Birth-control advocate Sandra Fluke knows what mothers in America actually need -- government-run childcare, the ability to frivolously sue their employer and, of course, branding more young men as rapists.
In an TV appearance on MSNBC (an opportunity I'm sure all her California state senate opponents will be given), Fluke told readers not to send cards and flowers, but to fight for wide-ranging policies reacting to anecdotal evidence.
Take her first claim as to what mothers need: “policies to protect expectant mothers from losing their jobs.” Well, there’s already the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, but we can’t fault a social justice attorney like Fluke to have not heard of such a law, can we?
Fluke quickly changes the subject from being fired for being pregnant to receiving special accommodations for pregnancy --like being allowed to carry a water bottle or sit down to work -- as if that wasn't already covered. Besides, in Washington, a law based on anecdotal evidence ends up causing a major disruption to everyone else (see: Obamacare).
Fluke’s second example of what mothers need is investments in “early childhood education and expanding affordable childcare options.”
We know what this means - government-run childcare. Fluke is piggy-backing on President Obama's early childhood education initiatives, even though the Health and Human Services Department's own evaluation found that the most popular of these programs, Head Start (which has been around since 1965), has no lasting impact on children's cognitive abilities.
The reason we need the government to take care of our children, Fluke argues, is so that “women can continue to work without taking a break from their careers and without spending all of their wages on childcare.”
Because children shouldn’t disrupt our lives one bit, right? We should be able to just have them and move on, like buying new furniture.
Fluke then, predictably, discusses equal pay. I’ll give her credit for at least pointing out that discrimination is not the sole reason for the wage gap.
“But we need to understand that a lot of that pay gap is also about mothers specifically,” Fluke told MSNBC's Ed Schultz on Friday. “Because they're stepping out of the workforce to be able to take care of children, and that doesn't have to be the way that it is.”
Her solution, of course, is government-run childcare. But Fluke has also argued for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which wouldn't actually fix the pay gap but would allow trial lawyers to make a pretty penny filing frivolous lawsuits (that could get tied up in court and bankrupt the very women they are purporting to help).
Next, Fluke argues that mothers need “job protection and payment” as part of “sick and family leave policies.” Because apparently only mothers ever leave to care for sick family members.
If I were one of Fluke’s college professors grading this essay (she graduated Georgetown University Law Center two years ago), I’d note how she’s strayed from issues clearly related to mothers to listing desired policies and frivolously linking them to motherhood.
In the example of sick leave policy, she doesn’t even mention the word “mother,” however.
Fluke’s final idea of what mothers supposedly need is an end to sexual assault on college campuses, because “mothers deserve to know their children are safe at college.” It could be argued that rather than labeling every male college student as a rapist-in-waiting, mothers could teach their daughters not to drink so much that they black out.
Not to be nit-picky, but Fluke only provided one statistic (that childcare costs $20,000 a year) but absolutely no sources in her article. I know it’s an op-ed but still, evidence, people, evidence.
Fluke’s claim to fame was advocating for a woman’s choice to not have children (and being called a “slut” for that). Now, as she uses her 15 minutes to run for the California state senate, her tune has changed to telling mothers (Fluke is not one) what they need.
At least she didn’t try to argue that mothers need birth control and abortions.