In a 52-minute interview on July 31, Bill Cosby’s lawyer Monique Pressley continuously dismissed the more than 40 women who have come forward with allegations against 78-year-old. “Either you get your day in court or you move on,” Pressley told HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont-Hill.
Pressley is media-trained; she’s poised and she deftly side-stepped Lamont-Hill’s most damning questions. But her (sanitized, well-planned) comments offered chilling insight into the way rape culture works. They also brought into sharp relief our collective desire to assume the worst of women who “tarnish” the image of our cultural heroes.
Emma Gray, senior Feminist propagandist for the Huffingpaint Post is shocked and aghast that Bill Cosby’s lawyer (a woman) would betray the sisterhood of the vagina and actually defend her client to the best of her abilities. Naturally, a lawyer defending a client is to be taken as spectral evidence of the existence of the Devil, I mean, RAPE CULTURE. Emma ignores the fact that the Bill Cosby situation is exactly why statutes of limitation were passed into law in the first place: So attention-starved bitches couldn’t come back around 40 years later and use the power of the government against a man.
In light of her comments, here are five things we need to clear up:
The court of law is not the same as the court of public opinion.
“I believe that people are innocent until they’re proven guilty. And if you can’t prove them guilty in court through prosecution, then you don’t get the option of persecution instead,” said Pressley.
Bill Cosby will most likely never see the inside of a jail cell — and the public has no power to circumvent his liberty with opinions. But we, the public, get to make judgments based on the plethora of information we have at our disposal.
So the court of law is not the court of public opinion. True, but it is duplicitous on Emma’s part to pretend that the one does not affect the other. Any good lawyer in jury selection will question the venire pool about how much they know about the case at hand, if they have any preconceived notions about the defendant, and if they believe that the state’s accusation is itself sufficient to infer guilt (some people really do think the state always accuses the right people). If the court of public opinion has already convicted a defendant in one jurisdiction, that defendant has the right to ask for a change of venue to somewhere where he can be judged by impartial (sort of) jurors. Conversely, people have had their reputations destroyed simply by being accused of a heinous crime, even after they were found not guilty.
Emma wants to ignore both of these points and conduct a public lynching of Cosby. White woman demanding that a black man be lynched. Hmmmm…
When more than 40 women come forward with stories that are consistent, in a society that systematically shames victims of sexual abuse, it is our right as private citizens to operate on the assumption that their words do have credibility — at least as much credibility as his.
The New Inquiry’s Aaron Bady wrote about the refrain of “innocent until proven guilty” as it relates to sexual assault cases and the court of public opinion. His words, pegged to accusations made against Woody Allen, hold true for Cosby as well: “His presumption of innocence can only be built on the presumption that her words have no credibility.” Saying Cosby isn’t a liar implies that all of the women who have made accusations against him are.
Ah, so when 40 women say something, it must be true. And three men make a tiger. The sort of demented mind that believes in truth by consensus opposes anything remotely resembling objectivity.
Emma, like the good feminist she is, attacks the presumption of innocence, because feminists don’t see the risk in marshaling the formidable powers of the state against a single person based on one accusation, or multiple accusations, in the absence of physical evidence of a crime. And no, the presumption of innocence does not assume the complainant or accuser is a liar. Everything in a complaint is, for the sake of argument, assumed to be truthful, if not factual. The presumption of innocence is wall the accuser has to get over before the state may deprive a person of life, liberty, or property. But feminists see due process as an evil Patriarchy trick.
There are real reasons that women come forward decades after a sexual assault occurs.
Fear of retribution, fear of not being believed, fear of having to continuously relive a trauma, to name a few.
Pressley took issue that Cosby’s alleged victims were coming forward “10, 20, 30, 40 years later.” She also expressed skepticism about why, if their claims were real, they wouldn’t speak out right after the incidents occurred: “There’s not any testimony or any accusation from any of these women that Mr. Cosby bound them, gagged them, prevented them from coming forward and saying whatever their truth was at the time,” she told Lamont-Hill.
Here is where Emma proves that feminists are not only are they self-centered narcissists, but they lack any sense of civic duty. If Bill Cosby were this evil raper of 40+ women, why are these women so comfortable with leaving him on the streets to continue raping? If their (alleged) rapes were so awful and terrible, why wouldn’t they protect their fellow women and bring charges against Cosby? They feared “retribution”? Is Bill Cosby out here breaking legs and killing off witnesses? Fear of not being believed? That shows how unjust and cowardly women are when they would rather hide under a lie than stand on the truth. Having to continuously relive trauma? Again, cowardice and in being cowards, they allow other women to be traumatized. Way to go, ladies. Just to answer a few of these bullshit excuses.
But when you consider the emotional trauma and scrutiny women often face when they come forward and the difficulty of proving definitively that an assault took place, is it really all that surprising these women stayed silent until their voices reached a critical mass? Plus, as Cosby accuser Therese Serignese told me in November, in the ’60s and ’70s, date rape “wasn’t even a word,”
There are no “benefits” to making up a false allegation of assault.
“They earn themselves a seat in a chair on the front of a magazine. They get interviewed over and over,” said Pressley — as though the promise of “fame” could explain why dozens of women came forward to recall painful, violating memories in a public forum. When people dream of “fame,” does anyone really think that being (in)famous as a victim of sexual assault is the goal?
