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Op-ed

Sexual Assault is Not Just a Conservative Issue

TW: Sexual Assault

Everyone remembers the anger and disbelief of Dr. Blasey Ford testifying about Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulting her. That moment of testifying and the results of Kavanaugh being sworn in shows how in politics sexual assault is a topic where the victim is discredited in any way possible. Blasey Ford was tested on if she was positive it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her, was harangued on how she got to the party, and generally trying to strip her of any credibility. This was all for someone being elected into the Supreme Court. News has broken about presidential hopeful and former vice president Joe Biden being accused of sexual assault, along with other complaints on how Biden has made other women uncomfortable. The same manner of discrediting the victim is present in Biden’s case.

Remarkably, what has gained traction is the fact that Biden, a prominent member of the Democratic party, has yet to receive any comments or critiques on his actions by liberal media outlets or by Democrat party members.  Instead, with excuses that “Joe Biden is Joe Biden” and he is a man of integrity, Democratic politicians such as Nancy Pelosi and Biden himself are negating alleged survivor Tara Reade’s accusation of sexual assault and misconduct.

Trump and other Republicans have stated the obvious double standard that the Democrats are following with pursuing Trump and Kavanaugh on sexual assault allegations but not commenting further on the sexual assault alleged by Biden.

Although painful to side with Trump, this is a fair argument to make. Democrats are making sexual assault a partisan issue, with Republicans being the only people who should be thoroughly inspected and receiving critical media coverage. The lives of those who have been sexually assaulted are pushed aside in favor of politics. This was seen when Kavanaugh took his seat on the Supreme Court– and now with Biden. Biden seems to be the Democrats’ best bet at pushing Trump out of office, with almost all former Democratic presidential candidates formally endorsing Biden and Democratic politicians unifying in behind him as the pick.

Biden has a varied track record on sexual assault– he championed the Violence Against Women Act and helped co-found organization It’s On Us.  Yet, he also has been criticized for his tactile use in his campaign and was criticized by Anita Hill for not better controlling her hearing on sexual assault against Justice Clarence Thomas and allowing an all-white all-male group of men to grill her.

However, due to the concern over Trump being president again, #GoJoe and other pro-Biden and pro-Democratic hashtags are trending. Due to the coronavirus and how President Trump has handled the issue, Twitter users appear to be leaning more towards Biden. Yet, there are those who tend to be critical of Biden and are aware of his attitudes toward women and other Americans.

Sexual assault is an issue that transcends political parties. That does not seem to be the case for Biden. Unfortunately, it has been used during the Me Too era to become something used against wealthy men or Republicans, mostly supported by Democrats. Americans get the chance to see that when a Democrat is accused of sexual assault, the Democratic party that has become a fierce advocate for believing women, is suddenly silent and hesitant to address sexual assault. There is a double standard in place, and it shows that the issue of sexual assault is not used by Democrats as a sincere way to believe women or to help them. The issue of sexual assault seems to be an opportunity to tout the “better” Democratic party over the “bad” Republicans. This accusation of sexual assault in the Democratic party reveals that sexual assault just doesn’t occur by Republican figures. Anyone can be a perpetrator. This accusation also highlights that there are no “good” or “bad” parties, but people who do “good” or “bad” things.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Mia Boccher
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