that one person has been telling her story for so long that the statute of limitations on even pressing charges against Cosby has long since passed, it takes her story coupled with 14 other similar stories and a comedian’s joke for us to take it seriously. The alleged victims have absolutely nothing to gain here. No charges can be pressed against him. They can’t (and won’t) be paid to keep silent, but they’re still telling their stories. That alone should speak volumes about the validity of their statements.
I’ve heard far too many stories from women saying that they were sexually abused but chose not to say anything for fear of everything that comes along with it. The process of reporting a rape is already degrading. The victim blaming that tends to come after just seems to make the process that much more unbearable… And on that note, I’ll leave you with the ridiculous comments of our resident ridiculous CNN correspondent, Don Lemon. Lemon apparently believes that there is an easy solution to get out of being raped. Take a quick listen: