November 15, 2017

Gloria Steinem is still alive. Let's hear her speak for herself.

I'm reading Jeff Greenfield's piece in Politico, "How Roy Moore’s Misdeeds Are Forcing an Awakening on the Left/Years of excusing Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct suddenly seems morally indefensible":
There's no better illustration of how the ground has shifted than to look at Gloria Steinem’s 1998 New York Times op-ed piece, “Why Feminists Support Clinton.” Published as the Lewinsky story was on full boil, the piece talked not about that story, but about the charges of harassment leveled by Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey [but not Juanita Broaddrick]....

“He is accused of having made a gross, dumb and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life” Steinem wrote of Willey. “She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again.” In her original story, Paula Jones essentially said the same thing. She went to then-Governor Clinton's hotel room, where she said he asked her to perform oral sex and even dropped his trousers. She refused, and even she claims that he said something like, ‘Well, I don't want to make you do anything you don't want to do.’’

“As with the allegations in Ms. Willey's case, Mr. Clinton seems to have made a clumsy sexual pass, then accepted rejection,” Steinem wrote by way of excusing him.... It was labeled the “one free grope” theory.
Politico doesn't give us a link for the Steinem piece, but I wanted to add one. I like to see the original text, not just excerpts. I went to the NYT to do a search and something really weird happened. When I typed in the search term "steinem" and added a space, my spelling (the correct spelling of the name) was accepted, but when, after that space, I added "clinton," the word "steinem" automatically corrected to "seinem" (and returned no results). I retested that over and over and it happened every time, at least as long as I stayed in my browser Safari. (It did not happen in Firefox.)

Anyway, I could not get the 1998 op-ed to turn up in the search of the archive. I got many letters to the editor responding to that op-ed, and I got a 2010 reprint — "March 22, 1998: Why Feminists Support Clinton, By Gloria Steinem" — which has the notation "The preceding was excerpted and adapted from a previously published Op-Ed article, for inclusion in a 40th-anniversary issue." Excerpts!

Greenfield continues:
At the height of the Lewinsky impeachment melodrama, Clinton’s defenders always argued that the president’s behavior was a private matter. To this day, you can find references to Clinton’s “dalliances” and “peccadilloes.”
Yes, NYT columnist Gail Collins and my Bloggingheads interlocutor Glenn Loury used the word "peccadilloes" to try to insulate Bill Clinton, as I discussed in a May 2016 post titled "Why does NYT columnist Gail Collins call Bill Clinton's sexual misdeeds 'private peccadilloes'?"

Collins had written "The sex scandal issue isn’t really central, since Americans have a long record of voting for the candidates they think can deliver, regardless of private peccadilloes." I said:
The phrase "the personal is political" means something important in the fight for women's equality. No one who cares about that fight should call the accusations against Bill Clinton "private peccadilloes." A "peccadillo" is: "A minor fault or sin; a trivial offence."...

Private peccadillo. Really, Gail Collins, what do you think the young women of today — women who know sexual harassment and sexual assault are extremely serious — are going to think of your using that word peccadillo?
I added a clip from I discussion I'd had with Glenn Loury in January 2016 about the same use of the word "peccadillo," and I'm going to embed it one more time because I think it improves with age (even the part where the software causes my words to be completely silenced when Loury overtalks and even the crazily distorted skin tone (flaming red)):



If there is one word that revives my anger on this subject, it's "peccadilloes." That's all I'm going to say now, because I've said the same thing so many times, but I just want to underscore what I wrote in the post title.

Gloria Steinem still lives and breathes, as far as I know. She's getting knocked around for what she said (and the harm that she did) 19 years ago. She should step up and speak for herself now.

110 comments:

Lyssa said...

I don't have anything to add to this, but I just want to say how much I appreciate Althouse's voice on this. Reading these things makes me think that the world must be crazy, and Althouse is one of the few sane ones.

Ann Althouse said...

One of the letters to the editor on Steinem's 1998 piece came from the now well-known lawprof Jeffrey Rosen:

To the Editor:

Gloria Steinem (Op-Ed, March 22) argues that President Clinton's alleged sexual misconduct can be distinguished from the charges against Bob Packwood and Clarence Thomas because ''according to Anita Hill and a number of Mr. Packwood's former employees, the offensive behavior was repeated for years, despite constant 'no's.' ''

Ms. Steinem is incorrect. Like President Clinton, Senator Packwood knew how to take no for an answer: none of his employees alleged that he repeated his advances after being rebuffed, and only one complaint occurred after 1985.

