Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Don Lemon and Cosby's Accuser

Before anyone asks, Rape is wrong, and treating women as sexual objects is wrong. I am not herein suggesting any rape victim has deserved their rape.  CNN Anchor Don Lemon told a woman who reported that Bill Cosby had sexually assaulted her that she could have perhaps prevented some of it by fighting back, specifically, biting the penis. The internet and social media are going wild with mockery of such a statement.  This is perhaps less mockery but we are paying attention to the act of Don Lemon interviewing the accuser.  If Lemon had let the accuser speak without being challenged, he'd have perhaps been accused of not doing his job.  Although it seems to me, the bias is towards the accuser in such cases of public airings versus the courts, even if the defense attorneys and ultimate victory in courts are very much on the side of the wealthy and famous.

Don Lemon discredited his CNN Anchor chair by seeming to attack the accuser, and suggest something that seems perhaps to be a fantasy.  If only the starving children in Africa would live near food, they wouldn't starve.  If only the people of Buffalo NY would move they wouldn't get dumped with snow.  If only...   But this isn't altogether true.  Whether men should rape is obviously known, they should not.  But whether they do or not, is entirely different.  Words are the weapon of the PC people.  Don't do this does not equal people not doing this.  Because a woman has a right to wear anything and not be called a slut, not be catcalled, not be insulted, or hit on, does not mean she won't be.  She is likely to be all of those things. Men should not say or act upon those words, but they do. 

So this isn't me, Alex Ness, saying Don Lemon is stupid.  I haven't a clue if he is.  This is me saying, you can say whatever you like, and it doesn't change reality.  Men rape, men are assholes towards women.  The issue at hand is about men's behavior and words, and Don Lemon said something that was fantasy, or words without a backing in reality.  It to me reflects the ridiculous PC world of words over reality.  The reality is, the woman in question was being attacked.  Her first instinct was possibly how do I survive, not how do I hurt this fucker.  People need to understand that what we need is a change of reality, not a change of words.  Instead of telling people just fight back, long after the attack is done, ask perhaps what was going through her mind at the time.  Get a sense of the victim's suffering.  Don Lemon failed in that.

Rape is a volatile issue because at least in some cases it can be a POV issue of men/women.  But there are ways to measure damage to a woman, through the rape kit, and if there are repeated victim stories that have a common accused there can be a narrative created, and more.  I am not accusing Bill Cosby, but, Lemon's seeming defense of Cosby by seemingly asserting that if it were rape the victim could have stopped it by biting the penis, suggests a desire to soften the event, and make it questionable.

I suggest Lemon has made himself an ass by acting as he has, and has not helped clarify the issue.  But I suggest, we need a different way of dealing with rape in America.  We need to acknowledge that it happens, treat it as being something horrible, and not try to explain it away through the fantasy of words.  Fantasy of words in the PC world go both ways, both to obscure, and to falsely enhance.  I suggest we begin to say what things are, rather than say what they should be.

Whether or not Cosby's legacy is secure does not matter one bit.  If he raped women, he should not be able to escape the punishment. 


kurt wilcken said...

I just heard a commentator on the radio this morning observe that if someone leaves their cash and jewelry lying out in the open in the front seat of their unlocked Lexus and it gets stolen, we might say that the person was foolish and was "asking for it", but nobody says that there was no theft; that taking the stuff wasn't a crime. This is not true in the case of rape, where "she was asking for it" is used to roughly equate with, "Shut up."

It's not even victim-blaming, the commentator said, it's denying that the victim even is a victim.

alex-ness said...

I wouldn't disagree. I would only offer that in the arena of Rape we have the consideration of people giving permission in best of circumstances, so there is, in some idiots, always going to be gray areas to consider in the minds of the accusers of the victims.

I think denial of victim happens in other areas too, but in rape it is the highest of crimes.