- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is calling a recently uncovered 1972 essay that included lines on rape and sexuality a “very poorly written” piece that attempted to deal with gender stereotypes.

“This is a piece of fiction that I wrote in 1972, I think. That was 43 years ago. It was very poorly written,” Mr. Sanders said this week on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “And if you read it, what it was dealing with [was] gender stereotypes. Why some men like to oppress women, why other women like to be submissive. Something like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ — very poorly written 43 years ago.”

The 1972 essay, revealed in a Mother Jones piece last week, was published in an alternative newspaper called the Vermont Freeman. It included lines like: “A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.”

“What I’m focusing on right now are the issues impacting the American people today,” Mr. Sanders said. “And that’s what I will continue to focus on. And what I think the American people want to hear.”

Mr. Sanders is one of three major 2016 presidential candidates on the Democratic side, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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