Earlier this week, Mother Jones unearthed a bizarre piece of writing, titled ‘Man-and Woman,’ that U.S. Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders published in a Vermont alt-weekly paper in 1972. Sanders’ prose, odd and rambling at times, explores themes of rape, submissiveness and gender roles through a meandering narrative focusing on a man and woman and their ill-fated romantic affair.
On Thursday, the campaign tried to distance itself from the article, saying that it was a “dumb attempt at dark satire in an alternative,” CNN reported. “It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ’70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then,” Sanders’ campaign spokesperson reportedly told CNN.
We couldn’t help but think the best way to have fun with Sanders’ “dumb” piece of writing was to compare it with and quiz you on another, more recent, piece of literary folly: Fifty Shades of Grey. (We noticed some similarities.)
Below are 11 passages from each — Sanders’ weirdo screed that faded into immediate obscurity, and E.L. James’ erotic novel that topped global bestseller lists and became a smash box office hit at movie theaters. Read each passage carefully — and no cheating.
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