Quick Hit: Sandra Fluke speaks again

Speaking to Soledad O’Brien this morning, Sanda Fluke reiterated the fact that she won’t be silenced by slurs.

I wrote last week about the problem with talking about federal funding for contraception (and abortion) as something more controversial than private funding for those services. My aim was to bring attention to a dangerous slippery slope that kind of argumentation puts us on. Specifically, that making the distinction to make contraceptive coverage seems more palatable to folks who disagree (Oh, you don’t disagree with abortion/contraception? Don’t worry! YOUR tax money won’t go to support that!)  is a short-sighted women’s health strategy. And it’s short-sighted because it puts the question of tax-dollars and federal vs. private funding in play in a way that compromises our own key message: all women should have access to the full range of reproductive health care regardless of whether they are rich or poor.

Notably, in an op-ed she recently wrote about the experience she makes clear the public/private funding distinction and what it implies, writing:

“Most recently, certain political commentators have started spreading misinformation about the underlying government regulation we are discussing. To be clear, through programs such as Medicaid, the government already does and should fund contraception coverage for the poorest women in our country.

But, despite the misinformation being spread, the regulation under discussion has absolutely nothing to do with government funding: It is all about the insurance policies provided by private employers and universities that are financed by individual workers, students and their families — not taxpayers.

I am talking about women who, despite paying their own premiums, cannot obtain coverage of contraception on their private insurance, even when their employer or university contributes nothing to that insurance.”

I concur with this assessment. Medicaid does and should include contraceptive coverage. AND let’s push just one step closer to this argument’s logical conclusion – If women should have access to a full range of health care services, then Medicaid (and other federal health care programs like those that provide health care for military families) should also fund abortion coverage. In this moment, when there’s a spotlight on health care access disparities, we shouldn’t miss the opportunity to draw attention to that fact.

 

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I think this needs to be about more than just contraception. If Chris Brown had beaten up a homosexual would he be performing at the Grammy’s?

    The answer is no. If he had, very publicly as he did with a woman, beat up someone who is gay, GLAD and other gay right’s organizations would protest what he did so harshly it would not even be an option. And that of course would have been the right thing to do, homophobia is not ok. Yet there is a problem when one group of people can be organized and protest any form of discrimination against it(from Tracy Jordan’s homophobic rant to people who oppose gay marriage) and label it, as it should, as homophobic while another group, women, can’t. Then again Gay right’s organizations include men.

    For women there is no one big organization to be protesting misogyny and sexism and most importantly one that can define sexist and misogynistic comments and actions as such. For a long time we have been living in a culture that promotes the idea that sexism and misogyny are history and hence the women’s movement is no longer necessary. That has created the illusion that sexism and misogyny don’t exist any more and has kept us from being able to define them as such. Women have been afraid to protest because labelling anything as sexist or misogynist these days will only cause you to be called angry, bitchy or worse, a feminist! When Perry took out a homophobic ad saying that there is something wrong with this country because gays serve openly in the military he was labelled as homophobic and people protested the ad, as well they should! But when Danica Patrick complained when sports anchor Ross Shimabuku was focusing on her being a pretty girl and said there is other things he could say about a professional female athlete than sexy, he went on air and told her she was being a bitch. Because you know, sexism and misogyny don’t exist any more so if you protest against them or try to label them as such you are a bitch.

    This idea has gone so far that sexist and misogynist comments go unprotested, the objectification of women by the media is not even labelled as misogynist, the way female politicians, artists, reporters etc are attacked with sexist comments is not protested. if we think that Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt and Michele Bachmann and Palin bimbos. The defence for this is all politicians are attacked. Yes that is true, you can attack the politics of politicians or you can attack them and call them moronic or ridiculous but what if I, who think Herman Cain’s ideas are stupid instead of saying that I made a racist comment about him? Of course I wouldn’t because using derogatory language against a group of people is never ok, being resist is never ok even when you want to attack someone who you think deserves to be criticized. Somehow this doesn’t apply to sexism, making derogatory comments against a group of people in order to attack one of them is ok when that group is women. Because you know, what you are doing can’t be misogynistic or sexist, I thought we established that sexism is dead…..

    This has gone too far and I think we saw it when Christ Brown performed at the Grammy’s and nobody bashed an eyelash. There was no all encompassing women right’s organization to label what was happening as unacceptable and there was no protest against it because that would be exaggerating and being bitchy. It is no wonder girls these days feel powerless, sexism is everywhere, at their school, in the internet, on TV but they are not told it’s sexism, they are told it is the way things are and if they don’t think so they are man eating bitches. We need to get organized, we need an organization to label sexism for what it is and organize our protest, we need the women’s movement more than ever.

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