Moreover, Anita Hill has never alleged that she was the victim of legally actionable harassment.

The Lewinsky affair should remind us that, like President Clinton, Senator Packwood and Justice Thomas were unfairly accused of violating the amorphous law of sexual harassment. It is unfortunate that instead of clarifying the harassment debate, Ms. Steinem adds to the confusion.

JEFFREY ROSEN

Washington, March 23, 1998

Nice said...

How about the word Proclivity: Def----natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition. There's no negativity in that. "Private proclivities"

Rusty said...

"Gloria Steinem still lives and breathes, as far as I know. She's getting knocked around for what she said (and the harm that she did) 19 years ago. She should step up and speak for herself now."

A day late and a dollar short as far as I'm concerned.

Gahrie said...

The Lewinsky affair should remind us that, like President Clinton, Senator Packwood and Justice Thomas were unfairly accused of violating the amorphous law of sexual harassment

You mean the affair that Clinton lied about under oath that violated a law that he signed into effect?

Bay Area Guy said...

I'd be happy to speak for Gloria Steinem, the brief former undercover Playboy Bunny:

"If a Republican man sexually harasses a Democrat female -- lock his ass up!

"If a Democrat man sexually harasses any female -- You slut!!!!"

Todd said...

I wish to thank you for the opportunity to listen to Gloria Steinem speak for herself but I am afraid that I have a much more important and pressing prior engagement and will not be able to attend. One of the dogs got sick on the kitchen floor and I would much rather spend time seeing to that issue than spend that time listening to Gloria, but again, thank you for the "opportunity".

dreams said...

"Gloria Steinem is still alive. Let's hear her speak for herself."

Yeah, lets see her man up and speak.

Top definition

"Man Up
Don't be a pussy, brave it, be daring.
"Hey man, finish this bowl."
"No dude, I'm baked as it is."
"Come on pussy, man up.""

tim in vermont said...

Ctri-F Chappaquiddick, is all I am saying. He brings up JFK, but not "And when I returned, Mary Joe and the cah were gone."

Of course, this is the only thing the press keeps from us. We can completely trust them otherwise.

"It looked as if she were holding herself up to get a last breath of air. It was a consciously assumed position. ... She didn't drown. She died of suffocation in her own air void. It took her at least three or four hours to die. I could have had her out of that car twenty-five minutes after I got the call. But he [Ted Kennedy] didn't call."

- testimony of diver John Farrar, Inquest into the Death of Mary Jo Kopechne, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Edgartown District Court. New York: EVR Productions, 1970.


Yes, he had an important career as a Democrat to think of!

gspencer said...

"Peccadillo" is used because the lessens the importance of the assault.

It comes from the same file drawer that sees the use of the phrase "clump of cells" in describing an unborn child. It lessens, actually in this case it denies, the unborn child of any shred of humanity.

This stuff is stock-in-trade for Democrats and lefties generally.

tim in vermont said...

But he was charged with "Leaving the scene of an accident with injuries" I wonder who the DA was? Probably Comey's dad.

tim in vermont said...

The fucking brazenness of it is what gets to me.

buwaya said...

My objection here is not to the characterization of these matters, but the temporal assumptions.

Human nature has been fixed since the Neolithic. Genuine ethics should include eternal human nature and reject transience. What was good or evil in the year 1017 AD is the same as in 2017 AD, what is ethical behavior in Kuala Lumpur should be the same as in New York. I do not mean to require people to judge their ancestors by modern standards, or to judge themelves by their ancestors standards, but rather to adopt a system of ethics that works beyond all boundaries.

So Steinem's position in the 1990's should be considered a perfectly sound position that should be defended according to unchanging principle. If she can do that she would have my respect, if also disagreement. If she recants by citing changes in the cultural climate then she's playing dirty pool.

The only other way out is to recant, apologize, and undertake some painful public penance.

Robert Catesby said...

"Private peccadillo"

I hated that word then, and I hate it now. Several women described attacks by President Clinton as him using his size and power to corner women and sexually assault them by "feeling them up". Describing this in cute terms like "peccadillo" is demeaning to those who were assaulted.

