• Subscribe to The Spark

    A curated newsletter full of dinner-table worthy topics, thought provoking stories, promo codes and the spiciest memes straight to your inbox.

Bill Cosby’s ‘Sex Scandal’ Proves Media’s Negligence Towards Rape Victims

Bill Cosby
4 min read

by Yesha Maniar 

Dear People Magazine, Associated Press, Vanity Fair and CNN,

We have, once again, been misguided by our society’s tendency to downplay sexual assault and rape, especially if the perpetrator is a well-known celebrity like Bill Cosby.

Here are a few examples of recent news stories that downplay Cosby’s actions throughout the years:

  • “Cosby Admits to Giving Drugs to Women for Sex”—Associated Press
  • “Raven-Symone on Bill Cosby Sex Scandal”—People Magazine
  • “More Scandalous Revelations from Bill Cosby’s Unsealed Court Records”—Vanity Fair
  • “What legal consequences could Bill Cosby face now?”—CNN

While some of the pieces above were informative and interviews with survivors felt validated, the headlines are incredibly alarming.

It is pretty evident from the 2005 court documents that state Cosby gave a woman Quaaludes, a sedative, and then had sex with her. He also testified that he did this with “other people.”

Just in case you are confused about the facts, according to Dictionary.com, a sedative is a drug “that calms a patient, easing agitation and permitting sleep” and “slows normal brain function.”

As implied by the headline (above) published by the Associated Press, it seems that a woman knowingly took a sedative in exchange for sex with Cosby. Last time I checked, people do not want to fall asleep while having sex.

So, now let me introduce a rather familiar term that is not being used in Cosby’s case—rape. Also, according to Dictionary.com, rape is unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.

Now back to Cosby’s case: when he had sex with these women, they were on sedatives, so, it is reasonable to conclude from the testimonies of more than 25+ women that they did not give their consent.

Simply put: Cosby gave drugs to women so he could rape them, which is a rather important distinction from the many misleading headlines above.

Until this point, many Cosby fans and supporters said they could not believe the allegations because there was no proof or hard evidence. However, there is proof from Cosby’s own testimony that he admitted to giving sedatives to a woman and “other people” and bought the drugs with the intent to give to women he wanted to have sex with. But still, news sources are not willing to label the transgression for what it is.

Moreover, news sources are referring to these series of events as a “sex scandal” and referring to it as “scandalous.” A sex scandal generally implies a consensual secretive sexual relationship that was discovered. These relationships were not consensual and are certainly not scandalous.

Cosby broke the law and committed a criminal act multiple times. This new information is not “scandalous,”  but disturbing to say the least.

There are also some arguments that news sources need to remain ethical until Cosby is formally charged in a criminal court. Therefore, the word rape cannot be used to describe his actions.

However, this is simply wrong and I list reasons why below:

Firstly, there are multiple women who have come out against Cosby, and it seems unlikely that all of them lied. Serial rapists exist and usually use the same methodology to rape women.

Does it make sense to continue to protect one man in the media over the many woman that have come forward and accused him of sexual assault? Or is it a projection of what we are continuously taught—a powerful, famous man is more trustworthy than a feeble, confused woman? How many survivors have been shamed from accusing their rapist publicly because of the powerful high-profile perpetrator?

Secondly, Cosby has admitted in 2005 to obtaining sedatives with the intent to give them to women. This is certainly not normal and indicates that his actions were premeditated.

If any person bought a gun before committing a murder, we would have headlines that stated “[Insert Name] Committed Premeditated Murder.” We would not have headlines that read: “Scandalous Revelation: [Insert Name] Bought Gun to End the Life of Another Person.

So, why is the media responding with speculation instead of demanding justice? Headlines should not say, “What Legal Consequences Will Bill Cosby Face?” but rather “When Will The 45 survivors of Bill Cosby’s Sexual Assault Receive Justice?” or “Bill Cosby Testified to Buying Drugs to Rape Women, When Will he be Charged?”

This all indicates that there is a problem in the way sexual assault is reported, and even more so a problem when it comes to powerful, rich and once-upon-a-time adored men like Cosby.

The media is willing to name murder suspects and call them murderers before being charged, but they will not do the same for serial rapists and especially famous serial rapists. The media continues to perpetuate the negative norms of discussion when it comes to sexual assault.

By choosing to protect Cosby’s “rights,” the media inherently violates the rights of the women that came forward; validating the trauma these women faced is considered not as important as maintaining a certain image of the legendary comedian. Through protecting Cosby it tells the many survivors of sexual assault and rape that their pain will always be second to protecting the image of the perpetrator.

The implications of lessening the wrongdoing of one famous man leads to a media bias and more hidden victims/survivors. They see how victims/survivors and perpetrators are treated and they will not want to accuse their rapists. It is not simply irresponsible to report this way, but dangerous. The media is telling survivors that is better to remain silent.

It’s time that the media stops sympathizing with the perpetrator and starts pushing back against the culture and norms that allow for sexual assault and rape to continue.

Sincerely,
Yesha Maniar


Yesha Maniar is a recent graduate from Dartmouth College and currently teaches at a charter school in Boston. She enjoys reading a variety of genres and spends her free time in Boston cafe hopping. Next year, she will be attending Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine with hopes of working with young children and adolescents in the future in the field of community health.

xpornplease pornjk porncuze porn800 porn600 tube300 tube100 watchfreepornsex