No Fluke That Sandra's On Time's List

Sandra Fluke deserves to be recognized on Time's person of the year list.

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Sandra Fluke, attorney and women's rights activist addresses the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.

Is it a fluke?

Time magazine has come out once again with it's annual "Person of the Year" nominees list. I'm always curious who is nominated and of course, like many, who winds up on the cover and is chosen as the "Person of the Year." The criteria to be chosen, according to Time, is: "the person or persons who most affected the news and our lives, for good or ill, and embodied what was important about the year."

And Sandra Fluke fits that criteria.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]

Many talk show hosts, pundits, and bloggers have balked at Fluke being included on a list that also boasts the names of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In a post on his Gateway Pundit blog, Jim Hoft wrote that Time "nominated Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who demanded you pay for her $10 a month birth control pills, as person of the year." Hoft wrote that the nomination "will put her up there with Adolf Hitler and Yasser Arafat." And Breitbart blogger Ben Shapiro wrote: "Just when you think Time magazine can't make any more of a mockery of itself, they nominate Sandra Fluke."

I disagree wholeheartedly with Hoft, Shapiro and others on the right who don't feel Fluke's name belongs on that list. In nominating her, Time cited her advocacy for women's rights, her "poise and maturity" in dealing with attacks from the right-wing media, and her influence on promoting reproductive rights as a key issue in the presidential campaign. 

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Should Catholic and Other Religious Institutions Have to Cover Birth Control?]

And in case you've forgotten, some of those attacks by the media included remarks such as these, from conservative talker Rush Limbaugh:

What does it say about the college coed Susan [sic] 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.

She's having so much sex, she can't afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We're the pimps.

...

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.

And the right wing media attacked this woman; personally for months on end.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the Republican Party.]

Although I agree with Time's decision to place Fluke on this list, I also believe she belongs on the list for bringing the issue of the "War on Women" to the forefront of America's minds. She should be credited with reminding women on both the right and the left; that many of us agree on the issue of women's reproductive rights. Although some of us might be Democrats and some Republicans, our gender unites us. She brought more women to the polls, reminding us of the decades it took to be where we are and what was at stake for women if we did not re-elect President Obama. In speaking at the Democratic National Convention, she showed true strength over adversity. And she has since become a women's health activist. For these reasons alone, she belongs on this list.   

And I wonder why Hoft, Shapiro, and others on the right haven't been outraged by some other names on the list: Jon Stewart? Korean rapper Psy? What events have they influenced this year?? 

[Read the U.S. News Debate: Is There a Republican 'War on Women'?]

And while I am a firm believer in Fluke's position on this list and wish her all the best in making Time's cover,  she doesn't have my vote, that belongs to Malala Yousufzai; the 15-year-old activist who survived an attempted assassination by the Taliban last month after speaking out for girls' education.

But I must say, I'm outraged at the outrage ... and the war rages on.

  • Read Peter Roff: GOP Shouldn't Abandon Call for Lower Taxes, Pro-Life Stance
  • Read Susan Milligan: States Lose If We Go off the Fiscal Cliff
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.

  • Corrected on 11/29/2012: A previous version of this post misstated the names of some of the nominees for Time's "Person of the Year" and also misspelled Hillary Clinton's name.