If you’ve been keeping up with the news than you know several women have come forward accusing Bill Cosby of rape. For some, this might be new, for others these allegations ain’t nothin’ new.
Comedian Hannibal Buress performed a stand up in Philadelphia about two months back when he brought up Cosby’s rape allegations and unintentionally (or maybe not) resurrected what some believed was old news.
As more women come forward (including model Janice Dickinson, as well as publicist and journalist, Joan Tarhsis, and another woman named Barbara Bowman) the mounting backlash has caused Netflix comedy special to get shelved, yet people’s comments continue to become more and more insensitive.
These bitches is broke and just want money
This happened years ago, why come forward now?
He’s done so much for the black community. I’m still standing by him.
While I firmly believe the Internet has become the playground many flock to after leaving their mama’s house and all the good home training she taught you, I was still taken aback at all the victim blaming.
I’m amazed that it’s the women’s motives that come into question and not the possible thought that maybe America’s beloved Dr. Huxtable could’ve been a sexual predator.
To view a rape victim from the vantage point of “what’s their end goal?” is shallow thinking and is what keeps rape culture robust and booming. Even if these three women (of the 15 that are rumored to be out there) only want money, or to ruin his reputation, or even spark enough discussion that leads to an investigation and potentially jail time for the 77-year-old comedic actor, that does not by any means, mean Cosby is innocent of the crime he’s being accused of.
In today’s rape culture the responsibility to not get raped continuously falls on the victim. Questions such as what were you wearing? How short was your skirt? Why did you get drunk in a bar? Or why were you walking home late by yourself? are all questions asked when a victim comes forward. CNN’s Don Lemon had the gall (or the asinine audacity if you will) to ask Joan Tarshis why at 19, she didn’t use her teeth as a weapon when Cosby allegedly sexually assaulted her.
The level of insensitivity, victim blaming and blatant disrespect was at an all time high when the often out-of-touch journalist once again perpetuated the pervasive belief that a woman is responsible for the hurt she experienced as a sexual assault victim.
Secondly, the timing of these allegations has also come into question. Many wonder why women are now coming forward to speak of the sexual abuse that took place some 20 years ago. Well, if so many are finding it hard to believe Cosby could’ve committed these crimes in 2014, who do you think would believe these women when they accused the lovable, kind, heartwarming star of The Cosby Show who ruled NBC?
Who would even think Bill Cosby could be anything other than a saint? He was one of the most powerful men in television and his success fattened many people’s pockets, meaning rape allegations would most likely fall on deaf ears. And just to reiterate, these alleged victims have been trying to get the public’s attention for years, but it took another man, former SNL writer Hannibal Buress, to even build a platform for these women to stand on.
I believe the issue isn’t that people don’t believe these women were drugged and raped. I think people don’t want to believe it was Cosby who could’ve been the rapist. Some don’t want to think Cosby could be a sexual predator because it would ruin the ideal he helped build. It was easy to digest that R. Kelly was a pedophile. Between his classic 12 Play record, coupled with his raunchy on-stage antics, the video evidence and his not-so-secretive marriage to Aaliyah, people were able to believe Kelly’s lustful, inappropriate ways involving underage girls.
But Bill Cosby is different. Cosby portrayed all that is good. From his loving, oftentimes humorous marriage to Claire Huxtable, to the way he whipped Theo into shape and tenderly cared for Rudy, Denise, Vanessa and Sondra. You don’t want to think that this same man who showed the world black men and women could rise to greatness and be educators, doctors, loving parents and loving lovers, could possibly sexually assault women. It’s too jarring a thought and too difficult to bear. How could such good and evil hold residence in one human form?
The public trusted Cosby. The public believed in Cosby. For 30 minutes, no matter what was happening in your world at the time, The Cosby Show provided a safe haven, an extended family and Bill Cosby was the loving patriarch behind all of that, and to accept that this man who brought so much joy and hope and excellence especially to the black community, could’ve shattered that in several women many times over is something most can’t bring themselves to accept because it would mean we were lied to. It would mean the little good left in the world is now gone, and as much as we pretend like we don’t care that the world is turning to shit, a lot of us do, and a lot of us reminisce on the yesteryears, the good ‘ole days and Cosby was part of those times and to know he could’ve damaged others, damages us. The theme music wouldn’t be the same. His smile wouldn’t be the same. The Brooklyn brownstone we wish we all lived in wouldn’t be home anymore. If these rape allegations are true, it just wouldn’t be the same.
So what is being said in a roundabout way is Cosby supporters would rather these alleged rape victims be whores, sluts and greedy, bed lustful women out to destroy a wonderful memory, than for the man who helped craft that memory destroy it on his own.
What’s being said is I’d rather be comforted by a lie than hurt by the truth.
Congratulations rape culture, you’ve won yet again.