It’s not just the word choice.
In the wake of the Rush Limbaugh fiasco, Fox News “liberal” contributor Kirsten Powers has dutifully put forth the obligatory essay scolding liberals that they don’t get to complain about Rush calling women who use contraception “sluts” and “whores” because liberal pundits have said disgusting misogynistic things about prominent conservative women. Powers does acknowledge that liberals (especially feminists) have indeed called out Bill Maher and other liberals for misogynistic statements but, of course, it’s not enough. On the other hand, it does appear to be enough for Ann Coulter to admonish Maher during an appearance on his show:
Liberals—you know, the people who say they “fight for women”—comprise Maher’s audience, and a parade of high-profile liberals make up his guest list. Yet have any of them confronted him? Nope. That was left to Ann Coulter, who actually called Maher a misogynist to his face, an opportunity that feminist icon Gloria Steinem failed to take when she appeared on his show in 2011.
Naturally, Coulter was only decrying Maher’s misogyny against conservative women on that show. Coulter has not only never taken her fellow conservatives to task for their ugly rhetoric against women but, as we all know, she’s engaged in a fair bit of it herself. But, IOKIYAR, I guess. Also, IOKIYAR for all the other conservatives who appear as guests on Maher’s show as far as Kirsten’s concerned, I guess. Then again, it would be unrealistic to expect consistency from Kirsten Powers, who works at a “news” network where it’s pretty much a 24/7 misogyny-fest.
Powers manages to be both oblivious and condescending in her piece, acting as though people are upset with Limbaugh only because of bad words and not because of the context and intent. Let me help Kirsten and others who have a hard time grasping the situation. Forget bad words like “slut”, “whore”, and “prostitute” for a second. Let’s examine all the underlying, and really important, reasons Limbaugh was unutterably wrong and deserving of denunciation and boycotts.
He lied about the facts and defamed Sandra Fluke. Limbaugh insisted for the better part of a week that Sandra Fluke testified about her sex life before Congress. She did no such thing. That was in addition to him speculating wildly about the number of sex partners Fluke has on his national radio show, repeatedly.
He was willfully ignorant. Limbaugh is so dumb about contraception that he asserted several times that Sandra Fluke must need “so much” contraception because of the large number of sex partners he thinks she has. If he’s going to pontificate about contraception, he should at least familiarize himself with how the hormonal kind most women use works. Hint: It’s not like condoms or Viagra. You don’t take a pill for each sexual encounter. Limbaugh’s unwillingness to educate himself on the simple facts of the subject of his nasty harangue against Sandra Fluke demonstrates his unwillingness to contribute to a truthful and civil discourse. Also, Limbaugh falsely claimed that Fluke and other advocates for contraception access are pushing for a “new welfare program” even though Fluke was specifically speaking of her private health insurance, obtained through Georgetown University. Which she is, by the way, required to purchase as a student there. Finally, Limbaugh said this unbelievably stupid thing:
And so now they’re going drum up this ‘birth control moms’? Isn’t that kind of contradictory? A birth control mom? How do you become a mom if you’re into birth control?”
Duh, I don’t know. Maybe he should ask some moms using birth control about that.
He’s a giant hypocrite. And a creep. Limbaugh rails against female sexuality, but thinks male sexual gratification is just dandy.
“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 for it. We want you post the videos online so we can all watch.”
He also supports insurance covering Viagra.
His “apology” was not an apology at all.
For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.
I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.
My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.
He’s not backing off from the substance of anything he said and is still lying. And he only has a problem with “discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress” when a woman is testifying about the need for contraception coverage (without mentioning sex at all, mind you). He had no problem with a bunch of men testifying about their “religious freedom” to deny that very same thing before Rep. Darrell Issa’s committee which was, frankly, all about those men positing that what goes on in everyone’s bedroom is their business.
That “choice of words” stuff was the perfect excuse for GOP Presidential candidates to chime in with their own nonsense:
“I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used,”
I guess Mitt would have said “ladies of the evening” or something like that to describe basically every woman in the country. But it’s not about specific words and people who try to make it about that, whether they be Limbaugh, “liberal” concern trolls on Fox, or Mitt Romney are self-evidently full of crap.