Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere in the east end of nowhere, you've already heard all about Rush Limbaugh's latest controversy and the resultant firestorm of criticism. He called Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a slut after she testified before Congress advocating that institutions (religious or not) be required to offer health insurance coverage for birth control.
Never mind that he misrepresented to the listeners of his radio show what she actually testified about. (Read the transcript of her remarks to Congress here.) Forget that he got his facts wrong. She was actually talking about the dangers of not covering a drug that is also used for reasons other than birth control. She was talking about women's health. Reproductive rights. But no matter. That's just filler.
He called a 30 year old woman a slut.
It makes my blood boil.
When I was a few years younger (a couple of decades ago to you youngens), that was a word that was used pejoratively, to keep young women (women of all ages, really) in line. To ensure their behavior.
We had to be ladies.
Men had sex but women didn't- or weren't supposed to, anyway. And we for damn sure didn't talk about it if we did. It had to be a secret...or we risked being branded a slut.
That's stupid. Dumb. Illogical. Unfair. Wrong. Crazy.
What the hell is so wrong about having sex?
(That's a rhetorical question.)
I was married for 14 years, and then I got divorced. If I never remarry, am I supposed to not have sex for the rest of my life, or risk being called a slut? Are those the choices that people like Limbaugh offer women: marital fidelity, sluthood or celibacy?
Where do you start with that kind of nonsense? The fact that it's demeaning to women? That men think they can categorize women by their sexuality? That a woman's value lies in her ability to keep an aspirin between her legs?
It's hogwash. Bullmalarkey. And I'm not surprised that women stood up in a fury and started demanding recompense from Limbaugh and those who support his words and ideas. We deserve better than to be classified by how often we have sex. Or with whom. Or why.
We deserve, as Sandra Fluke told Congress, to have our reproductive health needs covered by insurance. We deserve to be able to take a medication without being called names. We deserve to be equals.
And there you have it.
Filed under: Opinion