Displays of affection now open for interpretation?

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

No doubt times are changing and once established and accepted behaviors are coming under attack with the recent citing of sexually inappropriate allegations against former Vice President Joe Bidden. It seems we are being forced to look at how we publically greet and interact with one another.

Who would have thought that a handful of concerns from a handful of women claiming to have been uncomfortable with gestures of greetings or support dictate how men, in general, should formally greet women in the future? Now take into consideration that none of the women are alleging sexual misconduct against Joe Biden. They are saying instead that they were made to feel uncomfortable by the closeness and innocent touching by Biden, who was unaware of their discomfort.

There seems to be no shortage of powerful and self-serving men who overtly or surreptitiously make sexual advances toward women. These are without doubt intentional and inappropriate and are situations with no gray matter. The actions can’t be denied, and the subjects are undoubtedly victims of sexual inappropriateness leveled against them. Those violated usually let their violator know their actions were sexually inappropriate. The victims often even file sexual harassment claims against the perpetrators when possible. (Let’s note the majority of public interactions among people are received as appropriate).

Coverage by the media fueling these women’s concerns about Joe Biden making them feel uncomfortable can be seen as overkill or an attempt to sabotage Joe Biden’s run for president—which he has not even publically announced, but it is probable. While these feelings of being uncomfortable may be real, it also brings about concerns for some that these allegations are suspect because these women waited until now to make their concerns known publically. Surely one would think a person would let another person know if they truly felt violated or uncomfortable with someone invading their private space.

People have been embracing each other with hugs, handshakes, and expressions of support and comfort since the beginning of time. But now it has become a highly contentious subject. Now judging the appropriateness of extending some form of physical courteousness or support is subject to scrutiny. It all depends on the subjective feeling of the recipient.

Many people who are totally sincere in their innocent, loving, and caring expressions when embracing family and loved ones are incensed that sincere, humble, physical contact during casual and formal interactions may be coming under fire—just because of the uncomfortable feelings exhibited by a handful of women.

Once common and presumably innocent greetings or embraces that were meant to show love, concern, and support are now open to other interpretations.

What have we sunken to as a nation when we question the intent of a seemingly innocent sign of greeting, or debate shows of concern or support displayed by others? Who would have thought a hug or embrace by a person meaning you well would be open for interpretation or condemnation?

One would assume that a person, especially an adult, who strongly feels they are victims of sexual misconduct would let it be known at the time it occurs. Unwarranted and lustful gestures during physical contact in public venues are usually noticeable and should be addressed, especially by the one who may feel violated. Hopefully, we won’t become a nation seeking to scrutinize everyone’s intent, quick to vilify or demonize those we personally don’t like.

Fabricated and exaggerated reports or claims of sexual misconduct by some women may be doing the ‘Me To Movement’ an injustice and hurting the movement’s credibility. Adding that you may have felt uncomfortable during a display where someone greeted you or showed support could also be damaging—those feelings are very subjective. We must also be cognizant that dubious and untrue allegations of sexual misconduct might be used as tools to derail one’s credibility or even destroy a person in the public spotlight.

Make no mistake, regardless of how you may feel about Joe Biden, the allegations made by his accusers may be seen as tools to disqualify him from running for president. Now can you explain why allegations of Joe Biden making women feel uncomfortable to weigh more than the 20 unadulterated claims of overt sexual misconduct and immorality against our current president?