By: Anthony Black
Dozens of poorly constructed, blindly misogynistic rants were posted on social media in response to the rape allegations against comedian Bill Cosby earlier this year. Speculations were finally put to rest in July 2015 when deposition excerpts obtained by The Associated Press were released in which Cosby admitted under oath to using quaaludes to drug women he wanted to have sex with.
So there you have it America, Bill Cosby is a rapist.
With this discovery, I assumed that the pro-Cosby heckling would cease out of respect for the no longer “alleged” victims.
Well I was wrong.
A new social media craze of sharing Bill Cosby rape memes has now surfaced.
I was recently at a bar when a guy decided to show his friends a meme about Cosby drugging a woman’s pudding. When I commented that there was nothing funny about the meme I overheard a woman shout (through her laughter), “They had it coming! You cant just take drinks from people!!” I facetiously thanked her for letting the men within earshot know that in her opinion, rapists can have probable cause. If one of those men decides to do so, he will probably reference that statement, backed by the fact that it was said by a woman to strengthen his case against his victim who apparently, “had it coming”.
Here are a few of the many reasons why I have zero tolerance for this new wave of Bill Cosby rape memes:
- People discredited Cosby’s victims because of the amount of time they waited to come forward. In 2010 the bureau for justice statistics reported that there were 188,380 victims of rape and sexual assault that year, data from the center for disease control and prevention reported 1.3 MILLION cases that SAME year, while data from the FBI reported only 89,593 for the year. Yeah, those numbers aren’t adding up. This shows you that victims aren’t reporting these crimes. Whether it’s out of shame or fear, it’s not happening. The Rape Abuse and Incest Network stats show that only 40 out of 100 rapes actually get reported. Now imagine those numbers 40 years ago.
- Hecklers have villainized Janice Dickson, one of the more notable rape victims of Cosby, for her drug abuse and partying in the 70s. I’m not a criminal psychologist, but I imagine that if someone in power was seeking a victim, he would choose the least credible one he could find. Someone young and vulnerable; maybe even a drug abuser. A victim so notoriously wild that NO ONE would believe any lucid concerns or stories she told. Someone like Dickinson, who was tragically written off as a just a drug abusing “party slut” made the perfect victim for Cosby.
- Believe it or not but people who are shame labeled “party sluts”, drug abusers, strippers, sex workers, and even wives can all be victims of sexual assault. Non consent is non consent, and no means no. No human being should be denied their basic right of ownership of their body for any reason; No matter who they are or what they do for a living or recreation.
I would hate for the public’s previously dismissive and current lackadaisical stance on the Cosby rapes to deter any victims of sexual assault from speaking up. No matter the timeframe—it’s still NOT OKAY!
I urge our generation to put an end to rape memes on social media. Don’t post them, don’t share them, and don’t laugh at them. No matter how comical the packaging or imagery; sexual assault is never funny. While these memes aren’t made by Cosby himself, by sharing them we are in fact giving him, and other sexual offenders the last laugh.
The below link navigates to a list of international sexual assault resources. If you are a victim or know someone who is, I encourage you to speak out.