I don’t watch TV, and generally only listen to the radio in the car, so I only get news from the occasional post on facebook. Today I saw that Bill Cosby is going to jail for molesting women. I had heard, but not paid attention; I don’t pay attention to celebrity focused news. I read it anyway.
I did watch the Cosby show, at least the first few seasons, and way back when, I watched I Spy. But what Cosby was to me was the comedian. I think we had all his albums, Why is there Air? Is a very Funny Fellow, Right!, To Russell My Brother, whom I slept With.
Cosby was the guy who taught white America that we are all pretty much the same. We all get toothaches and somehow miss that Midol will relieve pain whether we’re male or female, we all lie to our wives about whether the water is too cold, our kids confuse us, thinking about Biblical stories as if the people were real makes them much more interesting… People are people, and I think that it’s a pity, but coming from an era of segregation, we didn’t know that.
Now he’s teaching us once again that color doesn’t matter. What matters is privilege. Not white privilege, obviously. But male privilege and especially privilege of money. He has money, and had a reputation as a “nice guy”. But apparently this nice guy didn’t seem to think that drugging women so he could use them sexually was wrong, and it angers him that many other people do.
My friends don’t expect him to go to jail. They figure he’s got the money to keep on with appeals until he dies. Or maybe he’ll go to one of those rich offenders “prisons” like Martha Stewart where he has restricted options, but certainly not the conditions of a kid put away for holding pot and “resisting arrest”. Money. Right. His lawyer claimed the women were making up the charges to get the attention. Other women are left traumatized- probably for the rest of their lives because PTSD is like that. I didn’t realize there was a statute of limitations on sexual assault.
But clearly when you are rich and famous you figure it’s OK to “grab ’em by the pussy”. I can think of someone else who’s going to be very offended when he comes to trial for his offenses. They don’t think they are doing anything wrong- and yet they know they are. They wouldn’t be offended if they didn’t. At the same time this is happening the Incel movement is making women aware that men feel violence is justified if they aren’t getting sex. We have horribly let our children down if they can grow up feeling that this sort of attitude is in any way normal or acceptable. We may be breaking down the male female barriers. But the privilege of money is going to be a LOT harder.