Monday 5 March 2012


Any of you following the news in the States the last few weeks know that Rush Limbaugh has managed to once again make himself look like a myopic, misogynist bully whose idea of discourse on an issue is ridicule and denigration. But then again, did I expect anything less from Mr. Limbaugh? That’s actually a rhetorical question, so no need to guess my answer. And despite a disingenuous apology – I read a few of his blogs (it was painful) and his remorse is superficial at best – it is clear his true feelings on the subject, and towards women remain glaringly apparent.

The situation I’m of course referring to is Rush Limbaugh’s response to Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke when she testified before a House Democratic panel to discuss birth control as it relates to health care costs. In short, Ms. Fluke was bringing attention to the fact that most women have to pay out of pocket for birth control as most health plans – especially those provided by religious affiliated institutions – do not cover it. In her testimony she highlighted that some Georgetown students spend as much as $1000 a year as birth control is not covered by the University’s health care plan.

In response to this, Rush Limbaugh so maturely and intelligently (that’s sarcasm people) called Ms. Fluke, [I reiterate for emphasis] a 20 year old Georgetown law student, a ‘feminazi, a slut and a prostitute.’ But oh, he did not stop there. He went on to say, and I quote: “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 to post videos online, so that we can all watch.” How charming. His mother must be so proud.

He further remarked that Ms. Fluke should just put the birth control onus on men and have them buy condoms cause that will solve her little problem. Yeah, cause that’s super easy. Gosh, why didn’t we women think of that one?! Rush, I’m not sure which way you lean sexually (and I don’t really care), but getting a man to wear a condom (let’s focus on men wearing one long term in one’s relationship, because I’m hoping everyone is wearing them when they are casually dating) is about as joyous and likely an experience as getting the King to sit still for more than five seconds. IT DOESN’T HAPPEN and is damn near impossible.

In regards to Ms. Fluke, not only is she someone’s daughter (I’m sure they really appreciate hearing a grown man and public figure call their daughter a ‘slut’) but also she is an intelligent and poised woman who is clearly conscientious about her place in the world, not to mention her future. From where I sit, anyone who has the courage to put herself in the world’s sightline to discuss such a contentious topic (contentious, because it always, no matter how much we try to separate it, becomes a religious issue) as birth control – well, she deserves a big fat medal. But the important part of all this to focus on – at least from where I sit – is the issue she has raised. NOT Rush Limbaugh, as much as he desperately wants us all to focus on him.

So, let’s focus on the real issue. Birth control is not something frivolous that exists within a vacuum. It is something that for many women is tied in more with one’s medical history than their sexual proclivities; the pill, for instance, becomes a mandatory course of action to control a whole host of symptoms and conditions (endometriosis, hormonal imbalances, depression..the list is long) that have more to do with simply having female parts that it does to actually use those parts. Trust me, it is no picnic being a woman.

Furthermore, if institutions (and political hacks) are complaining about paying for birth control because women want to take a practical and intelligent step to prevent themselves from getting pregnant, how are those same institutions going to feel when unwanted or unprepared for babies start popping up all over creation. Cause from where I sit, if a woman cannot afford to have a baby, and she accidentally has one, then the financial onus becomes a whole lot bigger and burdensome on everyone.

Why not start looking at birth control as a highly necessary – and covered – expense to prevent further expenses? Cause let me tell you, the King is utterly genius, but he does not come cheap, and the expenses tied to him are fast and furious. Then again, if one were looking at all this from a conspiracy point of view, one could argue that insurance companies simply want women having babies because that makes them money. And more people of course on this planet means more money in their pockets.

Once again, as I sit here in England, a country that not only covers my birth control needs, but the birth and care of my child throughout his life, it is ironic that Americans are still fighting about issues that should be basic human rights, and not, I repeat NOT religious or political issues. In crude terms, women have complex reproductive systems that are not so easily solved by slapping a condom onto the problem. Hear that, Rush?

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