Former President Bill Clinton. Producer Harvey Weinstein. Former Today show host Matt Lauer. The late American financier Jeffrey Epstein. What do these powerful men have in common?
In addition to being very powerful, these men were also highly esteemed in their respective trades. They possessed inflated personalities at the height of their notoriety. They are staunch Democrats. At one point or another they enjoyed great insulation from the consequences of their actions. They were also accused, and in Weinstein’s case convicted, of sexual assault against vulnerable women.
With the latest allegations from former senate aid, Tara Reid, taking center stage former Vice President and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been added to this upper crust of alleged abusers.
There’s one more thing these powerful men have in common. They were, and in Biden’s case he is, being protected by some very powerful women.
Representative Madeleine Dean of the 4th congressional district of Pennsylvania, along with three other Pennsylvania congresswomen will campaign for Joe Biden even as he faces increasing scrutiny of sexual-assault allegations.
Calling themselves the “Fab Four,” these liberal legislators rode the wave of female activism to political office, concurrent with a rising focus on gender inequality and the #MeToo movement against sexual assault. Now that they’ve attained their position of power, breaking through the all-male congressional delegation, what have they chosen to do with their new found power? To stand alongside women who bring credible allegations of assault? No. They are standing with the accused.
To be exact, Tara Reade has accused the Democratic presidential nominee of pinning her against a wall, reaching under her clothing and penetrating her with his finger. Those are pretty clear charges -- charges followed up with credible corroborating evidence close in time to the alleged assault.
What happened to being my sister’s keeper?
It appears that for Madeleine Dean, such sentiments are conditional. During the height of then-Judge Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings, high-level Democrats told us all that we should “just believe the woman.” Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) told men “to shut up” and just believe the woman. Stacey Abrams said, “I believe women, and I believe survivors of violence always deserve to be supported to have their voices heard.” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said women should be believed “every time.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “It took great courage for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to come forward with her story.” She went on to say, “The American people are owed a thorough investigation of the grave & credible allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.”
What about this time? Now that the fingers of allegations are pointed towards a fellow Democrat where are the voices of our sisters standing up for us, defending us, calling for “thorough investigations” to be conducted? Do they really believe women are to be believed “every time” or only when it’s beneficial in their political aspirations?
Where are our sister’s keepers? Where are the pink caps on the heads of women holding mass protests against the trampling of women rights? Should women, specifically Tara Reade, be believed?
Yes, the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh were certainly “grave.” Whether or not they were “credible” is a different discussion. Dr. Ford could not remember the day, time, year, location or how she got home exactly. Tara Reade, on the other hand, remembers it all.
Even if we took Joe Biden at his own words that when a woman alleges sexual assault, we should presume she is telling the truth. Why would four progressive Pennsylvania congresswomen stand on the side of the accused? Why would they not presume that their fellow sister is telling the truth? Have we been duped? Was their fervor for the cause of women a ruse for their own political aspirations? Now that they too are very powerful women will they hold men accused of sexual assault accountable? Or just Republican men?
Whether these politicians remember their promises to believe the woman or not, we suburban moms must remember and hold them accountable. We must remember to vote for what is in our and our daughter’s best interest. Let us never forget this betrayal at the ballot box.
Kathy Barnette, author of Nothing to Lose Everything to Gain: Being Black and Conservative in America. Kathy is also currently running for U.S. Congress in the 4th District of Pennsylvania.