So a woman would rather leave a rapist on the street than have her accusation be scrutinized. Isn’t that just wonderful? And yes, rape, in the absence of physical evidence, is difficult to prove. Why? Because it boils down to the word of the accuser against the word of the accused. The presumption of innocence tilts the scale in favor of the accused.
Most laughably, Emma believes there are no benefits to making up a false allegation of rape. Except for the instances I’ve documented just in the last few months in which rape accusers have either admitted to seeking some benefit from their accusation, or receiving some benefit for their accusation. Emma waves off the rational reason that some women, even dozens of women, might crave public validation to the point that they would jump on the Bill Cosby hatewagon. And yes, some people are so desperate for their 15 minutes of fame (or in the case of that shrieking harpy Janice Dickenson, extending them), being a known as a victim of America’s dad is better than being anonymous.
Spoiler alert: Going public with a sexual assault accusation isn’t super fun! For the vast majority of victims who come forward, the only real incentive is the vague promise of potential “justice.” And when you are accusing a powerful public figure of sexual assault — especially one who has served as a cultural “father figure” for millions of Americans — you can bet that you’ll also be facing online harassment and the disbelief of people who can’t conceive that their hero could also being a rapist.
Sometimes, victims maintain cordial — or even friendly — relationships with the person who has sexually assaulted them. That does not act as evidence that the assault didn’t occur.
This is a lot of words to say “nuh-uh.” That’s all Emma is doing here: putting her fingers in her ears and shouting down any alternative explanation as to why Bill Cosby may not be guilty by virtue of the consensus.
And what sort of goofy bitch is friends with her rapist? She must have gotten over that whole “took my vagina” thing to stay in Mr. Cosby’s good graces. Amazing how having access to Bill Cosby’s power and connections heals those emotional traumas pretty quickly.
During the HuffPost Live interview, Pressley reminded Lamont-Hill that Beverly Johnson’s former manager claimed that the model fabricated her claims against Cosby. “That’s a prime example of a situation where a longtime manager of Ms. Johnson came forward to various media outlets and said, ‘Hmm, I was around during the time of this action and Ms. Johnson had nothing but positive things to say about Bill and Camille Cosby,'” she said.
But the truth is that victims react to sexual assault in a variety of ways, and health professionals stress that there is no “correct” reaction. We often look for “perfect victims” to bolster narratives of assault — women who react in the “right” way, do the “right” thing afterwards, have the “right” evidence. In reality, “perfect victims” don’t exist.
Sounds like somebody refused to engage in “Believe Her-ism” and actually told a truth that contradicted a holy and blameless victim of “Rape Culture.” The nerve of some people. Emma has also stuffed a nice straw man together. In her narrow feminist brain, heretics of “Believe Her-ism” are looking for “perfect victims” or “people with evidence” ignoring the instances in America alone where people have been unjustly accused and convicted on nothing but the accuser’s word (see Sara Ylen).
Victim-blaming is alive and well.
Pressley said the term victim-blaming is just “a hashtag” that exemplifies “the prevailing way that we label things.” Her comments prove just how easy it is to craft a narrative where victims are at fault for what happened to them.
“Women have responsibility. We have responsibility for our bodies, we have responsibility for our decisions. We have responsibility for the way we conduct ourselves,” said Pressley.
Later, she asked: “How many women and men have been willing to offer up their bodies on a casting couch? Have been willing to exchange sex for favors? Have had remorse after doing so and then accused someone who they believed they could get monetary gain out of and sell a story?”
Oh Aqua Buddha save us all. Someone actually believes that women should be responsible for their actions. Damn “victim-blamers.” To support that statement, Monique Pressley offers up the example of the Hollywood casting couch (I’d put down good money that there’s a Disney kids casting couch, but I digress) in which young, fresh-faced whoevers trade sexual favors to advance their careers.
These “many women and men” Pressley references seem more like figments of imagination created by a culture that tries its very hardest not to believe the stories of victims of sexual assault, than archetypes rooted in truth.
Here is the truth: Rape is severely underreported in the United States, which means that victims are far, far, far more likely to bury an incident and suffer silently than they are to speak out about it. Hollywood has a long, storied history of “male scumbags,” who have used their privileged positions to exploit less powerful women.
“What I am doing is asking people to focus on facts,” said Pressley. Looking at the facts, I’m inclined to think that Cosby isn’t some miraculous exception — he’s the rule.
Head over to HuffPost Live to watch the full interview with Pressley.
Emma waves her magic feminist hand and *POOF* the casting couch is no more. No woman would EVER trade sexual favors for career advancement. And nevermind what actual denizens of that cesspool on the Pacific have to say. That’s just a lie perpetrated by the invisible spirits of the air, a.k.a. The Patriarchy.
Emma wraps this nonsense up with some empty blather about “underreported” rapes (I can do about as much with “underreported” rapes as I can with any other non-reported crime: NOTHING). She also blames women screwing their way to the top on “male scumbags,” but no mention of “female scumbags” who will trade pussy for a speaking role, rather than flip burgers for a living, because, as you know, women have no moral agency in the face of “male scumbags.” They are just objects who float on every errant gust of male breath.