UPDATED: Sexist Rush Limbaugh Calls Student Advocating for Contraception a "Slut" and "Prostitute," Backlash Ensues
[Updates below]Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student, was barred from testifying at the all-male Republican birth control hearing because she (like all other women) was deemed "unqualified." Undeterred, Fluke went on to testify at Democrats' own hearing, and said that for a student at her school -- which offers health insurance that does not cover contraception -- birth control can cost an astounding $1,000 a year.
Fluke was referencing a student who uses birth control for medical reasons, but Rush Limbaugh nonetheless responded to her testimony with an attempt to defame and shame her for advocating for women's health:
What does it say about the college co-ed Susan Fluke [sic] 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. She wants to be paid to have sex.
She's having so much sex she can't afford the contraception.
And then, he said this:
So Miss Fluke, and the rest of you Feminazis, here’s the deal. 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 the videos online so we can all watch.
According to LImbaugh, women only deserve contraception coverage if they do something for men in return, or to be more specific, sacrifie their right to privacy for this disgusting slug's benefit.
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats responded to Limbaugh's vile sexism with ajoint statement calling for Republicans to condemn Limbaugh, adding that Fluke "courageously spoke truth to power," and "as a result...has been subject to attacks that are outside the circle o civilized discussion and that unmask the strong disrespect for women held by some in this country."
But that same day, rather than apologize for calling women who advocate for women's health "sluts," Limbaugh went on to say, “I will buy all of the women at Georgetown University as much aspirin to put between their knees as they want."
So, Limbaugh himself admitted it: He would not mind paying to force women into abstinence, but wants nothing to do with paying for their sexual health. Funny thing is, last I counted, Limbaugh has been married four times, and has no children. Was he shoving aspirin between his wives' knees, or are they are a bunch of "sluts" who use birth control?
Petitions have been circulating to hold Limbaugh accountable for his attack on women. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched a website petitioning Speaker John Boehner and Eric Cantor to denounce Limbaugh's sexism because “standing up for women’s rights does not make you a 'slut' or a 'prostitute.'" There is also a petition demanding the online flower-delivery company ProFlowers, one of Limbaugh's advertisers, pull their ads from his show.
Fluke bravely responded to Limbaugh on Thursday, calling his rant “an attempt to silence me, to silence all of us from speaking about the healthcare we need.”
ANOTHER UPDATE:Limbaugh advertiser Sleep Train Mattress Centers tweetedthat they do not condone Limbaugh's sexism, and will no longer advertise with him
ALSO: President of Georgetown University John J. DeGioia released a heartfelt statement praising Fluke, while calling Limbaugh's behavior "misogynistic" and "vitriolic." Here's an excerpt:
She was respectful,sincere, and spoke with conviction. She provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to supporther right to respectful free expression. And yet, some of those who disagreed with her position -- including RushLimbaugh and commentators throughout the blogosphere and in various other media channels -- responded withbehavior that can only be described as misogynistic, vitriolic, and a misrepresentation of the position of our student.