I am a slut.
Before this week, I didn't know I was a slut. But Rush Limbaugh set me straight:
What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke, who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex? What does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.Sandra Fluke is the Georgetown law student who testified about the necessity of providing insurance coverage for birth control. She spoke about her friend who suffers from polycystic ovarian syndrome, which was being treated with birth control pills, until she could no longer afford to shell out $100 a month for her treatment.
Ms. Fluke did not talk about her own sexual activity. She did not claim that she was having so much sex that she could not afford the cost of contraception. She did not demand that she be paid for having sex.
But no matter—according to Rush, Ms. Fluke is a slut. I don't know what dictionary Rush is using, so let's see if we can suss out what exactly he thinks makes Ms. Fluke a slut:
- Maybe it's because she can use the word "contraception" without blushing. So can I. Guess that makes me a slut.
- Maybe it's because she cares about women having affordable access to necessary medical care. So do I. Guess that makes me a slut.
- Maybe it's just because she's a woman. So am I. Guess that makes me a slut.
And you know what? If you can talk about contraception, care about women's health, or have the audacity to possess a vagina, you're a slut too.
When he was called out for his obscene attack on Ms. Fluke, Rush didn't back down; he doubled down:
It was Sandra Fluke who said that she was having so much sex she can't afford it. [...] She's spending $3000, $1000 a year, on pills and she's going broke and wants us to buy it. [...] By her own admission, in her own words, Sandra Fluke is having so much sex that she can't afford it. [...] Does she have more boyfriends? They're lined up around the block. Or they would have been in my day.Ms. Fluke said none of those things, but you know the Republican rule: When you're losing an argument, just make shit up and hope no one notices. This afternoon, Rush issued an "apology," in which he basically said he was sorry if any sluts were offended by being called sluts, but if they weren't such sluts, he wouldn't have to call them sluts. Some apology, eh?
Of course, people did notice. Like Republican Rep. Darrell "Vaginas violate my religious liberty" Issa in Congress:
Democrats are largely to blame for the name-calling and personal insults of the contraception debate, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) charged Friday. [...]You see, if those damn sluts hadn't objected to Issa's No Girls Allowed hearing about how birth control makes Catholic bishops sad, Rush Limbaugh wouldn't have had to attack those sluts for being sluts. See? It's all their fault. You might even say they were asking for it.
“While your letter raises important concerns about these inappropriate comments and the tone of the current debate over religious freedom and Obamacare, I am struck by your clear failure to recognize your own contributions to the denigration of this discussion and attacks on people of religious faith,” Issa said in response to Cummings.
Bill O'Reilly, who once had to pay millions of dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim, so you know he's highly educated about what makes a woman a slut—refusing to have sex with Bill O'Reilly and his falafel—also joined Rush Limbaugh in his slut crusade:
"Let me get this straight, Ms. Fluke, and I'm asking this with all due respect," he said. "You want me to give you my hard-earned money so you can have sex?" (Fluke is actually calling for her university's private insurance plan to cover birth control.)But a funny thing happened on the way back to the 17th century.
O'Reilly went on, saying that, since Fluke wanted society to cover her "activities," the government should also have subsidized his college football uniforms, since an injury might "cost society a lot." He also said that perhaps taxpayers should pay for gym memberships for men so they could stay physically fit.
Even President Obama, the slut-in-chief himself, called Ms. Fluke to offer his support:
"He encouraged me and supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American women," Fluke said. "What was really personal to me was he said to tell my parents that should be proud, and that meant a lot because Rush Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me, so I just appreciated that very much."The sluts of America are fighting back, and they're hitting Rush right where it hurts: his corporate sponsors. Sleep Train, Select Comfort/Sleep Number, Quicken Loans, Cleveland Cavaliers, Citrix and LegalZoom have all pulled their support from Rush's show. [Late today, the CEO of Carbonite announced that despite Rush's "apology," Carbonite is pulling its support too.]
So, sluts, you know what to do: Click here to send an email to Rush's other corporate sponsors, demanding that they stop supporting him and his slut crusade.
And then click here to tell Bill O'Reilly's sponsors to drop him like a hot falafel.
This week’s good, bad and ugly below the fold.
- This woman is my new hero:
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre, a Democrat from Tulsa, joined protesters of a proposed fetal personhood bill Tuesday on the north steps of the state Capitol. She held a sign that said, “If I wanted the government in my womb I'd f --- a senator.”
- The Personhood Amendment, aka the Every Sperm is Sacred bill, was overwhelmingly defeated by voters in Mississippi last year. But the sore loser legislators don't give a damn what voters want:
Mississippi lawmakers plan to introduce multiple bills to restrict abortion rights this year, including an attempt to pass legislation similar to a "personhood" measure that voters rejected last year, the AP/Columbus Republic reports.
At a news conference hosted by the Pro Life America Network, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said he wants the state to "be abortion-free." Mississippi already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, the AP/Republicnotes.
- Lady reporter who called other lady reporters sluts is very hurt that anyone is calling her a slut. You meanie sluts are such mean sluts!
- Your vagina is still making bishops sad:
The hospitals, homeless shelters, colleges, dining rooms for the poor, counseling clinics and senior centers operated by the religious communities across the nation are experiencing a dramatic reduction of their religious freedom, because of a small clause in health guidelines that promises to be the launching point for erecting a two-tier notion of religious freedom within the federal bureaucracy.See? If women use contraception, shelters will no longer be able to help the homeless and dining rooms will no longer be able to feed the poor. It says so in the Bible!
