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. [. . .]
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. Rush Limbaugh
If your email inbox looks anything like mine, it is jammed with statements of outrage against Rush Limbaugh’s latest slanderous rant against Sandra Fluke, a young Georgetown law student. Ms. Fluke had the courage to testify before a House Committee that Nancy Pelosi called after Fluke had been denied appearing before Darrell Issa’s Committee which had impaneled an all-male group of middle-aged clergy and professors. (We’ve already discussed this last week in our February 25th blog, titled “The GOP and Sex, Sex, Sex...”)
It wasn’t enough for Rush Limbaugh to let this botched GOP incident die. Rush isn’t one to let a chance to grab a headline get by him. But this time, it seems that he stepped over the line into slanderous territory. Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and it wasn’t a slip of the tongue. He meant to insult her and he did it with his little boy, smart-alecky lip.
Unfortunately, we have no video of Ms. Fluke’s testimony before Pelosi’s Committee because the GOP voted to blacken all cameras, but her simple words speak clearly and plainly. WaPo columnist Dana Milbank gave us this brief snippet of Fluke’s testimony:[Here]
Well, I will confirm that I was energized,” Fluke said. “...I am an American woman who uses contraception...That makes me qualified to talk to my elected officials about my health-care needs.
Fluke’s simple statement summed up her position and her legal rights. Obviously, the use of contraception does not automatically invite the term of “slut” to be hurled her way. The statistics of the number of sexually active women who use contraception, even Roman Catholic women (about 98%), suggest that Mr. Limbaugh is stuck back in a time bubble. But we already knew that, didn’t we?
It was gratifying to read [Here] that President Obama phoned Ms. Fluke on Friday to thank her for supporting employer-mandated contraception coverage in emplyees’ insurance plans. He added that she should tell her parents that they should be proud of her. (We can be certain that they most certainly are!) Obama’s Press Secretary Jay Carney called Limbaugh’s remarks “reprehensible.” Even some Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Limbaugh. House Majority Leader Boehner called Rush’s words “inappropriate.” Santorum said that Limbaugh was “being absurd” but then added that “even an entertainer can be absurd.” (I guess it isn’t too wise for a Republican with serious ambitions to take issue with old Rush.)
Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia also made a public statement, titled “On Civility and Public Discourse” which he posted on the liberal website, Huffpost. [Here] He praised Fluke's demeanor before Pelosi’s Committee and wrote that she “was respectful, sincere, and spoke with conviction. She provided a model of civil discourse.”
DeGioia went on to argue for more politeness and respect in the public forum and added that Ms. Fluke had a “right to respectful free expression,” but had been treated to “behavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.”
Sandra Fluke is the center of what must be a confusing firestorm right now, but I’m sure that such strong support from her university’s President will be a particular comfort to her.
As Rep. Carolyn Maloney called out the other day, “Where are the Women?,” I have been yelling and adding my own question, ”Where are the Young Women?”
I now have my answer.