But We Are Each One and Deserve to Be Heard

[Content Note: Rape; rape culture.]

In case you have not yet seen it, this is the cover of today's New York Daily News.

image of the cover of today's New York Daily News, featuring Bill Cosby's mushot and a full-page headline reading HE SAID with 57 SHE SAIDs after it

It is a powerful image, and, much like the "empty chair" cover of New York Magazine, delivers a blunt commentary on how long Bill Cosby was allowed to carry on assaulting women and what it really looks like when rapists are not held accountable.

I am, however, concerned that the focus on the number of Cosby's victims, particularly as that number has been used to argue that the sheer number of survivors who are speaking out is proof of Cosby's guilt, is subtly but certainly reinforcing the cultural expectation that one survivor is not enough to be believed.

And there are a lot of problems with that dynamic. Not all survivors feel safe reporting, so there are almost always victims of serial rapists who do not publicly tell their stories. One survivor shouldn't be obliged to tell her story so that another will be believed. And what if there is only one victim at the point at which she comes forward? Are we meant to ignore her until there are more women harmed just to satisfy our desire for overwhelming evidence? What a heinous thought.

One person is enough.

Even when there are multiple victims of the same rapist, we are each one. And we each deserve to be heard.

And nothing should make that more plain than the fact that if one, just one, any one, of Cosby's victims had been believed, there wouldn't be as many as there are.

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