When Bill Cosby was accused with the multitude of women for sexual harassment, I judged the women unsympathetically. You can call it denial because of the man I thought he was. In my eyes, the representation he portrayed could do no wrong, he was of course Dr Huxtable, a husband, a father and a doctor. He had changed the image of an African American man, yet this was just a TV character. I can’t own what he did to these women including his wife, I can only learn from it. My heart broke a little, I felt let down, not only did he let down his family, his “kind”; he let down a “race” fighting to be seen. For my part, I let down my “kind”. I fell right into the frame of mind of “These are no good women, trying to make a buck”. I assassinated their characters and personas. In my head they were right offs seeking fame. My sensitivity was dictated by the standard. The perception – a woman calls upon the sexual harassment. My realization saddened me. How can I radicalize change when my perception is part of the problem? The stumbling blocks of yester generations are still alive and well in us.
Sexual harassment is automatically blamed on the victim
-What was she wearing?
-Did she seduce the perpetrator?
-Did she tease him?
-Why did she use that back alley? She knew it was going to happen
-She is only talking about it because she didn’t get what she wants
-Women try to use their sexuality to get ahead
-Everyone knows she is the town hoe
-She does it for a living
-Why was she drinking?
The list is endless and most of us women have reeled in the same beliefs into our circle. I am still growing as a woman.
Dear Camille Cosby
I know this is a life changing spell. It’s tough to see Bill as anything outside of what he is to you, your husband. The years you have spent with him, cannot be taken back and right now the thought that the man with whom you have lay for half a century is monstrous is tragic. As you have loved him for so long, I get it, I am sorry. He did this, not you or the women, he did this. Your strength is being tested, yours, not his. The position you’ll take will conclude your legacy. I grieve for the character he played on T.V, yet you have to live through the reality of the man. There is no right way of coping with this but can only recommend looking at the women with the eyes of a woman not a wife. My three daughters depend on it for their future.
Keeping you and your children in my heart and prayers.
– A mother, wife, daughter, sister, I am undeniably all this for the reason that I am a woman.