May 31, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders addressed the recent attacks over a sex essay he wrote over forty years ago on this Sunday's Meet the Press: Bernie Sanders: Sex article is like ‘50 Shades of Grey’:

Bernie Sanders called a graphic sex article he penned in the 1970s that was unearthed last week “very poorly written,” and compared it to the erotic romance novel “50 Shades of Grey.”

After staying silent for several days, the 2016 presidential candidate on “Meet the Press” Sunday addressed the controversial article.

“It was very poorly written and if you read it – what it was dealing with – gender stereotypes, why some men like to oppress women, why other women like to be submissive,” Sanders said.

“Something like ‘50 Shades of Grey,’” he added.

Host Chuck Todd only read one line from the essay, telling the Vermont senator “it’s uncomfortable to read.”

Mother Jones resurfaced the piece entitled “Man-and-Woman,” last Thursday. It was published in the Vermont Freeman, an alternative weekly paper, 43 years ago.

The line from the article that Todd was able to get out during the show: “A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.”

Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs last week on CNN called the work “dark satire” that “in no way reflects his views or record on women.”

“It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ’70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then,” Briggs said.

I agree with Steve M. that we should cut Sanders some slack on this one. I do not believe it in any way, shape or form reflects his views on women or that he was advocating for violence against women because he wrote something about people's sexual fantasies. His stance on women's rights and his voting record is clear enough and speaks for itself as he explained to Chuck Todd in the segment above.

Of course, as Jason Easley discussed over at PoliticusUSA, nothing Sanders says is ever going to be enough to satisfy the right. Go read his post to see some of the ugly responses the interview was immediately getting on Twitter.

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