Wow. This is true slime.
Some of you may recall Sandra Fluke, a student at Georgetown University and former head of Georgetown Law Students for Reproductive Justice, who was barred by House Republicans from offering a woman’s perspective at a male-dominated hearing on the Obama administration’s contraception rule.
Later, House Democrats set up their own hearing in which Fluke was the star witness. Her full prepared testimony can be found here, but as the AP reported it:
“Fluke, a third-year law student, said that Georgetown Law, a Jesuit institution, does not provide contraception coverage in its student health plan and that contraception can cost a woman more than $3,000 during law school. She spoke of a friend who had an ovary removed because the insurance company wouldn’t cover the prescription birth control she needed to stop the growth of cysts.”
Think what you will of the issue or of Fluke’s testimony. Nothing the young woman said or did earned her this, from Rush Limbaugh:
“What does it say about the college coed Susan [sic] 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. She wants to be paid to have sex.
“She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. What does that make us? We’re the pimps.
“The johns, that’s right. We would be the johns — no! We’re not the johns. Well — yeah, that’s right. Pimp’s not the right word.
“OK, so, she’s not a slut. She’s round-heeled. I take it back.”
I’ve shied away from accusations that this issue is being driven on the right by misogyny, because in many cases it’s not. But clearly, in many other cases that’s exactly what’s driving it. Limbaugh’s attack is a vicious attempt to frighten and intimidate women into going silent on the issue, and the message is intended not merely for Fluke but for women in general. Limbaugh is a frightened little bully attempting to keep women in their place, and in that regard is no different than the mullahs of Afghanistan who condemn non-virgin women to a stoning.
It is a despicable, and it tells you a lot about the current state of affairs in our nation that someone with a podium as grand and lucrative as Limbaugh’s can spout such bile about a young woman whom he has never met, and do so without consequence.
– Jay Bookman