In an insane twist of events, Bill Cosby plans to hold town hall-style meetings in which he discusses sexual assault. Although this sounds like a last-ditch effort to improve his image in the wake of his mistrial, Cosby is not interested in helping victims of sexual assault. What he plans to speak about at the town halls is—try your best to hold your lunch down—avoiding getting charged with sexual assault.
When we heard about this, our first thought was, “What the fuck?” Our immediate second thought was also, “What the fuck?” After the initial shock wore off, we realized that good can’t be expected from evil, and some people are just plain evil. According to Cosby’s spokespeople, he wants to “get back to work” and “talk to young people.” Talk to young people about what, you might ask? That’s right: avoiding getting charged with sexual assault.
As if enough people—mainly women—weren’t already timid about coming out with details of a sexual assault they experienced for fear of people not believing them, Cosby wants to make sure people who commit the assaults know how to dodge any legal ramifications for their wrongdoing. “The issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today,” his spokesperson Andrew Wyatt told Alabama’s WBRC. “They need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing.”
You know who matters more than people who commit sexual assault? The people who are being sexually assaulted. This train of thought is so completely bizarre and incomprehensible that we had to read Wyatt’s quote about 20 times over because we thought we misunderstood him. He goes on to explain that claims of sexual assault “affect married men,” as if that demographic is somehow prone to fake claims of sexual assault at a higher rate than wives are being sexually assaulted.
It gets better. Ebonee Benson, another Cosby spokesperson, further elaborated, claiming that the extension of the statute of limitations for sexual assault victims is unfair to assaulters: “This is why people need to be educated. A brush against the shoulder, anything at this point, can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”
We’ve never read anything so gross. The idea that we should be quick to reserve all understanding and compassionate for the person being charged with sexual assault instead of for the victim is truly vomit-inducing. Here’s a novel idea: Instead of teaching men how to get away with sexual assault, let’s teach them not to sexually assault.
If you’ve experienced a sexual assault and need help, whether you want legal advice or just want to talk to someone, head over to Only With Consent.