19 March 2012

Female Role Models VI

So here we go again.
What does it say about the college coed Susan Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex...
Can you imagine if you're her parents how proud of Sandra Fluke you would be? Your daughter goes up to a congressional hearing conducted by the Botox-filled Nancy Pelosi and testifies she's having so much sex she can't afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope...
Ms. Fluke, have you ever heard of not having sex? Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?... So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch...  
She's having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk... Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade? Or your contraception. Who bought your contraceptive pills in high school?
She's a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her life woman. She wants all the sex in the world whenever she wants it, all the time, no consequences. No responsibility for her behavior... It's no different than if somebody knocked on my door that I don't know and said, 'You know what? I'm out of money. I can't afford birth-control pills, and I'm supposed to have sex with three guys tonight.'
- Selected and limited excerpts from the scum-lapping dirtbag Rush Limbaugh, Feb 29 - Mar. 2, 2012. (and her name is Sandra, idiot. And next time, read what she actually said, moron. )

It's been my tradition for a while now to introduce people to a group of online female role models whenever some noteworthy or influential or relatively powerful guy says something that demeans women. (This is where you can find editions one, two, three, four, and five of this series.) But this has been a particularly awful stretch - not simply in what people say about women, but what Republicans are doing to women.   I'm increasingly annoyed at Republicans raising the false equivalence argument since liberals like Bill Maher, or Ed Schultz, or Keith Olberman have all said disgusting things about women in the past.

Because here's the truth: Rush Limbaugh proudly voices the sentiments that many GOP activists and Republicans in Congress share.  These are the sentiments that compel them to systematically defund not only America's leading provider of health care to low-income women, but also the entire federal budget for Title X and some state healthcare programs for low-income women.   To oppose equal pay for equal work.  To prevent victims of gang rape on the job from suing their employers. To actually try to REDEFINE rape - presumably to legitimize a "bitch had it coming" defense. To mandate a medically unnecessary procedure - one that involves penetrating a woman's vagina with a wand - for women who consider terminating their pregnancies in Virginia.  And Mississippi.  And Alabama.  And Pennsylvania. To oppose the Violence Against Women Act.  To even take a figurative dump on the Girl Scouts

And yes, to deny a young woman the opportunity to testify at a Congressional hearing regarding contraception coverage because you insist it's a "religious freedom" issue, and instead take testimony from a panel that looks like this:
And I haven't even mentioned anything about any presidential candidates. 

These are not the words, actions, or values I would teach my son. I want him to embrace the words, actions, and values of the people I'm highlighting - and I think it's important that he see role models that are women just as often as he sees men.  So, to refresh everyone's memory, here are my criteria:
Someone an online mom can show her daughter [or son, a great point my wife made] and say, "See her? See what she's doing? See how she's living in the same world you are, with the same challenges you have, and see how she succeeds? THAT is how you do this. THAT is what I stand for. I want you to be like HER."
Liz Gumbinner. Entrepreneur, creative genius, advocate for working moms, and damn good writer. That's Liz. She's the Co- founder of Cool Mom Picks, a site that highlights products made by other mom-entrepreneurs.   She's an executive vice president at a ginormous advertising firm.  And she's a great mom to two wonderful daughters.  She's one of the first "mom bloggers" I ever spoke with, and to this day I'm impressed with her grace, her wit, and her drive.   She fights the illusion that working moms can "have it all" but shows us how much joy you can get out of what you have. 

Danielle Lee.  I met Danielle at a science blogging conference earlier this year (I got her on video), but I've been reading her stuff (now at Scientific American) for some time now.  She got her PhD in biology at University of Missouri - Saint Louis, and spends a lot of time mentoring students to be research assistants.  She won the Diversity Scholars Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences for her work in outreach and for her contributions to her field.  Danielle makes science accessible and engaging to so many people.  Put her in a backyard or a playground with some kids in it, and in 15 minutes you'll have a dozen scientists. 

Maryn McKenna. Maryn is without question the scariest person I've ever met.  And I mean that in a good way. A journalist, Maryn was embedded with the Centers for Disease Control on Capitol Hill during the antrhax attacks and with the World Health Organization during a polio eradication campaign in India.  She's the author of a couple of amazing books - Beating Back the Devil and Superbug.  Now she spends her time focusing on the issues surrounding antibiotics and agriculture - trying to warn us that we may be rendering antibiotics useless if we maintain the status quo.  She writes compelling stories and defies some rather powerful interests in doing so. 

Katherine Stone. Katherine has a message for women with postpartum depression: you're not alone.  She created Postpartum Progress, the world's first online resource for women of its kind.  She also founded Postpartum Progress Inc., a non-profit organization that helps improve the services for women with perinatal depression.  Katherine was speaking up and leading this effort long before it was cool - she's had to endure the mocking of more than a few guys.  But she's risen above it and she's even (perish the thought) engaged in the political process by organizing people and urging Congress to support legislation to fund treatment and research.  

So I hope Rush and all his ditto-heads (including those in Congress) enjoy their moment.  The market is making its correction.  I'm sure the electorate will too. And women like Liz, Danielle, Maryn and Katherine will lead the way.

And since it seems like this series isn't going to end, the next time I write this I'm going to ask four dad bloggers to nominate four women to be "role models." You know, just to show people like Rush that we're tired of this garbage too. 


mom101 said...

David I'm beyond touched to appear here especially with so many other amazing women I admire. Thank you.

I also kind of get a kick about appearing in an article that uses the phrase "dirtbag Rush Limbaugh."

LOD said...

Just four? That'll take a while to narrow down.

Prof Mark said...


Great post.

Tap my shoulder and I will nominate my soon-to-be nine year-old daughter. She faces down fears every day and still has time to make her daddy feel like a world-beater.

Very, very well-written.