I need to talk about something that recently came to my attention. It’s the text of an essay written in 1972 by Bernie Sanders in the Vermont Freeman, an alternative newspaper.
I think it is beyond important to note the following things when reading the entirety of this essay:
— This essay was published in 1972.
— Bernie Sanders was 30 years old when he wrote this essay for the Vermont Freeman. He was not some 20 year old college student, still forming his ideas and ideals. He was a full grown adult human being.
— This essay is from 9 years AFTER Bernie marched on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, a part of his political history that he is not only very proud of (as he should be) but has become a major part of his identity in terms of his candidacy for president.
So, I think it’s fair to say that because of the aforementioned, this essay is fair game. Bernie Sanders was not some dumb kid when he wrote this. He was not still trying to find his political footing. He was not confused about equality and how it should work for everybody. According to him, he had already formed his political morals and ethics. So let’s take a look at this essay that, although not completely and totally ignored by the media during his campaign, has not been touched on by most outlets. And after reading it, I’ve been shaken to my very core.
Now, I’m going to let Senator Sander’s words speak for themselves.
By Bernard Sanders
A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy. A woman on her knees, a woman tied up, a woman abused.
A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.
The man and woman get dressed up on Sunday — and go to Church, or maybe to their “revolutionary” political meeting.
Have you ever looked at the Stag, Man, Hero, Tough magazines on the shelf of your local bookstore? Do you know why the newspaper with the articles like “Girl 12 raped by 14 men” sell so well? To what in us are they appealing?
Women, for their own preservation, are trying to pull themselves together. And it’s necessary for all of humanity that they do so. Slavishness on one hand breeds pigness on the other hand. Pigness on one hand breeds slavishness on the other. Men and women — both are losers. Women adapt themselves to fill the needs of men, and men adapt themselves to fill the needs of women. In the beginning there were strong men who killed the animals and brought home the food — and the dependent women who cooked it. No More! Only the roles remain — waiting to be shaken off. There are no “human” oppressors. Oppressors have lost their humanity. On one hand “slavishness,” on the other hand “pigness.” Six of one, half dozen of the other. Who wins?
Many women seem to be walking a tightrope now. Their qualities of love, openness, and gentleness were too deeply enmeshed with qualities of dependency, subservience, and masochism. How do you love — without being dependent? How do you be gentle — without being subservient? How do you maintain a relationship without giving up your identity and without getting strung out? How do you reach out and give your heart to your lover, but maintain the soul which is you?
And Men. Men are in pain too. They are thinking, wondering. What is it they want from a woman? Are they at fault? Are they perpetrating this man-woman situation? Are they oppressors?
The man is bitter.
“You lied to me,” he said. (She did).
“You said that you loved me, that you wanted me, that you needed me. Those are your words.” (They are).
“But in reality,” he said, “If you ever loved me, or wanted me, or needed me (all of which I’m not certain was ever true), you also hated me. You hated me — just as you have hated every man in your entire life, but you didn’t have the guts to tell me that. You hated me before you ever saw me, even though I was not your father, or your teacher, or your sex friend when you were 13 years old, or your husband. You hated me not because of who I am, or what I was to you, but because I am a man. You did not deal with me as a person — as me. You lived a lie with me, used me and played games with me — and that’s a piggy thing to do.”
And she said, “You wanted me not as a woman, or a lover, or a friend, but as a submissive woman, or submissive friend, or submissive lover; and right now where my head is I balk at even the slightest suspicion of that kind of demand.”
And he said, “You’re full of _______.”
And they never again made love together (which they had each liked to do more than anything) or never ever saw each other one more time.
Okay, so let’s just get into the thick of it, shall we.
First up, let’s tackle the men. Here’s what Bernie’s got to say.
— a man’s typical fantasy is a woman on her knees, abused.
— men are trying figure out what they want from women and they fear they’re oppressors.
— men are bitter.
— men think women are liars.
— men think women hate all men even before they meet them.
— men think women don’t have the guts to stand up for themselves.
— men can’t trust women when they tell them they love them.
And now, women:
— women fantasize about being gang raped in order to get off during sex with their husbands.
— women can’t separate their gentleness from dependency and subservience. Women struggle to maintain their own identity.
— women lie.
— women hate all men, sight unseen.
— women aren’t even brave enough to admit that they hate men.
