“We have to believe women. I wouldn’t write the same thing now because there’s probably more known about other women now. I’m not sure . . . What you write in one decade you don’t necessarily write in the next. But I’m glad I wrote it in that decade.”
What? I am not even sure what Steinem means by “there’s probably more known about other women now.” The column was written on March 22, 1998. That was after all of the women had come forward or been named from Broaddrick to Flowers to Jones to Willey to Tripp to Lewinsky. It was after after Clinton declared “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” It was after Hillary Clinton denounced these women as little more than “bimbo eruptions.” It was after the Starr report detailing these accounts. Indeed, she wrote the column just before impeachment.
In other words, Steinem rationalization is . . . Clintonesque.
Among the allegations that Steinem knew about at the time was the claim of rape by Broaddrick, claims that respected investigatory journalist Lisa Myers and others found credible. They did not take the convenient approach of Steinem at the time and now do not have to maintain that they have “no regrets but would not have said the same thing” spin of Steinem.
Of course, such open hypocrisy will have little effect on Steinem or her followers. Indeed, the adoring crowds still following Clinton demonstrate the ability of people to rationalize conflicting positions. The same phenomenon is apparent in the Roy Moore controversy with people struggling not to believe a remarkably broad collection of women, former neighbors, former colleagues, and security officers.
Steinem once said that “Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age.” Perhaps so, but in Steinem’s case, the same cannot be said for honesty.