In a new article at Mother Jones — titled “Sexual Assault Advocates Are Grappling With the Allegations Against Joe Biden” (don’t let the phrasing trouble you; the individuals in question are not, in fact, advocates of sexual assault) — several progressive women worry aloud about how to square their continued support of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign with their past advocacy for victims of assault.
“The new allegations have been profoundly jarring for survivor activists, many of whom have long considered Biden a political ally on sexual violence policy and would like to see President Donald Trump defeated in November,” writes the article’s author Madison Pauly.
The first half of the piece focuses on how some of the women interviewed — all of whom seem to embrace the notion that we must believe all women who make allegations of sexual misconduct — are uncomfortable with the way that media have covered sexual-misconduct allegations against Joe Biden, especially the recent sexual-assault allegation from his former staffer Tara Reade.
But the latter half of the article details how many of these women ultimately have decided to set aside those concerns and support Biden’s presidential campaign anyway. Here’s how Pauly explains their mindset:
Even though they believed Reade’s story could be true, some survivor activists said that they still intend to vote for Biden. They cited several reasons, including the importance of federal judicial appointments; the experience of Biden’s staff on sexual violence policy; and their eagerness to replace Trump’s cabinet, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whose overhaul of campus sexual-assault policy has prompted outcry from survivors. “I’ve always said I will never vote for somebody who has been accused of sexual harassment or sexual violence,” said Leader. But she still plans to cast a ballot against Trump. (In a post on Medium, Feministing cofounder Jessica Valenti expressed a similar sentiment: “I’ll do what’s right for the country and vote for him. But I’m still furious.”)
When these activists reference the “overhaul of campus sexual-assault policy,” they are referring to DeVos’s decision to issue guidelines reforming sexual-assault adjudications on college campuses, an attempt to eliminate kangaroo courts that prevent accused students from receiving a fair trial conducted according to the most basic principles of due process.
While Mother Jones has discovered that some #MeToo advocates are rightly troubled by Democrats’ hypocritical response to the allegations against Biden, it seems many more are planning to support him regardless of whether Reade’s allegation and the other accusations of harassment against him have any merit. For far too many progressives, the “believe all women” standard applies only when the accused man is a conservative.
If the accused man is a politician who can be trusted to put forward appropriately liberal judicial candidates and reverse due-process reforms on campuses across the country, the only fair thing to do is to turn a blind eye to the women whom he may have mistreated.
Read the Original Article Here