As the nation works itself into a frenzy around allegations of abuse plaguing “America’s Dad,” Bill Cosby, I have done the same over the responses. Question the stories? Victim shaming. Ask some on the left? It’s racial. Ask the other side? Off with his head!!
Sadly, at his age the real winners will be the attorneys working long past his death, and ability to defend himself, as claims against his estate mount up.
Here is my take. Bill Cosby and Cliff Huxtable are not the same. But, it is interesting how a self proclaimed child molester starring in Seventh Heaven still gets his residual checks but the Cosby Show re-runs are cancelled. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
While I am pondering the bigger issues of it all, the thing that really burns me up is the assumption that girls and women are weak, and that strong, powerful men can have their way with us. Cosby'd? Not me! This is my message to young women everywhere….
1. A creep is a creep is a creep…but is not a rapist. Broken promises and lies happen before sex in all social circles….they may sound better coming from a wealthy man, in a luxurious setting, but come morning….you are no more his girlfriend than the other girls that fell for those lines.
2. Reflecting on your life 25 years later, and that gig you didn’t get, even after all of the “favors” you offered, don’t make you raped…..could be naive at best….stupid at worst…but not raped.
3. Returning to your “predators” den (or boat, or tennis club, or dressing room” or going on yet another trip with him after he has violated you, well….this doesn’t speak to rape. It speaks to HOPE that the next time your goody jar is gonna be so terrific you actually get the job or the loan. Sike. See number 1.
4. Speaking about abused women who can’t get away from their mates in the same way that a women who repeatedly goes on a dates or requests favors from an “abuser” is a slippery slope. Having children and debt and responsibilities with a person and a true fear of being injured or murdered is very different than taking that call from Mr. Powerful even after he drugged your drink because….you know….he’s so powerful. Sigh.
5. Finally, as women, young and old, we are in control of our own selves. There is never a reason that no does not mean no. But there are times when you realize your “yes” should have been a NO. You got played. You got got. It happens. Learn from it. Don’t repeat it. And don’t cash it in 30 years later for a People magazine spread.
Many people in power misuse that power for favors. Hell, many people in power get access without the ever offering anything except a chance to say you did it. Alas, he was not charged and therefore innocent in my book. I don’t know if Cosby is a rapist or not. It is none of my business. I do know that the bigger the lie, the more people believe it. And, as a feminist, as a woman, and as a damn realist….take responsibility for your mind and body! If you decide to share it….for whatever reasons, own all of it. If it is taken, fight with everything to seek severe and timely justice. Cosby’d? Not me! Rewriting history to suit my improved judgment is not an option. Real talk.