The reports of Joe Biden having inappropriately touched women are bothering me. I’m told that it’s a generational thing, that those who grew up in his generation, as I did, just accept that men feel they have the right to touch as they please. Meanwhile, these younger folks, more aware because of the “Me Too” movement, feel the need to step up and report any suspicious behavior, especially from an “older” man.

I wonder if the women reporting their interactions with the vice president might have a different point of view if they had truly been subjected to sexual harassment and/or assault. In coming forward with what seem to me as ridiculous allegations, these women have unintentionally belittled the serious, traumatic experiences many people have endured. There are both men and women who are struggling to overcome rape, abuse, humiliation, etc., who finally have a voice and are starting to feel empowered to reveal the truth. Whining about actions such as those of which Biden is accused detracts from the important stories we need to hear.

It looks like what we need to teach to the younger generation is how to assess the danger of individual encounters — when to report an incident to the public vs. when to turn with a smile on your face and say, “I know you want to support me, but I don’t really feel like being touched right now.”

 

Diane Clay

Litchfield


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