There was a time when no one would think of Vice President Joe Biden and Lady Gaga (singer, songwriter, actress) doing a tour together. There have been some unlikely pairs in the past, but this one is at the height of strange. However, their tour has a powerful message and they’re hoping to reach the maximum amount of people by spreading that message together.
That very important message is that it is on everyone to help stop sexual assault.
Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama began the “It’s On Us” campaign in 2014. The campaign supports the idea that victims cannot and should not be blamed for their attack. It also tries to spread awareness and information about how to get involved if a person sees something that’s not right.
In November of 2015, Biden went around several college campuses during a tour. That tour was referred to as a “Week of Action.”
Preceding that “It’s On Us” tour, Biden posted an opinion blog on the White House’s website.
In the blog, Biden explained why he believed the “It’s On Us” tour and campaign were so important.
“We have more to do to change the culture that asks the wrong questions, like why were you there? What were you wearing? Were you drinking?,” Joe Biden wrote.
“We have to ask the right questions,” Biden continued. “What made him think that he could do what he did without my consent? Why on Earth did no one stop him instead of standing by? What can we do to make sure everyone has the courage to speak up, intervene, prevent and end sexual assault once and for all?”
The questions Biden expressed from the view point of sexual assault victims are questions being asked by countless women and men every day.
This week, Biden is revisiting the “Week of Action” tour with pop star Lady Gaga.
During the 2016 Oscars, Biden introduced Lady Gaga to the stage.
There, Lady Gaga sang a heartbreaking rendition of her song, Til it Happens to You. The powerful and chilling ballad about sexual assault was sung without the singer’s normal flamboyance and near the end of the song, Gaga was joined on stage by a group of fellow sexual assault survivors sporting encouraging phrases and words on their right forearms.
Many people were confused to see Joe Biden introducing Lady Gaga at the Oscars, but the connection was stronger than many people knew. Biden has been working against sexual assault for years, and Lady Gaga has been a victim of the same crime.
In January of 2016, Lady Gaga spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about what it was like writing the haunting song about recovering from rape.
“The person that I’m singing to is the person that wants to heal me – I’m telling them they can’t,” Lady Gaga explained. “I am so sick of people walking in and out of my life, telling me that I’m gonna be okay, because I am still in so much pain that you can’t understand.”
Lady Gaga wrote Til it Happens to You alongside another survivor, Diane Warren.
Throughout the “It’s On Us” tour of colleges, Biden and Lady Gaga have been explaining the severity of the problem to students and faculty, and asking them to take a pledge. People who take the pledge are agreeing to intervene when they see something suspicious, recognize and obtain consent before moving forward in a sexual relationship, and creating an environment where victims are supported and assault is considered unacceptable.
Together, Lady Gaga and Vice President Joe Biden will be speaking and singing through college campuses throughout the United States in the hope that they reach as many people as possible.
To take the pledge, go to the “It’s On Us” website.
[Photo By AP Photo/John Locher]