I shared an article about the Bill Cosby rape allegations and the only comments voice hope for Cosby’s innocence and puzzlement about why the women kept silent for so long.
Not one comment in support of the women or just against him. But that’s not the point.
The point is what was said, that hope and that puzzlement. And why were they silent for so long? Because, before they went to the authorities, before they went public, they spoke to someone they loved and trusted about it and that person reacted THE WAY YOU JUST DID. The women weren’t believed. Imagine how it feels when someone doesn’t believe you. Now imagine you were raped first.
They were silent because they were reminded that the person they were accusing couldn’t have done that. So that means that they must be lying. That they were a liar, and a slut, and a golddigger. And, of course, the old gem: That it was their fault for putting themselves in the position to begin with (if the story is true, which hasn’t been decided yet).
Their characters were violated every time they spoke up. That’s why they were silent.
But, you say, I’m just speaking the truth. It’s just an opinion.
Of course you are. Of course it is.
Of course victims can be liars. A whopping, staggering, mindblowing number of rape accusations are false. And you have a duty to prevent this great injustice from happening. You have to voice your opinion. So many many many accusations are false. That frightful statistic is a FULL 2%. That’s not a typo. A whole ONE IN FIFTY rape accusations are false. 49 people are actually raped for each liar and you don’t think that’s enough.
So voice your opinion, give strength to the idea that rape victims can be liars. It’s not like everyone already knows that they can be lying. You need to remind people that some rape accusations are false. Just as you always remind everyone that some cases of fraud or theft are false.
So voice your opinion. Other people who think the same thing might not say so. You need to give them the courage to voice their opinion too. You need to make this idea socially-acceptable. You need to create a culture.
So voice your opinion. “He’s so well-liked.” “He’s a priest, he couldn’t have done this.” “Are you sure?” “I hope this is not true.” “But he’s Dr. Huxtable!”
What do you think a victim hears? They hear: “You’re a liar.”
So voice your opinion. Remember that the girls in your life remember your reaction to a rape case. If you victim blame just once, they have that as the indicator of your reaction. They expect skepticism. Should they get sexually-assaulted, they might decide to keep silent too.
So voice your opinion. You don’t mean anything by it. Nobody gets hurt. Except that they do. Lots of people get hurt.
2% of rape accusations are false.
How many cases go unreported? 60%. Child abuse cases: 95%.
And it’s because of people like you, voicing their opinions, speaking the truth.
2% of rape accusations are false. That’s less than the number of rapists who actually go to jail. A full 3% of rapists go to jail. 97% of rapists never spend a single day behind bars.
And it’s because of people like you.
If you think I’m talking about you, if you are feeling attacked right now… Maybe it’s because of what you are wearing.
So, please, just stop it.
Stop thinking of “rape culture” and “victim blaming” as “causes”. Stop thinking of it as a feminist yelling about a shirt. Stop thinking of it as some abstract idea. It’s very real.
And there’s something you can do about it. And it’s very simple. React in the right way. That’s it. Just react in the right way.
You don’t have to speak out. You just have to keep silent.
So victims WILL speak out. So victims WON’T keep silent.
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