There have been times when a man has walked up behind me and started rubbing my shoulders. Is that weird? I think so. Did I enjoy it? No…well maybe a little. But still, don’t do that. Not just to me, but to anyone. While it creeped me out, that sort of behavior probably extends to intimidation when it’s done to a woman.
So, men…while we’re at it, don’t go around rubbing woman’s shoulders who did not ask you to. Also, don’t sniff their hair and kiss the top of their heads…or anywhere else. Keep your hands to yourself.
Joe Biden is facing his first of what will be many crises in his campaign for the presidency, and he’s not even in the race yet. Of course, what defines a crisis for Biden is usually just a Tuesday for Donald Trump. Yet, Democrats hold their own to a higher standard. Republicans don’t even require their people to be literate.
Former Nevada Assemblywoman, Lucy Flores, published a column Friday in The Cut accusing Biden of unwanted touching and kissing the back of her head in 2014. Just like in Casablanca, I’m shocked there’s gambling here.
Yes, there is a reason he’s lovingly referred to as “Gropey Joe.” He’s gropey. He and his defenders describe it as affection. Others have been known to describe it as “ew.”
There are miles of video footage of Biden standing behind women of all ages where he’s rubbing their shoulders and whispering in their ears. Obama once joked about it during a speech saying, “I feel more loose and relaxed than ever. Those Joe Biden shoulder massages, they’re like magic.”
In 2015, a photo went viral of Biden holding the shoulders of Stephanie Carter while her husband, Ashton, was being sworn in as Secretary of Defense. She defended Biden in a column published Sunday in Medium, describing it as a tender moment between friends. I’ll take her word for it but I try not to get that tender with my friends.
There are accusations that the more liberal segment of the Democratic Party is trying to take Biden down before he gets in. It’s been noted that Flores attended Beto O’Rourke’s official campaign announcement last Saturday. Whether the accusations are political or not, Biden still has to deal with how he handled the Clarence Thomas hearings in regards to Anita Hill’s testimony when he was chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee.
Regarding Flores and other women, Biden has denied misconduct and issued a statement saying, “not once, never, did I believe I acted inappropriately.” That right there might be the problem. If you don’t believe it’s inappropriate to rub shoulders, sniff hair, kiss heads, whisper whatever you’re whispering in the ears of women who are not your wife or girlfriend, then you don’t have a clue. If this is behavior you frequently engage in and you think it’s OK, you’re probably wondering why you’re never invited to of your friends’ parties.
Biden has not been accused of assault or of committing any crimes. He’s just been accused of being creepy. Despite the fact Donald Trump has been accused of committing crimes and has even boasted about it, Republicans are tearing into Biden. Cognitive dissonance is a rare commodity in the Republican Party. And if you are a Republican, “cognitive dissonance” means having thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that are not consistent. One example is attacking Biden for rubbing shoulders while ignoring that Trump has boasted about groping women and barging into the dressing rooms of teenage beauty pageant contestants.
Some of Biden’s defenders describe his behavior as ageism and that he doesn’t mean any harm. He’s just being Joe. I don’t think that’s an excuse. If anything the #metoo movement should be teaching these guys, especially guys in the Democratic Party, is what’s wrong and right in how you treat women. His age is not a defense plus, it reminds us that he’s really old. It’s not a defense for Old Man Biden or Old Man Trump.
Being a creeper didn’t prevent Trump supporters from being Trump supporters…just like a lot of other stuff didn’t stop them. The creeper factor won’t be that much of an issue in the general election. It can destroy a Democrat in the primaries while it receives shrugs of indifference in the Republican primaries.
My first prediction for the upcoming campaign is that it will provide us plenty of moments when we’ll be creeped out.
Watch me draw.
Email Clay Jones at email@example.com