Lots of us grew up watching “The Bill Cosby Show” and have warm memories of the Huxtable family. These memories clash with the fact that in the last few months, many women have come out telling their story about Cosby assaulting or raping them. Most allegations occurred in the 60’s, so they cannot turn into legal allegations. Because of this huge time-span between the alleged rape and now, many believe that these women are making their stories up.
I do not agree with this viewpoint. Yes, these events occurred 30 to 50 ago so, we cannot forensically determine if these allegations are true, but so many women, some who had previous relationships with Cosby are telling their story. What this proves to me is having such a friendship and turning on it, without any chance of personal gain, must mean that these women are telling the truth. Imagine being friends with Cosby and accusing him of raping you, just so the media gets a hold of your name and tells the world about how you were drugged and then raped. Your name on every news outlet. Then it came out that you were lying? No one in any office or any field of work would want to hire you or even speak with you. This is why I believe that these women are not lying.
People seek to discredit women who accuse a man of rape because some feel that they are “asking for it,” they see the way some women dress and feel that this is an invitation. They slap a label on the girl walking down the street, without even knowing the girls name. People will say that the neighborhood, the people, her family, led her to the path that allowed her to get raped. But rape is by definition never a choice, no matter where you grew up or the way you dress. Society has even created these norms and classes, once that is broken or threatened, the people are apt not to believe any accusations. They are hell-bent on protecting the accused.
I grew up in Philadelphia, watching the Cosby show, so I understand the unwillingness to believe these accusations. Bill Cosby is a household name, and he is perceived as a family man. However, as I read more and more about each victim and each scenario it’s hard not to see some truth to what these women are saying. Here are some facts that swayed me to siding with the women who were allegedly raped. Joan Tarshis, Linda Traitz, and many others have stated that they were drugged, whether it was by drug or alcohol. Many of the women back then had a drug or alcohol addiction. This may cause some people to believe that these women could be making up these accusations and they may not remember.
Cosby’s attorney has stated that “it is illogical” for these women not to have told their stories in the years after the assault. Yet, as I kept reading I noticed that people in those years were ashamed of getting raped and did not report it to the police. For some people it may not have been an option.
According to the reports from his victims, Bill Cosby perfected his act and became an expert at seducing women just enough to get them to take his drugs. He would first become their friend. Go out a couple of nights, gain their trust, which was not hard for a man with Cosby’s personality and name. Later, after he had done this he would offer these women a drug. All the drugs were the same, but each woman was told a different story. Some were told by Cosby that it would help them feel better or have a good time, as well as it being a herbal pill. It is not okay for any person, man or woman, to drug a person into doing something that they want. Bill Cosby crossed this line for his own gain.
What’s most troubling is that no one took any of these accusations seriously until a male comedian made a joke about it at one of his shows that was in Philadelphia. I believe that this says a lot about society today and how we are acting. It is not okay that so many of these women were not able to tell their stories sooner because of sexism, and trust issues that this nations deals with. Just because Bill Cosby is a famed and loved actor, comedian and family man does not mean that these actions were just or that we should turn a blind eye.
There may be more women who still have not come out yet. How can so many people tell a different and unique story that shares so much? Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted these women for his own pleasure. He now sits with rape charges and will not speak a word. He does not even comment on these charges. Cosby allows his attorney’s to speak for him with orchestrated words.
Although a trial will never be able to happen because of the timeline of these events, we should at least bring attention to the issue of celebrities doing what they want without consequence. And this is the larger issue at hand, not only do we not know about all the other allegations towards celebrities, we choose not to believe them. We do this because in our eyes, all we see is the drug and alcohol addictions celebrities have, we do not think that they, in turn, could have other problems.
People in the entertainment business are punished by social media and reputation once the court of law is out of question for a punishment. The public seeks to punish them by ending their career, however some only end up thriving off of their scandals. For example, Chris Brown assaulted Rihanna, and still people idolize him. So, we have to ask ourselves: is our problem really the fact that these allegations happened 30 to 50 years ago, or is it the fact the accused is Bill Cosby?