Fluke on Maher's Attack on Palin: 'I'm Not Going to Speak About Particular Labels That Have Been Applied to Particular Women'

Elizabeth Harrington | March 21, 2012 | 12:07pm EDT
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Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – While generally condemning the use of "demeaning language" used against women in public life, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke declined to comment on Bill Maher's used of vulgar terms to describe former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.

On Tuesday, the 30-year-old Fluke spoke at an event at the U.S. Capitol in celebration of women’s history month. In her remarks, Fluke condemned “conservative commentators” for trying to silence women by using “sexist rhetoric," and added that “that kind of treatment of women will not be tolerated.”

After she spoke, CNSNews.com asked Fluke: “You said we shouldn’t tolerate demeaning language for women. Should we tolerate Bill Maher for calling Sarah Palin some of the stuff he’s said?”

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Fluke responded: “I’m not going to speak about particular labels that have been applied to particular women. But no matter who is demeaning women, it’s always unacceptable.”

Bill Maher--who appears regularly on CNN and MSNBC as a political analyst--said of Sarah Palin on HBO on Mar. 18, 2011: “Oh, speaking of dumb t----,” using a crude term for a female body part.

On Mar. 28, 2011, Maher did a show in Dallas, where the Dallas Voice reported that he called Palin a “c--- (there’s just no other word for her) ….”

On CNN’s Piers Morgan show on July 11, 2011, Maher said of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann: “I hope Sarah Palin gets in so that they split the MILF vote.”  MILF is an acronym for a “Mother I’d Like to F---.”

HBO's Bill Maher. (AP Photo)

Maher also attacked Palin's daughter Bristol. On his June 24, 2011 show, Maher said, "In Bristol's new memoir, Not Afraid of Life--working title, Whoops, there's a D--- in Me," and later added, "Oh, the Palins. I tell you, the s--- doesn't fall far from the bat. Bristol, just admit it, you were horny."

D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton sponsored the event at the Capitol where Fluke spoke. It was titled, “Opportunities & Challenges for a New Generation of Women."

“You know," Fluke said in her remarks, "some conservative commentators thought that women would be silenced by sexist rhetoric and by these types of accusations and I have to be honest, for a brief moment I worried that that could potentially be successful, that young girls would see how I was treated in the media and would conclude that they should just keep their mouths firmly shut and stay out of the way lest that happen to them.”

“But women of all ages proved me wrong,” said Fluke. “They sent those young girls an even more powerful message. So I think all of us as women have collectively shown that that kind of treatment of women will not be tolerated.  And that young women can safely step into the public square knowing that attacking them in that type of way is unacceptable and will be viewed as unacceptable.  We have also shown that as women we will stand together in support each other when the time comes.”

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