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Ugly: On Chicks and Dicks and Horny Hicks

by Abby Zimet

Tone - in politics, in public, in life - matters. What, then, to make of the crass, obscene, gasp-inducing vitriol from the right wing that has greeted Sandra Fluke's brief and cogent convention speech about the GOP's War on Women? What does one do with people - with a platform, yet - brimming with so much hate and venom? Is it ego, fear of the other, a sense of powerlessness that makes you willing to do or say anything not to lose what you have? Just askin'. And beware.

Aside from misrepresenting Fluke’s point that women should not have to pay more than men do for essential preventative health services, including contraception, these smears degrade Fluke as a woman. In fact, Fluke speaks for the one in three American women who report struggling to afford birth control, and does not need to apologize for either her sexuality or her demand for equitable health care. And although some commentators decried Fluke for “only” talking about birth control rather than addressing other political themes, as if contraception is merely a petty and personal issue, access to health services like contraception is inextricably linked to economic issues.