Rape culture is embedded in the fabric of this same flag that is worshipped more than God. Rape culture persists — has persisted — from the first explorers who saw an exotic looking woman on these native lands and took her body because she was not a person — could not have been a person because she didn’t look as they did. Rape is never about the act; it is about the power it brings, and to who desires such power.
In 2006, the #MeToo movement began with Tarana Burke, an African American civil rights attorney, with the goal of helping those who have been victims of sexual harassment and assault. With the power source of Twitter, white feminism, and the election of a noted pussy-grabbing POTUS, the #MeToo Movement has been galvanized. In its wake, the nation has seen the once untouchable elite begin to wobble and topple. From Harvey Weinstein, to Charlie Rose, and the current pariah, Dr. William H. “Bill” Cosby.
This week, Bill Cosby was convicted of three felony counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and molesting a woman in his suburban Philadelphia home fourteen years ago. There were cheers of applause, some of the women who are identified as Cosby’s victims were observed to have cried, and Mr. Cosby? Well, he’s 80. He was upset, and people are up in arms about his legacy, the ripples through black culture and when he is going to prison.
What I would like to point out is two-fold, and it is something quite rudimentary — “What is good for the goose is good for the gander.” If Bill Cosby can be convicted and exposed and those who champion the #MeToo Movement are looking for him to die in prison, why isn’t Woody Allen, Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer or Charlie Rose not next up to the gallows? Which leads to my second point: Bill Cosby, despite all his money, whatever remaining legacy, is still black. This nation has a habit of putting the last hired-first fired up to sacrifice first. There was no way; if the establishment housed in the justice system could help it, they would make sure he got convicted for something. The most horrible thing? He admitted that he did these things to these unsuspecting women. What this movement has become, is on the verge of becoming summed up in the quote from my Facebook timeline today,
“I mean, please forgive those of us who haven’t been raped for having an opinion. I am sick of these women thinking the entire world owes them something before they were violated by one person. “
Welcome dear ones, to the #MeToo Circus!
In the attempt to try and bring solidarity to women who have experienced a trauma that is life-altering, by one person, we have as the title of this piece dictates: #MeToo (those who have endured a trauma and who have come forward/survivors), Us (those who endure silently and have not come forward as survivors) and Them (those who don’t believe these traumas have happened, or believe women who should shut up about it).
This is further mired by the fact that rape culture persists every time a Brock Turner is given less than a year for being found raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster — and being told what a good guy he is, and how ‘twenty minutes of action’ shouldn’t ruin his life and how the girl he was accused of raping must have brought it on herself. We see this devolve further with Roy Moore in Alabama — an entire community knew what he was doing, for the better part of 30 years and he hid behind his status and race. What he did is no different than what Bill Cosby was convicted of doing!
There are also the women that lie about being raped in order to explain how they were found in compromising situations (this happened to Tupac Shakur, and the tragedy in Rosewood, Florida — a white woman lied that a black man raped her to cover up the fact she was having an affair). There are the women who are paid off because there are men with enough power, money and influence to dismiss them as empty vessels — including the current sitting President of the United States.
If Bill Cosby can go to jail, all he built called into question, his wife called more names than a dictionary, then I have a laundry list of men that should be next. And let’s not begin to discuss the rapes of nameless African-American women at the hands of white men who didn’t think women who looked like me could even be raped!
This movement isn’t lost — it’s expanding! And #TimesUp to not ask what we do about it.
[Image via Shutterstock]