Secondly, for Gloria Steinem to say that this isn't a big deal because he accepted "No" as "No". Well, he did no such thing if these women are telling the truth. He assaulted them. Period. And one claims that he raped her.

And finally, I'd like to point out the other people being oppressed here. This a hostile work environment when people like Clinton's secretary got a call at night because Hillary left for the evening, so Bill asked her to leave her family, drive to the White House, sign Monica in, wait while Monica serviced him, and then sign her out. When his secretary described this on video, look at the disgust on her face, and then try to convince yourself that this isn't a hostile work environment and is a personal matter between consenting adults. Furthermore, Monica was, by all accounts, the worst intern in the White House. And yet she got a security clearance and a permanent job (promotion). Who worked better and got passed over because he or she didn't catch Bill's eye and agree to give him sex?

EEOC guidelines on sexual harassment: "Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted)."

rhhardin said...

A peccadillo is a sex toy for cattle.

rhhardin said...

Clinton had porcadilloes.

tcrosse said...

The only other way out is to recant, apologize, and undertake some painful public penance.

I won't hold my breath.

dreams said...

"The fucking brazenness of it is what gets to me."

It works, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Mike said...

How timesian to memory-hole the original, and now inconvenient, article. ("All the news that's fit to print!") But good for them to make Rosen's letter part of the record. And good for him to put in clear terms. His, like Lisa Meyers' at NBC, was a voice crying in the wilderness, and largely ignored by the Elite then and now.

rhhardin said...

The reason for the statue of limitations is the same reason old indiscretions should be off the agenda. What have you done lately.

tcrosse said...

Peccadillo is Spanish for a diminutive Pecca.

Earnest Prole said...

A shot of the original NYT op-ed by Steinem is in the Atlantic article that set off the most recent round of Bill Clinton scrutiny.

rhhardin said...

We need a mob action opinion on felix culpa.

Wear felix hats.

Ann Althouse said...

"How about the word Proclivity: Def----natural or habitual inclination or tendency; propensity; predisposition."

Nope. I don't care about proclivities. I care about what people do. Those who resist their proclivities are better than those who never even feel like doing anything wrong.

rhhardin said...

Moore would be great in the Senate. Not fitting in is the attraction.

Let that guy get the floor and lay into McConnell every day.

Mac McConnell said...

I think it's heroic task that liberal "journalist" do condemning Judge Moore. Imagine how hard it is to dry hump this story with Bill Clinton and the womanizing Kennedys on your back.

rhhardin said...

Proclivites is how women get any notice at all from men. Otherwise who'd bother. Nothing but trouble.

Earnest Prole said...

And it appears the Times makes Steinem's original 1998 op-ed available through its TimesMachine, but I can't click through because I'm not a subscriber.

n.n said...

The feminists wanted to hold men criminally accountable for superior exploitation. That was their Choice and the standard to which they should be held. Progressive liberals wanted to hold classes (a.k.a. "diversity") of people accountable for real, imagined, inherited, and invented sins. That was their Choice, too, and the standard to which they should be held.

The American standard, the conservative standard, is one of due process, implying presumption of innocence, individual rights and proportional responsibilities, within a scientific frame of reference. That is not a trial by press, guilt through 1000 allegations, or abortion under a layer of privacy.

Mike said...

And one claims that he raped her.

Come now, no reason to lowball it after all this time. Using a "sexual assault" definition of rape, i.e. "rape rape" in Whoopie's formulation, the number could be as high as six rapes (did you know Bill was expelled from Oxford for allegations of rape?) and thirteen exposure/assault allegations according to Kat Timpf's list here.

All of these are documented at least as well as Roy Moore's accusers, most much more detailed and contemporaneous.

Yancey Ward said...

It is apparent that quote from the original Steinem essay only survives because that part of it was quoted in a book by Bill Bennett published at the end of 1998.

It should trouble people that The New York Times and/or Steinem have tried to bury that quote by altering the original essay at some point, probably in the recent past.

tim in vermont said...

Glo Stick committed the ARM error of trusting content from the main stream media as complete. As has been pointed out, the Oxford rape was certainly "claimed" if not proven in a court of law, Oxford was satisfied.

