*Props to women’s reproductive health advocate Susan Fluke for rejecting Rush Limbaugh’s apology – because Limbaugh didn’t really apologize. Sure, he said he was sorry for calling Miss Fluke out of her name – referring to her as a slut and a prostitute – but he also reiterated the factually inaccurate and chauvinistically arrogant claim that Fluke “wants to be paid to have sex” and that she “is having so much that she can’t afford it.” Rush retracted the offensive, sexist words, but he left intact the offensive, sexist sentiment behind those words.
Susan Fluke, and millions of women like her, do not “want to be paid for having sex.” They simply believe that their medically prescribed contraceptives to be covered by health insurance, the same way other prescriptions are.
And Limbaugh’s claim that Fluke and other women are “having so much that she can’t afford it” is one of the most ignorant comments one could make during a discussion about contraception. Taking birth control pills every day doesn’t mean that a woman is having sex every day. The pills have to be taken daily in order to maintain the internal chemical stasis needed for the pills to work.
Slut is a misogynistic term dreamed up by male-dominated cultures to control women’s sexuality through shame. There’s no male equivalent to the so-called slut. The more sexually active a man is, the higher his esteem among his peers. He’s admired as a stud, a Casanova, a mack daddy, a player-player, etc. But women who are sexually active risk being condemned as sluts, tramps, hoes, fallen women, fast girls and so on.
Double-standards like this make poor foundations for a credible moral code.
One of the rights we inherit as independent, self-sufficient adults is the right to decide when, with whom and how often to be intimate. These are personal decisions. They are matters of individual morality and temperament and they should not be regulated by government policy.
Thanks for listening. I’m Cameron Turner and that’s my two cents.
Contact Cameron at [email protected]