Of all the hateful things Rush has ever said…

Rush Limbaugh has said a lot of appalling things. Terrible, horrible, no-good, racist, sexist, homophobic batshit crazy things. Remember the Michael J. Fox impression from a few years ago? Yeah, he’s hateful, bigoted, shameless human being. This much we know.

So why now, of all the horrible things, is the Sandra Fluke “slut” comment the thing that riles the internet into action? I think the key is in the words of Carbonite CEO David Friend when he announced Carbonite would be pulling their ads on Limbaugh’s show:

“No one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh, with his highly personal attacks on Miss Fluke, overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency.”

The thing about homophobia is that there are still millions of Americans that have never met a gay person (that they knew was gay…). Same with Jews, or Muslims. In many parts of the country, de facto segregation leads people to spend their entire lives in the company of people who look like them. This unfamiliarity breeds suspicion, which quickly turns to contempt, and allows people like Rush to spew the horseshit he so enjoys spewing. People do not step to the defense of the “other.” I’m not condoning this, of course, only pointing out why Limbaugh’s other egregious comments are more readily ignored by the media and the public.

Women are not “other” to anyone. Everyone has a mother, daughter, sister or wife. While many people might have political disagreements about health care mandates, most of those people are not comfortable with the idea of labeling women as “sluts”. It’s too much of a slippery slope. Sandra Fluke, whatever you think of her sexuality, is just not that far a stretch from the average young American woman. If she can be insulted on national radio, it’s not that hard to imagine women you know being in her place. That familiarity is what makes David Friend’s comment so powerful. He is a father of daughters (Just like the President, who also cited his daughters). Who knows what his views on sex are, or how he’s raised his daughters to behave, or how they actually act when he’s not watching. He’s smart enough to recognize that Sandra Fluke is just a stand-in, and condoning a personal smear campaign against a woman who could very well be his daughter is not something he wants to be a part of.

My friend’s mom was recently inspired to print up her own bumper stickers. This is what they look like:

There are legitimate debates to be had about public policy. We can have real conversations about who should pay for health care and how much. We can ask what happens when the safety net falls apart. We can discuss what should and shouldn’t be covered. I’m all for these conversations; they are essential to creating a comprehensive, efficient, effective national policy on health care. How much sex someone is having, and whether or not you approve, should occupy zero percent of this conversation. We have more important things to discuss.

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8 Comments

Filed under Gender, Media, Politics, Sex

8 responses to “Of all the hateful things Rush has ever said…

  1. aviatrixkim

    There. You did it! Well said.

  2. I think you’re making a good overall point, but I have one nitpick:

    The thing about homophobia is that there are still millions of Americans that have never met a gay person.

    I would say millions of Americans think they’ve never met a gay person. Almost all of them have. When I was in high school, no one I knew admitted they were gay. It was only once they were in college and beyond that they came out. And I know plenty of gay people who grew up in conservative communities in the Midwest and South, and then later moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. They were not necessarily out when they were growing up.

  3. Pingback: Rosie in the News: The Sandra Fluke Edition | rosiesaysblog

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  5. Will Dawson

    Until the Republicans disown Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, Coulter and Norquist they will continue to sink into Oblivian! A totally dominate one party system is dangerous to American wether it is the right or left. A casual look at the 70 + years of control of Mexico by the PRI leads to corruption of every facet of a nation. Balance and real competions from at least two parties is required to have a democracy. The Republicans have to realize they are destroying themselves with their fanatical attraction to the crazies in the media!!

  6. Pingback: Update: He Died. | rosiesaysblog

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