Is this going to become a tradition? Throwing around the words “slut” and “prostitute” on the first day of Women’s History Month?
On Wednesday, in an attack against Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh — the pharaoh of the Republican Party — told the public what he thought should happen to women like Fluke, who disagree with him on women’s health issues.
Reacting to Fluke’s public support for employers being required to cover contraception in their health care plans, Limbaugh said, “So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”
This reaches new levels of offensive. It’s actually impressive — he was able to fit a sexist, malicious attack, a lie about Fluke’s statements, and a sexual harassment remark all into one rant. Kudos, Limbaugh.
Limbaugh also decided he didn't want to stray from his typically generous personality, so he extended his offer to the entire university in saying, “I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want.”
Sandra gave a statement saying that Limbaugh’s statements go beyond “civil discourse.” Using words like “slut” certainly feels like we are turning back half a century, unless women choose not to be silenced. Women are already speaking up across the country, including Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D- NY) who first walked out of the congressional hearing a few weeks ago, where Fluke was rejected as the only female witness, because she was “unqualified” to speak about women’s health issues. After hearing Limbaugh’s statements on Wednesday, Maloney said she was simply “aghast” and agreed with Fluke that this is “an attempt to silence people that are speaking out for women.”
On February 16, Maloney had Fluke speak outside in the hallway of the House Oversight Committee to tell reporters her testimony. Fluke testified about her friend who had lost an ovary because Georgetown would not cover the oral contraceptives that were prescribed for the condition, and has to spend over $1,000 per year, on a medicine — yes, birth control is medicine — that would and should be free if insurers did not have to comply with Catholic doctrine. Limbaugh’s comments were blatantly egregious when he claimed, “She is having so much sex she can't afford her own birth control pills.”
Georgetown University has reacted to the debacle with grace. President of Georgetown John DeGioia, sent a letter out to students and faculty commending Fluke’s testimony in saying she was “sincere, and spoke with conviction … she provided a model of civil discourse,” he wrote. He criticized Limbaugh’s words, saying they are “misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.”
This is an attack against women and the fact that Fluke is a woman who has a voice. The hateful language he used to describe a hard-working woman who is student is unforgivable. To even suggest that Fluke should post “videos online” is crossing into the threshold of sexual harassment. It’s insulting, and frankly embarrassing that he is the mouthpiece of the party who is competing to potentially be president. The entire debate is counterintuitive to the conservative dogma. Less intervention. Personal freedom. The public should not be involved in personal decisions between a woman and her doctor.
The fact that any Republican elected officials or any of the presidential candidates have not immediately denounced Limbaugh’s statements is disgusting. By not saying anything, they are condoning his words and joining the attack as well. It has become clear that this is a coordinated campaign in the Republican Party, against women. Bringing the Blunt Amendment to the Senate Floor at the beginning of Women’s History Month, instead of talking about larger issues like jobs, is just one example of the “War on Women” happening at federal level, and now it is happening in the media. Talking about women’s access to contraceptives is an overreach and it is disrespectful to women who are trying to manage their lives and their families. People who say that women’s health is a non-partisan issue are delusional, especially now with Limbaugh involved.
If ad hominem attacks seem to be in style, I would like to ask, how many wives has Limbaugh had in the past 30 years? Four. How many children have come out of any of those marriages? None. So, thank you Limbaugh, for illustrating perfectly the wonders of birth control.
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