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Bill Cosby and Rape: One Oregon Woman’s Perspective

Thursday, July 16, 2015

 

The recent sex scandal now facing Bill Cosby didn't come as a surprise to me. For years, all during the 1980s and 1990s, I'd heard rumors from various people I knew, that he was a "sex pervert" in some manner or another. But the rumors I'd heard were just that, strange and occasional word of mouth stories that were never substantiated by any formal police investigation or newspaper articles that I knew existed. Until recently the stories of Cosby drugging and raping women were never developed or adequately disseminated and so the rumors remained on the shadowy periphery of American social consciousness, and ultimately, ignored.

That is until SNL writer, and comedian, Hannibal Buress, also a black man, did a stand-up routine and called Bill Cosby out as a “rapist.” After the comedy routine, the media suddenly came alive with women willing to be interviewed and come out as rape victims of Bill Cosby. This was not the first time that had occurred though.

In my whole life, I've never been a Cosby fan. There was something about his humor that I always found off-putting. Looking back, I think it had to do with his judgmental, holier than thou attitude. In his routines, Cosby was often pontificating, on the demands of marriage, fatherhood and life in general. He was always the one who was right and good and all others generally not right or good. So, when the story broke, I wasn't surprised and it confirmed for me, the reason I¹d never liked Cosby. Hypocrites tend to be judgmental and holier than thou. It¹s the way they contend with their guilty conscience and inevitable self-loathing.

Now, I knew what it was that I'd found so off-putting about Cosby; his smug, holier than thou demeanor and what lay beneath it. I am not the only person to feel this way about Bill Cosby. In 2004, Cosby began a pattern of appearances on comedy shows and television talk shows, in which he attacked the black youth of America and their parents.

Their offenses ranged from for being lazy, disrespectful to elders, to wearing saggy pants with butt-cracks exposed. Cosby even attacked theblack middle class in America, and expounded on what they weren't doing right to raise their children well, as compared to his example of exalted influence and excellence. The black community nationwide took offense and Cosby was accused of being an elitist and ³out of touch,² with the black community¹s struggles, challenges and longstanding obstacles.

Some black activists attacked Cosby for his tedious holier than thou-ness.

One such person was feminist writer and poet, Nikki Giovanni. In a fiery 2007 speech, she demanded that Cosby be hospitalized and brought out into the open the rumors of his decades long pattern of raping unconscious women. And yet, the speech was still ultimately ignored by media and the press.

The more the Cosby sex scandal has evolved and developed, with more women coming forward to tell of their experiences being drugged and raped by Cosby, the more I have become ultimately sickened by what has to be a level of woman hatred on Cosby's part that borders on pathological. This hatred of women, represents a danger to any woman who may interact with him. What is equally disturbing are the defenders and protectors of Cosby.

These are invariably men and their attitude toward women is clear, as they profanely describe the women accusers as “gold diggers” and “bitches” who are looking for their financial piece of the pie or their “fifteen minutes of fame,” and nothing more. Some of the women who are accusing Cosby of rape were underage minors, (star struck at the thought of meeting a celebrity) during the times that the premeditated and planned rapes were alleged to have occurred.

Minors are hardly capable of the mental or emotional sophistication required o think in such a calculated fashion, as to how Cosby might benefit them financially, or in acquiring the social prestige and influence they desired.

If Bill Cosby has never been charged or arrested, how can anyone prove a pattern of behavior that might point to a predatory rapists Modus Operandi?

Well, let's look at some of the facts that have been established. There are according to current numbers nineteen women who have now come forward to accuse Cosby of drugging and then raping their unconscious or partially unconscious bodies.

These women come from all walks of life, and are of varying ages. They include women now in their late 60's and early 70's. Elderly women who by all accounts have nothing to gain by coming forward with their stories. They often do not know each other and have never had any contact with one another.

Aside from the fact that the women are primarily Caucasian, with a small number of light skinned biracial woman, most of the women don't know each other and have never met. They live in a diverse number of states and are even originally from other countries. They do have one thing in common.

They had business contacts or meetings with Mr. Bill Cosby that can often place both of them together at the same place and time, and they all claim that he drugged them and then raped their unconscious or partially unconscious bodies against their will and without their given consent. What motive would women in their 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's all have to all of a sudden and for no apparent reason decide to frame a celebrity like Bill Cosby? Perhaps it's time that these women were believed. And perhaps it¹s also time to honestly look at why they were not believed. Perhaps instead of saying, ³Why didn't they come forward sooner? we should beasking, what was it that made them not be believed or not be heard, when they did come forward?² Perhaps this has more to do with the aggressive tactics of the attorneys that Mr. Bill Cosby hired, to do his dirty, damage control work for him than any fantastical conspiracy on the part of a bunch of women who don't know each other and have absolutely nothing to gain by being deceptive. The reality is that several of the women did go to law enforcement and filed reports with police that Bill Cosby raped them. Ultimately, they were ignored by law enforcement.

Many rape victims fall into the category of victims who fall under The Dark Shadow of Crime. All crimes that go unreported. When you consider that there are 19 women who have come forward, is it outrageous to presume that there are an equal or larger number of women who were victimized by Cosby who decided not to come forward? For the reason that they didn't want the abject humiliation that the prospect of a rape investigation would incur?

One significant and documentable instance of interference by Cosby's attorney's occurred in 2005. A friend of Bill Cosby, Andrea Constand, claims that he drugged and then raped her in 2004. The senior reporter for the National Enquirer, Robin Mizarahi, was instructed to investigate the story.

