I recently wrote a story on here on Medium called ‘How Democrats Should (And Shouldn’t) Court the #NeverBiden Crowd’; you can read it here.
While I am mindful not to engage in petty exchanges that most comment threads inevitable devolve into, I usually do skim any responses for worthwhile feedback, for which I’m always grateful.
I received a response to this article, addressing several grievances, and upon reviewing them, I would like to both offer some clarifications, and, more importantly, some apologies.
To be sure I don’t lose my opportunity now that I still have all of your attention: I apologize to the millions of victims of sexual assault that my article wholly ignored. It most certainly was not my attempt to do so; I simply wrote from a perspective that is my own and that millions of others share. But I recognize it is this blindness to your perspective that represents much of the cultural issues surrounding victimhood today. So once more, I do apologize for missing the mark on this one.
I’ll first address the three points brought to my attention, before the larger observation this response brought me to.
The Difference Between “Assault and Rape”
In my article, I drew a distinction between assault and rape. To avoid using graphic terms surely unwelcomed to those very people I am trying to apologize to, I had defined rape as nothing short of what we can call ‘the full act’. This was challenged, and in hindsight, I agree it was right to be. I can surely draw up any number of awful acts that I would surely consider to be rape short of. Even the Merriam-Webster definition includes the verbiage “usually sexual intercourse”, it careful not to limit it to just that. I apologize for that error, and will use that word with it’s objective definition, not how I had wanted to define it.
While I still see that it’s fair to asses an act by severity, to do so without first admitting they’re all forms of rape is not acceptable.
The “Me Too” Movement
I admittedly had a little bit of a hard time what the author of the response was upset with here, so I will aim to clarify my words and position in a way that heeds her concerns.
I meant to imply that the dismissal of the claims against Joe Biden hurt the women that so deserve to be heard. Biden himself spoke about believing all women as a default position, and to see that tossed aside is troublesome.
I didn’t mean that this will shape to undo the #MeToo movement, or make it any less valid — in fact I think it makes it all the more valid. But I fear that now even liberals have lowered the standard, willing to accept a credible allegation without it so much as being heard and responded to.
Now it appears I may be entirely wrong about what the #MeToo movement is, per the comment. That it is less about empowering women to speak with the knowledge we — all — are listening, and more about a space to give only those in that community to self identify. If that’s the case, it’s something I am unaware of.
I’d, truly, love a few responses or discussions about this, if my belief is incorrect. You can reach out to me on Twitter and I’d love to have a conversation with you, as an inquisitive listener.
The third point was beyond my grasp — I believe it may stem out of my use of the word “actors”. I had meant it simply as ‘people’, not as anyone that’s portraying a character or lying.
The Big One
All of the above stems from a single underlying problem with this article: my wilful inability to consider the view of sexual assault victims.
While I make valid points in my argument, none of it is more relevant than the feelings of an assault survivor. They, most certainly, can reject Joe Biden on that and that alone, and they should not be questioned or challenged on the validity of that reason. There is perhaps no better.
Which draws me to another somber conclusion I must myself wrestle with: if there are people in my life that I love who cannot, in good conscience, cast a vote for Joe Biden, people who I claim to share values and commitments with, am I in the wrong for advocating him, even in the slightest?
You deserve to be heard.
Your perspective matters.
It matters before politics.
And I apologize to each and every one of you for failing to consider your position before concluding my own.
Thank you Art Nunymiss for your response, and the chance to be better here.