Bill Cosby has been recently dominating headlines, but instead of the positive stories that always lag behind the icon, the public has become privy to some incidences that occurred in the past. Cobsy has nonetheless painted his own reputation in America media, making himself known as the sweater wearing, kind, and intelligent family man. Despite building this credible reputation, various Americans have been shocked by the recent allegations that have been made regarding Cosby. Various Women have recently made accusations of sexual assault. CNN reveals that At least 15 women are speaking out to various media outlets accusing Cosby of sexual misconduct. They include 19 women who either CNN has spoken to or read court documents about, who have spoken on camera about their allegations or whose alleged attacks have been addressed by Cosby’s attorney.
The various women include Jenna T, Jewel Allsion, Kristina Ruehli, Joyce Emmons, Linda Joy Traitz, Angela Leslie, Victoria Valentino, Carla Ferringno, Louisa Moritz, Renita Chanel Hill, Michelle Hurd, Therese Seringnese, Janice Dickinson, Joan Tarshis, Barbara Bowman, Beth Ferrier, Tamara Green, Andrea Constand and Lachele Covington.
The allegations all seem to connect in a way. Each woman describes how Cosby presents them with a drink, most particularly, wine and some form of medication. The pill is unknown but they explain that it leads to an “out of body experience,” in which they have little recognition about what is going on in their surrounding. They all explain that during the peak of the pills effects, Bill Cosby essentially uses this time frame to make his attack. Many women describe him as demanding and forceful, and some reveal that he even utilizes some violence when they try to escape the assault.
The conversation about the entire issue is not skewed in one direction. Some people side with Cosby, only remembering the beloved persona that he has shown throughout his entire career, while others side with the woman, enraged with the fact that a man with such high honor would not only commit this act but also get away with it. His career was, and continues to be, immaculate despite the woman illuminating this issue.
Janice Dickinson’s allegations have evoked the greater reaction from the public. She explains that while suffering from a painful headache, Cosby offered to soothe her with wine and a pill. Soon after, Cosby used this opportunity to have sex with her. Many people describe Dickinson’s allegations as “foolish” and “typical her.” Some go on to say that she fabricated the entire story and most likely drugged herself.
In addition, people accuse the other victims of lying because they believe these allegations would have surfaced earlier and also latch onto Cosby’s perceived credibility. But why would the woman not report the incident earlier?
This greatly parallels with the topics we discussed in class involving sexual assault on campus. When the situation occurs on campus, many of the victims fear the stigma of being the victim. They fear being perceived as a “liar,” a “troublemaker,” “promiscuous,” etc. In this aspect, we see this same fear in the women who are trying to shed light on their story. This fear is actually proven to be less of a phobia, and more a pure reality considering the discussion that it has evoked from the public. People just don’t take sexual assault accusations as serious as they should, and this largely could contribute to how outsiders view the case or even contribute to the number of people reporting their own case.
How do you think the shift in conversation, regarding sexual assault, will impact the reporting number of cases? Do you feel the reputation of the various woman, that are accusing Cosby, play a pivotal role in the negative community reactions?