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Then I learned that his 1972 piece recently reproduced in Mother Jones was "an attempted critique of heteronormativity — a clumsy and weird-as-hell attempted critique of heteronormativity," and apparently no big deal. Uh, okay?

Because, you know, if you're going to characterize it as such, maybe the best way to support your thesis is NOT to then directly quote three graphic passages referring to a man's fantasy of violently abusing a woman, of a woman's alleged fantasies about rape, and the rape of 12-year-olds (both of the latter by multiple offenders).

That is not just some "clumsy" and "weird" shit. That's some horrific rape culture. Also: Sanders' critics are not made up solely of right wing concern trolls. (Ahem.) Nor does saying and doing good things for women magically erase the harm of those attitudes and that language.

But pretending these things are in fact true is certainly a great way to tell those hysterical, humorless feminists to just STFU!

If the revelation that 43 years ago Sanders wrote a horrible screed is sufficient to disregard a lifetime of standing up or ordinary people, fine. If you feel that the only a woman president will stand up to rape culture, fine, your vote belongs to you.

Speaking only for myself, the way I judge a politician is how they use power. Sanders has consistently used his power to advance the interests or ordinary Americans. He has done so more consistently than any pollitican alvie. for me that is reason enough to support him. Others will have to judge for themselves.

I think Sanders is handling this correctly, to point to his long record of supporting women's rights and maintaining his focus on doing something concrete about income inequality. As he continues to rise in the polls the press will grow increasingly hostile. Sanders will have negative press, true and otherwise, relevant and otherwise. The stakes are very high in a Presidential race and the attacks grow with popularity, I hope that Sanders and his team are ready for what is sure to come.

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Submitted by lambert on


Sanders oppo emerges: Tri-partite 1972 essay on male-female relationships [Mother Jones]. I can’t find the full text online, but Mother Jones has an image of the 1972 paste-up. The politics of the piece are callow even for a then-31-year-old male after a break-up — dependent woman, man dragging meat back to cave — but even Political Wire‘s headline “Sanders Wrote About Rape Fantasies” has heavier breathing than warranted. The National Review has a wonderfully pious headline — “Let’s Not Crucify Bernie Sanders for His Sexual-Fantasies Essay”  (except it isn’t) — but when they write: “[I]t wouldn’t just be Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum who would be asked about the essay: [I]t would be every Republican in the race,” they’ve got a point [National Review]. Interestingly, the story took three days to jump from Mother Jones (Tuesday) to the National Review (Friday), which shows you how siloed the press is. (And I didn’t give you a heads-up on Tuesday because that day I caught up on TPP, and there was also a huge stats release. Sigh. Can do better.) And meanwhile, there’s the Denny Hastert thing, for which the Sanders campaign must be thankful. Note to Sanders campaign: The essay wasn’t “dumb.” It was wrong. Not #GamerGate wrong, not nearly, but wrong. Let’s start with “ahistorical” and move on from there.

Adding, I read the whole thing. The three parts are a tour of the contemporary sexual landscape, which Sanders clearly regards as awful; then some callow musings on male-female relationships; and then a dialog between "A man" and "a woman" in the throes of a breakup, which is as ugly as such things tend to be. Sanders throughout uses a persona: "A man."

I don't see it as being much different from what a lot of other 31-year-old men would write in 1972; McEwan would doubtless retort that's exactly the point. Whether that disqualifies the 71-year-old is another question.

NOTE Adding, I wonder who gave the oppo to Mother Jones. Did I miss it? The Vermont Greens?

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Yet another example of why progressives aren't going to get anywhere any time soon...

the way I judge a politician is how they use power. Sanders has consistently used his power to advance the interests or ordinary Americans

Agree completely. I don't think there's anyone alive who hasn't said or written something foolish in his life. If it's not part of a persistent pattern, I don't really care what he wrote forty years ago.

Notorious P.A.T.'s picture
Submitted by Notorious P.A.T. on

If you feel that the only a woman president will stand up to rape culture, fine

Fortunately there is no such thing, so no need to worry about who will stand up to it.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

Wow. Just wow. It is deeply disturbing that anyone could deny the existence of rape culture on a blog like Corrente. Seriously suggest you spend some quality time at Shakesville, Feministing, and similar blogs, because rape culture is real and a very very serious problem.

Submitted by lambert on

I just read a book on the transition from feudalism to capitalism via witch burning. Ugh.

* * *

Give all women bank accounts (Post Office Bank) and a job whenever they ask for one (Jobs Guarantee) and the power of all women everywhere will be greatly increased because they will be less subject to economic violence.