Wednesday, March 7, 2012
what did you call me?
I want to talk about Limbaugh, and I want to talk about "sluts."
Okay, so I don't want to talk about Rush Limbaugh but, rather, I feel obligated to. The band Le Tigre wrote on Twitter, "When we talk about rush limbaugh we lose a chance to talk about something else or to enjoy silence," but I don't entirely agree with that thinking. Sure, Rush Limbaugh sucks. But he doesn't just suck, he also has a considerable amount of power and lots and lots of people listen to him. Ignoring his sexist, misogynistic tirade means the possibility of his ideas being spread AND being seen as valid and justifiable. I do not want lots of people running around thinking Rush has a valid point because everyone was too busy keeping hush when, in actuality, Limbaugh's argument was riddled with lies and misconceptions (though I'd argue just lies, because Limbaugh is an evil man who is very aware of what he is saying) and his language was utterly inexcusable and oppressive. Elie Weisel, novelist, activist, and Holocaust survivor, once said, "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." So, while it may be more pleasant to talk about other things or to enjoy silence, it is imperative that we do what is right over what is easy.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about but care to find out, you can read more about what went down here. Basically, a Georgetown University law student (Sandra Fluke) testified about contraception and Limbaugh disliked this and so spewed verbal vitriol on his talk show. He claimed she must be having so much sex she can't pay for it and that if he has to pay for her contraception, that makes her a slut and a prostitute, and so she should make a video of herself having sex so he could get his money's worth.
Yeah. What the fuck.
Things I'm thinking in response:
1. Contraception doesn't work like that, dude.
Limbaugh needs to get himself to a sex ed. class, stat. This should be Basic Contraceptives 101. You take the same amount of birth control no matter how many partners you have or how frequently you have sex. I would not pop more birth control pills because I slept with a guy 10 times in a day as opposed to 1, or whatever else Rush considers "normal." So, Limbaugh, how did you figure exactly that Sandra Fluke was having copious amounts of sex and thus was racking up a huge bill? We're not talking condoms here, bucko. We both get the same pack of pills; we don't check off "slut" when we order to ensure we get the bulk family-sized super pack for all the sexy times we need to protect ourselves for. Same amount of birth control no matter if you're having lots of sex, a little sex, or none at all! Geez louise!
2. Contraception isn't just for sex.
I wrote previously about my endometriosis, and it is definitely relevant to mention now. Many women on birth control use it to regulate health conditions. Oral contraceptives help keep PMS, acne, and ovarian cysts in check while preventing pelvic inflammatory disease and anemia. They also really, really, really help with endometriosis. Short of surgery, there is nothing I can do to stop my endometriosis, but birth control helps it from getting worse. I've been taking oral contraceptives since I was an early teenager; I was not sexually active, by the way, so suck on that Limbaugh. The pills were instead used to keep me from passing out in pain, or to make sure I didn't miss 3 days of school to recover. My endometriosis has caused me to miss a great deal of school and work, and it has also affected my personal life. This is, clearly, a health issue⎯which should mean I have access to the medication I need no matter who my insurer ends up being.
3. But if it is for sex, that is also really valid.
Because pregnancy is DEFINITELY a health issue. Uh, hello..?
4. And down with slut-shaming!
Okay, so we live in some fucked times when the only thing candidates running for the most powerful position in the world are having a problem with about Limbaugh's comments is his word choice. Romney said those "weren't the words [he] would use." Let me remind you, those words were "slut" and "prostitute." So while Romney (and Gingrich and Santorum) may not call someone a slut during election season, they definitely still agree with the sentiment. Fan-fucking-tastic.
The hypocrisy and backwardness of this all astounds me. A man who's on his fourth wife is going to insult a woman due to his assumptions about her sex life⎯cute. Women are attacked for wanting contraception to be covered (the argument being that it will encourage women to "screw around," or as Limbaugh tells it, to be "sluts"), yet Viagra is defended for coverage because it's a "health concern"? Please! Why do we shame women for their sex lives while enabling men?
So check this out. (I couldn't make this up if I tried.) I was curious about what Fox had to say about this whole thing, so I casually made my way to their website and LOOKIE WHAT I FOUND. The blatant double standard, right before my eyes. In our society, we hold two very different ideas. Women are told that they can't have sex, because if they do, that makes them a slut. BUT, women are simultaneously told that they must be sexy and sexual to be worthwhile. See the problem?
Here we have a page for which the topic is a guy (Limbaugh) calling a woman (Fluke) a slut for being sexually active. YET RIGHT BESIDE THIS is a "picture of the day" showing a scantily clad Jennifer Love Hewitt! Women can only be sexual when it benefits men; the eager-to-cry-"slut" Fox readers may look down their noses in disgust at Sandra Fluke, whom they are not having sex with, but are quick to oggle another woman whose breasts are available for their viewing pleasure. Limbaugh even says it himself! He feels completely justified telling Sandra Fluke that if she's having sex, she owes it to men to post a video of it online! Dr. Ruth Bettelheim writes on Huffington Post, "Mr. Limbaugh wants to punish and castigate women who fail to practice sufficiently puritanical morality, while also unashamedly proclaiming his lascivious interest in watching the 'slutty' uninhibited sex he imagines them having." Again, men deciding when and how a woman can be sexual, and only considering it valid if it is benefiting them. Oral contraceptives are a threat because they take some of the power out of male hands. Women are able to make choices for themselves when they are not dependent on whether or not their partner will have (or use) a condom; oral contraceptives allow women to own their sexuality without the assistance or permission of men.
So these are my thoughts. I know I don't usually write on here with my thoughts/opinions about the "big picture" world of politics and social issues, but these are things that are critically important to me outside of the blogosphere. I try to keep things light in here because this is my personal blog, but some things need to be said, and I think this is an appropriate venue for it. More pictures will be coming soon, most likely tomorrow. Expect a cheerful post!
But, until then, if you want to sign a petition to get even more of Limbaugh's sponsors to drop him, please do! Limbaugh, EAT SCUM. This "feminazi" hates your guts.