Sandra Fluke does not speak for all women

Recently, Georgetown grad student Sandra Fluke grabbed America’s attention by insisting that contraceptives be covered by the insurance policies of all privately owned businesses and universities. Since then I’ve repeatedly found myself raising an eyebrow at my countrymen’s behavior.

Allow me to state up front that not all of my disappointment lies on Ms. Fluke’s shoulders. It is also on the men of seemingly mature age, who have used their public forums to call Ms. Fluke cruel and unnecessary names. It is both embarrassing and tragic when folks such as Rush Limbaugh use their wide-reaching platforms not to engage in dialogue, but to obnoxiously demean those with whom they disagree.

Back to Ms. Fluke, who initiated this firestorm. According to her March 13 op-ed for CNN, what she wants is this:

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.

Here we have a woman using her First Amendment right of free speech in the attempt to disable the freedom of others. While it may not be her intention, she is essentially lobbying for the dismissal of certain religious freedoms that are entitled to Americans–ironically–also through the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I fail to see how forcing religious institutions and business owners to supply contraception–which their faith may deem immoral–is not a violation of the First Amendment.

Ms. Fluke sounds off as though the lack of coverage on contraception is a matter of life or death.  Last time I checked, sex was still a voluntary activity that can be done with or without birth control. Perhaps if private insurers should be required to cover contraception to women partaking in sexual relations, they should also be made to insure vibrators for the sexual gratification of any single ladies they also insure.

It is my belief that if a woman is mature enough to engage in sexual activity, she should also be mature enough to accept her personal responsibility in acquiring whatever protection she deems appropriate. Perhaps that involves budgeting it in, or asking her partner to share the financial cost of their mutual pleasure.

Ultimately, if the lack of coverage on contraceptives is going to be a deal breaker for you, it may be something to take up with the folks who write your private university or work place’s insurance policies. Maybe consider taking your academic endeavors to a non-religious university.

And while I would never dream of telling a girlfriend that sexual pleasure is not her God-given right, I might suggest that arming herself against pregnancy or STDs isn’t.

Not to mention, sometimes the best things in life are not always free.


When should I have my coming out party?

Indeed, something I never thought would occur within me has begun to take root, and it makes me feel a little something like this:

Perhaps it’s a long time coming.  Maybe Winston Churchill was right when he said, “Show me a young Conservative and I’ll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I’ll show you someone with no brains.”

Never one to partake in right-of-center politics,most of my days have been spent further to the left end of the spectrum, much like the majority of my family.  Recent years, however, have left me feeling disenchanted with our political system, as well  as many of the politicians running it.  Or trying to run it.  Seems to me the folks over in DC are more into tail-chasing and semantics than anything else.

Maybe it’s the bold disposition maintained by some of our American journalists who hold court further to the right.  I try to imagine where Donald Woods, my South African journalistic hero, would lie within our American standards, and I feel that he may have been considered in some respects a Libertarian.

Who knows?  Ultimately, I doubt the solutions to our country’s problems lie within a single party’s realm of reason.  Perhaps, though, we would all do well to hear the other side out.