Obama on Cosby

[Content Note: Rape culture. Video may autoplay at link.]

Since the reveal of Bill Cosby's admission that he procured drugs to rape women, there has been a campaign to revoke his Medal of Freedom, which he was awarded in 2002. Today, President Obama was asked about that campaign:
President Barack Obama said Wednesday that there is no precedent for revoking the U.S. Medal of Freedom -- as some have called for him to do -- given to comedian and actor Bill Cosby. But the President did outline his definition of rape.

"There's no precedent for revoking a medal. We don't have that mechanism," he said.

The President then paused, and while he would not comment on the specifics of a case in which criminal or civil charges could be brought, he instead offered a definition of rape.

"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," Obama said Wednesday at a White House press conference.
That's not a perfect statement—"engage in sexual interaction with that person without consent" would be better than "have sex with that person without consent," as "having sex" implies two (or more) conscious and consenting people, but, given that this response was clearly off the top of his head, I ain't gonna be too mad at the President.

He couldn't comment directly on a specific case, but what he could do was say that the action to which Cosby has admitted is rape. And that is not a small thing.

Our President was given an opportunity, and he took it. Our President said, in no uncertain terms, that drugging someone to assault them is rape.

In the midst of a national conversation in which many apologists continue to argue that what Cosby has done, repeatedly, is something other than rape, President Obama's statement is important. And it is very meaningful to me, as a survivor.

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