Tactile Masculinity vs. Toxic Masculinity: The Case of Joe Biden

A week before Christmas in 1972 Joe Biden’s first wife Neilia and their 13-month old daughter were killed by a tractor trailer that crashed into her car as she pulled away from a stop sign. The couple’s two sons were also injured in the accident. Recently elected to the Senate from Delaware, Biden wasn’t one to wallow in grief, preferring to get started on a long Washington career of inappropriate touching, making what the late Alexander Cockburn reported as “loutish sexual advances” to a female staffer of one of his fellow senators in the well of the Senate just weeks after Biden’s wife was killed.

Half a century later, shoulder-rubbing, nose-touching, hair-sniffing Joe can be observed in many internet videos pawing little girls and boys, this from the sworn enemy of unwanted advances, especially against those who cannot give consent, like children.

In the face of multiple women complaining of his unsolicited sniffs, kisses, and shoulder massages, Biden hilariously describes himself as a “tactile politician,” one who has won great applause from women for supporting the Violence Against Women Act (part of the disastrous 1994 crime bill), which, though it did not reduce the incidence of domestic violence, did substantially erode due process of law, as intended.

Biden has long championed stripping due process rights from college students accused of sexual misconduct. He instituted policy all around the United States based on the assumption that young men accused of sexual assault or rape are automatically guilty. Called before Star Chamber campus proceedings presided over mostly by gender ideologues, these men have often not been allowed lawyers, to know the specific charges against them, or to cross-examine their accusers. They have been judged not by the customary legal standard of “clear and convincing evidence,” but rather, by a “preponderance of evidence,” the lowest permissible standard, and one that asserts merely that something is more likely true than untrue, a delightfully vague guideline in the eyes of unscrupulous prosecutors, hanging judges, and now, unaccountable college deans.

Supposedly in the name of gender equality, Biden supports the men-are-rapists-by-nature thesis beneath all this, and automatically accepts the word of a woman as definitive in any case where a man not named Joe Biden stands accused of sexual harassment, assault, or rape. When he himself stands accused, he says Tara Reade has a right to have her claim taken seriously, at the same time as he refuses to open his own Senatorial papers or allow public access to them, a curious stand for a man ostensibly committed to being judged on the basis of the evidence.

Biden hypocritically claims men need to get involved and support efforts to “always believe” other woman accusers, and to intervene against an alleged tsunami of sexual assaults on university campuses, though one might well wonder what possible good they would expect to come of such efforts, given that a universal “toxic masculinity” has been posited as the cause of the epidemic. Along the spectrum of toxicity one finds only sexual predators and apologists for them, no healthy men.

Nevertheless, according to the Obama-Biden “It’s On Us” campaign, men must somehow assume responsibility to stop “locker room talk” and physically confront any male observed taking a drunk freshman coed up the stairs to his room, that is, if a lecture on affirmative consent fails to tame his beastly impulse to have a woman guest in his room. According to this view, males are brutal, stupid, and sexually predatory by nature, so a man taking a drunk female up to his room can only have criminal sexual intent on his mind. He couldn’t possibly be offering his date a safe place to sleep off her intoxication.

Let’s be very careful of totalitarian liberals like Biden, who feverishly imagine weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, hordes of black “superpredators” on American streets, and a rapist in every (male) dorm room. For him, universal surveillance via the Patriot Act was “measured and prudent.”

Sources: ((Branko Marcetic, “Yesterday’s Man – The Case Against Joe Biden,” (Verso, 2020); Vera Papisova, “Joe Biden Interview on Rape Culture and Campus Sexual Assault,” teenVOGUE, April 14, 2017; Lisa Lerer, “Joe Biden Jokes About Hugging in a Speech, Then Offers a Mixed Apology,” New York Times, April 5, 2019.))

Michael Smith is the author of "Portraits of Empire." He co-blogs with Frank Scott at www.legalienate.blogspot.com He co-blogs with Frank Scott at www.legalienate.blogspot.com. Read other articles by Michael.