- She probably just ran into his fist:
[Arizona] State Rep. Daniel Patterson called us to deny the accusations that he hit his now ex-girlfriend and campaign manager, Georgette Escobar, saying she has serious mental problems and a history of felonies—and is trying to blackmail him.
He also said he will not step down from the Legislature, despite calls from his own party’s leadership and executive director to quietly go away. Patterson said the calls for him to resign are premature, and that the truth will vindicate him—though he may leave the party. [...]
He said he was not cited or arrested and has not yet been served with a restraining order, though he admits to dodging service, because he said Escobar threatened to change the locks on his house after she had the order.
He speculated that the bruises she displayed to reporters today were self-inflicted, and said that the cops didn’t see any marks on her Friday.
Escobar is making allegations that are similar to those made by Patterson's ex-wife, Jeneiene Schaffer, two years ago. Patterson said that's because Escobar saw what Schaffer did and is following her example.
- Stop edumacating us!
A bill to allow Utah schools to drop sex education classes — and prohibit instruction in the use of contraception in those that keep the courses — moved significantly closer to becoming law Wednesday. The House passed HB363 by a 45-28 vote after a late-afternoon debate that centered largely on lawmakers’ differing definitions of morality.
- As Laura Clawson reported, Wisconsin Republicans are trying to do away with equal pay enforcement:
Wisconsin Republicans probably have to take a backseat to the trans-vaginal ultrasound states in the competition for absolute worst Republicans in the nation, but they're making a play for honorary mention, War on Women category, by repealing Wisconsin's Equal Pay Enforcement Act. That law, passed in 2009, provides "a stronger enforcement mechanism for violations of pay and workplace discrimination by allowing victims to plead their case in the less costly state circuit system rather than having to try to get their cases heard by federal courts," in addition to strengthening penalties against discriminators.
- Katie at Feministing has some new rules for vaginaphobes: if you can't say vagina, you don't get to legislate vaginas.
- About that "mancession":
Six years ago, the housing bubble imploded, igniting the recession. Construction and manufacturing soon crumbled, taking jobs mostly held by men down with them. Not long after, AEI’s Mark J. Perry referred to the “mancession” when testifying before Congress, and hand-wringing trend pieces, worrying that men would experience a permanent slump in employment and wages, began to appear. [...]
So what happened to the “mancession” once the recovery officially began in June 2009? Women’s unemployment has continued to rise as men have gained their jobs back. Women gained less than 8 percent of the 1.9 million jobs added, and now men’s and women’s unemployment rates have converged at 7.7 percent. Public sector layoffs have hit women particularly hard. Across the country, women have lost 414,000 government jobs, many due to teacher layoffs. As of October, 300,000 educator jobs had been lost, accounting for over half of those lost at the local government level.
Women have been losing ground across private-sector industries too. Secretaries and administrative assistants, both female-dominated positions, have been laid off in droves. As employers ask their workers to do more work for the same or less pay in tough times, secretaries have become disposable. Women had lost 925,000 of these jobs as of July, but men had gained 204,000.
- Via Athenae at First Draft:
My daughter's fourth-grade teacher is unmarried and pregnant. Although she is a fantastic educator, kids at that age are bound to ask questions and are old enough that you cannot placate them with a simple answer. I asked her teacher what she told the children about her condition. She told me that she informed them she was pregnant (she is due in June, so this was obvious) and that was it. I asked her if she planned to keep the baby. She told me that was her business alone and she is not obligated to explain her marital status or plans with her child to me or anybody else. I feel that this woman has significant exposure and influence over my child and my questions were perfectly acceptable. Should I take this to the principal or switch classrooms? My husband thinks we should drop it, but I don't want my daughter to get the impression that single motherhood is acceptable.Oh noes! Evil pregnant lady teacher refuses to disclose her sexual history, proving she is wholly unqualified to teach multiplication tables to children!
- Remember when slavery was illegal? Yeah, those were the days:
A New York woman who lives in a 34-room, 30,000-square-foot mansion is facing a federal criminal charge related to her employment of an illegal alien who allegedly served as a domestic servant in a “forced labor situation” that included her working 17-hour days, seven days a week, and sleeping in a walk-in closet. [...]
A subsequent criminal investigation determined that the woman--who barely spoke English and came from the Kerala state in India--was paid about 85 cents an hour during the 67 months she worked for Annie George and her husband (who died in a plane crash in mid-2009).
- Denise Oliver-Velez reported on an awesome new coalition of more than 50 women's advocacy groups called HERvotes:
In recognition of the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote, and the anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, a coalition of women's organizations, representing millions of women, announced plans to counter the attacks on women's economic and health security through a new multi-organization effort, HERvotes. The goal is to mobilize women voters in 2012 around preserving women's Health and Economic Rights (HER rights.)
- Via MoveOn.org, your awesome quote of the week:
A woman's ability to decide how many children to have and when, without interference from the government, is one of the most fundamental rights we possess. It is not just an issue of choice, but equality and opportunity for all women.—Barack Obama, 2005That's our mantra, our bumper sticker slogan, our best argument, and our reason for fighting back. Say it with me now:
It is not just an issue of choice, but equality and opportunity for all women.
Now go forth, sluts, and raise hell. Click here to send an email to Rush's other corporate sponsors, demanding that they stop supporting him and his slut crusade.
And then click here to tell Bill O'Reilly's sponsors to do the same.