“That’s because Louis’s behavior didn’t hurt the system. It maintained the system. It alienated women from careers in comedy and allowed everyone to continue to live in a world where they could believe that the table, the Official Council of American Funny, was a place only straight men were worthy of reaching.”
– Guy Branum: Tear Down the Boys’ Club That Protected Louis C.Kb
Emily Doe, the victim of Brock Turner, wrote – and then read in court – an incredibly powerful, clear, and moving letter during the sentencing process. Turner, a former Stanford student-athlete, was convicted by jury of a number of accounts relating to rape and sexual assault. He was sentenced to a mere 6 months in county jail “because a longer sentence would have ‘a severe impact on him’” according to the judge. Turner still denies assaulting her.
There are many quotable passages in the letter, but I recommend reading it in full. It might be tough (obvious trigger warning) but it’s an important read, as she details not only how she was hurt and the lasting impact of the assault, but also how degrading, confusing, and revictimizing the process of justice was/is for her as the survivor.
The letter is a must-read. Especially for fellow men.
Buzzfeed has published the letter in full.
Top model Beverly Johnson is among the now countless women Bill Cosby lured in with his charismatic superstar persona and then drugged in order to sexually assault them. Her piece for Vanity Fair is a really important read (if you have the stomach for it: she describes the drugging in detail; discusses sexual assault.) Her story shows that Cosby was acting out complex plans in order to abuse women. These weren’t “heat of the moment” actions. Allegedly, I guess, but there are now really too many accounts of women – including rich and famous women – to not believe their collective stories.
Johnson’s article is also really good at explaining why she did not come forward earlier. Given the issues with Black masculinity, this passage stood out:
Finally, I reached the conclusion that the current attack on African American men has absolutely nothing to do at all with Bill Cosby. He brought this on himself when he decided he had the right to have his way with who knows how many women over the last four decades. If anything, Cosby is distinguished from the majority of black men in this country because he could depend on the powers that be for support and protection.
Like many, I grew up loving the Huxtables. But that love for Bill Cosby’s work is now overshadowed by his personal malicious actions, and the women bravely telling their stories aren’t the ones ruining that influential, wonderful show. Cosby did. “Allegedly.”
Beverly Johnson: Bill Cosby Drugged Me.
It’s On Us: Sexual Assault PSA
“It’s On Us” is another well-made, common sense, public awareness campaign backed by celebrities and the White House. It’s an almost entirely US-focused campaign (you can’t even buy a shirt outside of the USA), but the issue is international.
It really Is On Us (and I’m specifically looking at us men) to actually translate it from awareness into action – and not just by buying a tshirt, changing an avatar, or raising money. I’m also not sure where the donated money goes besides Generation Progress/Center for American Progress, which… isn’t great. However, the website does give a few helpful tips how we can act, and the video is a good call to action
The White House released a pretty good PSA against sexual assault featuring some preyy big names besides the two top men at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.: Daniel Craig, Benicio Del Toro, Dulé Hill, Seth Meyers, and Steve Carell.
I like it when famous men, especially men famous for being “macho,” speak out in this way. We men need to teach other men not to rape. Statistically, we all know and maybe value someone who has committed some form of sexual abuse.
I want to note, however, that the video uses the common but problematic rhetorical device of framing the terribleness of abuse by stressing that the affected are “our” mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc. Which is sadly accurate; statistically we all know and probably love someone who has experienced sexual abuse. I know why they use it, but still – women* deserve to be free from abuse regardless of their relationship to men, they deserve it as people. This (culture of) abuse needs to be fought regardless of who is hurt.
It’s all false gossip by people who are too shocked by his amazing art. So there’s that. Ehm.
Terry Richardson Corrects the Rumours
Because I keep seeing images of Terry Richardson’s underwhelming fashion & celebrity photo shoots on my timelines, here is a reminder what a predatory rapist creep he seems to be. You can easily google numerous other accounts like the model’s linked above, from equally reputable sources like NY Magazine. [CN: description of sexual assault in The Cut article.]
Another Terry Richardson Victim Comes Forward – The Cut