The guest blogger has decided to bless us with another article. In the famous words of Dj Khaled Another One.
Do you find that at times your brain can’t handle two conflicting ideas? One cannot be both, one has to be a rapist or a normal person. One has to be a thief or normal not both.
I always find this argument illogical. When are you ever one thing? I’ve heard back from people who meet me after hearing a lurid tale of me and they say, “I really thought you’d be a bitch!” “I really thought you were crazy” and you term the person who told you the story a liar or jealous.
The truth is, I’m a bitch, I’m crazy, but I’m also calm. I’m also measured. The bitch does not negate my calm neither my calm, my bitch. They exist in the same space, time and in the same person. I think it comes of a lack of critical thinking. We aren’t taught to think much but rather regurgitate what our peers and the media have told us. I’ll give you an example.
The Cosby case… Probably the most unlikely and famous rapist. Unlikely because our minds fail to make the distinction between an actor, a family man, a mentor and a rapist. Cosby is not one or the other. He is all. But we don’t want to believe that he can be all, then we have to admit that we really don’t know who the rapists are, if they can disguise themselves so cleverly.
What’s your idea of a rapist? If you are female you know the rapist is not that drunk fool who starts a fight in the bar and then walks out to rape you between the alley. It is in some cases, but to women, every man is a potential rapist. The minute the man is old and strong enough to knock you out or hold you down on the ground, that’s a potential rapist. And for men they like to make it about us, what we wear or if we dare venture outside our homes after 7pm. That last part especially, history will have a field day with that in the year 3000. Those of us who know what rape is about will be touted as visionary. I want to come back in the year 3000 so I can laugh with them at the stupid homosapiens who thought the way to stop rape was to wear sackcloth and run to the house before the long winter comes( It’s Game of Thrones month so winter is here for my kind!) For men if it’s not about us, it means there’s something very wrong with them, and who wants to admit that?
Rapists don’t have a particular career, or a particular fashion sense that signals to their fellow rapists on the streets Aluta Continua. They don’t speak in a particular accent, they don’t have a marker. Though actually they do, they are male. That’s it. Related to you by blood, or bonded by friendship, trade or you simply live in the same neighbourhood. As long as it’s male. It’s a potential rapist.
So back to Cosby. When the women first came out telling their stories. Cosby’s colleagues and former work mates came out in his defence. That young girl who played his daughter on the Cosby show escorted him to court and stated that he had never once laid a hand on her. I believe her. That’s her story. That’s her experience with Cosby. He was a father figure, a mentor not a rapist. It’s understandable that she would defend him. I wouldn’t fault her. But herein lies the problem, when she takes her experience to represent all other interactions Cosby has had with other women, excluding her.
Then there’s us, the rest of the world who are stuck between did he do it? Or didn’t he? Rapists have friends too, so do thieves. Thieves don’t steal from their friends, they need them. A rapist doesn’t go raping every woman on his path, he needs those female companions.
I abhor this idea that we are one thing and that our characters cannot accommodate differing viewpoints. Being a formidable actor doesn’t make you less of a rapist, being a mentor doesn’t make you less of a rapist neither more. Like cosby, you can be a family man who has respect from the community, with female mentees who express shock at the new allegations leveled against him.
The same goes for sexual harassment. When you have the testimony of one female or five in the office imply that the harassment never happened because it didn’t happen to them. It doesn’t negate that it happened to others. There’s no rule that states ‘To harass, one must harass all!.’ Or when people say, “His last girlfriend said he used to hit her but he doesn’t do it to me. She must have been lying/she must have provoked him.”
We go through different experiences with different people. It doesn’t mean that it’s your fault that you were raped, or sexually harassed or physically abused. It all depends on the person committing the act, how they view you, the space they are in, in their lives at that particular moment and the attitudes they have about themselves.
He is my mentor, and a rapist but he hasn’t raped me… Yet! He used to hit his girlfriend but he hasn’t hit me… Yet! He has sexually harassed my colleague but he hasn’t harassed me… Yet! Yet! Yet! Yet! It’s being satisfied with the fact that it hasn’t happened to you but remaining aware of what the person is capable of.
If someone asked me if I thought myself to be a good person, and they have. I say good is relative, it depends on me and how grown I am at that particular time. I’m a bitch and understanding. I’m crazy and measured. I am lazy and Inspired. I am everything and anything at any given time. And if I was a rapist and a family man I would prefer that I be held accountable on both fronts. Because there are no limits to who you can be; good or bad. It’s a choice. Who ever you interact with, yourself included don’t forget that.
Don’t be shocked that priests can be molesters and prostitutes can be prophets. Expect it.
For Cosby, he’s a father, an amazing actor, a husband, a rapist, a mentor and an inspiration to those of us who watched him growing up.
This my people is what adulting is about, figuring shit out for yourself!