Feminist icon Gloria Steinem drew criticism last week for comments she made about women supporting Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but video found by The Daily Caller shows Steinem campaigning for Sanders in 1996 and calling the then-congressman “an honorary woman.”
“I’m only here today to make Bernie Sanders an honorary woman,” Steinem said at a Sanders re-election campaign event in Burlington, Vt. on Oct. 21, 1996.
Steinem then praised Sanders for his role in advancing the progressive movement in the country.
“I went back to public opinion polls from the last 35 years and though about 1/3 of the country has usually been conservative to ultra right-wing, about 2/3s has been centrist to progressive, and if anything that progressive movement thanks to you and thanks to people like Bernie has increased,” Steinem said.
Steinem went on to say public opinion polls were broaching topics that weren’t previously discussed, “whether it has to do with the women’s movement, the environmental movement, the gay rights movement.”
The video came to light after controversial comments Steinem made about women voting for Sanders on “Real Time with Bill Maher” last week.
“Men tend to get more conservative because they gain power as they age, women get more radical because they lose power as they age,” Steinem said.
“They’re going to get more activist as they grow older,” Steinem said. “And when you’re younger, you think: ‘Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.'”
Steinem has since apologized for the remarks.
“What I had just said on the same show was the opposite: young women are active, mad as hell about what’s happening to them, graduating in debt, but averaging a million dollars less over their lifetimes to pay it back,” Steinem wrote on Facebook Sunday. “Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.”
Sanders’ wife, Jane, defended the comments as a mistake on HuffPost Live Wednesday.
“I know that young people were offended by it, but it was a mistake,” she said, adding that she still respected Steinem very much despite her comments.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also made incendiary comments on the subject last week.
“We can tell our story of how we climbed the ladder, and a lot of you younger women think it’s done. It’s not done,” Albright said. “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”
Albright drew criticism for the comment, which she has repeated for decades but some took issue with in this context. Jane Sanders told HuffPost Live she found the comments “unfortunate and disturbing.”
Watch Sanders and Steinem at the 1996 campaign event: