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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Biden: The Feminist Choice

We know Obama's got feminist chops. So does Biden, according to a substantial article in The New Republic. Biden, says author Fred Strebeigh, "has some of the best feminist bona fides around." In fighting for civil rights for women through the Violence Against Women Act, Biden has proven his willingness "to trust the guidance of women activists and women judges, and then to contend against fierce and mostly male resistance in Washington, particularly from the Supreme Court."

Perhaps most importantly, he appears to grasp the fundamental inequality that women still experience in our society:

Biden, in the meantime, held a second Senate hearing on violence against women in August 1990. As he listened to a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (where his son Beau was still a senior) talk about efforts to help victims of acquaintance rape, Biden became energized. After hearing the woman say that some male students had harassed her with "nightly phone threats," Biden launched into what Goldfarb believed was an unplanned but revealing narrative. He told of trying to convince his wife Jill, who drove to night school for her graduate degree classes, to park in a place that was safer but illegal. In response, he said he got "almost a punch in the nose." Trying to work out why, he spoke of his wife's "frustration and anger" that she should need to take precautions no man would take. He linked her anger to her sense of "lost control."

Goldfarb felt she was hearing a man grasp a fundamental understanding about "the lack of control that is experienced not only by women who are themselves victims, but by all the women who have to constrain their daily activities to avoid becoming a victim." Biden was expressing, she thought, the "basic insight of the civil rights provision--that violence against women deprives women of equality."

Biden, too, portrayed himself as a man surprised by new knowledge. In Delaware, he found that victims of rape were beginning to "literally stop me in the street" to tell their stories and give thanks for VAWA. More than half, he said, spoke of a "need to regain control," which Biden evidently understood. The loss of safety, home, and control that he had felt himself when he lost his first wife and daughter was something that these women had also been forced to grapple with in the wake of their rapes [Fred Strebeigh, "Ladies' Man," The New Republic, 2008.09.24].

Biden gets it, politically and personally.


  1. This, even after Biden made those remarks about his wife on the day that Obama named him as his running mate?


  2. chuck ritter9/17/2008 11:00 AM

    Easy to find victims. But why don't they promote strength?

    Must be the Neo-Fems.

  3. pennypincher9/17/2008 11:05 AM

    I mentioned this in a previous post, but mysterioulsy part of my link disappeared.

    What's your opinion of the allegations about Obama talking to Iraqi leaders, in private, to not finalize an agreement on pulling out US forces until AFTER the election? For someone that is so against the war, he sure doesn't want to be in a hurry to pull them out. For more info, go to the New York Post. Also, wouldn't he be guilty of treason if this was true? Now I don't always believe everything I read, but the NY Post should be fairly reliable.

  4. Good point, Chuck. That's why the libs hate Palin. She is definitely not a victim.

  5. To pennypicher: The liberal media is shooting the messenger on this before they check it out independently. If it is true, it's HUGE. But don't hold your breath. You won't see this many places.

  6. Let's get something straight about violent crimes. They are NOT the victims' fault. They are the fault of the perpetrators.

    I'm a liberal, and I have no desire for anyone to be a victim of a violent crime, including Sarah Palin. That's kind of the point of Biden's legislation.

  7. chuck ritter9/17/2008 12:13 PM

    The point is the Feminists they promote are victims. They don't promote strong women.

    Then the feminists, always have someone to blame for their lot in life. I know many women who don't make excuses when things go wrong; they just correct the problems and keep on going!

    That should be what feminism is...Strong Women!

  8. (It's completely off this particular topic, pennyp, but I think you meant this link. Bookmark it, post it again next time I talk foreign policy. Also check the source's credibility. Just to be clear, if your link disappeared previously, that was a technical gremlin, nothing deliberate. If it happens again, e-mail me, and I'll make it work!)

  9. So Chuck, where's the part of your argument that says victims of sexual assualt don't deserve legal protection? If a woman gets raped, is she weak? Is it her fault? This isn't really a lib/con issue, it's a crime and rights and equality issue, one that Biden gets and that you, with your "Be Strong!" macho rhetoric don't seem to... but feel free to correct us.

  10. Chuck, It is not a victim's obligation to be strong enough to fight off an attacker. It is a potential criminal's obligation not to assault someone.

  11. Cory please check out that rumor of Obama's talking about the war.
    I read that somewhere else too.

    That's quite a bombshell if it happened. Of coarse we won't hear about it on the major Democratic backing news networks will we?
    Where can we find the truth?
    What will CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN do if all their efforts fail?

  12. Back on topic, sorry.

    Here's the thing. I don't think anyone is blaming victims. At least I'm not. I have a niece who was the target of an assault and it sure as heck wan't her fault.

    The point I'm making is that the litmus test for liberal "feminist" groups and advocates to support a candidate has more to do with political philosophy than empowering their gender.

    That litmus test is abortion. If you are pro-choice, well, feminists and women's advocates will back you. Even if you are Al Franken (endorsed by Planned Parenthood) who has said absolutely despicable and sexist (not to mention racist) things in the name of bad "comedy." There there was pretty much silence from women's advocates when Bill Clinton abused his power with Monica. Then there's Biden's comment, which feminists overlook because he was "joking," but they jumped all over McCain for making a joke about Cindy (I'm not saying that was appropriate, either, but Biden gets a pass and McCain is branded as sexist).
    The reason Franken, B. Clinton and Biden got a pass is because they are "pro-choice" (notice I didn't say pro-abortion), which makes everything else OK. Even if it isn't.

  13. chuck ritter9/17/2008 4:10 PM

    You are using 'defending rape victims' as a reason for women to vote for Biden when it's not a feminist issue. It's a criminal issue.

    A feminist issue would be placing strong women in positions of power.

  14. This is good stuff. I'd like to see more about Joe Biden.


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