Kevin said...

Perhaps peccadilloes is what spell check suggested at the time for petit corona?

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Maybe, just maybe she cannot find a convincing statement with which to defend heself...

William said...

Norman Mailer had the peccadilloe of stabbing his wife in the back. That didn't keep Gloria from supporting his run for mayor of NYC in 1969. Her double standard is her most durable and constant quality. It's almost like a religious ideal.

Luke Lea said...

"peccadilloes" sounds like a double-entendre

Bay Area Guy said...

When she was younger, Gloria Steinem was one of the more attractive feminists.

A vanishing breed, I'd say:)

All of this nonsense derives from Trump's upset win over Hillary, the Dems' inability to cope with said loss, and the "Get Trump" Squad's never-ending quest to, well, get Trump.

Bill's sexcapades and Hillary's enabling of same are now obstacles in the path of the Get Trump Squad - so they must identified and surmounted.

Howard said...

Isn't the lack of speaking a form of speech, like the negative space in a painting or sculpture? By not jumping into the fray, she is speaking for herself now... what you want is for her to do is to be your meat puppet so you can right up a post analeyezing her every preposition, article and comma for hypocrapsy and doable standards.

Todd said...

rhhardin said...
Proclivites is how women get any notice at all from men. Otherwise who'd bother. Nothing but trouble.

11/15/17, 12:01 PM


That is just NOT true!

Some of them are pretty good at making sandwiches...


I kid, I kid, OK, sorry, that was too far, please put down the knife (and finish making the sandwich)...

Earnest Prole said...

It is apparent that quote from the original Steinem essay only survives because that part of it was quoted in a book by Bill Bennett published at the end of 1998.

Check out the links above before you round up your Times-hangin' posse.

Ann Althouse said...

How To Escape A Sinking Car

Howard said...

proclivity is to prevert as eccentric is to crazy. It's about how much power and money determines which end of the proverbal scale you are awarded.

Yancey Ward said...

Here is someone else who couldn't find the original essay in September of 2015.

Yancey Ward said...

Apparently, Earnest Prole? Apparently?

I will note that the "screen shot" is an actual picture of the hard copy, of which I am sure there are hundreds of copies still available. However, one should be able to access the original as a top search result, not some edited version that I and Ms. Althouse found. I have literally no faith that the original can be found at the NYTimes until someone demonstrates it.

rehajm said...

I like the idea of lefties harassing Steinem about anything.

buwaya said...

Yglesias on Clinton -
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/15/16634776/clinton-lewinsky-resigned

Bill Clinton should have resigned
What he did to Monica Lewinsky was wrong, and he should have paid the price.

and etc.

This is, of course, too convenient. The only way to take such things seriously is if they are accompanied by a painful penance. An enormous wave of physical and financial suffering.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Jump down, turn around,
Pick a peccadilloes,
Jump down, turn around,
Pick a peck a day!

Earnest Prole said...

I have literally no faith that the original can be found at the NYTimes until someone demonstrates it.

Don't get your panties in a bunch until you try the TimesMachine link.

dreams said...

We're living in a schizophrenic world.

"While students demanded that a lecture from scholar Charles Murray be canceled in September, Harvard University hosted a workshop on anal sex this week.

As a part of Harvard University’s sex week, the Ivy League Institution hosted an anal sex workshop entitled, “What What in the Butt: Anal 101.” The workshop taught students “how to put things in their butt,” according to a report from The College Fix."

http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2017/11/08/harvard-hosts-anal-sex-workshop-entitled-what-what-in-the-butt/

buwaya said...

"We're living in a schizophrenic world."

I'm not disagreeing, but your juxtaposition does not work as an example of schizophrenia.

MikeR said...

"In her original story, Paula Jones essentially said the same thing." If so, her "original story" sounds very different from the one that Ann quoted at the link. So Steinem is saying that we should assume that her original story is all that really happened, and Jones made the rest up to make it sound worse.
Does Steinem expect anyone to believe that she would have made such a suggestion for anyone except Bill Clinton?

MikeR said...

"Yglesias on Clinton" Good article. Little bit late, of course. It costs liberals nothing to attack Clinton now; they get to signal their virtue for free.

Original Mike said...

