Critics to Joe Biden: You’re Missing the Point – The New York Times
Sofie Karasek, who appeared on stage with Lady Gaga at the 2016 Oscars alongside dozens of other sexual assault victims, said it took her some time to realize how uncomfortable she had been made to feel by the former vice president, whom she’d met after the ceremony (Biden had introduced the performance).
He had clasped Karasek’s hands and placed his forehead against hers, a moment captured in a widely shared photograph — a copy of which she kept framed in her home for a while. She took it down as #MeToo began gaining ground.
In the video, Biden “still didn’t take ownership in the way that he needs to,” Karasek told The Post. “Too often it doesn’t matter how the woman feels about it or they just assume that they’re fine with it.”
Vail Kohnert-Yount, a White House intern in 2013 who said Biden once pressed his forehead into hers and called her a “pretty girl” when she had expected a handshake, said that she didn’t consider her experience “sexual assault or harassment,” but that “it was the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.”
Of the video, she said: “To me this is not mainly about whether Joe Biden has adequate respect for personal space. It’s about women deserving equal respect in the workplace.”
[READ MORE: How Joe Biden’s Touching Resonated With Readers]
Even as these accounts have emerged, plenty of women have come to Biden’s defense, saying that his actions have been misconstrued.
Erin Bilbray, a former Democratic congressional candidate from Nevada, said that Biden had hugged and kissed her on the head during a meet-and-greet in 2014. “It was a very nurturing, supportive action,” Bilbray said on Facebook. “It was not anything other than that.”