15:17, April 26 86 0 theguardian.com

2018-04-26 15:17:05
Bill Cosby's verdict is a rare moment of justice in a long, uphill battle

After years of rumors, accusations, and finally criminal charges - entertainer Bill Cosby has been found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand 14 years ago. The 80 year old, most famous for playing beloved television dad Cliff Huxtable, could face 15 to 30 years in prison. His first trial ended in a deadlocked jury last summer.

Cosby, who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults and rapes by nearly 60 women spanning decades, has maintained his innocence - with his lawyers smearing his accusers as liars and promiscuous.

While I hope that this verdict brings his many victims some measure of peace - as much as it can after years of their accusations being ignored - I can’t help but be reminded of one important piece of information: of all crowing we have heard over the past year about men’s lives supposedly being ruined by #MeToo, Cosby’s verdict is actually the first time we’re seeing just one of these men being held to criminal account.

For the most part, all of the outed abusers have been living their lives as they normally would, in mansions and with cushy exit deals. In fact, just this week that we found out that a handful of the men who lost their jobs as part of the #MeToo reckoning are planning their career comebacks. (Already, and seemingly all at once.)

Former CBS anchor Charlie Rose - accused by multiple women of harassment and assault - is aiming to launch a new television show where he would interview other men who were outed as sexual abusers. Louis CK and Matt Lauer, who were accused of exposing himself and sexual assault respectively, were named as potential guests.

There is something truly grotesque about Rose - or any man who was accused of being a predator - trying to make money and a renewed career off of his past abuse. These are men who already hurt so many women; how could they possibly think they could go on to capitalize on it, to boot?

The news about Rose’s potential show came on the heels of news that Matt Lauer is “testing the waters” for his eventual career comeback, that disgraced radio host Garrison Keillor is looking to get back on the air, and that chef Mario Batali is considering starting a new company. All of this while Harvey Weinstein - accused of multiple rapes - continues to sit pretty at a rehab retreat.

So while I’ll take the Cosby verdict as a win for the movement - after years of so many women being disbelieved, it does mean something truly significant that this former entertainment giant is finally being held responsible - let’s keep this all in perspective.

Despite Cosby’s guilt, and probable jail time, the truth is that there has been very little in the way of justice for the many, many women who have come forward. And that fact isn’t likely to change.

Most of the women who shared their stories as part of #MeToo won’t see their attackers in jail, or in court. They probably won’t even see them remain jobless. Let’s take our successes where we can - but we can’t let one man’s downfall distract us from the cultural shift that so many of us are still waiting for.

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