“Guys, a woman who’s dead drunk cannot consent. You are raping her.” Joe Biden doesn’t mince words in a powerful speech to college students pic.twitter.com/iO1AWDIFcM
— CNN (@CNN) April 27, 2017
Since leaving the White House, former VP Joe Biden has targeted his energy upon two causes. One of those endeavors is the cancer initiative that lives on in the name of his son, Beau. He’s also devoted his energies to It’s On Us, the sexual assault awareness campaign launched by Biden and former President Obama to help end “the epidemic of sexual violence” on college campuses. Biden recently labeled anyone who failed to help stop a sexual assault as “a coward,” and during a visit to George Mason University on Wednesday, Biden delivered an even more vehement message on the issue of consent:
“Guys, a woman who’s dead drunk cannot consent. You are raping her. You are raping her. If you cannot say, ‘It’s okay.’ I really mean this. We’ve got to talk about this. Consent requires affirmative consent. And if you’re too drunk to be able to consent, it is not consent.”
Over the past several months, Biden’s outreach on this issue has included a guest appearance on Law & Order: SVU. He also brought tears to many people’s eyes when he wrote a powerful letter to the Stanford rape survivor, whose rapist (Brock Turner) attempted to explain away his actions as fueled by college party culture and alcohol.
Biden doesn’t abide by either excuse, and says that campuses must come together and “speak up” when they see something sketchy start to go down. He also warns that whether one chooses to intervene or be a bystander shall be a make-or-break issue for humanity’s future:
“Our society is going to be judged by future generations about our civility and our decency. One of the measures we’re going to be looked at is how did we deal with this issue? There is never a culture of justification for any of this. Brutality is brutality. Human rights are basic. I don’t care what’s your religion — no religion, no culture can be sustained or should be tolerated that says it’s OK to abuse another human being.”
He also pointedly emphasized that power, rather than sex, is the overriding motive for sexual assault and rape. You can watch Biden’s full speech (courtesy of Buzzfeed News) below and visit It’s On Us for more information.