Arts & Entertainment
Creep of Week: Rush Limbaugh
By D'Anne Witkowski
Originally printed 3/22/2012 (Issue 2012 - Between The Lines News)
Creep of the Week
Poor Rush Limbaugh. Can't a guy even call a girl a slut on the radio these days without people getting all mad? It's not like he called a private citizen a prostitute, and then said she should post videos online of all the sex she's having in order to "pay" for her birth control pills.
Oh, wait. That's exactly what he did. And it is apparently a very big deal. Advertisers are fleeing from Limbaugh's show faster than you can say "birth control pills are basically Skittles for whores."
And good for those companies for speaking out against blatant misogyny in the only speech that is actually free in America: money.
Still, I can't help but think, "What the hell took so long?" Because the fact is, this guy has had a hate spout in his mouth for decades. His long history of misogyny, racism, homophobia and classism is well documented.
So what happened? Is it all some kind of Muslim Femi-Nazi plot unleashed by the Obama Administration? Is it that he crossed a line by targeting a private citizen? Or could it be that by assailing women's access to birth control, Limbaugh has finally pissed off enough straight women that they're actually paying attention and they don't like what they're hearing?
Rush is a megaphone for all of the rabid anti-choice, anti-women politicians and voters in America. It's no fluke that his anti-Fluke ranting coincides with the shit ton of bills and proposals flying out of mostly male pie holes nationwide.
Bills that would mandate forced vaginal ultrasounds, allow employers to fire women who use birth control, force women to carry a dead fetus to term, exempt employers from having to cover birth control if it bothers their delicate moral or religious beliefs, allow a doctor to withhold any negative results from prenatal tests that may tip the scales toward abortion, refuse funding for women's health if any of it is to go toward birth control. The list goes on. Margaret Sanger would be so pissed.
These are actual proposals being seriously suggested. In America. In 2012. Limbaugh's merely providing the soundtrack.
So I have to say that I wasn't surprised by Limbaugh's "slut" comments. Nor am I surprised by the assault on birth control and the women who use it or want access to it. Is this trend alarming? Sure. While these debates aren't new, it certainly is remarkable that today a Republican candidate for the presidential nomination can say on national TV that a woman should look at a rape-induced pregnancy as a gift from God and then still go on to win primaries.
For years I have been inundated with creeps trying to take away and restrict access to rights for myself and for my family. I, along with all LGBT people, have been characterized as a sex-pervert undeserving of equal protection under the law. I've listened to countless elected officials debate the most intimate details of my life - love, sex, family - and declare that I don't have a right to any of them because I've "chosen" the "gay lifestyle."
So all of this "slut shaming" that folks like Limbaugh are doing, all of this anti-woman legislation, it's been coming down the pike all along. For years gay and lesbian activists, myself included, have been saying to straight folks, "Look out. These guys are coming after you next." And part of me, I have to say, feels a tinge of "I told you so" directed at all of the hetero folks who never really felt they had a stake in this fight. Welcome to the club. Better late than never.