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Kalamu ya Salaam's information blog

 

What do we do? How do we react? Dad is a convicted rapist–not just a rolling stone–but in truth a dirty old man, a predator of unimaginable proportions who preyed on women who were young, who were matured–all of them, black, white, whatever Cosby forced his way…

Wait. You say forced. America’s dad didn’t force–ok, connived, seduced, took advantage of–no matter how you dress him the man was a rapist. But what about if the woman doesn’t object, doesn’t flee, doesn’t fight back, doesn’t, just doesn’t.

So, if a woman doesn’t fight back, she wasn’t raped? Bullshit. Even if she likes her aggressor. Even if she is married to him. Even if she never says a mumbling word about the encounter. No matter what, it’s not about what she does or doesn’t, it’s overwhelmingly about someone (usually a male) forcing the issue. A rapist is someone who overpowers the victim.

Sometimes the overpowering has to do with the imbalance of power endemic to gender in America. Men overwhelmingly have more power than women. So much so, we take it as natural for men to hold power and for women to submit to, to be envious of or to be enthralled by, to desire to be close to if not only in the proximity of; but just because that’s the prevailing situation, prevailing to the point of seeming natural–that doesn’t make it right. That doesn’t make it the way it should be. That doesn’t make it acceptable.

Rape might be the dominant form of sexual expression in our society, but the way it is doesn’t equate to the way it should be.

Yes, that means rape is more common…, that many, many of us have been raped. Yes. The structure of this society implicitly means that rape is a common occurrence in American society, so common that much of it is overlooked.

But, America’s dad? 

Precisely. W. Kamau Bell explains how and why the documentary came about. Check out the often uncomfortable discussions. Check out the sometimes conflicting opinions, beliefs, and stances. It gets messy, contradictory, difficult to deal with. And that is the essence of W. Kamau Bell’s complex, four-part documentary: “We Need To Talk About Cosby”.

Yes, we need to talk–even if it is only a conversation with yourself as you watch this truly controversial but necessary documentary. The needed talk is not just about Bill Cosby, but really about gender relations and the social structure of America, indeed, of human existence here, there, everywhere but hopefully not forever.

 

 

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