Sandra Fluke Is Very Nearly A California State Senator: 4 Things You Didn't Know About Her
You may or may not remember Sandra Fluke, the ballsy law student who inspired Rush Limbaugh's wrath after she testified before a House Democratic panel a couple of years ago in support of affordable contraception. On Tuesday night, Sandra Fluke finished second in California's primary elections for a state Senate seat — meaning that the former law student will be going on to the general elections in November, along with fellow Democrat Ben Allen. And we're very, very pleased.
Fluke made headlines two years ago, having being attacked for telling the committee about a friend who'd lost an ovary because Georgetown's student insurance wouldn't cover the necessary birth control. At the time, Limbaugh had gone for the jugular, calling her a "slut" and "a prostitute" who was (paradoxically?) "having so much sex she's going broke."
The onslaught was so bad that President Obama later personally called her to comfort her. And it wasn't just Limbaugh, either — later that year, when Fluke became a featured speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Ann Coulter also went after her, tweeting that "Bill Clinton just impregnated Sandra Fluke backstage". Whatever that's supposed to mean.
Clearly, Fluke has a tough skin. Coming second in Tuesday's primary was the first step in going after California's 26th Senate District (which opened in January, after the incumbent, Ted Lieu, chose to run for a seat in the House of Representatives instead of seeking re-election)
Regardless of whether she wins or not, Fluke will is now officially in the political arena — so here are the top little-known facts about the feminist, activist, and Limbaugh-survivor that you should know:
She Didn't Grow Up in L.A, or Even California
Even though Fluke calls herself a "proud Angeleno," she didn't actually grow up in the city, or even in the state. In fact, she grew up in Saxton, Pennsylvania and then studied at Cornell. She's only lived in L.A. since finishing up her law degree at Georgetown.
She Was the First Person In Her Dad's Family to Get a Bachelor's
Part of Fluke's passion for education and equal opportunities comes from her rural middle-class background — she was the first person in her father's family to get a university degree. And from an Ivy League, no less. (She's been pretty quiet about her mother's family, though, so it's possible that they're all geniuses.)
In Fact, Her Dad Became a Pastor
She comes from a "a very observant, conservative Christian family" and her father worked in manufacturing, seeing union jobs come and go, before he finally became a pastor. He "shares the pulpit at Tatesville United Methodist Church in Everett, Pa., with two other pastors" and is, apparently, super proud of his daughter.
She First Became Interested In Women's Issues Because of a Class
"My first semester, I signed up for a Women’s Studies class. The program underwent a change while I was there and I’m proud that I was the first person to graduate with the new Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies degree, as opposed to the Women’s Studies degree," she said in the same interview.
"I was in a pretty conservative mode of thought at that point and I really felt like we had equal rights, men and women were equal. So I should sign up for this class and prove that it didn’t apply to me, that I could do what I wanted to do and wasn’t being held back by my sex or gender. I lost that theory."
She Has a Dog Named Mr. President
Sandra and her husband, the comedian and writer Adam Mutterperl,have a dog called Mr. President. (Who is pretty effing cute, by the way.)