Now, she has put up a statement on Facebook:
In a case of talk-show Interruptus, I misspoke on the Bill Maher show recently, and apologize for what's been misinterpreted as implying young women aren't serious in their politics. 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. Whether they gravitate to Bernie or Hillary, young women are activist and feminist in greater numbers than ever before.It's a nonapology — she only purports to regret the way other people have misinterpreted her. And there's nothing to explain how the specific words — "Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie" — did not have the meaning that's been read into them. She only said there were other words too, and those other words are the ones that convey her real attitude toward young women. But those other words were about the way young women care about feminism, not why these women might prefer Bernie to Hillary. On that topic, she needed to grope for an explanation, and what popped out was a dismissive insult: The young women are boy crazy, looking for sexual partners. That still feels like unfiltered Gloria — what she really thinks of these girls today.
In that light, let's look at the striking phrase that begins her statement: talk-show Interruptus.
I can only think of one interpretation of that. Maybe what I'm going to say is a misinterpretation, and I eagerly encourage you to offer any alternatives that escape me. To me, it seems that it must be a play on the only "interruptus" phrase in common parlance: coitus interruptus.
Coitus interruptus, also known as the rejected sexual intercourse, withdrawal or pull-out method, is a method of birth control in which a man, during sexual intercourse, withdraws his penis from a woman's vagina prior to orgasm (and ejaculation), and then directs his ejaculate (semen) away from the vagina in an effort to avoid insemination.So... in Gloria's metaphor, she was fucking us, hoping to inseminate us with her idea that women must vote for Hillary — is there an abortion for that? — and she pulled out too soon and her idea-ejaculate spewed fruitlessly.
Look, there's nothing really wrong with this metaphor — ideas as sperm, communication as insemination, other people's brains as wombs. It's just pretty weird and telling, under the circumstances, for the grand old feminist to see herself in the male sexual role as she sets out to reach young women! And this wasn't just what popped out of her when a talk show host put her on the spot. That was "Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie." This was the written word — her thought-out response to the criticism. She was in a position to choose her words carefully and strongly motivated to redeem herself, and once again, she gravitated toward thinking of sexualizing young women!
Bonus: Found while Googling "coitus interruptus" — a new AV Club listicle, "Coitus interruptus: 15 reasons to knock first," with 15 clips from movies (e.g., "American Pie") trading on the comic trope of getting interrupted while having sex.