Sandra Fluke should sue Rush Limbaugh for all the women who can't
Law student Sandra Fluke could be suing Rush Limbaugh for calling her a "slut" and a "prostitute" after she advocated insurance coverage of birth control.
"I've certainly been told I might have a case, but it's not something I've made any decisions about at this point," the 30-year-old told The Daily Beast.
Many legal experts believe Limbaugh's ugly remarks qualify as slander--or defamation in which a hurtful statement is spoken. Plus, since Fluke is considered a private citizen and not a public figure, she would only have to prove that Limbaugh made a false statement that was "published" and the statement caused injury. Public figures, on the other hand, must also prove actual malice or that the statement was made with intentional disregard for the truth.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, was the first to call for Fluke to sue Limbaugh. But since then, others have jumped on board. Just this past weekend, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said he would like to see "see her take [Limbaugh] to court."
Read more ¿Qué más?: Rush Limbaugh calls woman a slut for advocating birth control coverage
So, the question is, should Fluke actually do it? I think she absolutely should. First of all, I don't think it can be denied that Fluke has a case. After all, Limbaugh's statements implied "facts" about her sex life and her character (both of which he knew nothing about) and were obviously published, seeing as he made them on a syndicated radio show.
But, the real reason why Fluke should sue is not because she can, but because she needs to. In doing so, she will be speaking on behalf of all sexually active women, who are frequently met with misogynistic attitudes simply because they are trying to stay safe. And even more significantly, by filing suit, she'll also be representing all those women of color who don't always have the opportunity to fight for themselves and their bodies. I mean, how many times have Latinas been criticized for all too often becoming teen mothers? Yet, nothing is done to make birth control more easily accessible to our community or any other female community for that matter.
It's time for people with outdated attitudes, like Limbaugh, to stop making women feel ashamed for taking birth control and protecting their own bodies. And though the comments made about Fluke might be what initially led to the possibility of a slander case, I think ultimately the case won't be about Fluke being compared to "sluts" and "prostitutes" (after all, don't the women with the most active sex lives need birth control too?). Instead, it'll be about the need for single and sexually active women to feel safe enough to go out and buy birth control or to speak up if they feel need it to be more affordable. It's a right every woman of every ethinicity should feel free to use --no questions asked.
Do you think Fluke should sue? Why or why not?
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