Professor “Defends” Sandra Fluke As Mere Extortionist or Prostitute Not Slut; Students React Creatively

 By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Seems the far Right just can’t stay out of  – or quit throwing – the muck. The Huffington Post reports that  University of Rochester econ professor, Steve Landsburg, has launched his own attack on Georgetown law school student, Sandra Fluke, who had the temerity to speak her mind to a congressional committee discussing contraceptive services.  Landsburg apparently dabbles in English grammar when his dismal graphs and computer models become tiresome. In his off-hours, he seems quite content to edit Rush Limbaugh’s right-wing attack pieces, adding some of his own insights. On his blog he felt compelled to share:

[Limbaugh] wants to brand Ms. Fluke a “slut” because, he says, she’s demanding to be paid for sex. There are two things wrong here. First, the word “slut” connotes (to me at least) precisely the sort of joyous enthusiasm that would render payment superfluous. A far better word might have been “prostitute” (or a five-letter synonym therefor), but that’s still wrong because Ms. Fluke is not in fact demanding to be paid for sex. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) She will, as I understand it, be having sex whether she gets paid or not. Her demand is to be paid. The right word for that is something much closer to “extortionist”. Or better yet, “extortionist with an overweening sense of entitlement.” Is there a single word for that?

But whether or not he chose the right word, what I just don’t get is why the pro-respect crowd is aiming all its fire at Rush. Which is more disrespectful — his harsh language or Sandra Fluke’s attempt to pick your pocket?

Seems he may be on to something etymologically speaking but he fails

Steve Landsburg

miserably in the free speech/separation of church-state class. I’d think he’s also getting a “D-” for comprehension in my class. Fluke made no claim on the public funds and instead merely advocated that private insurance cover contraceptive services to further women’s health rather than cater to religious convictions of a particular sect.

While Professor Landsburg doesn’t get it, the University’s students did. Thirty of them dressed in black and made a rather dramatic entry into his classroom passing out summaries of the professor’s musings and then opted to stand between him and his charges staging a pedagogical wall of separation between scorn and student.

Landsburg called security to disband the protest, but the students left of their own accord making their point for both civility and free speech. “We are appalled by how often women and their bodies have been used for political theatrics, and we refuse to remain passive on this issue,” Kelly Rickert, a Rochester student who was a part of the protest, told The Huffington Post. “To do so would be to condone the actions of Professor Landsburg.”

University of Rochester President Joel Seligman acknowledged his employee’s right to the academic freedom to express unpopular opinions but added:

“I am outraged that any professor would demean a student in this fashion,” Seligman said in a statement. “To openly ridicule, mock, or jeer a student in this way is about the most offensive thing a professor can do. We are here to educate, to nurture, to inspire, not to engage in character assassination.”

Well, Dr. Segilman some of you are. On the other hand, seems some in the ivory tower like to attack from the comfort of their office. Landsburg was undeterred, “[Fluke] deserves only to be ridiculed, mocked and jeered,” and “Rush stepped in to provide the requisite mockery” with a “spot-on analogy.” And in one of the most ironic statements I’ve heard from the academe in a long time said of the protestors, “in their contempt for the free exchange of ideas, they appear to be comrades-in-arms of Sandra Fluke.” 

Comrades-in-arms by personal ridicule and thus chilling the free speech of another? In Rochester, it seems it takes one to know one.

In keeping with our academic theme, in a hundred words or less, pick the victim(s) and defend your answer:

a. Sandra Fluke

b. Professor Steve Landsburg

c. The University of Rochester

d. First Amendment

e. Academic Freedom

Source: Huffington Post

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

244 thoughts on “Professor “Defends” Sandra Fluke As Mere Extortionist or Prostitute Not Slut; Students React Creatively”

  1. R for
    Reactionary, redundant, redolent, raging, ridiculous, rapt (as to bribes), ruptured (brains and morals), replaceable, rank, reptilian brained, rapturous at the sight of power, roaming (hands), reeking (feet and genitalia), reckless (with other people’s possessions), remarkable (in stupidity), roaring, rye (drinkers), rattle (as in snake),——add your own.

  2. SwM,
    Heart warming news. They are needed now.

    Could we hope for larger miracles? If we can do this, why not more?
    Wall Street next. The world thereafter. We bomb Congress in the meantime. (NSA that was a joke , repeat joke. redacted redacted)

    Only one problem, are they properly disposed electoral wise. I’ve always got one worry in reserve to pump up my anguish if it faces temp defeat.

    Thanks.
    See my answers on Sarkosy to your questions.

