Sandra Fluke, a law student at Georgetown University in Washington DC, would inevitably become a hero for women's rights. Back in February of 2012, Fluke made an opening statement in front of the House Democratic Steering & Policy Committee. It was covered on C-Span. This was in regards to 2010 Affordable Health Care Act signed by law under the US President Barack Obama. One aspect of the law required employers and insurers to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees. Fluke tried to make the case for it; but, she was blocked from testifying.
However, it wasn't the end of things. Things were far from over. Conservative pundits quickly attacked Fluke. Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was quick to call Fluke a “slut.”
Even conservative news pundit Glenn Beck even weighed in on Fluke. As a result, Fluke ended up being a target for conservative pundits.
However, it seemed to only empower Fluke and her supporters. It would be one of the catalysts that lead up to women's rights as a major social issue in the 2012 US Elections. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, running on the GOP ticket and with Tea Party support, lost their respective Senate races
in Missouri and Indiana for their remarks about “rape.”
After the elections, more women especially Democratic women got elected into office let alone the US Senate.
In the case of Fluke, she did receive a phone call from President Obama.
Fluke responded to Limbaugh's “slut” remark and “apology.” She said that her reaction to such remarks by Limbaugh, Beck, and so forth was that it's beyond the bounds of civil discourse.
Fluke, along with Anita Hill, were honored as champions for women
at the National Women's Law Center during its 40th anniversary gala. An article on the website for Campus Progress calls Fluke the “Anita Hill of the 21st century.” The article drew parallels of Fluke back in February and Hill back in 1991 at the US Senate confirmation hearings in regards to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
As for Sandra Fluke, she made it onto the shortlist of TIME Magazine's Person of the Year. That means, Fluke could be chosen as the 2012 Person of the Year from TIME Magazine. So far, that decision to put Fluke on the short list have riled up the conservative base. In short, conservatives feel antagonized by that decision.
Rush Limbaugh tried to steal credit away from Fluke
. On his radio show, Limbaugh was saying that if it weren't for him, nobody would've known about Fluke. In short, Limbaugh was implying that he deserves credit for making Fluke known which put her on the TIME short list. To take it a bit further, Limbaugh was saying he should be named TIME's Person of the year. He called TIME a group of narcissistic people.
A short entry post
on Politix says that one has to influence the news most this year in order to qualify to be on the list. It doesn't matter if you influenced the news in a good or bad way. Currently, you can still vote
for Sandra Fluke if you want or anybody that's on the list. The deadline is on December 12 at 11:59 PM.
Asides from Limbaugh, many conservatives were quick to give nothing but disrespect for Fluke's nomination. Two people to criticize Fluke's nomination are notable figures of the FOX News Network. One person was Andrea Tantaros said that it was terrible to elevate Fluke
to that level. Tantaros said that Fluke was a “bad” choice and that TIME Magazine could go bankrupt because of it.
Megyn Kelly, also from FOX News, took this opportunity to take a shot at Fluke
. In an article on Opposing Views, it was reported that Kelly was agitated
when addressing Fluke's nomination. Back after Fluke was barred from giving her testimony, Kelly accused Fluke of “acting like a victim.”
Comedian and talk radio host Dennis Miller, when on “The O'Reilly Factor,” called Fluke “Moan of Arc.” Also, Miller took the opportunity
to attack single women.
In another Campus Progress article, it pointed out that conservative radio show host Lars Larson called Fluke a “poster child of the Obama administration
Another person took to YouTube and gave criticism about Fluke.
A US News opinion blog post
said that Fluke could be the public face of the social issue that turned disastrous for the Republicans in the elections. In short, the “war on women” hurt the GOP a lot. With respects to the US News op-ed piece, the Republicans have a lot of damage control and repair to do. The op-ed says that the Republican Party has no plans for a war on women; but, it adds that people such as GOP House Speaker John Boehner aren't the ideal people to be making the case.
An entry on Think Progress is asking for donations to help Fluke combat the “war on women.”
The donations are to make sure they can continue keeping this issue at the front throughout 2013 and beyond. Even after the 2012 US Elections are over, we still have the 2014 elections for Senate and House seats.
on the website called Bangor Daily News, in its Pine Tree Politics section, says that the GOP is facing an identity crisis. Furthermore, it may end up being a minority for the years to come. One notable thing the article says is that the GOP's problem is cultural identification. An article
on All Voices says that social conservatives are the cause of the party's identity crisis.
In this respect, the conservatives expressing anger at Fluke's nomination could be an example of that social and cultural identity crisis.