Terry Eagleton wrote: “Among other more glamorous things, bodies are material objects, and the ultimate objectification of the flesh is known as death.” Thus the incarnate monism of patriarchal politics. A woman’s body is always in situ to be overcome. #TheMeToo movement is not wrong about this. The aim of sexual assault is death, either of the spirit or the flesh. Women’s flesh.
The allegation by Tara Reade against Joe Biden is a serious thing. She claims that 26 years ago while working in Biden’s Senate office he put his fingers inside her against her will. Any person of conscience must not only acknowledge this claim but also recognize the dire effects of masculinist materiality. Did he do it? I don’t doubt her story.
The objectification of the female body, as practiced by men, is in fact death. This is also true of other marginalized bodies. Black bodies and disabled ones are always abstract when the ultimate abstractions are being handed out by the patriarchy which is largely white.
How can I in good conscience vote for Joe Biden if Tara Reade’s account is true? One thinks of Kenneth Rexroth’s great line: “And what is love, asked Pilate, washing his hands….” Do I wash my hands? Hold my nose? Succumb to the variegated sub-rosa indexes of materialism? Do I say some bodies are more important than others, thereby defying everything I believe?
Joe Biden says he did’t do it. As for me, I don’t doubt that he did do it.
As for me, I was pulling for Elizabeth Warren.
We now live in an age of outrageous hypocritical behavior. Objectified materialisms make this possible, even necessitate it.
When I was 14 I was sexually assaulted by a college boy who lived in my parents house. I never told anyone. I was ashamed and afraid. When people say that Tara Reade’s accusations are suspiciously “of” the past or why didn’t she speak up and these are red flags they’re not being honest.
How can I vote for Joe Biden if he’s the Democratic candidate for president?
First, I’ll do it without cynicism. I’ll be voting for Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s replacement on the Supreme Court. Voting for a woman Vice Presidential candidate who will quite possible become the first woman president of the United States. Vote for clear air and water, improved access to health care, a re-engagement with global partners to fight everything from epidemics to poverty.
As Eagleton says: “History, culture and society are specific modes of creatureliness, not ways of transcending it.”
Of transcendence then is this: aspiration.
Is there still a chance I can vote for another nominee? I doubt it. But I’ll vote for anyone who can unseat Donald Trump.