  3. Barack Obama’s lead over [Mitt] Romney is attributable in large part to his wide advantage among women, younger voters, and nonwhites. Women favor Obama over Romney by 20 points – virtually unchanged from a month ago – while men are divided almost evenly (49% Obama, 46% Romney). This gender gap is particularly wide among voters under age 50. Women ages 18-49 favor Obama over Romney by nearly two-to-one (64% to 33%), while men the same age are split (50% Obama, 46% Romney). Idealist, I should have posted this here for you. Young women are getting involved and they are not too favorably disposed to those with r’s beside their names.

  4. SwM
    If we are tired, then it’s time to get the next generation engaged.
    As Hanna says in above link; women have the votes, and money to contribute too.
    Jon

  5. Richard Hanna, GOP Congressman, Tells Women To Give Their Money To Democrats
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/richard-hanna-gop-congress_n_1373381.html

    Excerpt:
    As the only Republican Congressman at a rally for the Equal Rights Amendment on Thursday, Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) gave women an unexpected piece of advice: Give your money to Democrats.

    “I think these are very precarious times for women, it seems. So many of your rights are under assault,” he told the crowd of mostly women. “I’ll tell you this: Contribute your money to people who speak out on your behalf, because the other side — my side — has a lot of it. And you need to send your own message. You need to remind people that you vote, you matter, and that they can’t succeed without your help.”

    The Equal Rights Amendment, which Congress passed in 1972 but has not yet been ratified by the necessary 38 states, simply says that equality under the law “shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex.” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the legislation this year in hopes that it would finally become a part of the Constitution.

    “If equality had been enshrined in the Constitution for these past 40 years, I wonder if we would still be hearing today from right-wing presidential contenders that women should not serve in combat, that women should think twice before they seek to work outside of the house, that women should not use birth control, and that women who do are called names that are not fit to repeat here,” Maloney said at the rally.

    Hanna, a pro-choice Republican and co-sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment, acknowledged that women’s continuing fight for equality is meeting some resistance among his Republican colleagues. He urged women to become more politically active on their own behalf.

  6. Elaine M.
    got to get some glasses for laptop use. use the bifocal i have for reading, but need others for terminal. can read but details can’t be seen.
    Any way it’s better than getting senite—but that may have come too.
    Smile. How do you get emoticons here? have them on my mail program.

    SwM,
    Will try to remember what I never experienced. Hard to do.
    but thanks for the heads-up anyway. Will write some congressman instead. like i said to mike s. you all ain’t my encyclopedia.

    Here’s a kill rush limbaugh video, from Breitbart. is that a forbidden source here?
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2012/03/22/Kill-Kill-Kill-Rush-Limbaugh

    PS got a new 4G laptop modem free of charge. fast as lightning when it works. the net broke down suddenly but is up again now. It’s called LTE technology. the usual net got so overloaded with smartphones that they were giving away this to us mobile broadband users to get us off the usual net. The first LTE smartphone model from Samsung came this week.
    Iphone prices were dropped by 200 USD to counter the Samsung move.
    Good time to buy one but will choose the other I think. Nuff nerd talk.
    Pass the news on to your nerd friends

    How’d you like my lady defense rant? I loved writing it.

    Nighty night, It’s 11:30 PM and will do some reading now. Indian history.
    Good book. East India of course, Nehru’s and Gandhis and Buddhas.
    Accdg to this Buddha was not a crown prince or a prince as the leaders were in fact elected in that part. The rajahs developed later, etc.
    The things you learn. Really useful. (irony)

  7. idealist, The GOP war on women has galvanized women, and they won’t be voting for the GOP. Some of the Ron Paul supporters on here are not too happy with this development.

  8. idealist, It gets old. This disagreement has been going on since the tea party started running candidates in 2010.

  9. Stats was the wrong word. Was looking for comparative budget figures between Dem and the new Rep thing. Particularly between the stuff the Rep cut out and the Dems have kept. Even his priest (Ryan’s?) is challenging him on his cutting out the poor from his budget. Have you seen that. And the bishop too.

    I’ll ask somebody else.
    You seem irritated that I ask. The question was not meant to be provoking.

  10. idealist,

    I would assume that anyone who reads/listens to the news about what is going on in this country doesn’t need statistics. Besides, it’s not really about statistics–it’s about a party’s platform, proposed legislation, mindset, budget proposals, and its position on social programs and women’s rights.

    I don’t need no stinkin’ statistics to figure out that the GOP isn’t really a “grand” party for many of us Americans.

