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What's Worse Than Being Called the "S" Word?: Why Rush's "Apology" Added Insult to Injury

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So much of the outrage against Rush Limbaugh has focused on his having called Georgetown law student, Sandra Fluke, a "slut" and a "prostitute," that I think it's easy to lose sight of what's even worse than what he called her.

First, let's remember that Sandra Fluke was testifying about the difficulty that all students at Georgetown have getting insurance coverage for birth control pills. It may have been easy for Rush to call the (presumably single, straight and childless - after all, she did not testify about herself) Fluke a slut. But that let the anti-woman crowd pretend that this issue is somehow about morality or premarital sex. But, of course, the anti-birth control forces don't discriminate between married and single women, or between women with twenty children or women with none. It has nothing to do with morality. Mitt Romney had it right with his first, gut reaction to a question about the Blunt amendment: it is not government's role to involve itself in the personal decisions made between men and women. (Unfortunately, of course, he immediately caved on that issue.)

More important, Fluke was testifying, of course, about the medicinal uses for hormonal birth control, including a very unfortunate story of a friend of hers who lost an ovary due to those medicinal needs. Yet, in Limbaugh's so-called apology , he repeated the absurd lie that Fluke was testifying about recreation sex. A topic she never once touched upon in her testimony:

On Saturday, after several advertisers withdrew their sponsorship, Mr. Limbaugh issued a statement in which he said, "I sincerely apologize," but really just distorted Ms. Fluke's message in a whole new way. "I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress," he said. "I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities."

The focus on the epithets the Limbaugh hurled, diverts attention from a serious human rights issue that is implied by his turning a deaf ear to her actual testimony. By responding to a story about losing an ovary with ridicule about supposed recreational sex, the underlying message is that women do not deserve to be treated for pain and disease. That the only topics concerning a woman's body worth mentioning have to do with sexuality and procreation. This, from a man who avoided military services due to a cyst, and who was treated for hearing loss, erectile dysfunction , and drug dependency . We usually think of other countries as showing this degree of indifference to the health and well-being of women. Limbaugh, Fox News, and their supporters, are perpetuating the idea that women are disposable - in the U.S., in 2012.  

 

http://www.amazon.com/Amy-Fried-Ph.D./e/B004QOOD04/ref=ntt_d

Amy Fried is the author of "Escaping Dick Cheney's Stomach." She received her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, and has been an advocate for church-state separation and other civil liberties issues. She writes on women's issues, media, veganism and (more...)
 
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The recent horror story circulating from Daily Kos... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Monday, Mar 5, 2012 at 6:23:35 PM
are you kidding me? Do you REALLY think these 16 y... by sbaker on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 11:40:08 AM
They didn't harass and bully this girl until Rush ... by Ariel Monserrat on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 12:43:40 PM
I agree, you need read the story. The issue is not... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 4:36:05 PM
on this but I would like to  state unequivioc... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 11:44:38 AM
Good points. I would also ask: Rush Limbaugh has d... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 4:40:08 PM
the real issues, which are health care (whether or... by Jill Herendeen on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 12:45:43 PM
Great points! I totally agree!... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 4:01:07 PM
that this creature is running for the office with ... by Jungle Jane on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 11:44:58 AM
Rush running for office? News to me. He has far... by Miriam Eldridge on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 12:37:06 PM
I have a different take.Let Rush say whatever he w... by Scott Baker on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 11:55:16 AM
... by Dryden Wonne on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 12:05:38 PM
Really? Well I have been paying for men's erection... by Ariel Monserrat on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 12:55:20 PM
What "lady" are you talking about? Also, no church... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 4:48:32 PM
I watch FOX News and have never seen any commentat... by Georgianne Nienaber on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 1:09:15 PM
Of course, you don't hear Rush Limbaugh or anyone ... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 4:15:45 PM
Well, if they have never said "women are disposabl... by Georgianne Nienaber on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:53:59 PM
What I can say is that's the message they send whe... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 6:42:13 PM
Shouldn't need to explain yourself to this woman.... by Thomas Brown on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 1:29:31 PM
Thanks for the support!... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 4:04:05 PM
From now on we must call an episode of someone cal... by Michael Hayes on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 2:43:45 PM
This is all really quite silly.  I've listene... by Natalie Oberman on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:23:45 PM
First: I find it hard to believe anyone can say th... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 6:37:36 PM
I think you're confusing some pretty clever and pr... by Natalie Oberman on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 12:30:13 AM
I don't accept the premise either that boycotts ar... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 11:13:29 AM
Nor do I believe boycotts are inherently bad. &nbs... by Natalie Oberman on Thursday, Mar 8, 2012 at 7:42:02 PM
*You're wrong about what separation of church &... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 10:51:47 AM
As much as I loathe Limbaugh's hypocrisy and idio... by Marta B on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 5:35:07 PM
A lot of people - including Connie Schultz and Chr... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012 at 10:03:30 PM
It was a joke, Amy.  Like when Bill told Juan... by Natalie Oberman on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 12:59:18 AM
The 3-day tirade was a joke, and a few bad work ch... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Wednesday, Mar 7, 2012 at 11:24:11 AM
No, the sex tape line was an obvious joke, and the... by Natalie Oberman on Thursday, Mar 8, 2012 at 7:59:42 PM
Jokes can still be horribly offensive, racist, mis... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Friday, Mar 9, 2012 at 11:06:21 AM
You're swerving dangerously close to condemning th... by Natalie Oberman on Friday, Mar 9, 2012 at 8:08:47 PM
See click here... by Jill Herendeen on Thursday, Mar 8, 2012 at 10:23:47 AM
"Join NationofChange today by making a generous ta... by Natalie Oberman on Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 12:12:15 PM
Here is Think Progress' compilation of all the sex... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 2:52:41 PM
Yeah, the Stalinist left strikes again!  Your... by Natalie Oberman on Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 6:37:52 PM
Here is The Daily Caller's compilation of all... by Natalie Oberman on Saturday, Mar 10, 2012 at 7:32:54 PM
1) The "left" (wh/actually doesn't exist anymore, ... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 10:55:12 AM
I wasn't talking in terms of the left being the go... by Natalie Oberman on Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 2:10:55 PM
* You missed the point. To call liberals "Stalinis... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 4:14:30 PM
grees... I'm starting a folder saving these remar... by Jill Herendeen on Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 8:56:34 AM
It is interesting that expansion of the state in t... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Mar 11, 2012 at 3:53:24 PM
Perhaps I'm mistaken, but wasn't Stalin known as s... by Natalie Oberman on Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 3:31:58 AM
Madeleine is hardly an authority, she would use th... by Mark Sashine on Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 8:27:36 AM
No Mark, Bush, Cheney and Limbaugh have nothing in... by Natalie Oberman on Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 6:25:23 AM
I have not been silent about the sexism & miso... by Amy Fried, Ph.D. on Monday, Mar 12, 2012 at 10:40:45 AM
Really Amy?  Please, point us to the articles... by Natalie Oberman on Wednesday, Mar 14, 2012 at 5:53:33 AM