I think it’s fair to say that we were all pretty shocked this year when over 40 women came forward with rape allegations against one of America’s most beloved comedians, and friend in our head-Bill Cosby. Before the allegations, most of us viewed Cosby as a father-like figure, an uncle, a pal…a play cousin. I mean after all, he was a funny guy who wore every ugly sweater our dads wished we’d never bought them, and all he ever wanted to do was eat a nice, tasty submarine sandwich on the comfort of his own couch. He made funny faces, did commercials for Jell-O pudding, and was so nice to all of his kids on The Cosby Show…I mean, REALLY, you’d have to be a monster not to like the guy.
But now, 30 years since the launch of The Cosby Show, and in the wake of some very serious allegations, we’re being forced to distance ourselves from the character we know and love, Dr. Heathcliff Huxtable, and take a really hard look at the man behind it all-Dr. William H. Cosby.
I believe everyone deserves a fair trial. If Bill Cosby did in fact rape these women, he should face the consequences. If he did not rape these women, he deserves to walk free.
But here’s the thing-None of us were there. Many of these alleged incidents happened way before I was even born. Before many of us were born, to be quite honest. So I can’t without a doubt say that every single one of these incidents occurred. But what I CAN say without a doubt is that it’s damn possible. And I’m sick of everybody acting like it’s not.
I’ll be the first to admit that I DID NOT want to believe that Bill Cosby was or is capable of such disgusting things. I, like many people once looked up to Bill. And when you FEEL like you know someone, celebrity or not, it can be hard to accept something like this. I was overwhelmed with disappointment. With that being said, no matter how disappointed I may be, that doesn’t mean Mr. Cosby can’t be guilty, nor does it absolve him of responsibility.
Here’s what I’ve learned over the last few weeks-there is nothing like a rape allegation against a man to bring out all of your rapey social media friends. You know who they are…rape apologists. The guys AND girls who don’t think rape is “that bad.” I actually had one of my Facebook friends tell me that he’d rather be sexually assaulted once than be infected with HIV. (He was comparing Charlie Sheen and Bill Cosby scandals for good measure) And while I’m sure no one wants to have to endure either of those things…why even compare the two? Why attempt to make one better of worse than the other? The answer: Rape culture.
— Garrett McInerney (@G87Mac) December 25, 2015
FYI: If I get raped I'm snitching in 20 mins not 20 years. #billcosby
— Glam University (@TheGlamU) December 31, 2015
You know who they are-the ones who think rape jokes are funny. The ones who say “Well if she was raped, why did she talk to him again?” The ones who obviously have no idea how rape or the psychology of rapists and rape victims work. The ones who think taking a pill equals consensual sex. The ones all too willing to admit that they get women drunk and high so they can have sex with them. The ones who ask what they were wearing, or what they were doing over there in the first place. The ones who want to know the woman’s sexual past, as if that even matters.
Sure, women lie about being raped. But it’s telling that many of my Facebook friends’ FIRST instinct is to blame the victims. It’s disturbing. So for those of you who have no idea about rape statistics and have been going out of your way to let everyone know that if YOU’RE ever raped, then you’re going to report it IMMEDIATELY (I think that’s the one that grinds my gears the most), I want to talk to you for a second:
RAPE DOESN’T HAVE AN EXPIRATION DATE. The trauma lasts always.
Let’s look at a few numbers.
60% of rapes are not reported. That means NEVER. The victim never told. No, they didn’t tell a week later, a month later, or even a year later. Nobody knows. The rapist is still out there.
Anywhere between 300,000 and 1 million women are raped annually.
A woman’s chance in being raped in the U.S. is 1 in 5.
The U.S. ranks 13th for rape in the entire WORLD.
Percentage of rapists never incarcerated: 97%
Number of rapes reported in the military in 2011: 16,500
Number of military rapes not reported: 80-90%
Number of women impregnated as a result of rape annually: 32,000
More than 13,000 rape kits remain untested in Florida, ALONE.
Nearly 47% of rape victims know their perpetrator.
For more info, visit the sites below: