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Slurs only bolster Sandra Fluke's cause *edited with comments from OP*

Posted by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM
  • 143 Replies
5 moms liked this

*Edit: OP Statement* This is a bit of a warning: Many of the comments made by some CM's on this post are hateful and demeaning to women in general, not just to Ms. Fluke. I am calling attention to this because I wonder if these members have even read this article, because, as presented, these posters are creating real world examples of the exact kind of vitriol that the article is discussing. It is a disgraceful distraction from Fluke's actual argument. And they do this even with an article that actually is not supporting Fluke's political position. It illustrates how ignorant so many are on the actual issues involving Fluke's case. SMH

Slurs only bolster Sandra Fluke's cause

By David Frum, CNN Contributor
updated 2:31 PM EDT, Mon September 10, 2012
Sandra Fluke speaks at the Democratic National Convention. The conservative blogosphere went mad, David Frum says.
Sandra Fluke speaks at the Democratic National Convention. The conservative blogosphere went mad, David Frum says.


STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Frum: Sandra Fluke's speech at DNC sparked the most conservative outrage
  • It goes back to Rush Limbaugh's sexualized, brutal attacks on her after testimony, he says
  • Frum: Fluke wanted her college insurance to cover birth control, funded by tuition, not taxes
  • Frum: Disagree that religious schools include birth control in insurance, but don't revile her

Editor's note: David Frum is a contributing editor at Newsweek and The Daily Beast and a CNN contributor. He is the author of seven books, including a new novel, "Patriots."

(CNN) -- Of all the speeches at the Democratic convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, few offended conservative listeners more than the speech by Sandra Fluke.

There are plenty of good reasons to be annoyed. From the conservative point of view, Fluke is on the wrong side of a battle over religious freedom. Back in March, she testified in favor of a proposed Obama administration rule that would require Catholic institutions, like her own Georgetown University law school, to reject the teaching of their church and cover contraception in their university health plans -- plans not funded by taxpayers, by the way, but by tuition and other university revenues.

Now here Fluke was again, on the national stage, warning that a vote for the Republican ticket in 2012 was a vote for "an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don't want and our doctors say we don't need.

"An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don't."


Watch Sandra Fluke's full speech


Shortly before Fluke spoke, conservative commentator Ann Coulter had tweeted: "Bill Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage."

That was nothing compared with the outpouring of fury during and after the speech.

Stephen Kruiser, who hosts on the conservative Internet video site PJTV and appears on Fox's "Red Eye," tweeted mid-speech: "Tricky camera work to keep TV audience from seeing (David) Axelrod's hand up Fluke's a**."

The next day, National Review columnist and sometime Rush Limbaugh guest host Mark Steyn scoffed: "Sandra Fluke has been blessed with a quarter-million dollars of elite education ... and she has concluded that the most urgent need facing the Brokest Nation in History is for someone else to pay for the contraception of 30-year-old children."

Sandra Fluke: Slurs won't silence women

James Taranto, columnist for the online edition of The Wall Street Journal, was nearly equally scathing. "Seriously, the party of Andrew Jackson and Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman chose to showcase someone whose claim to fame is that she demands that somebody else pay for her birth control."

Within 48 hours, the attack had jumped from the conservative media sphere to electoral politics. Campaigning in Addison, Wisconsin, Republican congressional candidate Joe Walsh erupted: "Think about this, a 31-, 32-year-old law student who has been a student for life, who gets up there in front of a national audience and tells the American people, 'I want America to pay for my contraceptives.' You're kidding me. Go get a job. Go get a job, Sandra Fluke."

There's never any shortage of vitriol in political commentary, but usually it's reserved for the headliners. Yet Fluke provoked more sputtering in five minutes than former President Bill Clinton did in a speech 10 times as long.

Why?

The answer takes us to the events that put Fluke on the stage in Charlotte in the first place: Rush Limbaugh's brutal, sexualized attack on her congressional testimony.

On the day after Fluke spoke, Limbaugh demanded: "What does it say about the college co-ed Sandra Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps."

Limbaugh returned to the subject again and again, escalating his abuse over three consecutive days. "So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

After three days of this, advertisers began to drop his show -- and Limbaugh was constrained to issue a grudging apology on his website.

