Friday, February 24, 2012

Dana Milbank's Wrong Male Thinking

Dana Milbank, an opinion writer for the Washington Post, responded to the Democrat's hearing on contraceptives and religion, and testimony from Sandra Fluke, with wrong male thinking.

First, Mr. Milbank called the Democrats meeting to hear Ms. Fluke a "pseudo-committee".  Pseudo means false, fake, or sham.  
"Now Democrats are turning Fluke into a feminist martyr. On Thursday, the student was surrounded by dozens of cameras as she sat before a pseudo-committee chaired by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a rump session designed entirely to exploit the Republicans’ mistake." (Milbank at WaPo)
Mr. Milbank might view this as a sham committee hearing, but I doubt women did.  However, he, being a man, would not view reproductive health as important because it's not important to him.  A committee convened for the purpose of hearing a woman talk about the importance access to affordable contraceptives is to women's health is a sham to Mr. Milbank.

Second, Democrats did not make Fluke a martyr.  Fluke was already working to improve access to contraceptives before Democrats asked her to speak.  They chose her because she has the expertise -- she's the boots on the ground, so to speak, and has done the research.  The Democrats gave her a platform, but she was already committed to changing how women's health is handled (or not) in religious affiliated schools.  Democrats are not turning her into a martyr.  They simply chose a knowledgeable person who could speak for women.

Third, you called the hearing a "spectacle" and a "performance" and said Democrats were "putting on a show."
"It was just the spectacle the lawmakers had planned. “If we had gone to central casting to find a representative to speak for American women,” Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) told Fluke, “we could not have done better than you.” Moments later, the lawmakers joined the audience in the unusual act of standing to applaud a witness.

It was quite a performance. The question is why Republicans keep giving their opponents so many opportunities to put on a show." (Milbank at WaPo)
This so-called "performance" and "spectacle" was convened to defend women's rights.  Again, Mr. Milbank, your insensitivity to women's issues is most evident.  For women across the country, this was no performance.  Most of us know what it's like to be denied something that we needed because we are women.  This hearing may have seemed frivolous to you, but it was important to women, which makes it important.  Period.

Be careful, Mr. Milbank.  You're mighty male ego is showing.

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