Why are rape victims always the ones who are supposed to explain themselves?
November 19, 2014

UPDATE: He says he's sorry "if" anyone thought his question was insensitive.

Don Lemon's not the worst guy on TV, but he really stepped in it with this comment.

LEMON: Because I know some of you -- and you said this last night, that he -- you lied to him and said "I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do -- if you have intercourse with me, then you will probably get it and give it to your wife."


LEMON: And you said he made you perform oral sex.


LEMON: You -- you know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn't want to do it.

TARSHIS: Oh. Um, I was kind of stoned at the time, and quite honestly, that didn't even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.

LEMON: Right. Meaning the using of the teeth, right?

Geeze, you'd almost wonder why women don't like to tell people they were raped. Maybe (and I'm just spitballing it here) because the subtext is always that the woman must have wanted it or she would have fought harder, amirite?

Lemon's also completely oblivious when it comes to the concept of power. Bill Cosby was a big frickin' deal, and these women were trying to make it in a field where he had all the power. And when a woman's being raped, it's disorienting. Part of the experience is utter disbelief that it's actually happening, and another part of the experience is "Just let me get through this." (Gee, Don, suppose someone you thought could help your career drugged and raped you. You think you'd bite him?)

All of these women are coming out of the woodwork now to talk about their experiences with Bill Cosby, and of course they're targets as a result. "Really? Mr. Pudding Pop drugged you? He raped you?"

They're just being raped all over again, and the young women watching will learn their lesson well: Keep it to yourself, no one will ever believe you.

So Don? Just bite me.

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.