"For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

"I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone's bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a presidential level.

"My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices."

In this grudging half-apology, half-justification, Limbaugh misstated the facts of the case. Taxpayer money was never at issue between Fluke and Georgetown. When Fluke and her fellow students paid tuition to Georgetown, they got health coverage as part of the deal.

At issue in Fluke's congressional hearing were principles of religious freedom -- and the disposition of student health dollars -- but not taxpayer money.

Limbaugh's misstatement had the benefit of permitting him a change of subject -- and a way out of a damaging controversy. And it allowed his friends and supporters to pronounce the matter closed.

Yet somehow it didn't close: not for Fluke, and not for Limbaugh either.

Why this election is so personal

Other male commentators have used belittling, misogynistic language against other women in the public eye. Both Republican and Democratic women have found themselves on the receiving end of condescension and epithets.

But Limbaugh did something different with Fluke: Aggressively and deliberately, over a long span of days, because his own commercial interests require shock and controversy, Limbaugh had promoted Fluke into a totem and martyr. When Democrats later claimed that Republicans "waged war on women," Limbaugh's tirade became Exhibit A -- at least until Rep. Todd Akin's "legitimate rape" comment demoted it to second place.

At the time of the tirade, a number of Republican politicians spoke out against Limbaugh. U.S. Sen. Scott Brown called Limbaugh's comments "reprehensible" and former Senate candidate Carly Fiorina condemned them as "insulting."

Yet as time has passed, the regrets faded. An idea was born and grew that somehow Fluke must have provoked what was said of her, must indeed have deserved it.

Erick Erickson of CNN and Red State.com expressed this "she asked for it" view pungently in a March blog post: "Of course Rush Limbaugh was being insulting. He was using it as a tool to highlight just how absurd the Democrats' position is on this. It's what he does and does quite well. And in the process he's exposing a lot of media bias on the issue as people rush out (no pun intended) to make Sandra Fluke a victim of his insults and dance around precisely what is really insulting ? her testimony before congress that American taxpayers should subsidize the sexual habits of Georgetown Law School students because, God forbid, they should stop having sex if they cannot afford the pills themselves."

That mood, an undercurrent until recently, gushed into full view on the night of Fluke's convention speech. If the words "slut" and "prostitute" are not to be used, she must nonetheless be the thing indicated by those not-to-be-used words: a woman whose sexuality is for sale. Because if she's not -- if she's merely a concerned citizen who expressed in a public forum a diverging view of the appropriate relationship between church and state -- then what does that make Limbaugh?

And what does it make those who rallied to defend Limbaugh? Something pretty ugly, right? Which is why it remains today so urgently necessary for so many people to demean and defame this woman.

The correct reply to Fluke is that she is a person intolerant of the religious liberty of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church does good works on a vast national scale -- caring for the sick, teaching children, supporting the homeless -- all to uphold its compassionate doctrines in a harsh world. Once government starts imposing its rules on a church, then it crushes the spirit that leads the church to do its good on the world.

You can say all that without hurling accusations of nymphomania, freeloading and sexual exhibitionism. In fact, omitting such vile insults makes the rebuttal more convincing, not less. But that's not how Rush Limbaugh does it, and he has taught a generation of conservative shock-mongers to do the same or worse.

New World Peace

by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM
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Replies (1-10):
mikiemom
by Ruby Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:46 AM
4 moms liked this

Yes the deadbeat father thought he was being clever but he's really not that bright so he only succeeded in drawing more attention to the subject. I guess all male 30 something law students should get jobs to?

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM
8 moms liked this

 The only cause I see her promoting is the acceptance of idiots.  I honestly felt bad for her when she was speaking.  How humiliating to be before millions of people that know you can afford your cell phone but not a condom.

Veni.Vidi.Vici.
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:53 AM
14 moms liked this

The people thrusting martyrdom upon her are the idiots IMO.

I think that we can all agree that this isn't about contraception, but about women's health care. ALL OF IT.

Raintree
by Ruby Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 8:59 AM
4 moms liked this

Complete rubbish, your statement here. As well you probably know.