— women hate men that don’t even deserve to be hated.
— women use men.
— women play games.
— women fool men into relationships, knowing how much they hate them, and then allow men to live their life as a lie because of it.
— women think men only want them to be submissive and are so sensitive to the topic of being submissive that they cannot handle even the slightest fear or inkling of it, destroying their relationships with men.
Slavish vs. Piggish:
And then there’s Bernie’s slavish vs. piggish comparison. But who is who in this relationship? You might think the women would be slavish, considering they’re the ones who were thought of as their husband’s property. But later in the essay, he has the man calling the woman “piggish”.
So, Bernie, are you saying the women are the pigs and the men are the slaves? Or are women the slaves as well as the pigs? Or are women the slaves and men are the pigs and you just suck at writing?
Now, I’m going to be honest with you. As a women, I find this essay incredibly fucking offensive. First off, it reads like someone who just got dumped. Yeah, I said it. It reads like a missive from a jilted lover. Like, some chick dumped his ass and he got back at her by writing this editorial. He didn’t just journal about it. He didn’t go off in his diary — getting his anger out so he could move on with his life. No, he fucking took his anger to the people and bitched publicly. He was Taylor Swift before there was a Taylor Swift.
And let’s be real, that’s who we’re dealing with right now. Some dick who just got dumped and won’t fucking let it go. Some asshole who when he lost something that he didn’t want to lose, instead of dealing with it like a fucking adult, takes to the airwaves to make sure everyone knows that he’s not the loser.
He got old, bitter white man on our asses.
I mean, is it a coincidence that when he digs in his heels the most, a woman is at the other end of his anger? Is it a coincidence that he’s calling for the head of the Democratic Party, the person who bent the rules so he could run in a primary he didn’t belong in, to be replaced when that person happens to be a woman? Is it a coincidence that he often refers to Hillary Clinton as Mrs. Clinton instead of Senator Clinton or Secretary Clinton, calling upon her title as wife over her professional titles?
Would he pull this shit with a man?
In 2008, when the AP called the democratic primary for Barack Obama by the same measures they did this year, he gave his endorsement to Obama without hesitation. Is the reason why he’s disregarding both the delegate count and the popular vote because Hillary Clinton has a vagina instead of a penis?
I don’t know but, honestly, after reading this essay I’m inclined to say “yes”.
And I’m sure there are many of you who are livid at the fact that I’m suggesting Bernie Sanders has a problem with women. But, I’d like to remind you again that Senator Sanders was fucking 30 years old when he spit out this essay. He was already completely behind the civil rights movement when he said women fantasize about being gang raped. You think those women marching for their civil rights fantasized about being fucking gang raped? For real? Because I’m sure he was very aware that the vast majority of these women were afraid of that very thing every time a white man walked in the room. And yet, he still said it. He not only said it, he fucking published it. Do you think Dr. King would’ve been okay with Bernie Sanders basically saying that Coretta Scott King fantasized about being gang raped whenever she was in bed with him? Do you think he would’ve sat idly by if he were alive to read that?
We had the largest mass shooting in our country’s history this past weekend. Democratic senators took to the floor in a powerful 15 hour filibuster to make sure that important gun issues weren’t ignored. And Bernie Sanders, our newest Democratic Senator who is trying to fulfill the most integral part of our party, was nowhere to be found. He ignored the efforts being put forth, efforts that are right in his wheelhouse of getting his hands dirty and fighting the good fight, and instead he spent his time penning a fucking speech reiterating the fact that he hasn’t lost the presidential nomination.
To a woman.
Sanders has called this “a dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication” and that it was “intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ’70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then.” This, however, is an excuse. You want dark satire that dresses real issues? Read Vonnegut. Cause this isn’t it. This reads as a man angry at women. He portrays women as the submissive villain and men as their oppressive victims. And in addition, I’ve never once read that Senator Sanders was “sorry” that he wrote it. Just excuses.
Obviously you may disagree with me and that’s your right. But I have rights too. And my rights include voting for the President of the United States. And that vote starts with electing a nominee. I ask that Senator Sanders stop trying to violate my rights by ignoring my vote and the votes of everyone who chose our Democratic nominee in this election cycle.
It’s time to finally stop acting piggish, Senator Sanders, and act like an adult. If you couldn’t do it when you were 30, I ask that you try again at 74.