Will you recognize me?
Call my name, or walk on by?
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down, down
—Simple Minds, Don’t You (Forget About Me)
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE HAS A FRANK DISCUSSION ABOUT SEX AND SEXUAL PRACTICES. READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Let me say it right up front, so there’s no mistaking where I’m coming from:
Rush is wrong on this, and he should put the shovel down before he buries the movement.
Last week, Rush was discussing the Obamacare contraception mandate, when he turned his attention to Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student who was granted a special hearing audience by Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to testify about Georgetown’s (a nominally Catholic university) policy on contraception. According to Ms. Fluke, she and her fellow students pay as much as $1,000 a year for contraception, because Georgetown’s student insurance plan doesn’t cover it. She later characterized her statements as “speaking about the healthcare we need.”
Apparently someone needs healthcare, if the ad warnings about the effects of that little blue pill lasting longer than 4 hours are to be believed.
The legitimate point Rush was trying to make here is what the hell are they doing at Georgetown that they need $1,000 a year for birth control?!?! Just by way of example, at condomdepot.com—which offers free shipping, by the way—you can order a case of 1,000 Durex condoms for $325. Which really begs the question just how much sex Ms. Fluke and her fellow students are having that birth control is costing them over $1,000 a year? Assuming that, as cost-conscious students, they are using the most economical method available for this “healthcare” upon which they insist, at $0.33 apiece this condom option would require the use of 3,076 condoms in the course of a year to get to an annual cost of $1,000. That’s just under 8.5 condoms . . . every . . . single . . . day.
I don’t know about you, but I’m comfortable enough in my own skin to admit that I’m simply not that kind of an—er—athlete.
Of course, neither are they, which either tells us that Ms. Fluke lied to Congress when she testified that she and her classmates are spending upwards of $1,000 a year on birth control “healthcare,” or—more likely—her point isn’t really about the cost, but about her ability to make someone else pay for her to be able to have sex in the way she wants to have it (i.e., with a more expensive and presumably more convenient birth control mechanism than the most cost-effective one available). THIS is the point Rush was trying to make.
Unfortunately, Rush let his zeal for entertainment hyperbole get the better of him, and in the process of making this point he called Ms. Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” And he was wrong, wrong, wrong to do so, and he has since apologized. Let me repeat, so we’re perfectly clear:
Rush Limbaugh was wrong to call Ms. Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”
Frankly, I hate it when he does things like that, because he diminishes his otherwise legitimate message, and hurts the cause. There’s no place in public debate for that kind of vulgar name-calling, and Rush has been rightly called out all over the Leftist media, by the Democrats in Congress, and by the White House for it. And I have now called him out for it in this space.
Now, having said that . . .
I have a challenge for some of you on the Left (and I know there are a few of you who actually read this space). Many of you are simply beyond any help, and I accept that. You’re too naïve, or too ideologically blinded (or both) to be turned. I get it. But I also know there are some of you who are intelligent, basically rational—albeit perhaps misguided—adults who disagree with me on some things, and it’s really you I’m addressing.
I want you to show the intellectual honesty and the temerity to stand up and acknowledge the double standard that’s at play here.
Rusty, what are you talking about?
Where were all these self-righteous defenders of civility in political discourse on June 10, 2009, when David Letterman went on national television and accused Sarah Palin of looking like a “slutty flight attendant”? Huh? Worse, Letterman went on to drag Governor Palin’s 14 year old daughter Willow into the muck, guffawing that during a Yankees game she was “knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.” That’s not funny, and it’s not cute, but somehow it was all OK, because his crass remarks were directed at a conservative woman (who, by the way, hadn’t gone to Capitol Hill to make her sexual habits an issue, unlike Ms. Fluke).
What if, say, Dennis Miller did a monologue bit suggesting that one of the Obama girls was knocked up by Russell Simmons in a White House bathroom during one of the Obamas’ lavish Hollywood fundraising parties? Jay Carney, probably Obama himself, the women of The View, and the Leftist media in general would have an anyeurism, and you know it. Yet, Letterman’s comments met with little more than the chirping of crickets.
Where were all the name-calling police May 24, 2010, when MSNBC’s Ed Schultz called conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut?” Actually, the truth is since only about 12 people ever even see Schultz’ show, it’s likely that no one who matters heard him do it, but the point remains if we’re going to say it’s uncivil to call someone a slut in the course of public political discussion, where were the objectors this time? To the contrary, Barbara Walters went on The View and blew it off, joking that co-host Joy Behar has called her a slut on the show.
Oh, I guess it’s all OK, then.
Where were these people on June 18, 2008, when The Slate’s Troy Patterson, after raving about Michele Obama’s sleeveless dress during an appearance on The View, then in almost the next sentence referred to The View's conservative co-host Elizabeth Hasselbeck’s one-sleeve cocktail dress during the very same episode was “tread[ing] a fine line between merely inappropriate and plainly sluttish”?
Where were these people November 21, 2011, when Michele Bachmann was introduced on the Jimmy Fallon Show, with Fallon’s house band, The Roots playing a song called “Lyin’ Ass Bitch”? Although the band only played the chorus, the song’s lyrics refer to a woman as a “slut trash can bitch,” a fact presumably known to the band and others "in" on the "joke."
In fairness, NBC issued a belated apology, and the drummer claimed it was “tongue in cheek"—kind of like Larry Doyle after-the-fact hiding behind the “it’s satire, don’t you have a sense of humor” defense after his vulgar belittling of Catholics.
I am in wholehearted agreement that there is no place for the crassness and vulgarity of calling Ms. Fluke a slut, and you on the Left are right to condemn Rush for doing that. But you can’t have it both ways, and your indignation becomes disingenuous when you are repeatedly and totally silent—if not egging them on, like Barbara Walters—when the target is a conservative woman.
So I challenge you on the Left to speak up, or at least be open about the hypocrisy and double-standard we're applying when it comes to calling women on the Left a "slut" vs. women on the Right.