"It looked as if she were holding herself up to get a last breath of air. It was a consciously assumed position. ... She didn't drown. She died of suffocation in her own air void. It took her at least three or four hours to die. I could have had her out of that car twenty-five minutes after I got the call. But he [Ted Kennedy] didn't call."

Jesus, Tim, I've always been disgusted with Ted Kenndy's actions and his apologists, but it's even worse than I knew.

dreams said...

"I'm not disagreeing, but your juxtaposition does not work as an example of schizophrenia."

It seems crazy to me.

tim in vermont said...

If Yglesias had written that during the primaries, maybe it would be President Sanders.

Bay Area Guy said...

It's a good article by Yglesias, but so fucking late. We were saying the stuff at the time!

Clinton used the power of the presidency to sleep with a 21-year old intern, in the oval office, with cigars being put in odd places, and used the entire machinery of the government to lie about it and scapegoat Lewinsky. If she didn't have that stained blue dress (which Yglesias fails to mention), Slick Willie would have kept on lying about it!

Unknown said...

imo the Greenfield piece is one of the best and most balanced I've read on the topic. Thanks for taking the time to note and comment on it, Ann.

Original Mike said...

"It costs liberals nothing to attack Clinton now; they get to signal their virtue for free."

Except no one (other than other liberals) will buy it. It's so transparent it makes them look even worse.

dreams said...

"I'm not disagreeing, but your juxtaposition does not work as an example of schizophrenia."

The more open and ubiquitous sex is on TV, internet, the more prudish it seems women pretend to be is my point about schizophrenic though maybe that word is deficient.

Gahrie said...

If Yglesias had written that during the primaries, maybe it would be President Sanders.

Which is why he didn't write about it during the primaries.

tim in vermont said...

They can throw the Clintons under the bus, but the press that covered for them, including Vox, remains, and are germane to the present political situation.

Ken B said...

The dems and feminists didn't just cover up for Bill's blowjobs. They excused his *perjury*. It's the perjury he should have been convicted off in his impeachment trial.
Hands up all here who were for President Gore in 98. I was.

tcrosse said...

I remember Greenfield from when he edited the Daily Cardinal. He looked a lot like George Will in those days.

tcrosse said...

The Dems are through with the Clintons, but the Clintons are not through with the Dems.

narciso said...

Yglesias would have been a senior at Walton, or a freshmen at Harvard at the time. Another Walton alumni Christian skater seems to be in a spot of trouble.

Patrick Henry was right! said...

Has Clinton resigned, Al Gore would have been President and neither GWB or Donald Trump would have been President.

Thanks, Gloria!!!!!!!

tim in vermont said...

I guess Yglesias is doing his #MeToo

Matthew Sablan said...

"Bill Clinton should have resigned."

---

Have they come out saying Menedez should resign, or will they wait 20 years before deciding that?

Original Mike said...

"How Roy Moore’s Misdeeds Are Forcing an Awakening on the Left/Years of excusing Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct suddenly seems morally indefensible"

Hell, even the title is bullshit, as if the left is suddenly awakening to their immorality. They knew it at the time.

Matthew Sablan said...

"If Yglesias had written that back in the late 90s when he was an aspiring, self-described wonky political person, perhaps his own journo-listic career would not have advanced to the point it has today, because he would have had to compete against qualified young women too"

-- No. He would have been ignored for not being sufficiently an ideologue. It would have had nothing to do with women/men.

wwww said...



You know - the people who should be criticized are those that were adults in 1998. I don't think the Boomers should blame people 2 generations down who were in high school.

To clarify, it's fine to blame journalists for not writing about it during the last election & Yglesias is fair game on this point. But it's not sensical to expect high schoolers to take care of this in 1998. It was the job of the ADULTS.

buwaya said...

"But it's not sensical to expect high schoolers to take care of this in 1998. It was the job of the ADULTS."

But what about NY in 2000?
In 2008?
The Obama administration 2009-2012?

And all those people otherwise involved - consultants, party officials, activists, financiers, NGO's, media people (nearly all of them), thousands and thousands of people, hundreds of corporations and public-private institutions, and many millions of voters. Its very big because the phenomenon was very big, and the taint flowed into all these people and institutions and all they touched. And it went on into the next generation.

Rumpletweezer said...

Has anyone written an article yet saying that we shouldn't have supported Hillary because of all the interference she ran for Bill?

