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The 11 Dumbest Things Conservatives Have Said About Women

From Rush Limbaugh to the Pope, it's been one of the worst months ever for verbalized sexism.

Photo Credit: A.M. Stan


In Congress this week, the GOP attempted to push through the vile Blunt amendment, which would allow any employer to deny insurance coverage to employees for services deemed immoral. While couched in "religious freedom" terms, this move is a direct attack on women's health, a backlash to the president's birth control mandate and a chance for men to impose their will on women. The amendment failed by three votes in the Senate on Thursday, but not without wasting time, energy and attempting to move the discourse on women's health further into the past.

This time around, the GOP and its allies in the right-wing media aren't even pretending bills like this are pro-women. In fact, if we put all conservative pundits' thoughts on gender from the past month together, we'd see women as truly dismal creatures, oversexed rape-bait dummies who don't understand themselves and their own needs. 

This month, as we've been documenting at AlterNet, any facade of faux-feminism espoused by the right wing has fallen away. Instead, women have been posited, publicly, as everything undeserving under the sun -- from the same old virgin-whore dichotomies to insults far beyond. Even worse, we've been told, public policy should be reflective of this natural inferiority. Hence, the Blunt amendment, the patronizing mandatory ultrasound bills, the push to define a fertilized embryo as a person.

But the verbal assault that has accompanied this ongoing legislative assault may have the unexpected benefit of prompting a backlash due to its outrageousness. Our loose-tongued friends on the right may have done us a favor with some of this bile, exposing the true sentiments that go along with the bills restricting abortion and contraception access.

Here are some of the less noted but equally heinous things said about women in 2012 alone--with video and transcripts where available.

1. "Sex-Crazed Co-Eds..." thus begins the headline on a piece by right-winger Craig Bannister,  about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown student who was denied the ability to testify by Darrell Issa. The hot and bothered Mr. Bannister, by interpreting Fluke's testimony by the price of condoms rather than the hormonal birth control that she actually referred to, uses the word "sex" so many times throughout the piece you'd think it was on his mind. A lot. A small sampling:

"A Georgetown co-ed told Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s hearing that the women in her law school program are having so much sex that they’re going broke, so you and I should pay for their birth control...Apparently, four out of every ten co-eds are having so much sex that it's hard to make ends meet if they have to pay for their own contraception, Fluke's research shows."

As we know, contraception has little to do with how much sex a woman is having, but instead with how protected she is when she has it. Hormonal contraception can be used to regulate menstruation, control pain and acne, and protect against unwanted pregnancy no matter how often and when its user has sex. Unlike condoms, hormonal contraception puts the control for pregnancy prevention in women's hands -- and many couples prefer to combine oral contraceptions with condoms to avoid both STDs and pregnancies.

Rush Limbaugh echoed, and one-upped Bannister  on his show of the 29th, calling Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" for wanting contraceptive coverage:

What does it say about the college coed 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.

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