Thursday, May 2, 2019

Women Might Forgive Joe Biden But He Is Not Asking

Whatever Joe Biden is, he is not a feminist.  Despite his original co-sponsorship of the Violence Against Women Act and his ongoing 20+ years support of the act, Mr. Biden does not understand what the #MeToo movement is about. 

During the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings, Mr. Biden left Anita Hill isolated and vilified by men analyzing her credibility.  At the time, then-Senator Biden had control of whether to abandon the witness or permit other women to testify to the sexual harassment they endured from now Justice Thomas.  Mr. Biden chose to stand with the boys.  Now he refuses to apologize to Anita Hill.  Politically there are advantages to his apologizing.  Women of all colors would appreciate the acknowledgment of his role in further entrenching and institutionalizing the stereotype of women as liars.  Professor Hill suffered.  She was a target of controversy for years.  Eventually, she left the University of Oklahoma after being shunned by the University President.  The same President was previously a US senator and had voted for Thomas' confirmation.  There was also a movement to defund Hill's endowed chair and to revoke her tenure.  Biden's actions further entrenched the stereotype that women lie, and that what black women say can be further discounted. 

Mr. Biden may believe that supporting the Violence Against Women's Act, originally passed three years following the Thomas hearings, was sufficient penance and that women would forgive him any perceived misogyny.  Well, that might have been the case if Biden hadn't refused to apologize to Professor Hill.  Not a feminist, and not self-reflective, Biden is refusing to take responsibility for his significant role in postponing for decades the restoration of women's credibility.

Gender Violence, Incarcerated, Margaret Drew | Permalink


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