Mom: Limbaugh's Rant Led to My Teen Daughter Being Bullied, Called "Slut" As AOL, Others, Drop Ads
As the story of Rush's rudeness to Sandra Fluke proliferates, advertisers leave his show in droves--including a big one today, AOL-- and politicians offer weak but notable condemnations of his words, this story by "beantown mom," a blogger at Daily Kos, show the very personal toll attacks like Rush Limbaugh's can take on young women:
You see, my 16 year old daughter came home from school on Friday in tears and has been in a state of utter despair since. She was told, in no uncertain terms, that she is a slut, a prostitute, a horny piece of trash that is out to sleep with every guy in school! The horrid little monsters who started harassing my daughter had the audacity to tell her their mothers were the ones who labeled her with these despicable opinions- they were just "telling it like it is, you know, like that guy on the radio! The one who isn't afraid to tell the truth!" Who does this?! How does Rush Limbaugh or anyone else have the right to do this, to say these things about anyone?
The full story goes like this: beantown's daughter had birth control prescription for medical reasons, and some bullies at her school who caught wind of this on a school trip started harassing her, calling her a slut, and putting mean notes on her locker. It was exacerbated in class when a teacher praised Limbaugh, not knowing what was happening among his students.
Beantown mom concludes:
My daughter looked at me so innocent, so very sad and asked me "Am I a slut because I take a prescription birth control pill? I don't take it because I am having sex, I take it to help my periods- am I a bad person, Mom?"
AM I A BAD PERSON? My 16 year old daughter asked me if she was a bad person because she is on the pill! Who are we? What century do we live in? Who in the hell has the right to say these things? Who does Rush Limbaugh think he is? Why is he allowed to say these things and hurt people? Why have I spent the last 2 days trying to convince my 16 year old that she is not a slut?
Meanwhile, Brian Stelter at the Times notes that the campaign to get advertisers to flee the show continues unabated, with some considerable success:
Emboldened by Rush Limbaugh’s public apology over the weekend to a law school student whom he had called a “slut” and a “prostitute,” critics of the radio talk show host are intensifying their online campaign against his advertisers.
The apology, they said, was a signal that the campaign was working. On Sunday, a seventh company, ProFlowers, said that it was suspending all of its advertising on “The Rush Limbaugh Show” despite his apologetic statement a day earlier.
Stelter calls the boycott "uncomfortable but not crippling" for Limbaugh.
For the young women targeted by smears such as Limbaugh's, the attention and humiliation are both uncomfortable and crippling. As Sandra Fluke herself said, these are the most effective kinds of smears aimed at silencing women.
UPDATE: Watch Fluke take on the critics on The View, via Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky.