If you are alive and breathing and anywhere near a radio or television or laptop, there is no escaping the 24/7 coverage of the upcoming election.
Not that I'm trying to escape politics, the last few weeks, that is.
I watched the convention in Tampa last week, and I'm watching the convention in Charlotte this week.
Both featured spectacle on a scale worthy of rock stars, and there have been rock stars and starlets. I've listened to disingenuous speeches, facts and reality twisted into knots. I've listened to earnest speeches, pleas really to vote for my guy. I've listened to more than enough I live in a cabin and I built it myself speeches. No man or woman is an island, so giveitarestalready!
There have been moments of sparkling veracity and emotion, hope, and also fear mongering on a scale not seen for a decade. And a few wackos.
Above it all, strong women stole both shows, and literally rocked the house: Ann Romney, Michelle Obama, Condeleeza Rice, Elizabeth Warren. Sandra Fluke.
Of all the speeches, for me, Sandra Fluke's game on, the personal is political, oh no you didn't fellas speech is the most memorable and pressing. She just may be the dark horse of both conventions.
The twitter reaction to her speech is best reported in Slate. One thing the tweets made clear, is that you do not need to be male to be misogynist.
Here is the transcript of Fluke's speech via the Washington Post.
Some of you may remember that earlier this year, Republicans shut me out of a hearing on contraception. In fact, on that panel, they didn't hear from a single woman, even though they were debating an issue that affects nearly every woman. Because it happened in Congress, people noticed. But it happens all the time. Many women are shut out and silenced. So while I'm honored to be standing at this podium, it easily could have been any one of you. I'm here because I spoke out, and this November, each of us must do the same.
During this campaign, we've heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await women—and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They're not imagined. That future could be real.
In that America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs. Who won't stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party. It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms.
An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don't want and our doctors say we don't need. An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don't. We know what this America would look like. In a few short months, it's the America we could be. But it's not the America we should be. It's not who we are.
We've also seen another future we could choose. First of all, we'd have the right to choose. It's an America in which no one can charge us more than men for the exact same health insurance; in which no one can deny us affordable access to the cancer screenings that could save our lives; in which we decide when to start our families. An America in which our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters—not his delegates or donors—and stands with all women. And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here—and give me a microphone—to amplify our voice. That's the difference.
Over the last six months, I've seen what these two futures look like. And six months from now, we'll all be living in one, or the other. But only one. A country where our president either has our back or turns his back; a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won; a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn't apply to our bodies and our voices.
We talk often about choice. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's time to choose.