Matthew Sablan said...

Rumple: I'm assuming they're waiting to unleash that on her if she keeps making noises and trying to take down Brazille. They don't want to cut off the money she can pump into the DNC, but they're starting to realize that the Clinton's are a diseased limb, but no matter what they do for her, the limb is lost. Amputation may be needed to save the whole.

Earnest Prole said...

But it's not sensical to expect high schoolers to take care of this in 1998. It was the job of the ADULTS.

Boomers took the beautiful, well-maintained vintage car their parents gave them and promptly totaled it.

Big Mike said...

If there is one word that revives my anger on this subject, it's "peccadilloes."

I get it. When the Post ran a column by Richard Cohen arguing that what Bill Clinton said, though it was perjury, wasn't really a felony because it was just a little lying about sex, I started not reading anything but the sports pages.

Jeff Teal said...

the showing of the belly by the feminist establishment during the Clinton scandals basically forfeited all moral authority on this issue by any feminist ever.And that includes gloria Allred momma of Lisa bloom-Harvey weinsteins attorney.

buwaya said...

The political-media system is riddled with people who covered for Bill Clinton.

Joe Lockhart was Bill Clinton's PR guy during the scandal, and was hired last year as the NFL PR guy.

Matthew Sablan said...

I wonder if any one will ask the NFL if they're going to let known rape apologist Joe Lockhart continue to work for them.

buwaya said...

The best international analogue for Clinton, as women went, is not Mitterand (otherwise as slimy as he was), but Berlusconi. Berlusconi was notorious as a womanizer. He too was into "casting couch" behavior, with TV actresses and presenters, and political candidates too, known to select pretty women to stand for office. And multiple problems with teenage girls. I have not heard of any aggressive or violent sexual behavior however, but Italians have different standards.

The bigger difference is that Berlusconi had constant coverage of his many flings and scandals. In many ways Italian media was far more "free" than the US media. It did not hurt him all that much politically, because that was Italy.

In Bill Clinton's case the US media did not have far to go to find just as many, if not more, mistresses, paramours and dangerous liaisons. The count, overall, may be on the Clinton side vs Berlusconi.

Quaestor said...

Howard explains everything.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ms. Steinem is incorrect. Like President Clinton, Senator Packwood knew how to take no for an answer: none of his employees alleged that he repeated his advances after being rebuffed, and only one complaint occurred after 1985.

Yup. And the Senate Ethics committee recommended--unanimously--that Packwood be expelled. He resigned before that could happen but the Republicans were willing to kick out "one of their own." The Dems returned that favor by defending Clinton damn near to the death.

The Dems now say that I'm supposed to be ashamed that the country elected Trump. Fuck the Dems and their phony feminist bullshit. Feminism is just a cudgel--they'll use it when convenient and they'll drop it when it's inconvenient. They're only pretending now to give a shit about probable-rapist Bill Clinton because it's useful to do so--it allows them to attack Republicans and it's finally not harmful to Dems that the Clintons be slightly injured.

David Baker said...

Say what you will, but Gloria Steinem was a blot on Playboy bunnies everywhere.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

"Strange new respect" for people who tried to hold Dems to account for their behavior for decades, huh?
Fuck that. Fuck them all. We moved past it--we learned the lesson. "Oh maybe we shouldn't have been so hard on ol' Mitt Romney after all." Fuck them all.

Peccadillo is probably the most accurate word to describe a habit of dating young-but-legal women! Can't have that, though--we have to say "it's not OK" when describing the 4-decades old behavior of a scumbag like Moore. Nevermind what that standard actually says about, you know, DOZENS of prominent Dems in the many years since. Pay no attention to the Dem pervs behind the curtain!

Infinite Monkeys said...

A copy of the text was posted on a message board the next day - http://www2.edc.org/WomensEquity/edequity98/0561.html

The 2010 version (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/26/opinion/eq-steinem.html) removed the part beginning with, "Let's look at what seem to be the most damaging allegations...". (About 10 paragraphs worth.)

Roy Lofquist said...

I had some good peccadillo at a Jamaican place in Jacksonville a while back.

tim in vermont said...

You know where you can find lots of people who worked to cover up Clinton's crimes? Enjoying cozy little life-long sinecures at the same Clinton Foundation that took 145 million from the Russians. I think Billy Lindsey runs it.

