“The greatest classroom in the world is life,” a now grown up Rudy tells her beloved dad Cliff Huxtable in The Cosby Show.

The Cosby show was the backdrop of my childhood. A welcome escape from the daily struggles occurring in my own life and home. I will never forget the episode when a sixth grade Rudy was desperately waiting for puberty. I was in awe how openly she shared with her dad her disappointment in not having boobs yet. “I have been waiting all summer and they aren’t here!” she said.

Photo from Youtube

“Yes, Me Too!” I yelled back to the large television in our living room placing my hands on my flat chest. Me too Rudy.

He was viewed as “America’s Dad”, the one we loved, the dad I dreamt of. I wanted a Cliff Huxtable to sit with me for hours at the table and cry with me when puberty did not arrive. I wanted the funny dances and his contagious laughter in my house.

Yesterday the mirage was shattered as we all saw that Cliff Huxtable was only an illusion. When the cameras were off the power and fame mixed with deep narcissism revealed a man with no boundaries and no shame.

His classroom a place of entitlement, lust, and desires he presumed were his to have. Finally, the lesson was revealed in the classroom of justice. The verdict read, “guilty guilty guilty.”

“A jury found Bill Cosby guilty Thursday of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman at his home near here 14 years ago, capping the downfall of one of the world’s best-known entertainers, and offering a measure of satisfaction to the dozens of women who for years have accused him of similar assaults against them.”NYTimes 

Photo from www.nydailynews.com

It is a different world.

Today we wake up to yet another story of a beloved male figure allegedly taking something that was not his. Tom Brokov

“A woman who worked as an NBC correspondent says long-time network anchor Tom Brokaw made unwanted advances toward her some two decades ago, groping her and trying forcibly to kiss her.” – NPR

Stealing. Men stealing. 

“When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness… there is no act more wretched than stealing.” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Yet, why does every headline have a picture of the man? The stories and news feed showing picture after picture of “America’s Dad” screaming and cussing in a courtroom. It is the shocking story, but the behind the scenes story is the one I care about.

The women. All the women.

Photo from www.thecut.com

Behind the shock and awe of these news stories of what these men are doing are BRAVE and terrified women. Women who have lived for years with these traumas in their bodies. Women who were told to give up, to not fight someone high profile like Matt Lauer, Harvey Weinstein and now in my own state of Minnesota yet another lawmaker accused.

One Cosby survivor, Barbara Bowman says it so well.

“The incident was so horrifying that I had trouble admitting it to myself, let alone to others. But I first told my agent, who did nothing. (Cosby sometimes came to her office to interview people for “The Cosby Show” and other acting jobs.) A girlfriend took me to a lawyer, but he accused me of making the story up. Their dismissive responses crushed any hope I had of getting help; I was convinced no one would listen to me.

Unfortunately, as we continue to see, these experiences aren’t unique. The entertainment world is rife with famous men who use their power to victimize and then silence young women who look up to them. Even when their victims speak out, the industry and the public turn blind eyes; these men’s celebrity, careers, and public adulation continue to thrive. “Washington Post

Not only is it not unique, but a continuing crisis we as women need to continue to fight. Shockingly it still falls on some deaf ears.

“Charlie Rose — whose PBS show was canceled following allegations of sexual harassment — is expected to star in a series where he interviews other men who have faced sexual harassment scandals, Page Six reported. The show would feature Rose alongside men such as comedian Louis C.K. and former NBC anchor Matt Lauer, who both had sexual harassment allegations lodged against them last year.”The Hill 

These men need help, not another spotlight.

These brave women deserve the spotlight. Can you imagine as they continued to fight sitting in the courtroom listening to defense attorneys berate and interrogate them? In the case of Bill Cosby, NINETEEN survivors were in the courtroom as the David’s fighting the Goliath that is power, money and gluttonous greed. These women taking back a piece of what was stolen from them. Andrea Constand waited fourteen years for her day in court!

Can you imagine the re-traumatization these women experienced yesterday?

HER story is the story I want to hear.

I want to hear more about their courage, their bravery and their feelings about it all.

Because in sharing their stories it will help another woman share hers.

Photo from www.thevulture.com

Recently I heard a speaker say the #metoo movement was only focused on wealthy women who could speak up and it didn’t touch the inmost lives of society. I disagree.

It starts with one woman.

One woman speaking up. Every movement starts with one person and spreads. There is no way one woman could have done this on her own, it was the collective voices of women beginning to stand up and say, “Me Too!”

Brave and Beautiful women creating an honest and accountable world. Women taking back what was stolen.

“I think trauma really does confront you with the best and the worst. You see the horrendous things that people do to each other, but you also see resiliency, the power of love, the power of caring, the power of commitment, the power of commitment to oneself, the knowledge that there are things that are larger than our individual survival. And in some ways, I don’t think you can appreciate the glory of life unless you also know the dark side of life.”Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk

Yes. The resiliency of these women, the power of a commitment to oneself and the collective voices of women everywhere fighting. I want to hear the behind the scenes I want to support them and I want to cheer them on.

Don’t you?

And then we can see sexual harassment changing not only in Hollywood or in Congress (as my own home Minnesota is beginning to do), but in homes and on street corners and in every crevice of our society.

Keep fighting brave and beautiful women. We see you. We applaud you! 

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