How Bad is Biden’s Behavior, Really? Facebook Friends Respond

By Rachel Alexander Published on April 9, 2019

The great liberal hero has been sabotaged by a great liberal movement. You’ve all seen the photos and videos. Joe Biden groping and kissing women and girls. (I’ve written about this previously). He creeps out most people — once they know about it. And few did until recently, but now it’s Biden’s #MeToo moment.

Because he’s running for president, he’s getting a lot more scrutiny than he’s gotten in the past. He’s being held to higher standards than he was when he just “Uncle Joe,” President Obama’s sidekick. And because he’s about to announce his run, and he’ll be a frontrunner, other Democrats who want to run are dredging this up behind the scenes.

But what does this mean for the rest of us? How will this affect hugging or greeting people with a kiss on the cheek? Will it make people hesitate to engage in those types of behaviors? I posted about it on Facebook and was surprised to see all the folks who defended some level of touching. I personally don’t like it when men kiss me on both cheeks to greet me — but I wouldn’t object if they did, or try to get the practice stopped. Regardless, I think most can agree that Biden’s groping and kissing was excessive and unnecessary, especially with the young girls.

Biden’s Lecherousness

A friend who was the most offended by Biden’s actions said he is familiar with Biden’s type of behavior and sees it as that of a predator. He said he was preyed upon when he was 7 or 8 and it scarred him for life. He also opined, “I’m more upset with the parents, Joe doesn’t have enough security if that was my son.”

“Why haven’t charges been brought against him — or has he just paid people off?”

One female Facebook friend cut to the chase: “Biden is a sexual predator. He loves to touch little kids and women. One day the truth will be exposed.” Similarly, “Why haven’t charges been brought against him — or has he just paid people off?”

Along those lines, another friend commented, “As a man I think it’s creepy. Perhaps not rising to a level of aggression just creepy.” A second friend echoed, “He’s really creepy.” A woman added, “I’ve seen all those videos of him being what he thinks is ‘playful’ with girls and women, but is really just him being what I would call a dirty old man, very very creepy dude!”

Another woman blurted out, “He is gross!” A male Facebook friend exclaimed, “Pervert bigtime. Seeing him fondle children is sickening.”

Nuanced Criticism

Some were more nuanced in their criticism. “I believe the intent of the person doing the touching needs to be considered but the feelings of the person being touched are far more important.” He went on, “I do not believe that what Biden said was the norm has ever been the norm in this country.”

A woman agreed with him. “I do not mind at all if a man kisses my cheek, will touch my shoulder etc. However, I am a very physically affectionate person. Everyone should use discretion. Not all people are comfortable with physical affection and we should probably all assume if we don’t know someone that we shouldn’t touch them at all.”

Another man similarly reacted, “The way he grabs them and pulls them in close for control.”

“All male politicians should do what Mike Pence does.”

One Facebook friend recommended, “All male politicians should do what Mike Pence does.” Another responded, “Which means they get mocked by mainstream media for being a ‘prude.'” To which the former replied, “That’s OK. No worries about women coming forward with stories.”

A few friends seemed to defend Biden. “Joe doesn’t comprehend things I did in the late 60’s and 70’s within societal norms today would get me arrested — minimally in trouble,” one wrote.

I think the problems are with the women. Back in the day, I’d make an unwanted advance and my date would have set behavioral limits. Are women today so traumatized by men’s comments, stares, or a shoulder/neck/hair touch they can’t set limits? I thought women were strong and independent? Seems they’re showing weak and dependent instead.

Another man appeared to also defend him, “What exactly, in legal terms, are these women accusing him of?” I responded and told him sexual harassment.

Is Hugging Still OK?

Next, I posted an item saying that this will put a damper on regular hugging.

Some weren’t so concerned. One said, “Innocent hugging from someone like you is no issue — it’s the creepy dude sticking his face into his victim’s face or hair that is the problem.” Another expressed a similar sentiment, “He feels these women up!”

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Similarly, “I’m pretty sure you don’t smell people’s hair, feel them up and kiss them unwantingly,” one friend commented. Another woman observed, “His aren’t kisses on cheek upon greeting…”

One man admitted he’s cautious about hugging now. “I’ve gone totally to fist bumps — even the nieces that are close to us only get very LOOSE hugs.”

A woman opined, “I have no problem with hugs if they come in front. Joe Biden only comes in from behind.” Another woman was even less open to hugs, “I doubt care who it is, don’t invade my personal space unless you have my prior permission.”

What About Greeting People With Kisses on the Cheeks?

Lastly, I brought up greeting someone with a kiss on both cheeks, which many men do. One woman did not defend the practice, observing “The European way in the greeting is to kiss the air beside each cheek, not the cheek.”

Another woman thought it was fine, “He is doing the kissing … no one has to kiss back that doesn’t want to.” Another agreed, but added a distinction. “Quick on the cheek is fine,” she wrote. “The Joe Biden kind that I am too shy to describe — no thanks.” Similarly, a male friend opined, “Biden is not kissing their cheeks — he’s a perv.”

Another Facebook friend distinguished the U.S. from other countries. “Americans greet by handshake and if it’s a male to female, it’s polite to wait for the lady to offer her hand to shake.”

One man said, “I don’t kiss women, period. I don’t hug many of them anymore or even touch them because of how things have become.”

OK But Not OK

A man who had lived in Europe both criticized and approved of the practice. “First of all, I would never kiss anyone other than my wife on the neck. I have said recently I lived in France for several years and a kiss on the cheek was a common, non-sexual, and respectful greeting. It is hardly common in the U.S.”

But commenting on another post of mine, he said, “I believe Biden has always been grandfatherly affectionate and I believe the President and many other people are also … Too bad the Democrat and other Socialist candidates are going to destroy Biden because of it.”

A female friend didn’t seem too upset by it. “A few decades ago this wouldn’t have rated a comment. If a man did something offensive you told him to quit it and went about your life.”

What’s Safe

Based on the responses from my Facebook friends, it is “safe” to say that it’s better to refrain from touching others unless they are relatively close family members or adults you know approve. If in doubt, don’t. Some women, like me, aren’t going to vocalize their discomfort.

It’s unfortunate that Biden’s behavior has put a chill over regular hugging and greeting. But maybe it’s not so bad if it stops a few lecherous men from taking advantage of women too polite to speak up.

 

Follow Rachel on Twitter at Rach_IC. Send tips to rachel.alexander@stream.org.

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