Women's groups remain silent on Joe Biden allegations

Earlier this month, Mother Jones contacted “eight national organizations that advocate for sexual violence survivors” and asked them for a comment about the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. Not one of them responded. Today you can add 10 “women’s groups” to that list. The Daily Beast asked the 10 groups for a comment and none of them would offer one.

The Daily Beast contacted 10 top national pro-women organizations for this story, including Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the National Organization for Women. Most organizations did not respond to a detailed request for comment about the allegation by Tara Reade, a former staff assistant in Biden’s Senate office who has accused the former vice president of forcibly penetrating her with his fingers in the early 1990s. Others replied and did not provide a statement.

One prominent women’s political group cited a scheduling conflict and asked to be kept “in mind for other opportunities!” When pressed if the following day would work better, an associate said it would not, citing another scheduling conflict.

I’m sure that will get straightened out, probably right after the election. The DB also contacted a couple of outspoken advocates for women, Patricia Ireland and Gloria Steinem, both of whom have expressed some regret about the way they were instrumental in defending Bill Clinton in the 1990s. Ireland, who was the leader of the National Organization for Women (NOW) during the Clinton administration told the Washington Post in 2017 she wished she’d been more supportive of Paula Jones:

“I wish I had done more to be supportive of her,” said Patricia Ireland, a longtime president of the National Organization for Women, who is now a lawyer in Florida. “For Paula Jones, there were nice distinctions that people made: She didn’t work for him, he didn’t have the power to hire or fire her. But that ignores the reality that he was a very powerful man.”

Similarly, Gloria Steinem told the Guardian she wouldn’t write the same defense of Clinton now that she had written in the 1990s:

“We have to believe women. I wouldn’t write the same thing now because there’s probably more known about other women now. I’m not sure,” she said on the red carpet of an annual comedy benefit for the Ms Foundation for Women, of which she is a founder.

“What you write in one decade you don’t necessarily write in the next. But I’m glad I wrote it in that decade.”

The Daily Beast asked both Ireland and Steinem for comment and neither responded. In Steinem’s case that may actually be an improvement. She’s gone from actively defending Clinton to silently defending Biden. Maybe by the time the next Democratic candidate is accused of sexual assault she’ll be ready to say something negative about it.

The silence of these groups really confirms what conservatives have said all along about them. They are political entities aligned with Democrats first and foremost. Their outrage over actual issues and incidents is extremely selective. For example, during the Kavanaugh confirmation, Planned Parenthood was saying this:

And they kept it going into 2019:

Planned Parenthood produced this video last year advising people how to best respond to women who allege they were victims of sexual assault. Step one is “Say: ‘I believe you.'” Later the clip advises that people should ask “How can I support you?” So Planned Parenthood has already failed taking its own advice with regard to Tara Reade.

NARAL is no different. They put out the same social media posts about Dr. Ford often featuring the #BelieveSurvivors hashtag:

But Dr. Ford’s story alone should have been enough to keep Kavanaugh off the court. So how does that work with Tara Reade and the White House?

How not to respond to allegations according to NARAL. Isn’t silence a form of dismissal?

They also kept this going into late 2019.

I won’t belabor this too much longer but the same is true of Emily’s List:

In 2019:

I could keep going but I think you get the point. These groups had plenty to say about believing survivors as recently as 7-8 months ago. Suddenly they have all gone silent.