Phylicia Rashad's latest Cosby defense was another example of women not believing women | Opinion

I was also not believed by women.To protect both the innocent and the guilty, I'll not go into detail. Here's the short version: It was supposed that it was one of the most memorable times of my life.I shared it with the women around me, some of whom had witnessed it. He made me feel uncomfortable, I replied.We didn't have the language back then, so we just called it "touchy-feely". Many of the women insist that he was kind and harmless. The implication was: Why was I making such a fuss about a small amount of attention?It got so bad that a woman who was in a position to make a decision was alerted. I received a call from her. I had been scheduled to go with him, but he graciously informed me that if I wasn't comfortable, he would skip it. Her question was a sign of sympathy and I could feel it. I was feeling trapped and didn't believe so I agreed. I would agree.I feel the anger and disgust rise up in my throat whenever I think about it. It is something I try to forget about.The Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned Bill Cosby's sexual assault conviction, making him the first celebrity to be released in the #MeToo era. This was a moment when we finally had the language to discuss sexual abuse and harassment, and there was hope that things would improve. With an asterisk, Believe in women became a rallying cry.Let's be honest: Cosby was not innocent. He was not exonerated. He was released on the basis of a prior prosecutors promise not criminally to charge Cosby, despite 60 women joining together to affirm that Cosby, an 83-year old comedic legend, had drugged and sex assaulted them.It was a shocking reminder of the flaws in our justice system. Yet, the defense by actress Phylicia Rashed who played Cosby's TV wife brought back the stinging taste in mine.Continue the storyFinally! Rashad tweeted. Rashad tweeted.After he was convicted of assaulting and drugging Temple University employee Andrea Constand, Cosby had already served over two years of a sentence of three to ten years.Why was Cosby's imprisonment so significant? Because women don't report sexual misconduct out of fear, especially for men.Want to know why Rashad and other apologists should be called out loudly? Although we don't talk as much about it, another reason women aren't coming forward is because they believe that there is no proof.It didn't happen to them. Because they were too kind, innocent, old, or powerful. Because truth is expensive and not everyone can afford it.Sisterhood is a great thing! But, it happens sometimes and not always.We don't always know how we can be right for one another, even after we have been through it.Because of this, because systems, institutions, and industries that were built by men to protect men, especially rich, powerful, and famous ones, do not survive or thrive without women's implicit complicity.Look at the role of white women in systemic racism. Or the silence of women around sexism and bro culture at work, or any workplace. As if women can suddenly be one of the men by being quiet. You are invited to join the boys club.It only gets worse and more disappointing when these women find themselves in positions of power, only to join the chorus of disbelievers.Now I can hear Rashad's defenders: You can disagree all you like, but Rashad is allowed her opinion!She isn't just a random woman who sided with a sexual predator. Howard University's new dean of fine arts, she is her alma mater.Consider the message she sends to young women by defending the indefensible. This is a message that could be seen as a powerful role model at a school where five Howard students filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging that the university failed to respond quickly to sexual assault reports.Consider all the women who fought for justice, and all the women that watched them win, and thought, "finally!" Only to be betrayed yet again.2021 The Philadelphia Inquirer