Mizarahi made contact with Constand and arranged for a lie detector test, which she passed “…with flying colors.” The Enquirer was set to release the story, but after Cosby's attorney's contacted them, they promised the Enquirer that if they didn't release the story, Cosby would agree to sit down with them and do a “feel good” interview instead on his career and family life. February 21st, 2005 the deal was arranged and Cosby granted them the interview in exchange for their silence. He later attempted to smear the women saying, “I am not going to give in to people who try to exploit me because of my celebrity status.” 

Once again, Cosby had prevailed.

In 1965, and all through the 1970s women were treated horribly by law enforcement if and when they reported a rape. Only bad women got raped. Sluts. Whores. Tramps. Women who dressed too provocatively or drank too much. Or women who “egged” a man on, provoking him into raping her. The rape culture at the time was very much enmeshed in the business of blaming the victim, and the reality is that rape culture hasn't changed much since the 1960s or 1970s. 

How do I know this? Well, I know these things because in 1979, at the age of 13, I was raped by a drunk man in his late twenties. The ordeal lasted a little over two and 1/2 hours. Later, after I told the woman I'd been babysitting for that I'd been assaulted, we agreed we should call police and report it. My fear was that I would end up pregnant. I had taken Sex Ed only a couple of years before and I knew how sex and pregnancy worked together. After the rush of police cars filled the apartment parking lot, and all the interviews, with social workers, nurses, and police officers, I also had to testify in front of a jury. The process of being ridiculed by the defense attorney, when I was only a 13-year-old child, standing five feet four and weighing 104 pounds was something I never forgot. I knew I'd done nothing wrong, but there I was, 13-years-old and being blamed by this attorney in sarcastic, condescending tones, who told me I'd egged on my attacker and that I had not been a virgin. I felt shell shocked and very angry by the end of that horrible ordeal and more than once, I bitterly regretted that I had ever reported the assault. The rape created a negative contour in my life that literally took me decades to overcome and get past, though some will say that a forcible rape is something one can never really recover from.

(For more on my 1979 sexual assault, click here).

The unfortunate reality is that rape alters a woman or man's identify in a permanent manner. Some women and men can survive and go on to live productive and contented lives, while others become overwhelmed by the nightmares, demolished self-esteem and low feeling of not being good enough, tainted, bad. The emotional and psychological repercussions of rape are varied and can be so life altering that a person is never the same afterwards. Agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, depression, suicidal thoughts or actions, and even post-traumatic stress disorder can all come about after a rape. The long-term effects can be devastating to the individual and to their families.

Which brings us back to Bill Cosby. I guess I'm wondering what all people are wondering: How could a man compartmentalize himself so perfectly, and with such emotional remove, that he could play the part of the wholesome ‘Dad of America’ on “The Cosby Show,” donate millions in money to various charities and then when people weren't looking, drug and rape unconscious women?

I for one don't need to wonder about the veracity of these 19 women. I believe they are being perfectly and completely truthful and forthright.

They are a collection of women of different ages, from different parts of the country, who don't know each other, have no previous connections and have nothing to gain, at this point, by sharing their tragic stories of betrayal. They tell stories that are incredibly similar in nature and provide consistently similar details about the methods Cosby used to gain their trust, and then betray them in the worst possible ways.

Finally, I will share a recent story my husband Don DuPay told me. My husband Don was a 17 year veteran with the Portland Police Bureau, working from 1961-1978, as a patrolman and later a police detective. After h resigned from PPB for health reasons, he quickly got a job as Director of Security for The Benson Hotel, located in downtown Portland. Don worked a The Benson for over six years all during the early and middle 1980’s. During that time, he recalls sitting in the lounge area, one afternoon, watching the hotel customers, which was something he often did. One afternoon, he remembers observing Mr. Bill Cosby, who had come to Portland on business. Sitting with Cosby, in the lounge area were two young, very attractive whit women. A blond and a brunette. They talked for a few minutes and then all three proceeded over to the elevators, to the left of the check-in counter, where Don watched them enter the elevator and presumably go up to Cosby's suite. Don remembers one of the girls looked young enough to be a teenager.It¹s easy to presume the young women were not there to read Holy Scripture with Mr. Bill Cosby, but rather to perform other functions. 

For a man who cared so little for propriety or for his long suffering wife, Camille's feelings, to be so brazen about his continuous acts of infidelity to her is really amazing to me. Why then should we believe Cosby when he denies that he drugged and raped the 19 women who can all provide credible testimony that he did drug and rape them? And particularly when others can corroborate their stories? Like the 90-year-old man, Frank Scotti who worked for NBC, who shared his own story, claiming he'd done damage control for Cosby for years and finally, in disgust quit over his feelings of remorse for how Cosby continued to drug and rape young women and teen-aged girls.

As a person who understands the power to incite or de-escalate a situation by the simple usage of language and how powerfully language can modify or soften the perception of various social dynamics, the media would do well not to downplay or whitewash the language used to describe Cosby¹s crimes. When the media makes statements claiming that after these women were drugged Cosby “had sex” with them, their main purpose is to downplay the act of Forcible Rape. The reality for anyone who understands the legal definition is that Bill Cosby committed Forcible Rape on every one of these women, for the simple reason that they were unconscious or in varying stages of losing consciousness and unwilling to consent to sexual intercourse of any kind.

That's Forcible Rape. “Forcible Rape, by the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, (UCR) definition, is the carnal knowledge of a person forcibly or against that person's will, or when a victim is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent.”

Let's call Cosby the name he most deserves. The name that SNL writer and comedian Hannibal Buress had absolutely no trouble using appropriately was. RAPIST. Because that of course, is what Cosby has proven himself to be.

 

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