WAS FLUKE A FLUKE FOR THE DEMOCRATS? I DOUBT IT!
FLUKE: A STROKE OF GOOD LUCK. THEY SAY LUCK IS A LADY.
According to Rush Limbaugh Sandra Fluke is no lady. Certainly she is no Sarah Palin. Time will tell if the Democrats made a mistake parading Sandra Fluke on the speakers’ platform at their convention.
Here is James Taranto’s thoughts on the subject in his column today [The Wall Street Journal / Best of the Web Today]:
The first speaker (at the Democrat Convention) in the prime, network-broadcast 10:00 hour, was Sandra Fluke. 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.
Wait, it gets even weirder. She warned about the dire consequences if Mitt Romney is elected two months from day: “Your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs. Who won’t stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party.”
No, she’s not praising Obama for standing up to “the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party.” She’s referring, instead, to the Rush Limbaugh “slut” kerfuffle, in which defending her and denouncing Limbaugh was a political opportunity with no risk. If her knowledge of defamation law is any indication, Georgetown isn’t a very good law school: As someone who voluntarily took a high-profile position in a public debate, she is unquestionably a public figure just like Limbaugh.
What’s most interesting about the Fluke comment, though, is that it points to a central cultural contradiction of feminism. Libertarian feminists sometimes argue that left-wing ones aren’t “true feminists” because they want women to be dependent, albeit on government rather than on men. But feminism is about sexual equality or female supremacy, not freedom or independence. As long as the government isn’t masculine in character (“patriarchal”), its size and scope are irrelevant to feminism.
When one considers the specific context of Fluke’s above-quoted comment, however, it turns out to be as patriarchal a conception of government as one can imagine. By criticizing Romney for failing to “stand up” against Limbaugh, she faults him for a lack of chivalry. The duty of the president in a Flukist regime is to act as a white knight when a fair maiden’s honor has been besmirched.
And Fluke isn’t even the first feminist to make this sort of claim on Fluke’s behalf. Recall that back in the spring, Gloria Allred urged that Limbaugh be prosecuted under a dormant Florida statute making a misdemeanant of “whoever speaks of and concerning any woman, married or unmarried, falsely and maliciously imputing to her a want of chastity.” That law–almost certainly unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause because it treats the sexes in a grossly disparate way–has been on the books for 129 years. The Flukist Democrats will take America forward to 1883.
Feminists engaged in political debate frequently take advantage of the chivalric male impulse to defer to women, or to defend them when other men challenge them. To be sure, all’s fair in love and war. But if the male instinct to protect women is a social construct, as feminists usually claim, then it is hypocritical for feminists to exploit it. If it is hard-wired, as most evolutionary psychologists would argue, then feminism is fundamentally false.