7. “Compliments for Biden”
In 2017, Reade “liked” tweets praising Biden’s work on women’s issues, such as the Violence Against Women Act, and even issued a few tweets of her own praising him. Stern says “It is bizarre that Reade would publicly laud Biden for combating the very thing she would later accuse him of doing to her.”
For one, nobody likes the “like” police. For another, human beings (again, I think I might have mentioned this previously) are complicated and imperfect. Reade had once admired Biden; she told Katie Halper that initially she “looked up to [Biden], he was like my father’s age. He was this champion of women’s rights in my eyes.”) When someone is violated by a person they admire their feelings and reactions can be very mixed. Reade has spoken movingly of the contradictory feelings she has about Biden: On the one hand, she admires a lot of his work, on the other, she can’t forget what he did to her. One thing Reade’s friend told Current Affairs
is that the friend has been frustrated by Reade’s persistent attempts to find the good in the worst people. Reade, said the friend, is a forgiving sort of person.
My colleague Vanessa A. Bee recently made an excellent point about how complicated victims’ relationships to their abusers can be. She wrote
, “as we speak, people are sheltering in place with romantic partners who physically hurt them on a daily basis!” And people often maintain contact with abusers who are not romantic partners. When Anita Hill came forward to accuse Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991, Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming said during her hearing, “Well, it just seems so incredible to me that you would not only have visited with him twice after that period and after he was no longer able to manipulate you or to destroy you, that you then not only visited with him but took him to the airport, and then 11 times contacted him.” That’s right, Anita Hill had significant contact with Clarence Thomas after
he allegedly harassed her. If you think that’s abnormal, then you’re in for a rude awakening.