Campaigning for sexual assault

Why are we involving a political ideology against a victim of sexual assault?

Janna Marnell, Creative Director

Former vice president Joe Biden, also known as “America’s sweetheart” during former President Obama’s two terms, is running against President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. 

After witnessing Bernie Sanders’ departure from the presidential race on April 8, it suddenly dawned on me that we have to vote between two alleged sexual assaulters as our commander in chief.

Janna Marnell

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the media blasted Trump’s sexual allegations and we heard the clip of Trump saying “grab her by the pussy” almost weekly. Yet, during this year’s presidential campaign, the media has not strongly reported on Biden’s multiple sexual assault allegations in the past three years. 

Time’s Up, a nonprofit established in the wake of the #MeToo movement, refused to help Tara Reade, a former employee of Biden from 1993 when she came forward about her sexual assault experience with Biden. They explained to her that since he was a candidate for federal office, it would jeopardize the organization’s status.

“Our decision on whether or not to provide certain types of support to an individual should not be interpreted as our validation or doubt of the truthfulness of the person’s statements,” said Maria Patrick, the National Women’s Law Center spokesperson. “Regardless, our support of workers who come forward regarding workplace sexual harassment remains unwavering.”

I have a hard time with this statement. The credibility and intention of Time’s Up should be questioned. If Reade’s assault was with a republican candidate would there still be a “jeopardy” for it being against a federal candidate? Why should members of Congress and the presidential candidates be exempt from the #MeToo movement, or any allegations? Our country should not give special treatment to these individuals.

“Time’s Up’s analysis is too conservative …” said Ellen April, a professor of tax law at Loyola Law School. “… the group wouldn’t be putting its tax-exempt status at risk by taking a case involving a candidate for federal office as long as it followed its standard criteria for taking on cases.”

Victims of sexual assault stand together to protect others who suffered a similar experience. Nevada politician Lucy Flores came forward about her assault with Biden in March. Flores was accused of lying about being sexually assaulted by the talk show hosts on “The View.” A reason they assumed she was lying about her allegations was to disrupt Biden’s successful presidential campaign. 

“Many U.S. politicians are victim shaming a scared woman for finally coming forward about a night that has haunted her all these decades,” I stated on Sept. 25, 2018. “These politicians include both democrats and republicans alike, notably including President Donald Trump.”

Sexual assault is not widely validated, especially when it comes to government elections or the increase of power. Some may believe that the credibility of a victim (yes, both male and female), have a vendetta against the alleged as a personal motive rather than them trying to protect the future employees working underneath them. 

A political ideology should not sway you to believe or not believe a victim of sexual assault. Sexual assault is very serious, and incidents like this will prevent victims from coming forward in the future. 

I just want to shed some light on a very serious topic. Always consider the hidden stories behind the candidate you support. I do not identify with a specific party, and your ideology does not affect my decision or belief when it comes to sexual assault.