“Rubbernecking,” is the act of staring at something of interest; a trait that’s associated with morbid curiosity. It can be the cause of traffic (and cyber) jams as drivers (and readers) slow down to catch a glimpse of what happened in a crash. It seems that the more grisly the scene the more we stare. Now I naively thought I could do a smooth pirouette around the recent “crash” – the guilty verdict in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial that is – but nah, I had to do a U-turn and pivot back to it for two compelling reasons – the truth and the teachable opportunities it provides.
(Now Cosby fans, you may want to skip the next paragraph).
Look, I hear you crestfallen Cosby enthusiasts and apologists. I feel your pain. But put aside the emotions and separate the Dr. Huxtable from TV fantasy land from the convicted predator. For it was the latter, not the former, who was on trial and found guilty.
And as quick as many are to heap the words “liars,” “gold diggers,” and “opportunists” on those he allegedly abused, ask yourself “although a few may deserve one of these labels, is there a possibility that some of the allegations are actually true?”
You are similarly urged not to scream racism, or point out that here we go with still another effort to bring down rich and famous “brother.” Instead, empathize with the pain and suffering of the alleged victims of his behavior. Try to put yourself in the shoes of his beautiful wife of so many years, his offspring, and feel their public embarrassment and humiliation.
An eight year run of the highly popular “The Cosby Show” was good at hitting back at the negative portrayals of the black family. Hey, I get that. I love anything that counters the stereotype. But let’s not throw “America’s dad,” Dr. Cliff Huxtable, into the mix with a person who admitted to plying pills into the unsuspecting bodies of women to have sex with them.
(Okay Cosby fans, you can resume reading below).
Now for those of you wanting to know if the growing list of other high profile predators deserve the same fate as Cosby, let me respond with a firm yes, yes, yes! We can now rely on the hope that their juries will be courageous enough to make these abusers accountable for the long lasting damages they’ve wreaked.
I’ll wrap this up with the following “go do” list:
- For women who may potentially find yourself as a target of a predator, establish your boundaries early and often. Don’t put up with abuse.
- For men, be courageous enough to call out potential predators when women aren’t around.
- For the parents of young boys, drum into their heads early about respecting and treating women fairly.
- For the parents of young women, teach them how to recognize the danger signs in recognizing a potential predator and how to remove themselves for dangerous situation.
- For predators who have yet to get caught, close your eyes and visualize how your behavior, if caught, will play out in your local newspaper, the humiliation you could cause to your friends and loved ones, your financial losses, your potential time behind bars.
If ever there is a silver lining to all of this it is that we are really indebted to the terrible behaviors of those men – the catalysts for the “Me Too” movement – and the Cosby verdict, and the message that enough is enough and that women (and many men too) aren’t willing to put up with this crap anymore.
Now if any of this is not incentive enough for cowardly men to stop abusing women, understand that once that steel prison gate slams behind you….. a sex starved “bubba” awaits.
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