Bill Cosby is back in the news for the rape charges brought against him and as such, rape culture and misogyny have come back out of the woodwork. These are the things that blame a woman for her rape: She was dressed like a slut. She was drunk. She was flirting. She allowed herself to end up alone with him and so forth. Basically, it was her fault somehow. One tweet, however, brings the whole thing into sharp perspective.
This tweet got a lot of replies, in addition to thousands of likes and retweets. One reply was absolutely fantastic:
However, the rape apologists and defenders appeared, too, and did everything from call this a bad analogy to ask why these women didn’t speak up years ago, along with making other ridiculous arguments. The funny thing is, ya mcm’s tweet is exactly why women don’t speak up. People don’t believe them, or they blame them for the rape. It’s often easier and safer to stay silent than it is to speak up.
This reply stands out for its total ignorance of what happened:
Some said that we needed to leave Bill Cosby alone and focus on real problems. These people seemed to think that the whole thing was a distraction from the Tamir Rice case, and other cases of police brutality against black people. Others thought it was a carefully contrived conspiracy meant to defame a good black man. Still others brought up the tired, “Why did they wait to come forward?” argument, which carries an implication that waiting to come forward is evidence of lying about the being raped.
Also, prominent celebrities defended him. Whoopi Goldberg said:
Save your texts; save your nasty comments. I don’t care. I say this because this is my opinion, and in America, still, I know it’s a shock, but you are still innocent until proven guilty…He has not been proven a rapist.
Good ol’ Rush Limbaugh weighed in as well (he’s an insane conservative, though, and conservatives love holding onto the idea that rape isn’t really rape in most cases):
And I asked myself, what did Bill Cosby ever do to tick off some producer at CNN? Or some reporter? Or some assignment? What happened here?
Don Lemon played the “blame the victim” game:
Because I know some of you — and you said this last night, that he — you lied to him and said ‘I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do — if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife…’ And you said he made you perform oral sex…You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.
And we can always count on Glenn Beck to say something so utterly, cluelessly tone-deaf that there’s just no response available:
You want to talk about rape? That’s media rape right there. You said you would not do that. Since when does your ‘no’ mean ‘yes’? Do you know the definition of ‘no,’ sir? You’ve just raped Bill Cosby. You said you wouldn’t do it. You just did it and then you blamed it on him. My gosh, maybe we should have a lesson on rape.
Legality of rape versus legality of being a “ho” aside, it’s true that our society is far more likely to all jump on the bandwagon of calling a woman promiscuous, as long as multiple men are saying so, than they are to call a famous man a rapist no matter how many women come forward. That point is driven home with this ridiculous post:
That, too, is rape culture. It’s the idea that multiple women can accuse a man of rape, tell virtually the same story, and they’re still somehow the problem. Ya mcm’s tweet is spot on, and it’s time for people to recognize that and get with the program. Multiple accusations of anything else is usually believable. When it comes to rape and sexual harassment, though? It’s not. The women are opportunists, they’re vindictive, they’re trying to ruin a good man’s life for some reason, or they were somehow asking for it. It’s sickening.