#MeToo and the Tightrope of the Joe Biden Candidacy

I have said it before, and I stand on my principles. I believe all victim/survivors of sexual assault. I believe Tara Reade and all current and future people, who will emerge to tell us more that we don’t want to know about the character of Joe Biden. We are given a false choice in a #Metoo era to vilify and discard immediately anyone who is accused of being a perpetrator or accusing victim/survivors of being liars or opportunistic saboteurs. (We’re Liberals, so we won’t directly accuse her of lying, we’ll just ignore the double standards and “evaluate” Tara Reade’s claims before deciding that they are not credible. Perhaps adding that this #MeToo thing has gone too far.)

This situation with Joe Biden has made me face an ugly reality within myself. I believe that Joe Biden has sexually assaulted women, and I will vote for him anyway.

I can wiggle out of this terrible feeling by using the same ‘Whattaboutism’ of Fox News fame. I can say, well what about all the women who have accused of Donald Trump of sexual assault and harassment. I can try to convince myself that Biden’s indiscretions aren’t as bad. I also really would like to blame our media and the Democratic Party for passing over all those wonderful, qualified and diverse candidates for the job; and leaving us with only one way to go. We all knew “Uncle Joe” had some issues; but so many were convinced that only a white, straight, middle-of-the-road, sort of man could win the election in a fatigued nation. And, here we are. As convenient as those arguments could be at this time, I think it would be better for me to face my truth. We’re in a desperate situation, and I am willing to swallow some ugly stuff for our survival. I’ll admit, though, I wish I felt better about the Democratic candidate.

I want you to read this excerpt  from a book Eve Ensler wrote about the importance of an apology. Men who are accused of sexual assault have to choose one of two responses –  “she is lying”, or “she is crazy (misinterpreted what I did)”, and in addition have to claim that they have never done anything wrong. Other women are usually the first in line to absolve the accused of ever being inappropriate in any way, stopping short of apologizing to them for any emotions the accusation may have brought up. In the meantime, it is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience sexual assault. Are we all lying? Or, all we all insane? The reason I like Eve Ensler’s book is that it allows victim/survivors to construct the apology they wish they had received. The process creates a space for us to say this was not my fault and to give the responsibility for the abuse back to the abuser.

How refreshing would it be for someone, anyone to say, “Yes, I did this!” “I hurt women, girls and boys.” “When I was in a position of power, I inappropriately touched, harassed and humiliated the women who worked for me.”? Maybe, with help, they could talk about the deep insecurity and unhealed pain that caused them to hurt others. But just some answer other than accusing people of lying would be a good start.

Stay well.

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