Between this pundit, this one, and this “person”, I think perhaps Rush Limbaugh was starting to get angry over his waning relevance in the “movement” he practically created. Maybe that’s why he went completely over the top, even for him, and attacked a young woman barely in the public sphere. Rush has always had a mad on for women and women’s equality, but calling someone a “slut” and a “prostitute” simply for stating the need to cover birth control is vicious in the extreme. Maybe it was just Limbaugh’s way of eulogizing culture warrior Andrew Brietbart.
It takes a lot to make one’s own coining of the term “feminzazi” look sensitive to women, but Rush managed it. He has every right to his opinion, and considering that Ms. Fluke put herself in the public eye by advocating for women’s health publicly, his statements probably fall under the same protections that saved Larry Flynt when Jerry Falwell went after him. I for one will defend that protection, after all it protects me when I call him a spineless blowhard that hides behind a microphone and his class privilege. His words, which come from a professional polemicist who probably believes only every fifth word he says publicly anyways, do not bother me anywhere near so much as the people that actually do believe it.
Frankly I am not surprised that they are out there, and that he finds a ready audience to eat up his garbage. After the Slut Walks of last year that shined a harsh light on the victim shaming of our rape culture you had to know that the male privilege machine (and its collaborators among right wing women) would be rolling out their “family values” guns. If anything, I am surprised that it took them so long to do it.
Strong women that have control of their own sexual and reproductive destinies (two often but not necessarily overlapping ideas) are a threat to male dominance of all culture. If a woman can enjoy sex and avoid pregnancy and STD’s then she can enjoy being an equal part of the work force and political dialogue, freed from the looming certainty of motherhood that keeps her out of the public eye and illness that keeps her afraid. Strong women that enjoy sex are a threat to male sexual identity. They bring into question the natural order of things (as promised before, there will be more on that, tied to the question of homophobia soon, tomorrow even.)
We have to fight back. I am not suggesting keeping Rush, or any of the army of frightened, anachronistic troglodytes that agree with him be kept from voicing their own, very backward, opinions. However, we have to fire back with our own. Let our voices be heard. Do not be timid and do not let Rush, or his ilk, punish you for being a complete and healthy woman.