The Standard-Times (Mass.), July 9:

Amid all the praise and success for girls and women through Title IX, let’s never forget the myriad ways in which women have yet to be treated equally.

We could talk about pay, opportunity or access, to name three, but today let’s talk about their safety.

Thanks to a Philadelphia judge, we’re getting closer to the truth of the predator Bill Cosby and how he abused the power of his formidable celebrity, and apparently drugged and raped more than 40 women over the years.

U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno couldn’t stand to hear Cosby’s moralizing ”“ not to mention his publicity machine’s constant casting of aspersions upon the accusers ”“ knowing the contents of sealed testimony in a 2005 case. So he unsealed the records, to reveal that Cosby admitted “obtaining Quaaludes to give to young women before sex,” according to The Associated Press. The AP and the public had a significant interest in that information, Robreno ruled.

How appalling is it that the center of gravity in our culture is still trying to protect one man from false accusations rather than listening to two-score victims?

In East Asia, there are laws that say a woman can be jailed or even killed as a consequence of being raped. In the U.S., the law is written to protect victims, but the de facto result is the same shunning for the individual victim. And for every woman, American or otherwise, who watches a victim become the accused, the lesson is cruel, unforgettable and far-reaching.

Attitudes, both personal and societal, still come up short. Our boys and men aren’t sufficiently taught proper respect of girls and women and aren’t instructed in a healthy, respectful understanding of sexuality. Our society allows so much power to the influence of celebrity, amplified by the obscene amount of money that accompanies it, that even 40 women shouting about a fiendish man with a beloved public persona can’t be taken seriously. What in our personal lives should be taken more seriously than protecting the people around us so there are fewer victims?