Cosby’s exit sends a clear message for an alarming new era (opinion)
In 2018, Cosby was convicted by a jury of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004, but the court ruled that a deal he made with a prosecutor to avoid prosecution in exchange for a deposition in a civil case had been abused against him, and that he should not have been charged in the criminal case.
So some may perceive that the norms have changed and men know that they can no longer get away with this kind of behavior because women speak out.
But it’s wrong.
On the contrary, since Cosby’s time the world has become less safe for women – thanks to the very origin of the #MeToo movement. While researching a book on women and the internet, I discovered that sexual violence against women is regularly activated online in new and ever more dangerous ways.
Cosby is said to have met his victims in person. Today, there are many tools that link sex offenders with women, making it even easier for perpetrators to find victims.
They are called dating apps.
In fact, a spokesperson for The Match Group, a Dallas-based company that owns dozens of dating companies, told investigative reporters that “there are certainly sex offenders registered on our free products.”
Obviously, dating apps should be required by law to check the background of their users. But that wouldn’t solve the problem, as there is evidence that the ease with which apps match perpetrators with victims seems to encourage more people to commit sex crimes for the first time.
Obviously, the culture change we need hasn’t started to happen as part of the #MeToo movement. Indeed, many women and parents of young girls may not even realize how much the Internet facilitates sex crimes.
Let’s be clear: Bill Cosby cannot be considered an anachronism. Indeed, since the period in which he allegedly assaulted women, the Internet seems to have only increased the dangers of sexual assault for women. In that sense, it’s only fitting that an actor repeatedly accused of sexual assault is still referred to by an “American father.” Sexual violence has become a pervasive American problem.