I don’t think I need to tell you that rape is bad. Mkay?
I’ve met people who have been raped, and all of them describe it as the worst day of their life. It’s violation, it’s powerlessness, and it’s dehumanizing just to name a few of the effects it has. One of the people I know, Kimberly Corban, has made it her mission to not only help women avoid rape, but empower those who have suffered assault or worse.
But socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) indicated he believes the opposite. Women, wrote a 30-year-old Sanders, fantasize about “being raped by three men simultaneously.”
This writing comes from an essay Sanders penned for the Vermont Freeman in 1972 called “Man — and Woman,” in which a younger Sanders reasons that we enjoy stories about gang rape because that’s how we’re programmed…or something? I can’t tell, really. It reads like any other jumbled treatise on how the fairer sex should cast off their natural tendencies, and break free of their typical “gender role.”
While it’s a huge problem that a sitting senator wrote this, I’m willing to give Sanders the benefit of the doubt about his current belief. It should be remembered that this was written decades ago, and perhaps Sanders has garnered wisdom with all that age he’s accumulated since.
In fact, should you ask him today, I’m sure he’d tell you that his 30-year-old self was an ignorant fool. I’m 33, and I think 30-year-old me was pretty dumb too. He may tell you this because he’s in politics, and he thinks it’ll help him keep his job, or he may really mean it.
Either way, it’s difficult for me to throw stones at someone for something they said or did years ago — depending on the severity of the deed, of course. If they’re remorseful, and not the same person, then you’d be stringing up the wrong guy. There are things in my past I wouldn’t want held against me either. Same with you, I’m willing to bet.
But there’s a larger problem here. My problem with all of this isn’t that Sanders wrote such a stupid piece. It’s that despite this popping up in the news again no one is bothering to ask him to answer for it, and his office isn’t bothering to comment on it.
As I write this, Twitter isn’t speaking about it despite the current climate of anti-rape and anti-sexual assault raging across politics and Hollywood. Right now, it’s all about how Sanders could win a Grammy for his part in an audiobook.
When it was first brought up in 2015, Sanders Campaign spokesman Michael Briggs called the essay a “dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication” while speaking to CNN. I’m not entirely convinced it was satire, and the distancing the campaign tried to do felt so swept under the rug that I felt dissatisfied.
Why isn’t this essay being tackled? With rape and sexual assault being tackled like never before, is this not the time to press Sanders for a real answer?
But no one seems to care. Right now, Sanders appears to be gearing up for a 2020 run, and he’s the left’s most popular politician. We’re seeing everyone from all sides of the spectrum rage against the sexual abuses of Al Franken and Bill Clinton, yet Sanders says the thing that feminists and the left claim perpetuates this type of culture and we hear nothing.
It appears that the left is still only in the business of questioning, or punishing their own when it’s safe.