Why don’t we believe rape victims? Because of people like Phylicia Rashad.
Rashad, who was initially quoted as saying “forget these women,” insisted Wednesday that she was misquoted. But in explaining herself, she revealed even more of the type of attitude that silences victims, telling ABC News, “What I said was this is not about the women. This is about something else. This is about the obliteration of legacy.”
Read those sentences closely. Rape accusations are “not about” the women who make them. The women who make them need to consider whether they are damaging their rapist’s legacy, or perhaps the legacy of his art, or his accomplishments. That is to say, a woman who has says she has been raped by Cosby is being told, by the woman who played Clair Huxtable, to think long and hard about whether she wants to be culpable for destroying the glittering cultural influence of The Cosby Show.