"Why He’s a MAKER: We love the bromance memes. We cheered when he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. But what you need to know about Joe Biden is how he’s fought to end violence against women. He’s written laws, started movements and continues to drive change today. “As long as there’s a breath in me, I’m going to continue to be engaged in this.”
Feminist Foundations: Biden grew up in Scranton, Pa., the son of parents determined to raise good humans. “My dad used to say the cardinal sin of all sins was for a man to raise his hand to a woman. My mother’s expression was ‘Joey, look at me. Remember, you’re defined by your courage, and you’re redeemed by your loyalty.”
Single Dad: In 1972, just weeks after Biden was elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife and one-year-old daughter were killed in a car accident. Biden was left to raise his two sons alone. “I knew I had an obligation to them, but it turns out my boys ended up raising me.” They also won the heart of Jill, who Biden married in 1977.
Taking Action: In 1990, Biden introduced the Violence Against Women Act. “When I started to write the legislation, I was convinced we had to get some brave women to come forward and take this out of the shadows. It allowed other women to say, ‘Wait a minute, that happened to me.’” The Act became law in 1994.
#MenToo: In his role as Veep, Biden brought his fight to prevent sexual assault to college campuses. One theme emerged during his town halls with women students. “I said, ‘If we can do anything to make you safer, what would it be?’ The overwhelming response was, ‘Get men involved.’” That became the focus of Biden’s “It’s On Us” movement, which got young men to pledge to change their behavior.
Changing the Conversation: After serving as VP for eight years, Biden started the Biden Foundation to continue his public service just as many brave women began breaking the silence around workplace assault. His yardstick for progress: “We’ll succeed when we change the culture enough that no woman says, ‘What did I do?’ And no man says, ‘Well I was entitled,’ or ‘She asked for it.’”