Rather belatedly, we are becoming aware that this supposedly typical Georgetown coed is not very typical at all...McCain links to a blog post from The College Politico, which begins:
Sandra Fluke is being sold by the left as something she’s not. Namely a random co-ed from Georgetown law who found herself mixed up in the latest front of the culture war who was simply looking to make sure needy women had access to birth control. That, of course, is not the case.Random co-ed?! She's a law student! I've been in law schools since 1978, and I've never heard female law students called "co-eds." What the hell is a co-ed? Even as a word for female undergraduates, it's like you're from 1931. Here's the original teenage heartthrob, Rudy Vallée, singing his great old college song, "Betty Co-ed":
As many have already uncovered Sandra Fluke she is, in reality, a 30 year old long time liberal activist who enrolled at Georgetown with the express purpose of fighting for the school to pay for students’ birth control. She has been pushing for mandated coverage of contraceptives at Georgetown for at least three years...
Betty Co-ed has lips of red for Harvard,I first learned the names of famous universities hearing that song on an LP of college songs that my parents had. The cover photo had rows of pretty girls each holding up a pennant with the name of a college on it.
Betty Co-ed has eyes of Yale's deep blue,
Betty Co-ed's a golden head for Princeton,
Her dress I guess is black for old Purdue!
Betty Co-ed's a smile for Pennsylvania,Here's the 1931 Max Fleischer film, featuring a Betty Boop prototype and Rudy Vallée saying "hi ho!" and starting a bouncing-ball singalong:
Her heart is Dartmouth's treasure, so 'tis said,
Betty Co-ed is loved by every college boy,
But I'm the one who's loved by Betty Co-ed!
Now, Betty has a lot of boyfriends. Some may even call her a "slut." That was back in the day when a girl on campus caused quite a hubbub. Did Betty put out? What birth-control did Betty use? How much did it cost? Who paid? I don't know, but how many voters of today remember what college was like back when Rudy Vallée was making women swoon?
Now, Vallée's a fascinating character in the history of pop culture:
Vallée... was perhaps the first complete example of the 20th century mass media pop star. Flappers mobbed him wherever he went. His live appearances were usually sold out, and even if his singing could hardly be heard in those venues not yet equipped with the new electronic microphones, his screaming female fans went home happy if they had caught sight of his lips through the opening of the trademark megaphone he sang through.Vallee had a gentle voice:
Vallée became the most prominent and, arguably, the first of a new style of popular singer, the crooner. Previously, popular singers needed strong projecting voices to fill theaters in the days before the electric microphone. Crooners had soft voices that were well suited to the intimacy of the new medium of the radio.Ah, the radio! You can't sound too harsh on the radio, especially when you're pouring your sounds into the ears of women. I know one older woman who, finding Rush too harsh, has moved on Bill Bennett, who seems caring.
But back to my point: co-ed. This is an old-fashioned label to stick on a woman, and it shouldn't be used anymore even to apply to undergraduates. But you just sound ignorant to call a female law student a "co-ed." And that ignorance continues with this talk of Sandra Fluke not being "a random co-ed." None of the students at an elite law school like Georgetown are "random." There's an elaborate, multi-factored admissions process, and it specifically looks for applicants who aren't coming straight from college but have taken time and shown engagement with social and political issues.
A "30 year old long time liberal activist" sounds exactly like the kind of person who would apply to law school and get accepted with enthusiasm, because the schools want students who will contribute to the classroom discussions about the things we talk about in law school, like sex discrimination. This is what classroom diversity means. And we want students who will take their law school education and use it different ways, especially in political activism. So what if Fluke "enrolled at Georgetown with the express purpose of fighting for the school to pay for students’ birth control"? I have no idea if that's why she selected Georgetown, but it's not a bad thing, it's not something law schools don't like, and it's not an unusual orientation for a law student to have.
McCain also tells us that Fluke has argued that it's sex discrimination for insurance not to cover "gender-reassignment" surgery. Sorry, this is typical law-journal material. Of course, an advocate in the category she belongs to would make arguments like this. Argue with these arguments all you want. But it doesn't make Sandra Fluke some nefarious pseudo law student. She sounds like a typical excellent law student at an elite law school.
Which is to say: the personal put-downs sound old-fashioned and sexist.
The right wing stepped in it with Fluke. Having stepped in it, they keep smushing around in it.
As a woman, as a law professor, as a woman law professor, I don't want to be seen anywhere near these guys. Could you start acting normal about women participating in public debate?
Now let's have a serious debate about insurance. Yeah. It's not much fun at all. But you've got to quit having your fun with women and sex — in this context! — or you are going to alienate more and more women voters — and men voters — every day. Good lord! It's super Tuesday. We should be talking about Mitt Romney, not Sandra Fluke. Yeah: Mitt Romney and insurance. Boring. Too bad.