Thirteen women have come forward accusing Bill Cosby of rape over the past thirty years. What is even more disturbing about this is that very few people believed these women until recently when a comedian, Hannibal Buress acknowledged Bill Cosby as a rapist in one of his stand up comedy sketches. It is fantastic that a man chose to believe these thirteen women instead of believing them to be liars like so many others; but what is disturbing is that now that a man has called out Bill Cosby as a rapist, the world is outraged. Why did it take one single man to call out Bill Cosby as a rapist for the world to believe it? Why wasn’t it enough that thirteen women have been doing so over the past thirty years?
Men’s ally-ship is extremely important when it comes to women’s rights progressing but it shouldn’t be all that progresses women’s rights. It is so important for people to believe women (and men!) when they say they are raped. It is so important to be an ally, to be supportive. It is very discouraging when I read a story about rape or gang rape and all of the comments call the victim a liar or saying they regret the sex so they are claiming to have been raped. It is sad to say that I see victim blaming very often. What does it take to believe someone has been raped? Obviously seeing a video is not even enough to believe someone has been raped. Numerous cases of rape have come out due to being recorded and I STILL see victim blaming and people calling the victims liars and sluts and people defending the rapist. I will never ever understand this.
What is powerful with the Bill Cosby allegations is that people do believe Bill Cosby is a rapist…because a man said so. Over the past thirty years, these thirteen women were called liars until magically one day when Hannibal Buress called Bill Cosby a rapist and now everyone believes these thirteen women.
This needs to change. We need to believe women when they say they are raped instead of automatically assuming they must be lying. Why is it easier to believe a woman is lying about rape as opposed to believing a man raped a woman?
Read Barbara Bowman’s story about her assault by Bill Cosby here: