It’s gone from the sublime to the wildly ridiculous, this climate of overboard sexual accountability. Now, former Vice President Joe Biden, whose offensive behavior wasn’t necessarily sexual, has had his conduct lumped in with the truly disgusting stuff.
I trust women and emphatically support those who stand up when they’ve been abused, and those who defend themselves against abusers. But these Biden charges, they strain credibility.
Lest there be any confusion: I get it. Male, female, non-gender-conforming. I understand, no, means no. I detest sexual predators, sexual bullies. I saw Spike Lee’s “School Daze.” I read “The Toilet,” by LeRoi Jones.
So Biden, whose last job had him (apparently cheerfully) taking orders from a Black guy for eight years, is now being accused of being too aggressively, touchy-feely, with women … in public, at that.
Biden’s accuser — Lucy Flores — was running to become lieutenant governor of Nevada (a state, incidentally, where prostitution and gambling are legal, so she ought to have been acquainted with how to deal with would-be high-rollers on the make) back in 2014. She said Dude made her uncomfortable by gripping her shoulders and kissing the top of her head from behind.
Some people are saying Biden’s conduct should disqualify his still undeclared 2020 presidential candidacy. The ironies abound.
Before his election in 2016, the White House incumbent boasted in the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape that he literally would routinely “grab them by the p—y” and get away with it. Later, I saw via social media a photo of a deplorable supporter at a Trump campaign rally wearing a huge sign over her bosom: “Trump grab here” with a huge arrow pointed toward her crotch. A majority of white women voted for Trump.
The ironies abound. Men can be the victims of female sex predators.
In the simple, everyday way, some women recognize certain proclivities, certain weaknesses among some men, then flirtatiously use their wiles to advance one agenda or another. When taken to the extreme, it becomes the acts like those of artist Cardi B, who confessed recently that before her hip-hop musical superstardom she was a stripper who would on occasion drug her “John” and rob him.
Cardi B’s a rock star. Biden is wearing sackcloth and ashes. Her conduct is shocking, but it enhances her Hollywood brand. His conduct could doom his presidential prospects.
The bottom line, I would say, is that people lie. Accused persons most certainly lie, depending on the higher burden of proof that’s required to prove their guilt than for them to defend their innocence. But accusers can also lie, even when they have nothing to gain from their deceit.
High standards and a level playing field are what’s required here.
Legendary journalist Ida B. Wells was literally chased out of Memphis, her newspaper press attacked, when she editorialized that white women often accused Negro men of rape if they were discovered in a liaison with their lovers. That was then. This is now.
I’ll say it again: It’s gone from the sublime to the wildly ridiculous, this climate of overboard sexual accountability, where an otherwise decent guy gets pilloried for a non-sexual, sexual assault, at the same time a wealthy sports franchise owner caught on videotape in a sex-trafficking sting-operation can walk around like he’s done nothing wrong.