The typical sexual fantasy for women is to be violently gang-raped, according to a most-unusual essay 2nd-place Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders wrote in 1972.
“A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy,” Sanders wrote to open the essay. “A woman on her knees. A woman tied up. A woman abused. A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes about 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.”
The essay, titled “Man – And Woman,” was discovered by the progressive magazine Mother Jones, which on Tuesday published a story on Sanders’ early years. The story itself makes no mention of the essay, but it appears in a picture accompanying it.
The point of the essay appears to have been to call for a sexual revolution to eliminate the disparate power dynamics of human sexuality: “Slavishness” for women and “pigness” for men. Greater equality for the sexes, Sanders thought, would eliminate their depraved fetishes.
“Women for their preservation, are trying to pull themselves together,” Sanders wrote. “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.”
The essay also includes an apparently fictional conversation between a man and woman which is similarly strange, apparently reflecting the hatred between the sexes engendered by the old sexual order.
“If you ever loved me, or wanted me, or needed me…you also hated me,” the imagined man tells the imagined woman. “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.”
According to a tweet by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Sanders’ office described the essay as “a dumb attempt at dark satire.”
Sanders office: 1971 essay a "dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative publication…intended to attack gender stereotypes of the 70s"
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) May 28, 2015
When he wrote the essay, Sanders was just over 30 years old and coming off his first election– a failed third-party bid for the U.S. Senate as a member of the self-described “nonviolent socialist” Liberty Union party. He had only recently arrived in Vermont, after a stint at an Israeli kibbutz, and was still heavily involved in the era’s “counterculture.”
Sanders identifies as a socialist to this day, and his willingness to express unique views hasn’t changed. Back then, he was pushing for wider freeway ramps to making hitchhiking easier, and today he is advocating the return of 90 percent income tax rates. Some of those views are winning over Democrats dissatisfied with Hillary Clinton. A poll released on Thursday by Quinnipiac shows him polling second among Democratic primary voters, with 15 percent support.
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