The Relative Issues Behind Rush Limbaugh’s ‘Slut’ Remarks

Posted by on Mar 6, 2012

Rush Limbaugh’s mouth has landed him in trouble once again. The controversial conservative and well-known radio host recently made headlines after calling Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” for testifying in Congress last week on behalf of her Jesuit college to cover birth control costs.

“What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke going before a Congressional committee and essentially saying she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut right?” Limbaugh asked on his live broadcast Wednesday.

The next day, he called out the “Feminazis,” claiming that if taxpayers were to shell out for female contraceptives, they would want to see the videos of their sexual activity posted online “so taxpayers can see what we’re getting for our money.”

Although the political tastemakers have attempted to frame the verbal attack as a battle between right versus left, the ethical consequences of Limbaugh’s remarks ultimately make it a case of right against wrong. Limbaugh’s actions created such an uproar in the female community that his sponsors–including AOL, ProFlowers, Legal Zoom and Citrix Systems–have severed ties with the show.

The personal attack on Fluke also put the spotlight on female name-calling as well as the double standard that continues to exist today. Some commentary makes it seem like it’s okay for men to tuck dollars into an exotic dancer’s underwear and pay prostitutes for recreational pleasure, but once a woman steps to Congress for reimbursement on contraception, she’s deemed a slut? Although Limbaugh’s public apology (issued a handful of days after the initial remark) came with some hint of remorse, it suggests that he didn’t realize the direct effect of his words.

But is it also the women’s fault that such words have been overused and exploited to the point where even a derogatory curse word has become a common expression?

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