THIS. IS. RICH.
From Yahoo (via Teen Vogue): There’s a whole lot of reasons we love Joe Biden. The former Vice President has stolen our hearts many times over with his compassionate politics. His beautiful friendship with Barack Obama and the memes it created got us through many days. On top of that, he’s been a champion for women for a long while. Lately, he’s been continuing this awesome work with his campaign “It’s On Us”. “It’s On Us” encourages men to step up in preventing sexual assault.
Biden recently sat down for an interview with Teen Vogue to talk more about It’s On Us, and it’s amazing!
There’s so much good in this interview, and it just backs up why Joe Biden is the greatest. First of all, he consulted young women on how to best move forward with the It’s On Us campaign!
It might sound like a no-brainer, but with current politics it’s all too familiar to see decisions that affect women decided by only men. This obviously makes no sense, because if you’re trying to help women, you should listen to women. Biden spoke with thousands of girls in high school and college to figure out how best to combat sexual assault on campuses. Here’s what they told him:
“The overwhelming, spontaneous response without any prompting was, get men involved. Get men involved…that’s when we started the “It’s on Us” campaign, going out to college campuses because bystanders who see something happen, in my view, if they don’t holler, scream, pick up the phone and call and intervene, they are complicitous in the commission of a crime. They are complicitous.”
Biden, as a politician, has given voice to something women have understood about the nature of preventing sexual assault for basically all of human history. You cannot put the pressure on victims to prevent their own assaults.
A lot of the advice people hear about preventing sexual assault is put towards the victims. By calling out male bystanders who see an assault about to take place and do nothing, Biden is putting the pressure to prevent assault in the right place.
Biden pulls no punches when calling out the men who see assaults about to happen and do nothing. He really calls out the men who hear other men perpetuating rape culture, by pointing out that silence will make them complicit. By not speaking up when they hear someone talking about assault, they become complicit. Biden puts it this way:
“Being a man means respecting a woman’s autonomy, not invading a woman’s autonomy. You want to be a strong man? Respect.
Biden also reminds college leadership that they need to step up to prevent campus sexual assault. He acknowledges that colleges might be scared to report the numbers, since it might downgrade their standing. However, he points out that their students’ safety is way more important.
Many colleges act this way, and that’s part of why campus sexual assault is such a widespread problem. Biden puts this into chilling perspective with this quote:
“No father or mother should drop their kid off this late August, early September at their first day at college and drive away worried [if she is] going to be safe.”
We cannot thank Joe Biden enough for being a spokesman for this important campaign. Calling out men who see their friends participate in assault, and college leadership who aren’t doing enough to prevent assault, are steps that need to be taken!
(H/T to Teen Vogue)