Those who are certain that numbers don’t lie and that the 15 women who have come forward to accuse Bill Cosby of drugging and molesting/raping them stand as evidence of truth should be reminded that 37 people claimed to be afflicted by witches in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. This doesn’t mean that Bill Cosby is innocent of the charges but it does mean that this isn’t a class action suit and that the details of each of these experiences may differ significantly enough to not be proof of anything. As of now, we are listening to women tell about events that happened as far back as four decades ago, a long enough time for anyone to forget or re-interpret the past. Some of these women accepted money from Cosby, often over a long period of time. Some, like Janice Dickinson, made a career out of bedding famous men and bragging about that in interviews and books. Many of these women admitted that they were hoping for acting jobs on Cosby’s popular tv show. There was never a shortage of female groupies who considered sexual experiences with entertainers as trophies for their collection or women who aspired to careers in show biz who were perfectly comfortable with the requirements of the casting couch.
Equally disturbing as the accusations of having been drugged is the pattern of a 19 year old woman, old enough to be a soldier nowadays, willingly going to a very famous married man’s home or hotel room to have “a drink” with him, then admitting to willingly swallowing some unknown pills and waking up with no memory of what happened. Many of these women repeated that behavior over a period of time but are still claiming that they were “molested.” Rape victim is certainly not the appropriate term for that recovered memory. The notion that 19 is too young to know better about going to a private place with a man you don’t know should be anathema to anyone who believes in feminism and giving women autonomy over their own bodies. If 19 is too young for that, is it also too young to have an abortion? Some women claim to have been too ashamed or embarrassed to have come forward at the time - waiting 35 years doesn’t diminish that admission of stupid or complicit behavior. Some women still believe that they aren’t responsible for getting too drunk to give consent or to remember what was done to them; they are wrong. If women are old enough to leave home or to live on campus or without physical or psychological parental supervision, it is totally their responsibility to take care of themselves. You can’t demand the privilege of independence, of government financed birth control, of the right to abort at one’s sole discretion, and then retreat when independence leads to a decision you regret. It isn’t a sign of honor for the Cosby women to finally come forward. Instead, it’s a worrisome trend that allows you to accuse someone with no evidence except your word and of other afflicted victims, as they were called in Salem, too many years after the fact.
If a prosecutor feels that there is sufficient reason to indict Bill Cosby she should do just that. Short of that, the media hysteria over the revelation that a beloved tv personality had a Jekyll/Hyde aspect should be no surprise to Americans who can remember a beloved president who was indeed having sex with “that woman” in the oval office, or a bit further back, the beloved president who was having sex with many women in the White House, or his beloved brother, the “Lion of the Senate,” who having driven drunk off the Chappaquidick bridge, escaped to safety himself, and not wanting to take a breathalyzer test, opted not to call for help until many hours later and instead, to let young Mary Jo Kopechne drown alone and unassisted.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here