Cosby Controversy

Cosby Controversy: “6 Signs Of Rape Culture” –

“Innocent until proven guilty” is a part of “rape culture”?

Actually, it’s a principle that protects everybody from another type of predatory behavior.

We have multiple cultural problems, including bigot culture and witch hunt culture.
Rape culture is only one of these problems, we’ve got lots of baggage to sort out.

Lack of a nuanced approach is one of the things that makes it more difficult to sort out.

For instance, the race issue.  There’s no need to deny that’s there.  Roman Polanski gets more deferrence here than Cosby.  Think about that for a second.

That doesn’t have anything to do with the truth or falsity of the allegations though.  There’s no need to deny it affects the coverage but on the core issue it’s irrelevant.

We also need to be cautious where public figures or a potentially large payoff are involved.  Remember the Duke Lacrosse case and the case with the former IMF head and the hotel maid where false accusations were made with a financial motive, and with the IMF guy, taken out at a critical time in negotiations on EU solvency, probably somebody put the maid up to it.

Another layer of nuance is that some of the allegations may be true and others fabricated.  These are different people, they may have diverse motives.

Another layer of nuance is that some questionable motives actually don’t determine the issue of truth. 

A person who has been damaged may well feel entitled to something and conversely a person with no financial motive is not necessarily telling the truth.

What should concern us most is the witch hunt aspect.   Do we want to be in a culture where anybody can be taken down at any time by untested allegations.  That is not just a rape issue, it’s a “swiftboat” issue.

One of the worst cases, the US soldier that was released this year.  After the right wing had been on Obama to secure the release of the soldier for years, when he did it, they immediately set out to destroy the soldier’s reputation, paying off other soldiers from his unit to make claims that were demonstrably false.  So instead of the heroes welcome they were implying before his release, he and his family were receiving death threats.  And he wasn’t even the real target, it was about undermining everything that Obama does.  Republican senators have admitted that opposing everything that a black man does plays well with their base. That’s the reality we live in. 

Ultimately, this isn’t even about credibility. There are multiple processes for dealing with such complaints, including criminal and civil litigation.  The women in question chose for their own reasons not to follow those processes.

So the correct response is, we have a process and you’ve chosen not to follow that process, so what would you have us do. 

The most pernicious aspect of rape culture is women telling other women not to come forward.  They’ll say, nobody will believe you, there are rarely convictions etc. 

That creates self fulfilling prophesies.

In any emergency, to have the best chance of success, you need to know what to do in advance so you can automatically make the right move without hesitation.  Preparing women to fail in the event they are raped is as bad as preparing them to fail in the event of a fire or medical emergency.

At the critical moments when they need to be strong and decisive they can’t have self-defeating thoughts going around their heads.  They need to act automatically, without self doubt, as we would want in any other emergency situation.

There might be an acquittal.  So what.  There will be an arrest record.  Fingerprints and DNA may connect other crimes.  He’ll have to hire a lawyer and sweat for a year.  There may be a bail supervisor and bail conditions The course of an accused to an acquittal is a brutal grind.  An accused that gets acquitted is not getting off free.

We hear that these trials are often brutal on the complainants, and they are. 

But that is missing something, how hard it is on you to do nothing.  What those purveyors of bad advice won’t tell you is how it is going to feel to do nothing, how it is going to eat away at you every day, every year, for decades, and how powerless you’ll feel, if you do nothing.

The slogan needs to be, “every case goes forward”.  No quarter. 

You can shut these guys down with convictions, you can also shut them down with acquittals. 

Most importantly, the message that few allegations are made and few cases go forward is one that you are sending to rapists too.

You’re giving them license.  Take it away.  The perpatrators usually know the victim, so identity isn’t in issue.  Send them the message instead that if they do this thing, whatever the verdict at the end, they’re in for a year of hell and they can be certain of that.  That is an enormous deterrant.

Friends don’t fill friends with self doubt when they should be supportive.

CPR on somebody that has a heart attack away from a hospital has about a 5% chance of success.

Should we be telling people, you’ll probably fail, so you should just give up?

Which is going to make you feel better in the long run, doing something or doing nothing?

For women that may have waited to long, such as in the Cosby case, there’s nothing we can do but say, we have a process and you made your decision, we’re sorry.

If the allegations are true there is probably somebody for whom limitations haven’t expired, and that is another story. 

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