. . . lying to Congress about rape that way.
Fluke testified that she knew a fellow Georgetown student who opted to not report a rape because she was worried that her insurance wouldn’t cover the rape examination:
One student told us that she knew birth control wasn’t covered, and she assumed that’s how Georgetown’s insurance handled all of women’s sexual healthcare, so when she was raped, she didn’t go to the doctor even to be examined or tested for sexually transmitted infections because she thought insurance wasn’t going to cover something like that, something that was related to a woman’s reproductive health.
This statement is utterly unbelievable. Does anyone really believe in the existence of a Georgetown student who was raped, then decided to not report the existence of a dangerous, predatory criminal because she might have to pony up more than a co-pay to have a rape kit examination? Does anyone believe that this alleged victim wouldn’t at least call 911, or the local rape crisis center, or the Georgetown Woman’s Center, or any of the student anti-rape groups that plaster campuses with their posters denouncing rape, if she was that worried about paying for a rape kit in the aftermath of experiencing a rape?
If this extremely politically convenient woman really does exist, then any of those phone calls would have reassured her that, thanks to the hard work of people like . . . me . . . no woman in this country needs to pay for a rape kit. The federal government requires states to cover these costs at the risk of losing funding. Washington D.C. also covers the costs. State victims’ compensation boards cover the costs. Rape kit collection is covered even if a woman decides to have a rape kit collected while choosing to not report the rape to the police.
But even if this unlikely, unsympathetic, alleged victim does exist, Fluke’s testimony is still a lie because it was designed to exploit this non-issue. Ms. Fluke exploited real rape victims in order to advance a non-argument for prescription coverage for contraceptives: what on earth should we call that? She tried to create false fear about the cost of rape kits in order to promote a different cause. And that is exploitative. Repugnant. If one real victim worries about this now because Sandra Fluke used rape victims’ fears this way on the witness stand, then it is on Fluke’s head, and on the heads of the other professional reproductive rights activists who carefully tooled this testimony alongside her.
Yet not one congressperson challenged Fluke’s rape kit testimony. Not one mainstream media reporter paused for a gut-check . . . or a fact-check. The last time anyone in the media bothered to talk about rape kits was during Sarah Palin’s run for vice-president. Back then, Salon and Huffington Post and a thousand Democratic operatives tried like hell to pin the “not paying for rape kits” charge on Palin. They never found a smoking gun, but the story made national news, not once, but over and over and over again.
They didn’t do this because they cared about rape victims in Wasilla. They did it to play a political game, with rape victims serving as the kickball. That’s how much leftists, and leftist feminists, really care about real rape.
It should be noted that in the wake of Fluke, not one rape crisis representative has come forward to reassure women that they will not have to pay for rape kits, not in Washington DC, not anywhere in the United States. Where are these advocates? Where are all the professional rape crisis workers, the people paid to tell the rest of us these things, because it is supposed to be so important to educate the public and dispel misconceptions and encourage reporting?
Where are the campus rape activists, who ought to be out there reassuring women that they don’t really have to pay if they go to a hospital for medical care after a rape?
Where are Tori Amos and Christina Ricchi and Neil Gaiman, those brave spokespeople who lend their names to RAINN, the very well-funded, national, message-driven-anti-rape-non-profit that is supposed to exist to do rape education but somehow hasn’t gotten around to issuing a press release correcting the false information perpetrated by Sandra Fluke? RAINN raises more than a million dollars a year to “educate the public about sexual assault and conduct outreach to at-risk populations.” Don’t give your money to people like this.
Fluke went on The View, and not one of the allegedly pro-woman women on that program bothered to pause for a moment to reassure viewers that no rape victim needs to worry about the cost of collecting a rape kit, because doing so would break the narrative, which is that the vicious Jesuit priests at Georgetown are keeping women from reporting rape.
Rush Limbaugh didn’t silence these people. They silenced themselves, because rape is just an issue to use when it’s politically expedient. Rape is the red-headed stepchild of the political left. It’s a crime issue, a sentencing issue, a recidivism issue, and frequently a race issue: as such, the Left works hard to control the message while sometimes actually opposing measures that would achieve justice for victims. Every honest person working in rape advocacy knows that the price of admission to the left-wing table is to avoid talking about the prevalence of politically incorrect rapes (white victim, minority offender and even minority victim-minority offender) while hammering away at the campus date rape issue (so long as the accused fit the desired stereotype). Honest activists know that the types of reforms that really reduce rape — minimum mandatory sentencing, truth-in-sentencing, post-release offender registration — are opposed by the Left, so they frequently don’t even bother to show up for hearings on such bills. And they know to keep their pretty lips zipped on the lies perpetrated by the hate crimes industry in the interest of keeping heterosexual female rape victims from cluttering up the all-important hate crime stats.
While I worked on sentencing reform that would actually reduce the prevalence of rape in Atlanta, the campus rape activists and the local affiliate of RAINN there were super-busy keeping rape victims from being counted as hate crime victims (unless they were gay), in order to please the gay and ethnic-rights activists of the Left. They were busily raising money for campaigns that hectored all men about rape while they studiously ignored real rape cases that didn’t fit their ideological needs. They never complained about jurors letting offenders off, for instance, because doing so would involve wading into politically perilous waters. They never bothered to address the increasingly toxic myths about the prevalence of false accusations being churned out by the Innocence Project. They pointed fingers at frat brothers, got their degrees in Women’s Studies, blogged about their sex partners, became fake lesbians to enhance their shot at the tenure track, and never once sat in a courtroom watching jurors decide that some 13-year old hadn’t really been raped by her mommy’s boyfriend because she “wanted it.”
I want to make something extremely clear: the first-wave and second-wave feminists didn’t do that. Those women worked hard and took political risks to help rape victims and punish rapists. They damned the political costs. They worked gratefully with sympathetic police and partnered happily with sympathetic Republicans. They didn’t wallow in thrall to the criminal defense bar. But by the 1990’s, the third-wave, sex-positivity, politically correct thingies who followed them were literally undoing the work of the women who preceded them. By 1999, there was a definite schism between the older service-providers — women who actually spent evenings working in the gynecology emergency rooms and staffing rape crisis centers — and the Emily Bazelon ilk, the well-paid third-wave activists who unravelled those efforts in the morning light.
It was an ugly scene, the same scene now being played out nationally, thanks to Sandra Fluke’s decision to lie to Congress about rape. What a nasty piece of work. What a shame about the feminist movement.