I think it's pretty clear that he got away with raping quite a few women in his time, and will continue to get away with it, legally. But privately, and in the court of public opinion, he's ruined.
Fine. It's probably just.
But that's the problem, then, isn't it?
That's a word that, when it comes to criminal justice, and the ruining of a man over his criminal activity, I really, really hate. It doesn't feel right, piling on like this. Without a trial. Without a presentation of evidence and deliberation.
Everyone deserves that. Even dirt-bag rapists.
So while this is meant primarily as a screed against Cosby, for his betrayal of all of our trust, I also want to make another point.
Feminists will tell you why none of these women are responsible for their having been sexually assaulted. Why it isn't their fault. Why to examine their actions in context, and to list the ways that they acted stupidly and participated in their own sexual assault is "perpetuating rape culture" and "blaming the victim."
Let's get this straight, okay? A white guy in polished wingtips and a three piece suit, counting a huge fat stack of cash, visibly, as he walks un-escorted through the dark streets of Detroit DOES NOT DESERVE TO BE ROBBED. Got it?
But he is sure as hel a dumb fucker for doing that, and I think it is a smart thing for all of us to examine this man, and see what he did wrong, so that we can avoid being robbed, ourselves.
Having this discussion in no way excuses the acts of his assailant. He is a robber and a thief, and regardless of circumstances, he should be tried as such.
Okay, so here goes. I'm donning my flame suit for the inevitable accusations of "victim blaming".
But that's not my intent. What I'm fixing to do here is make one point, to which you MUST agree if you are intellectually honest, and then create a quick list of things that these women did that I will advise my daughter to never, ever do.
Okay, first, my point.
I saw a news article today in the local paper, about students at Gonzaga who were protesting the GU policy on sex assault. One young woman was picketing with a sign that said something along the lines of "Stop Teaching Young Women How Not To Be Raped, and Start Teaching Men Not to Rape".
Or something of the sort.
The entire concept behind this is horribly offensive to me, because it assumes that every man needs to be taught how not to take advantage of someone who is physically weaker than them, and how not to violently assault them. It's fucking bullshit. If there as a campaign going around about "teaching black men not to be thugs" it would be universally decried as the most racist, awful, offensive thing out there, and yet, a higher percentage of black men are thugs, than men are rapists.
I do not need to be educated on how not to harm other people. I'm a human being, with empathy to other human beings, and it never even occurs to me that I could gain anything by hurting other people.
Which brings me to my point - rapists don't give a fuck about your education campaign. You could educate them all you want, and you know what they are going to continue to do?
Is it really your theory that a man like Bill Cosby, who is by all metrics a very smart man, didn't know that he was doing wrong? That when he (allegedly - trying not to get sued here) drugged and raped those women, that he did it because he had been denied the information at some point in his life that what he was doing was illegal, immoral, and wrong? That if only he'd been "educated" on how not to rape women, he would never have done what he did?
Give me a break. Seriously?
Rapists are going to rape. Regardless of how many classes you force men into. Rapists are going to keep raping.
Knowing this fact, (and I think you really have to admit that it's true, if you're being honest) isn't it a smart thing to do to instruct young women on the things that they should probably be guarded about when they interact with people?
Is it too much to ask?
From the stories I've read, every one of these women took pills that Cosby gave them, or accepted a drink from him that he made not in their presence, after they'd agreed to go to a private apartment/hotel room with him alone. Every one of these women willfully went with him to the private apartment/hotel room alone.
The only one that was only assaulted, and not raped, refused to take any pills that he offered, and ran away once he started trying to force himself on her. She also didn't go to a private room with him, alone.
So here's my take-away:
Women, if you don't want to get raped:
- Don't take drugs that strangers give you;
- Don't go into private rooms with a man, alone;
- Stay reasonably sober and capable of handling yourself in public (don't get black out drunk;
- Don't accept drinks that other people made you, especially if that drink was made by a man that went into a private room with alone;
And finally, my parting shot.
These allegations have lit up a massive debate on the internet, about whether these women are telling the truth or not. Whether they are really victims, or just fame whores, trying to get their 15 minutes in the spotlight. This is fuel, added to the fire lit by false rape allegations, like the Duke Lacrosse case, and others.
These allegations hurt other victims of rape. They make it impossible for them to be taken seriously. The public sees the damage done by false rape allegations, and the more false rape allegations that happen, the more they get jaded. These allegations are not false, but they are also 100% un-provable. The reason that they are 100% un-provable is because none of these women went to the police.
So the lines are blurred. It is up to the public to decide whether Cosby is guilty or not. The public sees Cosby's career taking a hit, and they wonder if that's fair and just. They wonder if he really deserves it. They wonder if maybe, just maybe, an innocent man is getting railroaded by a bunch of opportunistic fame whores.
Even if he isn't, the doubt is there. Maybe these women are truly victims of a sociopathic rapist, but the concern that maybe they are not is right there. The fear that maybe an injustice is being done sits in the minds of every decent citizen. And that doubt will continue to erode away at their resolve when it comes to these "he said, she said" situations. It will erode away at the credibility of every woman that comes forward and says "he raped me."
So my final bit of advice to women - stop making excuses. Stop letting fear rule you. If you were raped, the only course of action is to go to the police, immediately. If for no other reason than to stop your rapist from raping others, but also to lend credibility to other rape victims in the future.