It was so nice at Balboa Park the other day. Sunny. Warm. Bright. People wearing smiles every where I looked. We were gathered at 6th and Laurel for a Rally for Women’s Health, featuring Sandra Fluke, a woman who gained fame for being shunned by a group with no shame who ran a sham they call the United States House of Representatives’ House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
These Big Time Charlies wouldn’t let her speak to them about reproductive freedom for women because, according to them, she had no “expertise.” And she pretty much had to tell them “Hello! I’m a woman, you know, and how much ‘expertise’ y’all got regarding a woman’s needs, I might ask, considering that every single one of you is a man?” Not to mention, (to counter what their smartassed answer to the question is likely to be) men who have not evolved much when it comes to ways of thinking things female beyond their junior high days.
Like their good buddy, Rush Limbaugh, a sophomoric man who has no sensitivity genes, or inclinations for civility anywhere within him, a man who called Sandra a “slut” for her troubles which fundamentally fits his “expertise” of saying things that are crude and ugly and grossly untrue almost every time he opens his mouth – and he’s always opening his mouth. Always.
But she’s speaking now and how with all the expertise of a woman who sees with clear eyes and hears with discerning ears and has much to offer the world.
She spoke to how, if Romney were president, birth control could end up in the hands of those who won’t use it and politicians in D.C. might redefine rape in ways that survivors are victimized all over again. To prove her point she reminded us how Paul Ryan, who would be vice-president, worked for legislation that would not only support the redefinition of rape but also ban abortion in all cases and cut off funding for providers of abortion and other services that women need and deserve in a free society. She highlighted how, in essence, a Romney presidency would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.
Oh, I love young clear thinking people, for they represent the hope we, as a society, should be looking for. She encourages us to speak up, to listen to and engage those who hold opposing views to ours with information based on facts and common sense to correct the divides between us. I call that love in action.
She supports Obama over Romney, in that same spirit of love and human understanding, saying at the Democratic National Convention that she desires to have “An America in which our President, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters – not his delegates or donors – and stands with all women. And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here, and give me a microphone, to amplify our voice.”
And what a voice she has. She has so many paths down which she could travel, but has chosen to accept a role as a public figure mainly, given all the problems this could cause herself and friends and family, to send a message to young women that it’s OK to speak up. “I did not want any elementary school girl not raising her hand because of me,” she has often said.
With that she’s won a very special place in my heart. It’s comforting to me knowing that there’s a Sandra Fluke in the world who dares to speak out so my daughters and granddaughters and great-granddaughters can feel free to be who they choose to be, so they can live a life of dignity, having within their reach health services that all human beings need and deserve.
This woman energizes my soul, leading me to feel that there is a potential for society to become more thoughtful, more understanding, more people friendly (with people meaning all people), more loving.
She took that already magnificent day and made it even sunnier and warmer and brighter. She’s my new hero.