[Editor’s Note 3/31/2019: This piece is from January 2013. The petition it describes is no longer active.] Not sure any of you have had the unfortunate pleasure of seeing the coverage of our country’s Vice President in action at yesterday’s ceremonial swearing in ceremony of U.S. Senate members, but we did. In a word we were… disgusted. What one major news outlet referred to as “the Biden charm”, we consider as deplorable behavior that is an insult to women, men and the esteemed position Joe Biden holds. We expect the Vice President to serve as an example of the very best that America is. By his overt objectification of women during yesterday’s ceremony he failed us all.
As a result, we are demanding an apology from Vice President Biden, on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America, via a Change.org petition we launched today.
Women You Should Know Change.org Petition
To: Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States Of America
I support Women You Should Know in their demand of a public apology for your behavior toward women at the swearing-in ceremony for U.S. Senate members on January 3, 2013.
As the man who holds the second highest office in the United States, citizens should expect that as Vice President, you serve as an example of the very best that America is. By your overt objectification of women during yesterday’s ceremony you failed us all.
The images and soundbites captured by the national news media showing you caressing women’s faces, appearing to ogle others and making audible, inappropriate comments were not only offensive and deplorable, but certainly not behavior fitting of someone in your esteemed position.
Of the 13 new Senators who took the oath, five of them were women, bringing the ranks of women senators to 20. A full, 1/5th of the legislative body.
Despite this historic milestone of which our country should be incredibly proud, objectification of women is still an ongoing battle. When the world witnesses the Vice President of the United States of America being less than respectful toward women, under the auspices of “charm”, what example is that setting? It only fuels the issue and diminishes the victories already won.
You said yesterday, “The only thing that needs to change is get to the point where there are 51 women in the Senate. You know why? Not because you all are better or worse. Because everyone’s going to figure out there ain’t no difference, that everybody is qualified. It doesn’t have a damn thing to do with gender.”
As we’re certain you would never caress a man’s face, for us to believe your words, then we implore you to practice what you preach Mr. Vice President.
We are asking you to please stand with Women You Should Know in demanding an apology from our country’s Vice President as we simply won’t accept the excuse, “oh, that’s just Joe”.
You can sign our petition here.
Lead image: screen gran from C-SPAN’s broadcast of the January 3, 2013 ceremonial swearing in ceremony of U.S. Senate members.