Joe Biden’s behavior has become a touchy subject.
A second woman has come forward accusing the former Vice President of inappropriate contact that made her feel uncomfortable. I have no doubt these women felt uncomfortable, and am genuinely sorry for their unease, but it may say more about them than about Joe. Not all offenses are of equal value. It is up to us to determine the context and purpose of it all.
Viewing any non-erotic touch as the first step towards a sexual encounter is an erroneous belief and an obstacle in appreciating and understanding the importance of human touch.
Physical touch is a primal communication method. Joe Biden is a tactile communicator. That does not make him a sexual predator. His long and colorful history of being touchy feely with everyone is now coming under the microscope of the MeToo Movement. At worst his behavior may point to his being out of touch to the times.
America has long been a touch-phobic society. And now more than ever we avoid touching each other for fear of litigation or accusation.
Is this where we want the MeToo movement to go?
MeToo isn’t about invading space or creating discomfort. It’s about sexual assault and rape which are violen crimes. MeToo must begin to recognize a spectrum of harm.
The debate touches me deeply.
As a sexual assault survivor these accusations discredit and diminish mine and other sexual assault victims.
Are we as a culture so removed from the genuine affection and kindness of a spontaneous human touch that any embrace is now seen through the lens of lechery? Joe’s spontaneous physical gestures of tenderness, warmth and empathy are not bound by gender, and are generationally informed.
Touch is primal.
It’s how we communicate non verbally. From what I observe, Joe’s touches are the touch of consolation, of empathy. He offers a reassuring touch, a playful touch, and a celebratory touch.
As we become more removed from human contact and actual face to face time, does basic human contact and empathy seem weird?
In the age of Trump it would.