Joe Biden’s touchy behavior may finally be put to rest

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Tiana Kuchta

More stories from Tiana Kuchta

Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign put to the test as allegations surface

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Joe Biden’s touchy behavior may finally be put to rest

 Former Vice President Joe Biden is receiving a hit to his reputation as women step up about his touchy behavior.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is receiving a hit to his reputation as women step up about his touchy behavior.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Former Vice President Joe Biden is receiving a hit to his reputation as women step up about his touchy behavior.

Photo by SUBMITTED

Photo by SUBMITTED

Former Vice President Joe Biden is receiving a hit to his reputation as women step up about his touchy behavior.

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When I think of Joe Biden, the first thing that comes to mind is those old, sweet photos of him and former President Barack Obama running around the grounds of The White House.

However, my image of him is quickly changing as women step up about how uncomfortable Biden makes them with his overly affectionate behavior.

According to an article by the BBC, there have been two allegations against Biden: “Lucy Flores said Mr. Biden kissed her on the back of her head at a campaign event in 2014” and “Amy Lappos, a former aide to a Democratic congressman, says Mr. Biden touched her face with both hands and rubbed noses with her in 2009.”

In response to these initial allegations, Biden went on the defensive, saying “I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once — never — did I believe I acted inappropriately,” according to BBC.

This response is far from an apology, which is the least amount of respect these women deserve. He doesn’t even acknowledge how what he did was wrong, instead, he tries to brush it off as if he treated these women the same way he treats everyone.

This totally disregards the fact that a kiss on the back of the head and rubbing noses are far out of the normal physical contact one would expect with a fellow professional like what Biden described.

Regardless, I think the main question is whether he is going to change his behavior moving forward.

Just last week, after Biden made a video where he said he would do better in the future, he made an appearance to speak to union workers. During this event, Biden made a few jokes relating to the allegations, once telling the crowd “I just want you to know I had permission to hug Lonnie,” after he hugged the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers President Lonnie Stephenson, according to The Washington Post.

After this event, he made some more comments, this time to reporters, indicating he didn’t really understand why these allegations are important.

According to The Washington Post, Biden told reporters: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more. I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything I have ever done. I’ve never been disrespectful intentionally, to a man or a woman.”

This quote demonstrates exactly what the problem is. He may not have intentionally disrespected these women, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t ultimately feel disrespected. Biden is implying his level of physical contact is acceptable for anyone.

He’s not taking into consideration the fact different people have different comfort levels when it comes to physical contact or the idea that people may be more comfortable with contact once they get to know someone. Biden is just assuming his reputation of being physically friendly precedes him and that everyone will accept it.

Men like Biden are so used to these behaviors that they don’t understand why these behaviors are  “suddenly” wrong.

It shouldn’t be hard to explain that these things aren’t “suddenly” making women uncomfortable, it’s just that women are finally in a position in society to speak up about it. Yet, the conversation seems impossible to have with many of these men, especially men who come from an older generation.

It could be possible that these older men will never fully get it, but if we allow them to slide then nothing is going to stop younger men from thinking they can do the same.

In this era of the #MeToo movement, men are being forced to take responsibility for their actions. While many will apologize, it’s impossible to say whether those apologizes will translate into their future interactions.

We need to continue to hold these people accountable while helping them understand why their actions were wrong and why they need to be changed.

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected]

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