Take my friend "B", who was diagnosed with severe endometriosis a few years ago- she is one that has had to shell out the bucks for one of the 'good' BC pills, over the cheaper ones that did nothing for her condition and made her barf every morning. It would be really helpful for her family if they could more easily afford that prescription that enables her to work in the first place.

All she was talking about WAS the need for people to A: plan their families a little more purposely and B: control health problems that plagued them.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The only cause I see her promoting is the acceptance of idiots.  I honestly felt bad for her when she was speaking.  How humiliating to be before millions of people that know you can afford your cell phone but not a condom.


lga1965
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 9:01 AM
4 moms liked this

 

Quoting mikiemom:

Yes the deadbeat father thought he was being clever but he's really not that bright so he only succeeded in drawing more attention to the subject. I guess all male 30 something law students should get jobs too?

 Hypocrites! The statement "Birth control is controlled by people who will never use it" is the one I liked. Men and old, sexless, post-menopausal conservative women are the hypocrites who gave her such a hard time. Grrrr. Makes me angry.

lga1965
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 9:06 AM
2 moms liked this

 Exactly right. My daughter needed the birth control pill to control her endometriosis for about 11 years . It is not cheap.So many women need birth control pills for issues such as that. Oh, and ....if they only used their heads, these mental midgets who are so against birth control pills would admit that they have no problem with men getting Viagra free. And that means more potent men to get more women pregnant. Or cause more women to seek abortions. Ugh. Hypocritcal morons.

Quoting Raintree:

Complete rubbish, your statement here. As well you probably know.

Take my friend "B", who was diagnosed with severe endometriosis a few years ago- she is one that has had to shell out the bucks for one of the 'good' BC pills, over the cheaper ones that did nothing for her condition and made her barf every morning. It would be really helpful for her family if they could more easily afford that prescription that enables her to work in the first place.

All she was talking about WAS the need for people to A: plan their families a little more purposely and B: control health problems that plagued them.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The only cause I see her promoting is the acceptance of idiots.  I honestly felt bad for her when she was speaking.  How humiliating to be before millions of people that know you can afford your cell phone but not a condom.


 

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 9:54 AM
6 moms liked this

 I saw a republican commentator say I would not say such things about any young woman who is getting her voice heard and speaking what is true for her and her political beliefs. One day, my daughter will speak her opinions...and I would NOT want someone speaking of her in that manner..it's wrong and disrespectful. I agree with him 100%

 

 

gammie
by on Sep. 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM
1 mom liked this

The problem is the some they just do not want to pay for their BC period!! They want everything they can get from the government for free. But as we know nothing is for free, because of the "take advantage group" taxes will go up to pay for something you can pay for, and yes you can pay for it.

The young girls who work very hard will put money aside to pay for their BC, because they are "responsible" they will have kids they can't feed.

The dirt poor who don't have $20. to eat  they can get help if they look for it. Most states have good programs  to help them.

All this is just Bull shit,  WOMAN ARE BEING USED FOR VOTES!! Don't  be used!!


yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 11:38 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Raintree:

Complete rubbish, your statement here. As well you probably know.

Take my friend "B", who was diagnosed with severe endometriosis a few years ago- she is one that has had to shell out the bucks for one of the 'good' BC pills, over the cheaper ones that did nothing for her condition and made her barf every morning. It would be really helpful for her family if they could more easily afford that prescription that enables her to work in the first place.

All she was talking about WAS the need for people to A: plan their families a little more purposely and B: control health problems that plagued them.

Quoting yourspecialkid:

 The only cause I see her promoting is the acceptance of idiots.  I honestly felt bad for her when she was speaking.  How humiliating to be before millions of people that know you can afford your cell phone but not a condom.


Your answer is garbage.  I had Endimitriosis and paid out of pocket for my own medication for YEARS.  I not only managed to pay for it..but to pay my own way through college..2 degrees.  PRIORITIES....it is just a matter of PRIORITIES.

I feel no sympathy for Fluke..you can try and backtrack it all you want, but basically she came out and told the world she is broke and can barely afford college because she can't keep her pants up.  I am embarrassed for her.

yourspecialkid
by Platinum Member on Sep. 11, 2012 at 11:45 AM
2 moms liked this


Just wondering....who got their buttons.....


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