At Least One of Bill Cosby's Accusers Is Gay, Which Helps Debunk One Big Rape Myth

At Least One of Bill Cosby's Accusers Is Gay, Which Helps Debunk One Big Rape Myth
Source: AP
Source: AP

Andrea Constand has played a pivotal role in the demise of Bill Cosby. A former basketball player, Constand was working in 2002 as the director of operations for the women's basketball program at Temple University, where Cosby was a member of the board of trustees. That's how the two met. Constand later accused Cosby of drugging and raping her, and then filed a civil suit against him. 

The suit was settled out of court. But in a 2005 deposition made public earlier this month, Cosby was careful not to admit to sexual assault. He did, however, talk about giving drugs to women for sex (which he claimed was consensual), and using his fame and power to manipulate the women he met. 

Excerpt from a 2005 deposition given by Bill Cosby.

What has been left out of the fodder was how Constand's recent coming out as a lesbian is wrapped up in the broader misconception about rape: That rape is about sex. It's not. It's about power and control. The lack of attraction Constand had toward Cosby, coupled with the assault he committed on her in the name of sex, is further validation of this truth. 

In the portion of the deposition made public by the New York Times, Cosby boasted about how he was "a pretty decent reader of people and their emotions in these romantic sexual things, whatever you want to call them."

But in court documents filed Tuesday, Constand's lawyer, Dolores Troiani, argued, "Despite his talent for interpreting female reactions to him, he did not realize [Constand] was gay until the police told him."  

What this isn't about: Sex. It would have been quite a leap for Cosby to assume any consent from Constand, who is gay and was dating a woman at the time of their encounter.

Feminist writer and attorney Jill Filipovic made that point last year in the Guardian, writing "Rape is a particularly difficult crime because it's about both power and violence. Rapists use sex organs as the locus of their violence, but rape isn't about sex, at least not in the sense of being motivated by sexual attraction or an uncontrollable sexual urge."

Rape is not about sex. It's not about desire. It's about power and control. 

h/t the Advocate

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Jamilah King

Jamilah King is a senior staff writer at Mic. She was previously an editor at Colorlines.

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