Magazine Features Many Of Bill Cosby’s Accusers On Its Cover

Names, faces, interviews: Bill Cosby's accusers speak out about having been sexually assaulted and raped by him.

Names, faces, interviews: Bill Cosby’s accusers speak out about having been sexually assaulted or raped by him.

 

 New York magazine displayed on the cover of its July 27-August 9 edition  35 of the 46 women who have publicly accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault or rape.

 The black-and-white photograph of Cosby’s accusers shows them sitting on chairs with their hands clasped or on their laps. There are three rows of ten women and one row of five women. Beside the five women is an empty chair that symbolically represents those women who have not yet spoken publicly. The women were photographed and interviewed by  magazine personnel and some of the interviews were included in the feature story.  The women speak in detail about the alleged incidents – many involving being drugged prior to sex – and of their difficulty in getting people to support them. The magazine called the women who have come forward to accuse Cosby “a ‘sorrowful sisterhood’ of women unified by their dark experiences, steadfast in their resolve to remain silent no more.”

 Noted in the magazine is the fact that the allegations began decades ago when “the culture of rape in America left victims little recourse but to suffer silently, and in shame.” At that time, rape was considered to be something violent, committed by a stranger. However, the magazine continued, “the way we think and talk about rape  has evolved, creating a safer space [today] for survivors to feel empowered by speaking up and reclaiming their victimhood.” Many younger women feel that speaking up is the only thing to do. One of the women said a friend told her, “Nobody’s going to believe you. I suggest you shut your mouth.” Another said,   “I’m no longer afraid. I feel more powerful than [Cosby]”.

 Cosby has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual assault and has not been charged with any crime. In a 2005 deposition that was made public in July, Cosby said he had obtained Quaaludes in the 1970s with the intention of giving them to women with whom he planned to have sex. The drug Quaalude increases sexual desire while leaving the person functionally immobile. It was known on the club/party circuit as “the thigh opener”. His lawyers said Cosby had “admitted to nothing more than being one of the many people who introduced Quaaludes into their consensual sex life in the 1970s and that doesn’t make him a rapist.”

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