Gary Littman

OWNER OF THE LANGUAGE HOUSE

Garry Littman is the owner and director of The Language House in Geneva which organises English language training for professional people, companies and students. He was a radio and newspaper journalist in his native Australia and ran a restaurant in Kathmandu in his younger days. He is an English language trainer and an aficionado of pétanque.

America’s favourite father is America’s rapist

Refugees and car cheats were momentarily driven off the front page when Playboy announced that it would stop publishing photographs of naked women due to flaccid sales.

Playboy, now aged 62, is unable to keep abreast of the digital times. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, which have a rigid no-nipple rule, today monopolise the dissemination of information.  And those that don’t buy Playboy for its articles are today only a gentle tap of the mouse from every sex act imaginable; and free.

Playboy owes it success to one man - Hugh Hefner - a man who built an empire from dressing-up young woman as rabbits.  Now 89, he continues to bed women a quarter of his age despite reports that his high Viagra intake has also made him hard of hearing.

In his heyday, Hefner was the untouchable patron of the Playboy Mansion where wealthy and powerful men from all echelons could indulge their centrefold fantasies.

One regular visitor was legendary comedian Bill Cosby, known to almost every American (and many Swiss) as the loveable and fictional  television character, Dr Cliff Huxtable; father, husband and gynaecologist. The Bill Cosby Show was television’s first ever depiction of an upper middle-class African-American family. It ran for eight years. For five of those years it was the most watched show in America, attracting up to 30 million people per episode.

In the 80s, Cosby was America’s Dad; ever-present, caring, playful, dependable, loving and funny. In the good old days, a Cosby was a brightly-coloured jumper typically worn by Cosby’s TV character. Today in street parlance the verb, to cosby means to drug a woman and then rape her while she is unconscious.

America’s favourite dad is now America’s rapist.

To date, more than 40 women have come forward to police alleging they were drugged and raped or assaulted by Cosby. (Yes, that’s right 40). Here are 35 - with their depressingly similar stories - on the cover of the New York Magazine of July this year.

Cosby’s drug of choice was Quaaludes, a powerful sedative.  Cosby has admitted to buying the drug for the purpose of giving it to women with whom he planned to have sex. Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in The Wolf of Wall Street vividly describes the effects.

Cosby’s reputation has been destroyed, but the preposterous fact is that he has never been charged and may never be prosecuted for his alleged crimes.

Cosby has received many accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US. President George W Bush said at the time:

“By focusing on our common humanity Bill Cosby is helping to create a truly united America.”

This is what President Obama had to say about Cosby's alledged behaviour more recently:

“I'll say this: if you give a woman — or a man, for that matter — without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that's rape. I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”

Disney World has removed his statue and universities have stripped him of honorary degrees. Even Hugh Hefner has distanced himself from his old friend.

Why is Bill Cosby seemingly untouchable? Cosby is a powerful and famous man. He has been able to settle some cases out of court by paying undisclosed amounts of money. His team of lawyers have actively vilified and ridiculed his accusers, but with now 40 allegations their character assassinations ring a little hollow.

Furthermore, US statutes of limitation laws mean that a defendant cannot be tried for crimes that happened after a specified period of time. The allegations date back to 1965, and the most recent to 2004. If this latest case is not prosecuted before January 2016 it too will pass its use-by-date.

Cosby has spoken to the media on few occasions, and did give this bizarre response on morning television.

The Cosby saga also raises the question of how seriously the crime of rape is treated in a society which is managed predominantly by men.

In 2014 the Department of Justice reported that 400,000 untested ‘rape kits’ (that contain DNA that could convict rapists) were lying in storage across the country because local authorities could not afford to process them. Some of them date back to the 1980s.

 

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