    😉

  11. Faith Leaders Blast House GOP Budget As ‘Immoral Disaster’ That ‘Robs The Poor’
    By Travis Waldron on Mar 21, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/03/21/448820/faith-leaders-blast-house-gop-budget/

    When House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his Medicare-ending, safety net-gutting 2012 budget plan last year, he was slammed by faith leaders who denounced his cuts to programs that aid the poor and middle class. Ryan released the 2013 version of that budget yesterday, and he is again facing criticism from a diverse group of faith leaders.

    Ryan often says it is “morally wrong” not to address America’s debt, but faith leaders like Bishop Gene Robinson said the budget Ryan crafted fails basic moral tests. “The Ryan budget robs the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable of the safety net so integral to their survival,” Robinson said. “By any measure of civility and regard for one’s neighbor, it is an immoral disaster.”

    Father Thomas Kelly, a Catholic priest and constituent of Ryan’s, felt similarly:

    “As a constituent of Congressman Ryan and a Catholic priest, I’m disappointed by his cruel budget plan and outraged that he defends it on moral grounds. Ryan is Catholic, and he knows that justice for the poor and economic fairness are core elements of our church’s social teaching. It’s shameful that he disregarded these principles in his budget.”

    That the GOP cuts vital programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and other safety net programs while giving tax breaks to the richest Americans is “immoral” and “unconscionable,” other leaders said. “The poor are not statistics,” Rabbi Jackie Moline said. “Whatever one thinks of Congressman Ryan’s ideas, it is unimaginable to look into the face of a child who would go hungry without government assistance and say, ‘Sorry — we need to reduce the deficit.’”

    *****

    Jill,

    Do you still not see any difference at all between the Republican and Democratic parties?

  12. Women Knit Uteruses For Lawmakers |
    An organization called Government Free VJJ is encouraging women to knit uteruses and send them to male members of Congress with the note, “Dear Men in Congress: If we knit you a uterus, will you stay out of ours?” Supporters can either send the knitted organs directly to their congressional representatives or to project organizers who will hand deliver them. And as debate continues in Arizona about a controversial bill that would allow employers to dictate if an employee’s insurance could cover contraception, one woman says she will begin sending a knitted uterus to Arizona legislators after she sends them to Arizona’s congressional delegation.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/22/449852/women-knit-uteruses-for-lawmakers/

  13. Swarthmore Mom,

    As you (and others) have over time presented the advantages of the solutions to reproductive issues, women’s medical needs and solutions including hormone treatment (p.pill), family planning effects on the whole family, etc etc—–I do not see how anyone with a conscience or ethics can oppose these freedoms of choice and the programs to implement them—-including the assured funding to include all women, of reproductive age or otherwise.

    Women, even pre-pubertal girls, need the assurance that, as they face their biological role in life, society will support them wholeheartedly and generously in fulfilling the role which each of them decides to undertake.

    Health is an essential part of being, not dissociable from any part of the being/body by religious or political fiat. And health is everyone’s right to insist on society’s prioritizing. Reproduction is only part, but again is a decsion solely the right of a woman, without men’s interference. The man proposes, the woman disposes. For the creation and responsibility for life is hers. For so functions nature, and so is this function consigned to women to bear,. Protestations of eternal love reinforced by religious vows do not guarantee child support.

    Nature shows many examples where the male of a species can impregnate; whereupon the female can post-coitum eliminate the impregnating sperm.
    The choice of means available to us by virtue of our brains are several. That is natural, quite simple, in God’s order.

    There is I presume, a charter, a declaration which significantly in 10 statements makes clear these issues and our position in supporting women’s rights solely as a person It should be widely distributed, and of such brevity that all can commit it to memory to recite aloud on need.

    When do we need to take the streets with special flashlights, a la the video of the luminous condoms, to wave in protest against penile domination?
    What will be our special branded soundmaker devices or voice calls to clearly mark the cry of fury over such evil intentions as we parade. What shall we chant in unison to strengthen our resolve and carry forth our message?
    I say we, for there should be many men there as well.

    I obviosly envision an uprisiing. I think reasoning alone will not get us victory.

    Are we ready for a fight? I hope so. Others will say, don’t excite, don’t fight. “You will lose if you confront”, they will say. For such is the role the weaker sex and the biological concern with existing life has left as the strategy for women.

    What do you feel?

    All opposition is welcome, since through discussion best decisions are attained.

  14. Jill,
    Simple questions.
    .
    Who of the possible candidates do you support?.
    If Obama is on the slate, will you vote for him or another candidate?
    Who, in you say no to Obama?

    Fess up. Stop excreting.on us.

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