A tale by Whatsop (Aesop’s slightly jaded third cousin):
Once there was a small green village full of happy, boring people: a butcher, a tailor, a midwife, a schoolteacher, an African-American smith, a grocer, a mayor, a doctor, sundry milkmaids and stablepersons, and the requisite amount of white trash.
There was also a boy who spent all day up on a nearby hill tending sheep. Every once in a while, a wolf would come along and steal one of the sheep away in his patriarchal jaws, but the boy had learned to keep silent about such incidents, since he and he alone was blamed every time this happened. But that’s another story. (A ba-a-a-a-a-d one.)
One day, from the top of another nearby hill, the village people (no, not them) heard the cry of a young maiden. “Rape! Rape!” she screamed, and they all dropped the boring work they were doing to lend assistance. Up the hill they ran, with visions of a member of the most physically and emotionally protected sex being psychologically destroyed by a member of the most utilitarian, disposable, and culpable sex. They ruled out the shepherd boy because he had just been seen in town trying to get his last male sheep to do something – anything at all – with either one of the two remaining female sheep.
When they reached the top of the hill, they found the woman-child alone, reading 50 Shades of Grey with no male in sight. She looked up at them with her pale, hypnotic eyes, and said, “Oops.” The people were displeased, but she was, after all, a maiden, and no one was inconvenienced terribly since they all realized that she was A-Okay. She received a couple of serious looks, a disappointed comment here and there, and then they all walked down the hill to their peaceful little village to get on with the business of empire.
On another day, from down in the glen, the people heard the cry of “Rape!” from yet another maiden. They rushed to the glen, pushing the women of the village harshly out of the way as they were wont to do, to rescue the fair maiden from the clutches of some hairy, muscly, big-dicked dude. When they reached the glen, they saw a young woman in tears, who thrilled them (secretly) with a truly nasty-sounding tale of ass-grabbing and frottage, which is a thing that Frenchmen do in public (I’ve been told). She named names, and with torches, pitchforks, and a copy of VAWA, the people went to seek out the sexy perpetrator. They found him in a nearby village reading The Bible and working in a soup kitchen.
In that moment, the people had a collective change of heart, which normally happens in these fables. Surely someone whose balls have been yoked in this manner could not possibly do what the girl said he did. They took the fastest light rail back to their village to confront the accuser as gently as they could, just in case she really was completely traumatized by a church-going do-gooder. When they got there, they found her molesting a stableperson who was rather aggravated by the attention, as he was busy shoveling shit that just had to be shoveled. When one of the ladies, in a kindly, motherly way, asked her whether the accusation was true, she turned with her hand still down the front of the stableperson’s pants, and said, “Oh, I guess not.” Perturbed, but slightly less worried, the good (well, relatively so) people of the village went home to watch Law & Order: Good Cop, Gooder Cop and have cocoa.
Pleasant hours went by as people slept. Then, at 4:42 VST in the morning, the people were awoken from their sleep by another horrendous howl of “Rape!” They all jumped out of bed at approximately the same second, and with marvelous efficiency, were on the scene. This time, it was in flagrante delicto all the way: the hot, mixed-race accused lying up on one arm, his massive, perfectly sculpted, bare chest threatening the women in the room with its inherent violence, and looking rather confused and sheepish.
(I must take a break from the narrative to point out that using the word “sheepish” does not mean in any way that this story has anything whatsoever to do with the economically-challenged shepherd boy. He’s got his own problems, but that’s what his privileges are for. Sheep, wolves; tomato, tom-ah-to.)
The accused grabbed his designer jeans and pulled them under the covers that were barely suppressing his hardon, which was massive and delicious-looking, and made the village ladies feel even more at risk. The accuser, for her part, was half-dressed, red-faced, and weeping. She pointed at him with a trembling finger and gave details: He had asked her out on a date; she accepted. He was funny and charming; she got titillated. He paid for dinner; she got mildly curious. He read her poetry; she got wet. He asked if she wanted to go back to his place; she got excited, because she had never been in a house with a straw roof before. Furthermore, he had talking animals on his property. If she hung out with him on a semi-regular, platonic basis, perhaps the talking animals would befriend her. Then she would have resources in the future whenever she found herself in trouble. Plus, as she gleaned from her extensive hours of childhood research, talking animals have a tendency to attract handsome princes. So, after explaining all of this in detail to the accused, and after he signed a written agreement thereby legally proving that no sex would happen, she got in his Toyota and went to his place.
The accused remained stone silent while she gave her vivid description of the rape, complete with words like “semen,” “ejaculation,” “groaning,” and “oil tanker;” so silent, in fact, that at the next village festival, his presumed guilt was made sport, and everyone had a wholesome, good time.
I would give the more lurid details here of what the fair maiden said, because I know you want them, but this is where it got fuzzy for the people of the village. One lady recalled several days after the village festival (to which the accused was not invited) that the accuser had told her in private that he grabbed her by her boobs and wouldn’t let go. The mayor remembered that when she was in his office (along with his female secretary so as not to insinuate any impropriety), she told him that he never grabbed her boobs (although she used the word “breasts” because it sounded more legal and proper); he just raped her doggy-style sans poetry. The schoolteacher then confessed that the young lady had told these sorts of inconsistent tales before, when the accuser was a little girl in her class, but that she had thought it was merely child’s play, and hadn’t made the connection until now. After several more days of deliberation on the part of the people of the village, who clearly only wanted to help the young woman, and who demonstrated such desire by throwing the mixed-race cutie in the village holding cell with a scarlet letter around his neck, they asked her again about the crime in question. Looking perfectly bored, the maiden shrugged and said, “Ah well. I guess it just wasn’t what I wanted. I guess it didn’t happen like I thought. But he could have been nicer.” The people of the village agreed (I mean, look at that chest!), but were a bit less impressed with maidens in general.
