What’s Your Problem with Joe Biden?

Oh lord, what now? You have a problem with affable Democrat Joe Biden? Joe is cool, he wears Ray Bans, he rolls up his sleeves. He and Obama had a bromance, didn’t you see the memes? So what if he held the back of a White House intern’s head and pressed her forehead against his? It could be seen as fatherly. So what if he put his hand on a donor’s shoulder, then dropped it down her back? What’s your problem, anyway? Have you seen what we’re up against? We need someone who can beat Trump. Sure, Joe ran twice before and lost, but he just looks like a President, am I right? I mean, I would vote for a woman, of course, but…

It’s just how he is; it’s just how men are. Joe is a kind man—a grandpa!—and, sure, he’s a little behind the times, but he’s not bad, not like Trump, not even close! Why are you so sensitive? Is it hormones? Maybe you don’t like anyone touching you. Personally, I like hugs. What—do you want every man to hesitate before he touches you?

We’re in a Constitutional crisis right now. We don’t have time to waste on your PC culture, your insistence on an equality that we never had in the first place.

Remember: Joe is a champion for women. Did you know that, as Senator, he introduced the Violence Against Women Act? Joe is on our side, he’s one of us. I mean, he’s white and cis male and heterosexual and a career politician, but he really gets us, you know? I mean, Anita Hill was a long time ago. Who even remembers? Her humiliation was not his fault, not entirely. She should have known better than to try and take on such powerful men.

So maybe that was Joe Biden’s hand on your thigh, on your face, pulling you in for a kiss, you thought, but no—he just wanted to rub noses. Maybe it was his hug that lasted a little too long. Maybe it was his breath on your neck or was it some other man’s? So many men have put their hands and breath on you, and you didn’t always hate it. Forget it and move on with your life, like the rest of us.

Joe isn’t going to apologize for his “gestures of support and encouragement” to women—and some men!—who reach out to him. He concedes that the boundaries “have been reset.” He just wants to connect; he wants human connection. It was not his intent, he says, to make any woman feel embarrassed, uneasy, confused, uncomfortable, demeaned, powerless, or frozen. Lucy Flores felt just fine when Vice-President Biden came to Nevada to boost her doomed campaign. Now she claims that, backstage at her rally, Joe sniffed her hair, then leaned in and gave it a big, slow kiss. Why didn’t she say something at the time? It’s not like he was violent. I’m sure he didn’t mean it to be sexual.  

I get it,” Joe says. “I get it. I’ve worked my whole life to empower women.”

He thinks we need him to save us, and maybe we do. It would be great if he could. Hasn’t he worked his whole life to empower women?

About Susan Rukeyser

Susan Rukeyser performed this piece at The Desert Split Open Mic, a radical, queer, feminist open mic she recently started in Joshua Tree, CA. She wrote the novel, Not On Fire, Only Dying (Twisted Road Publications) and Swap / Meet (Space Cowboy Books), a chapbook of tiny stories. In 2018, she edited and published Feckless Cunt: A Feminist Anthology. Susan’s short work appears in numerous places, including River Teeth, Monkeybicycle, Mom Egg Review, Luna Luna, and Hippocampus Magazine, where she won their inaugural “Remember in November” contest.
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2 Responses to What’s Your Problem with Joe Biden?

  1. scott says:

    So instead of all this, please tell me how you really feel. I just need to know if I need to make reservations for 3, or 4

  2. Pingback: Susan Rukeyser

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