Women are unable to safely report

The New York Times has a think piece on the clash between Cosby’s Wholesome Image and the proliferating allegations that he had a decades-long habit of drugging and raping women. It starts off with a very peculiar headline…

For Some Fans, Accusations of Rape Crumble Bill Cosby’s Wholesome Image

Department of pointing out the obvious.

“He implanted so many positive images, moments, subliminal pictures of what African-Americans can be,” Mr. Osborne said. The portrayal struck him as false — the families he knew in Brooklyn did not live in well-appointed townhouses in the Heights; the Cosby children’s range of skin tones made it a strain to see them as siblings. Still, he recognized the accomplishment.

“There was a time when white people used to claim, ‘I watch “Cosby” ’ as their bona fides,” he said. “While we can look at it very cynically, there’s some good in that.”

The closeness and personal pride may be what allowed people to look away when rape accusations against Mr. Cosby surfaced decades ago. And still, with at least 15 women coming forward with similar stories — of being given a drink or a pill by Mr. Cosby, then waking up feeling they had been sexually assaulted — many fans continue to point out that he has never been charged. The women, they say, must be after money.

He has never been charged so it can’t possibly be true because all rapes lead to arrest, every single one, no exceptions. Meanwhile, no one is allowed to mention it. That’s how our legal system works. That legal system applies in Ireland as well as the US.

As Mr. Cosby, now 77, took the stage in Melbourne, Fla., on Friday night as part of what was to be a comeback tour, at least two in the audience shouted out, “We love you, Bill Cosby!” To this, Mr. Cosby, wearing a “Hello Friend” sweatshirt, responded with a clenched fist above his head, and many in the crowd copied him.

Oh did he! Really! Meaning what? Power to the rapists? Power to guys getting away with serial rape for decade after decade? Power to the very very rich and famous tv star guys getting away with serial rape for decade after decade? Or is it just Here’s what women who accuse rich and famous tv star guys of rape should get – a fist.

Dr. Beverly Gray, like the fictional Dr. Huxtable an obstetrician and gynecologist, recalled watching the show every week with her family.

Reflecting on Mr. Cosby now, she thinks of the survivors of sexual abuse she sees in her work in Durham, N.C.

“I feel like women are unable to safely report male perpetrators in our culture,” Dr. Gray, 38, said. About the show, she said: “I remember a very happy, close family. It’s the contrast between that and what you hear on the news that’s so upsetting.”

Exactly. Women are unable to safely report male perpetrators in our culture. We know this from experience.


  1. SF says

    Cosby needs to take his $400M, hide from society and STFU for the rest of his life. That is the very least he could do. Of course that won’t happen. He’ll be lionized by a rabid set of defenders who confuse his public image with reality. Perhaps Faux will eventually air his new developed show and reruns and make megabucks off of it for their viewers as well as the serial rapist.

  2. quixote says

    The fist business sounds to me a lot like the old Black Panther salute. If so, irony has come full circle. Somebody who has become The Man and abuses his position to hurt powerless people appropriates the symbol of an underclass whose mission was to fight abuse from The Man.

  3. says

    ^ I know, that’s what I meant. It’s the old Black Power salute, more broadly. It’s stomach-turning to see it used this way. (Not that it’s the first time. It’s been appropriated by many cynical shits over the years.)

  4. eddiejones says

    We are at our ugliest when someone dares to question the absolute right of men to dominate women….

  5. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    Christ. He did not.
    I can’t even. The Black Panther salute?
    This iconic Black Panther salute?

    This one? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raised_fist

    The salute dates back to ancient Assyria as a symbol of resistance in the face of violence.

    The symbol has been picked up and incorporated around the world by various groups who perceive they are oppressed.

    amongst black rights activists, especially in the United States of America it has been called the Black Power salute. During the Spanish Civil War, it was sometimes known as the anti-fascist salute.

    The sheer gall.

  6. carlie says

    It really does come down to not wanting to people not wanting to believe that they’re a bad judge of character. “I admire Bill Cosby, and if these women are telling the truth then I was wrong, so they must be lying”. If people admit they’re a bad judge of character, then they have to be suspicious of everyone they thought they knew.

  7. says

    In the late 60’s in the UK, the willingness to use the salute, was one of the things that distinguished “real lefties” from “pinkos” a.k.a. “bourgeois liberals” or “soggy liberals.” Over the years, some of the “real lefties” I knew then have turned out to be surprisingly like Cosby in attitude if not in actual practice. So his making the salute is, perhaps, not as inappropriate as it might appear.

  8. Donnie says

    @Bernard Hurley says

    Over the years, some of the “real lefties” I knew then have turned out to be surprisingly like Cosby in attitude if not in actual practice

    Add those hippie Clintons – the Reganities of the 90s and 2000s and potentially 2020s

  9. johnthedrunkard says

    Well, he’s Black, so any complaint about his behavior is REALLY ‘the man’ conspiring against him….

    I guarantee that there will be plenty who buy in. Our public culture is just bottomlessly corrupt.

  10. John Horstman says

    To this, Mr. Cosby, wearing a “Hello Friend” sweatshirt, responded with a clenched fist above his head, and many in the crowd copied him.

    Wow. If his respectability politics BS hadn’t already burned any favor Cosby had with Black radicals, repurposing the Black Power salute for his rich, rapist self may well do the trick.

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