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Limbaugh misses the point

By Emily Lindgren
On March 7, 2012

The debate in this country about birth control coverage across all institutions, public and private, is certainly thought-provoking. There have been good arguments made either way in as far as I've seen. Quite frankly, I think it's an important and interesting debate to be having, considering the movement by some states for personhood laws in as far as conception is concerned.

Of all the debate going back and forth about the issue, the most disappointing commentary I've heard came from the foul mouth of Rush Limbaugh last week. In regard to a female Georgetown student, testifying to the need for access to affordable birth control, his arguments were constructed around a litany of personal attacks.

"Slut" and "prostitute" were some of the choice words used to describe this woman based on her testimony. To her testimony that birth control costs were cripplingly high, he remarked, "She's having sex so frequently that she can't afford all the birth-control pills that she needs." Another choice argument of his was a "compromise."

"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. We want you to post videos online so we can all watch." He also expressed how deeply embarrassed and disappointed her parents must be, and that if she were his child, he would "go into hiding."

Is this what public discourse is, now? Limbaugh, instead of reviewing arguments, policy and maybe a little "separation of church and state," decided to blatantly attack a student with his misogynistic insults. It's disgusting.

Women have come so far, done so much, and he's married so many of them that you would think that he would have MAYBE something more substantive, responsible, and less backwards than that kind of hateful speech.It's downright childish in terms of debate, and odious in content.

I'm also now sure that Rush Limbaugh does not know how "the pill" works, which is unsettling, because I certainly hope his partners use it. Warning to sexually active folk: If you are taking a birth control pill after every single sexual encounter, chances are you're not doing it right. The pill is once a day, every day, for every type I've heard of (besides emergency contraception). Birth control can also be used for many other things besides contraception, and I've personally known a lot of friends who use it for its non-contraceptive purposes.

In addition, it isn't "feminazis" Limbaugh is addressing: It is women who wish for some kind of policy regarding more accessible birth control. The notion of them sending in sex tapes is, well, just plain sexist. Let's do the U.S. a solid one and avoid unplanned pregnancies, abortions and raising children on welfare. I think that sounds more reasonable and considerably less repulsive.

I forgot to mention one thing – Limbaugh did offer a rather bland apology, citing that he did not mean these comments to be personal. For those who are familiar with this man, I was almost shocked not to hear the "but I'm just an entertainer" defense, though this is most certainly a variety of that.

Yes, those attacks were personal. No, you cannot simply choose when you want to be taken seriously, and when you've decided to "be an entertainer." Moreover, the blatant roots in lack of respect for women are alarming to me, as someone who gets to watch these people affect the conversation. For all the progress women have made, being labeled as sluts for standing up and politely testifying for something they believe in is heartbreaking and exceptionally unjust. His new charge is that she is a left wing radical, placed there malevolently to swing the conversation in favor of the liberals. Oh right … he is most certainly a victim…

Quite frankly, if I were Rush Limbaugh's daughter, I would be so embarrassed and disappointed, I would probably go into hiding (and certainly change the last name).

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