Speaking at the first ever United State of Women Summit in Washington, DC, Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden said that men who don't confront the misogyny in everyday "locker room talk" or laugh off the occasional rape joke are just as responsible for the perpetuating sexual assault, Politico reports.
Directly addressing the men in the audience, Biden said, "We've got to overcome this social discomfort of calling out the misogyny that happens when no women are present: the locker room talk, the bar banter, the rape jokes. As a man, maybe it makes you uncomfortable, but if you let it pass because you wanna become of the one guys, you become an accomplice."
Biden explained that men on college campuses especially need to hold their peers accountable, saying, "It's a fraternity party, you see a co-ed that is absolutely stone drunk, you see one of your brothers walking her upstairs. If you don't have the courage to walk up and say, 'Hey, Jack, not in my house,' you are an accomplice. You are an accomplice."
These statements echo the points the vice president made in an open letter he wrote to Brock Turner's 23-year-old victim for BuzzFeed, following the Stanford rape scandal.
Biden—who started the "It's on Us" campaign in 2014 in an effort to address the growing problem of sexual assault on college campuses—was just one of the many public figures to sound off about the sexual assault case and air his support for the victim, writing, "You were failed by a culture on our college campuses where one in five women is sexually assaulted… that encourages young men and women on campuses to simply turn a blind eye."
Photo via Flickr user Kelley Kline