Sandra Fluke may have been called a “slut” and “prostitute” by Rush Limbaugh simply for expressing her advocacy of birth control. Yet, the moment word got out that President Obama paid a phone call to the young woman and that her parents were admittedly proud of their bright and articulate third year law school educated daughter, Sandra’s Twitter feed began to fill with hateful, misogynistic messages. Many of them run the predictable gamut of scrutinizing Sandra’s appearance to the suggestion that she is sex-crazed. And although being called a “whore” and slandered with sexually-charged language is a common attack on outspoken women and girls, these tweets should concern parents who are hoping to raise thoughtful and opinionated young ladies. Because regardless of whether you personally agree with government mandated birth control coverage, tearing down someone who thinks otherwise with obscenely sexist language doesn’t make for thoughtful discourse — something we should all be striving to teach our kids.
Although there were definitely some tweets that hoped to engage with Sandra about her positions, I specifically chose to highlight the tweets that sought to discredit her simply because she is a woman. So, be warned moms and dads who are looking to instill courage and independence in their little girls. If your daughter “dares” to express her unpopular opinion, this is inevitably what she is up against.