An Open Letter to Camille and Evin Cosby

I know from experience that a good husband and father can also be a rapist.
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Publish date:
December 19, 2014
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the frisky, sexual assault, Bill Cosby, Camille Cosby

Camille and Evin Cosby want you to know that Bill Cosby is a good husband and father, every bit the man you saw on TV.

Lachele Covington, Andrea Constand, Shawn Brown, Tamara Green, Beth Ferrier, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, Linda Joy Traitz, Janice Dickinson, Therese Serignese, Carla Ferrigno, Louisa Moritz, Renita Chaney Hill, Michelle Hurd, Angela Leslie, Kristina Ruehli, Victoria Valentino, Joyce Emmons, Jewel Allison, Donna Motsinger, Judy Huth, Helen Hayes, Chelan, P.J. Masten, and Beverly Johnson want you to know that Bill Cosby is a serial rapist.

I’ve opted not to write about it, because what is there to say? Cosby’s accusers are doing a better job of articulating their experiences than I could. But this nonsense from Cosby’s family about him being “the FATHER you thought you knew,” in Evin’s words, or “the man you thought you knew,” in Camille’s, is too much to ignore.

I still don’t have that much to say, except to share my own experience. My rapist was a husband and father, and by any account a good one. He got me very, very drunk and offered me a ride home. He had to move a car seat to make room for me in the car. He talked his way into my apartment on totally non-sexual pretenses, then, while I was isolated and too drunk and terrified to defend myself, proceeded to corner, threaten, and manhandle me, then rape me. Mid-rape, he received a call from his wife, who was asking where he was. He got dressed and left to go home to his family. Before he closed the door, he tried to threaten me into silence.

I have no idea how someone develops a moral code that allows him to put his hands on his children’s toys and then, minutes later, put his hands on a woman he’s raping. I don’t know how someone develops a moral code that allows him to tell his wife he loves her and then, immediately thereafter, tell his victim to keep her mouth shut. But it happens.

I found out later that he had had a history of similar assaults. His wife didn’t find out until I came forward. From what I heard, she kicked his ass out, and good for her. I still feel bad for his family. I didn’t want to be a part of a family falling apart. She and her kids — and really anyone — deserve a better husband and father than that, though.

So he was a good husband. So he was a good father. So what? Obviously, being dutiful to one’s spouse and children, being loving toward them, helping them to grow into their best selves, does not preclude moral transgressions of even the highest order, just the same way being a criminal doesn’t preclude a person from being basically good. People are more complicated than that.

And liars are liars. Any rapist is, by necessity, a liar. They lie to themselves about what they’re doing, they lie to the people they know about what they’re doing, they lie to their families and say they’ve never done it. They lie to their victims and tell them they were asking for it. They lie to the cops and deny culpability. They lie to anyone they have to in order to protect themselves. Why would a marriage and a daughter change that? If rapists lie to their best friends and their parents and their siblings, to teammates, teachers, cops, and victims, why wouldn’t they lie to their wives and daughters as well?

So, you know what? I believe Camille and Evin Cosby. I believe he was a good husband and father. I also believe Lachele Covington, Andrea Constand, Shawn Brown, Tamara Green, Beth Ferrier, Barbara Bowman, Joan Tarshis, Linda Joy Traitz, Janice Dickinson, Therese Serignese, Carla Ferrigno, Louisa Moritz, Renita Chaney Hill, Michelle Hurd, Angela Leslie, Kristina Ruehli, Victoria Valentino, Joyce Emmons, Jewel Allison, Donna Motsinger, Judy Huth, Helen Hayes, Chelan, P.J. Masten, and Beverly Johnson, because just the same way that none of those women are only victims, the same way that they have done other things with their lives beyond sitting around feeling hollowed out by their rape, Bill Cosby has obviously spent most of his time doing things other than raping people. Even if that is, in a horrifying reality, being a good husband and father.

Reprinted with permission from The Frisky.

There more where that came from. Read more from The Frisky:

2014 Was The Year of OutrageBill Cosby’s Daughter Evin Thinks Rape Accusers Should Go PrisonThe Soapbox: Let’s Get Real When Discussing Complicated Sexual Experiences