Two more days went by, and from another quarter of the village, another yelp of “Rape!” was heard. The tailor didn’t bother to look up from his sewing machine. The doctor continued to tend to her patient’s wound. The butcher kept on grinding his sausage (get your minds out of the gutter). The mayor went on bloviating at a buy-my-campaign luncheon for the village elite. The schoolteacher went on with her lesson. The now-sheepless shepherd boy was busy on the Internet earning a degree from The University of Phoenix Online so he could get the fuck out of that village before he was accused. “Rape! RAPE!” went the cry, until there was silence.
Several days more went by, and pretty soon, no one ever heard the cry of “Rape!” in that village again. Presumably, it was because no rape occurred; but in reality, the word had now lost all meaning. True, the people of the village were sad about one thing: If a rape did indeed occur in the future, how were they to know? Especially if the accuser returned to the accused for more?
It never dawned on them that the answer lay in front of them all the time: If they did not coddle the female sex, that same sex would mature much faster. If they did not tolerate lies from anyone, male or female, there would probably be less of them. But none of the false accusers was kicked out of the village. Not a single one of them had to pay any money to the accused. No lying woman was sent to the village holding cell. Not a single girl was raised differently.
Consequently, and this is where Whatsop’s fable is at an end, numerous women can accuse Bill Cosby of rape, and I no longer care. Furthermore, I don’t believe them, and I don’t care who knows it.
However, here’s a hypothetical question: What if it were true? Well, I would feel terrible. I wouldn’t feel terrible that I don’t care, or that I was wrong and therefore fair game for a society that could easily use this article as another reason to reject the men’s movement; I would feel terrible because I already feel terrible.
We live in a society that not only shames the penis non-stop, but one where more and more men like me are powerless to help an actual female rape victim, because we are too busy wondering how much time is perhaps being wasted on a liar, as opposed to gaining the opportunity to lend a helping hand to a sad and broken woman, which is an opportunity that men throughout history have seldom denied themselves.
Now, I believe it is wrong to constantly lump groups of people together and make broad statements about them. That is somewhere near the heart of prejudice. To say that women are essentially dishonest because of a few high-profile liars among them is silly and stupid.
Yet this is a terrifyingly fascinating phenomenon that, in my mind, is peculiar to the female sex alone. I can’t think of any particular thing that men are predisposed to lie about on such a regular basis concerning the opposite sex. I’m not talking about some guy saying he banged a girl when he didn’t so that his buddies will like him better, or because, more nefariously, he wants to ruin her reputation; I’m talking about something that rises to the level of a criminal offense. Can anyone feminist or non-feminist tell me something that men do to women in court on a regular basis that hurts them, degrades them, takes from them their liberty, or possibly ruins their lives; that we later find out in the media was a fabrication?
There are terrible things that a man can do to a woman. There are terrible things that a woman can do to a man. Because of our unique individual selves, the cruelties are, to say the least, limitless in their variations. But when we speak of our common culture, I can’t think of a single thing that men collectively do to women to utterly destroy them that rises to this level. The word “rape” appears to be men’s Achilles Heel. They’ve got us by the jewels. And now it has destroyed Bill Cosby.
More than two dozen women have made these accusations, one after the other, giving the same details. Like the “good” people of the village, I am tired of hearing them. People abducted by UFOs give the same details as well. I can give those details right now, and claim that two weeks after Cosby drugged and raped me, I was taken, while strolling through a cornfield trying to figure out how to deal with what Dr. Huxtable did to me, by a powerful light up into the bottom of a spaceship and anally raped again. I could most certainly stand by that statement if someone was going to pay me $15,000 to do it, and, of course, if I had little-to-no conscience, or a twisted ability to over-rationalize, thereby killing what was left of it.
I know both a male and female rape victim personally. I will content myself with feeling for those closest to me, because I have a tendency to distance myself from anyone who has a track record for lying. As our common culture sinks into the comatose empire that built it, I suspect that a lot more people, male and female, will be doing the same. For any real rape victims out there, the few of you that there are, I hope you will do two things, and remember that I’m not going to help you do either of them:
- Find a therapist. And don’t give me the excuse that they’re too expensive or hard to find. We are a therapeutic nation connected to the Internet, and I know for a fact that a great many therapists will negotiate costs for those who need help.
- Talk to family and friends and, if there is no evidence or witnesses, no one else. I can’t imagine that talking to government bureaucrats or millions of strangers about Cosby’s belt buckle is really going to help you feel better. Roman Polanski’s victim did not like all that attention. She just wanted her parents to help her. That’s your best bet.
And that’s as close as I’m ever going to get to apologizing for this article if, in the future, it is determined that an innocent man is in fact guilty. Out of my respect for innocent men like Bill Cosby, this is also as close as I’m ever going to get to expressing any sympathy for any mass media rape story. I’ve got orders to fill, a floor to mop, and a plethora of my own (mostly self-made) problems. Good luck, ladies.