Vice President Joe Biden walked onto the Oscar’s 88th Academy Awards stage amid a standing ovation to introduce Lady Gaga and to urge us to “take the pledge,” to do our part in ending campus sexual assaults. Lady Gaga partnered with the vice president in supporting It’s On Us for a very special, personal reason.
After the applause quieted, Biden spoke to the audience consisting of some of the most glamorous and exquisitely clothed people in the world:
‘I’m the least qualified man here.’
Biden went on to ask the audience and television viewers to:
‘Take the pledge. It’sOnUs.org. A pledge that says I will intervene in situations when consent has not or cannot be given. Let’s change the culture. We must and we can change the culture so that no abused woman or man like the survivors you will see tonight ever have to ask themselves ‘what did I do?’ They did nothing wrong. I really mean this.’
The reason Lady Gaga was partnering with Biden is that she is a survivor of sexual assault. She brought other survivors of sexual assault onto the stage with her, in an effort to help others shed the shame and humiliation that comes from such an assault.
So what is this Pledge? The ”Its On Us” website is a beautiful piece of easy-to-use technology. The site was not available on Sunday night, because the traffic on the website was so high. Its On Us explains:
‘The Pledge is a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault. It is a promise not to be a bystander to the problem, but to be a part of the solution.’
Lady Gaga supports Kesha in her efforts to sue Dr. Luke to release her from her contract with Sony and the producer, because he “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally” abused her. As it stands, the contract prevents her from recording music with other labels and producers.
Biden introduced Lady Gaga’s performance of a song from rape doc “The Hunting Ground.” She also performed “Till It Happens To You” during the show.
I love Joe Biden for many reasons. One of those is that he took the train home every single night from Washington, D.C., so that he could be with his two young boys after their mother and one-year-old sister were killed in a car accident. He took his swearing-in ceremony “at his sons’ hospital bedside.”
Another reason, among many others, I love Biden is that over 20 years ago, he spear-headed legislation that:
‘…recognized the severity of violence against women and our need for a national strategy with the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. This landmark federal legislation’s comprehensive approach to violence against women combined tough new provisions to hold offenders accountable with programs to provide services for the victims of such violence.’
Biden is also the White House’s Advisor on Violence Against Women.