I circle back around to where I started last spring: with the vitriol flung in response to a woman standing up for her right to control her physical health. The right-wing response is crass, insulting, belittling, and just about proves that there is a War on Women, however much they claim it has been invented by the opposition. Ann Coulter should be particularly ashamed (despite the fact that a friend has nearly convinced me that it is all an act and she says what she does just to make a ridiculously inflated living). Tanning appointments? Really? This is what political debate has come to?
Contrary to the conservative responses gathered by Abby Zimet, Sandra Fluke did not deliver a whining speech. She did not ask us to pay for her bedroom activities. She didn’t look like she just emerged from a tanning appointment. She didn’t say “me me me.” What she did say was “we we we!” We women. We ladies, and gentlemen. (We sluts who vote, Mr. Limbaugh.)
Sandra Fluke asked us to choose between two futures: one that honors our “foremothers” and the battles they’ve already won, and another that turns back the clock on personal freedom and denies us rights to family planning and healthcare. Like Ms. Fluke, I fear the latter, and like Ms. Fluke, I will not stand quietly.
And I will not allow a woman’s voice to be silenced (or mocked) for speaking her mind. Ms. Fluke has more right to a microphone than name-calling, provocatrice Ms. Coulter. Sandra Fluke may not be profound, but she speaks for me when she stands her ground on women’s rights. And she does not resort of name-calling or petty insults. One has to hope that taking the higher ground is worth something these days.
Clint Eastwood certainly lowered the bar on that one at the Republican National Convention. The silent insults issued by his imagined Obama were surprisingly low brow and oddly pathetic. Again, I have to wonder, this is all they’ve got?
Yet I also wonder if Americans — in their remote-controlled, headline-driven existence — will see through Paul Ryan’s lies and Mitt Romney’s empty rhetoric (not to mention their dashing good looks, which I assume is supposed to court the female vote). How will they truly believe that we are on a path that takes more than four years to walk, one that will benefit the larger population rather than a few wealthy individuals? One conservative woman I knew in childhood cited Bill Clinton’s infidelity as a criticism of his speaking at the convention (among rants about Obama ruining the economy). Two steps back …
How do we open their eyes?