As a vocal supporter of the White House’s “It’s on Us” campaign, which was launched under President Obama in 2014, former vice-president Joe Biden has appeared on talk shows and written many a measured op-ed calling for an end to sexual assault. But when he addressed students at George Mason University Wednesday night, the former vice-president seemed pretty fed up.
“Change the culture. You can do it,” he told the crowd in Fairfax, Virginia, before addressing male students specifically.
“Guys. A woman who’s dead drunk cannot consent,” he said, his voice rising. “You are raping her. You are raping her if she cannot say ‘it’s okay.’”
He was interrupted by applause, but Biden wasn’t finished making his point. “I really mean this,” he added. “We’ve got to talk about this. Consent requires affirmative consent. And if you’re too drunk to be able to consent, it is not consent.”
He went on to tell male students that it’s their job to quash so-called “locker-room talk.” “You’ve got to speak up,” he said. “You cannot let that kind of talk be bred on the college campus. You’ve got to do what I’ve done, what my father taught me. Turn and say, ‘You’re a horse’s tail.’ Only a little more graphic.”
CNN noted that Biden “didn’t mince words,” but considering the guy in office, it’s hard to blame him for being a little fed up.