Bill Cosby and the Never Ending Blame Game
(October 28, 2014…)
People hasten to judge in order not to be judged themselves…
The challenge Progressive Love has with the modern media is that we isolate individuals, such as Bill Cosby, as if his behaviors and issues are not systemic. In this way, we never seek to understand or resolve the underlying or root ideas, present in our culture, that keep repeating. We look at one man or women who has done something terrible without evaluating the behavior in leu of the system as a whole.
When Tiger Woods, for instance, was shown to be a “cheater” and maybe a “sex addict” we isolated him as if 66% of married couples today aren’t experiencing adulterous affairs (actual stat). Whats the point of isolating Woods, if we aren’t going to aim at solving the underlying cultural issue? If we ignore the root causes while focusing on demonizing individuals, we never get to learn from our experiences, we never face the underlying issues and solve them – as a culture.
The point of this article is not to let anyone off the hook – if that’s what you’re thinking. The point is to alert and focus our readers on the opportunity that arises when something like the Cosby scenario comes to light – that it’s most important to solve problems rather than mindlessly react to them. Keep in mind, most cases similar to Cosby will never come to light (numbering maybe in the millions) and thats actually DUE to the way we don’t evaluate root causes, heal all involved, and find solutions to end the systemic issues in our culture, especially surrounding sex and sexuality.
What happened with Bill Cosby and the many women he exhibited sexual malfunction with is more a systemic issue rooted in the way we have been socialized around sex. Here is what I mean. The accusations are flying. The women are coming out. But the most alarming aspect of each story is that all of the women Cosby took advantage of were also utilizing his wealth and status for their own gains. Each claims to have received gifts, trips, expensive hotel rooms and broadway tickets, for instance, from Cosby.
Now this clearly doesn’t give Cosby the right to abuse them. It’s absurd to think that any one has the right to abuse another human being, that is not the point here. Cosby’s behavior was unfounded in every way possible.
However, most all the women claim to have seen him on several occasions, not just one isolated event where each event they felt petrified and afraid of Cosby. Yet, they continued to participate due to the status outcomes they expected and the financial gains. The question becomes: Why did the women go for this kind of arrangement in the first place if they were not on board with the intimidation and abhorrent sexual treatment Cosby displayed? Could it be that they were utilizing their sensuality willingly as a trade for the things money could buy? Could it be that they had some stakes in the game as Cosby did?
Many commentators are saying that maybe the girls were too young to know how to respond to the mental manipulation and too afraid to come forward in defense of themselves against Cosby…
However, from another point of view – of course these women had stakes in the game just as Cosby did. Am I saying that women are just as manipulative as men? No I am not. I’m not even saying that men are manipulative. I’m stating simply that our culture has this hidden mechanism in place – utilizing female sensuality as commodity. Men know it, women know it, girls know it, boys know it. We LEARN it from a very young age. Advertisers use it, mass media thrives on this arrangement and teaches us through it’s programming that this is so. So from the beginning, being sexually socialized in this country could mean that we come to expect that these arrangements (which they were arrangements) can become challenging. We learn that women will trade sensual favors for security – but we do not have to tools to deal with this practice; a practice that our culture deems and promotes as normal.
What I’m asking is not that we take Cosby ‘off the hook’ but that we look at the total picture to forward all our growth. Is it not reasonable in a culture where female sexuality is seen as something to exchange for marriage, security, money, dinner and other favors (rather than something women own, enjoy, and treasure for themselves and share as they choose) that various sexual entanglements will inevitably become inappropriate on the side of both males and the females?
Why is Cosby being blamed for participating is a total system of sexual dysfunction? Why are women blamed for participating in a total system of sexual dysfunction? Why are we playing the blame game, shaking our heads and saying tisk instead of really working to shift this total system of sexual dysfunction?
I welcome your thoughts.
Oddly enough, as we only attract who and what we are. Bill Cosby has attracted this blame game directly to him. He so often has isolated violent young men, with “ghetto” mentalities and called them out, never actually addressing the systemic issues or becoming an advocate for real change. Whatever concerns that have young men acting out have clearly been ignored. Now Cosby is on the butcher block with the underlying systemic reasons for his dysfunction being ignored. Very interesting. Let us remove the veil of judgement, which is a waste of energy, and start resolving our cultures issues so that we can ALL enjoy happier lives.
Kenya K Stevens, CEO