The points that are made in the article by Sunsara Taylor on Tara Reade’s accusation against Joe Biden* are important, but one other point should be made, especially as this article speaks (as it should) to the fact that an accusation that is made long after the alleged incident results in a situation where any process seeking to determine the truth of the accusation is tainted and vitiated by the passage of so much time. This needs to be accompanied by a statement that it is entirely possible both to recognize that (as is spoken to in this article) women who are actually subjected to sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape often do not come forward at the time, because of intimidation, a (false, socially-imposed) sense of shame, and other reasons, and at the same time to recognize that, when (for whatever reasons) a long time has passed before the accusation is made, the basis for determining the truth of the accusation has been vitiated. And it needs to be emphasized: The answer to this is to focus on creating the conditions in society where women feel encouraged and supported in coming forward at the time and, while not automatically “believed,” are taken seriously, and a serious, evidence-based scientific investigation and process is conducted with regard to their accusation.
* In Light of Tara Reade’s Accusation Against Joe Biden, Points of Basic Principle. This article is available at revcom.us. [back]