Sam said...

Re: “peccadilloes,” all I can offer is my memories from that time, from inside the liberal bubble. Wash Post and NY Times delivered and read (fought over over breakfast by a family of 5 introvert bookworms ages 16-50 in 1992 who would otherwise be reading the bloody cereal boxes!). I was 22 and back home for a year literally digging ditches with a pick and a shovel for literally no money, (think Habitat) before going back to a slightly different Ivy, this time for a masters in architecture.

Clinton was an admitted philanderer / bad husband / cheater / whatever. People had bitter memories of guys like Lee Atwater ‘taking the bark off’ of candidates. You know: the good guys. And by 1998 it was clear that lots of people on the R side of the aisle just absolutely _hated_ Clinton. Like with a personal hatred that seemed to transcend politics. And a lot of money seemed to be available to burn the hottest purest fuels to keep the pokers white hot for him.

So allegations of harassment, let alone assault, were viewed … like many folks view those against Roy Moore. Suspicious. Like, Cui bono? But we had only had the public experience of Clarence Thomas and: he got the job! George ‘Handsy Wandsy’ Bush was: unimaginable! Harvey Weinstein became widely known as a monster but for his temper and mistreatment of his staff, not for assault / rape / whatever.

So, pace James Fallows, while Bill the frog was slowly turning up the moral heat on his pot full of admirers, I think a word like peccadillos was accurate to what people like me thought he was probably guilty of. Haven’t done the Althouse-y hyper-intense but very … personal close reading to really understand how Steinem used or misused that word. But that’s why in the face of it IN 1998 the whole apologia is gross but ‘peccadilloes’ doesn’t trigger me.

But then, I’m a man. But not Laszlo.

n.n said...

How exciting. People, left, right, and off-center, are calling for a conservation of principles. A reconciliation of moral, natural, and personal imperatives that is causing a schism in the Pro-Choice Church.

buwaya said...

"Say what you will, but Gloria Steinem was a blot on Playboy bunnies everywhere."

I don't know, she seemed like quite an acceptable Playboy bunny.
I've met others that were less pretty.

John Lynch said...

Here's the original op-ed.

TestTube said...

That's not how Gloria Steinem works.

Gloria Steinem's modus operandi is to pop up, make a fashionably outrageous (and usually vacuous) statement, then when people push back, she goes to ground.

No debate, no clarification, no defense of her original statement. She just disappears until the next time she pops up to make a totally unrelated statement.

She isn't used to being held to task, to being morally consistent, to defending her arguments. She only does softball interviews and speaks in venues where she will never be challenged.

Tim said...

"and it never happened again". HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Tim said...

That's not how Gloria Steinem works.

Gloria Steinem's modus operandi is to pop up, make a fashionably outrageous (and usually vacuous) statement, then when people push back, she goes to ground.

No debate, no clarification, no defense of her original statement. She just disappears until the next time she pops up to make a totally unrelated statement.

She isn't used to being held to task, to being morally consistent, to defending her arguments. She only does softball interviews and speaks in venues where she will never be challenged.

So like a Democrat, you say.

Sebastian said...

The left didn't just "excuse" Clinton's peccadillos. They actively, with malice aforethought, went after Monica and Paula and Kathleen, just as Bill and Hill had vilified the bimbos from the bimbo eruptions. The abuse of power after Bill's Monica exposure was worse than his offense in the Oval Office, tainting the whole government and all the Democrats. To my knowledge, no one on the left has ever apologized. The Greenfield and Yglesias reconsiderations don't come close. We learned our lesson: to the left, power is everything, character nothing. Too late to lecture us now.

Phil 3:14 said...

"made a clumsy sexual pass"

Dropping your drawers and asking someone to suck you d**k is a "clumsy pass"!

If he had said "Please " would that have made it less "clumsy"?

tim in vermont said...

Bruce Lindsey, Billy Lindsey played for the Florida Panthers and scored a playoff goal against the Bruins that would have made Bobby Orr proud.

tim in vermont said...

Chicks as hot as Glo Stick never have to explain themselves.

David Baker said...

"I don't know, she seemed like quite an acceptable Playboy bunny."

Not by measurement, that is, her A-Cup.

J2 said...


Good bloggingheads. Althouse v Steinem

Ralph L said...

One thing that really annoyed me was that Clinton kept claiming Repubs said he was illegitimately president, yet another lie. They thought he was unfit, but he didn't want to say that.

Gahrie said...

The abuse of power after Bill's Monica exposure was worse than his offense in the Oval Office, tainting the whole government and all the Democrats.

Besides the personal attacks on President Clinton's victims, we had to endure the Leftwing elite explaining to us why a Blow job isn't really sex, and why sexual contact between a 22 year old intern and a 49 year old boss is just fine.

Having your other female employees go out and lie for you is perfectly OK. (To me, this is actually his worse offense...he used women, many of them supposedly friends and most of them subordinates, to vouch for him when he knew he was guilty, thus destroying their reputations)

Having the both the leadership and rank and file of all of the major feminist movements and organizations defend your defenseless actions is just fine and dandy?

Aren't his dupes angry yet?

Where's Madeline Albright? I'd be pissed if I was her.

DanTheMan said...

I always thought I'd have to wait for the Clintons to die before the truth would come out.
We haven't gotten the truth yet, but it does seem OK to attack them now, something unthinkable a year ago...

Jack Wayne said...

Once again a liberal obfuscates what Bill Clinton really did wrong. Back then and continuing to today, everything centered on SEX. He lied about sex, he took advantage of his position for sex, feminists defended the sex, etc. ad infinitum. But what Bill Clinton did that should have resulted in a verdict of guilty of impeachment, was that he lied in a federal court deposition and denied a citizen her honest day in court. Talk about sex all you want Althouse, but you’re still covering for Clinton.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, doesn’t an Emerita Professor have stack privileges at UW library? Do you absolutely need the op-ed in electronic form?

Anonymous said...

I have no interest in hearing what Gloria Steinem or any of the left have to say about Bill Clinton at this point in time. Unless they plan to defend what they said in 1998, all it would be is confirmation that they said what was self-serving back in 1998 and are doing the same in 2017 now that the winds have changed and Hillary isn't president. It doesn't take 20 years of reflection to recognize that Bill sexually abused women, and yet if Hillary were president, we wouldn't be hearing a peep from most of the left about Bill.

At the same time, most of the people decrying sexual harassment now from Hollywood, Bill Clinton, and various other politicians are likely to go as silent as the Rotherham authorities if this type of abuse comes from certain demographic groups rather than dirty old white men.

John Lawton said...

Ann Althouse's finest hour (or 3 minutes 39 seconds at least!).

tim in vermont said...

Remember when Bill Clinton suborned perjury? Good times... good times.

Chris N said...

If you are guided by political ideals which function as reactionary (traditional moral expectations and institutional authority arent just outmoded, but are unjust and causing harm), then ultimately you have a high burden on personal moral behavior in changing them, and I’d suggest an even higher burden on designing a better tradition in dealing with human nature....this second burden especially is something of an ideal, I realize :).

Many core ideological tenets of feminism aren’t just reactionary, but radical. They excuse and attract a lot of unstable, compromised people in the name of addressing injustice, and they exclude much by design which is wise about dealing with human nature and the world (already people persuaded by feminist logic or using feminist logic for personal gain or professional advancement etc. are blaming men, the ‘system’ just as they and the system they support come under fire etc).

For Althouse, the injustice of previous tradition was probably too great not to ally with feminism on behalf of much of her own nature, interests and obstacles in life, and to keep doing so to this day. Additionally, because she presumably holds herself to high standards of personal and professional conduct, as well as intellectual honesty and some courage (i tend to doubt doubt feminism and even liberal political idealism might have been enough to help forge such a person...but this is even more presumptuous), she’s been wise enough not to go along with this piece of moral hypocrisy and power politics. She might even deserve her own wing of feminism.

I mean to say there are many failures of design going on here within feminism (our founders can help guide on many human nature issues political/power/factional etc ), but is up to us citizens to be good enough not to justify this level of moral hypocrisy, political Utopianism and ideological blindness. There are many ways to abuse the public trust, and this is certainly one.

One could do a lot worse than Mill...but Gloria Steinem and...Gail Collins?


Gahrie said...

@Chris N:

You ignored the elephant in the middle of the room....abortion.