Edit: I got so caught up in the story, I forgot about titles!
Rush Limbaugh, the biggest incendiary blimp since the Hindenburg, recently called Sandra Fluke a whoring slut who had so much sex that she simply couldn’t pay for her birth control. This brings up so many problems. First, there’s the very real issue of slut shaming, and then there’s the fact that Limbaugh is just plain nasty all the time, and then there’s the fact that Sandra Fluke wasn’t even talking about sex at all but other issues.
When I first wrote this, I commented on how Limbaugh obviously didn’t understand how birth control works, but then Jon Stewart used some hilarious cartoons to do the same thing, and mine fell flat. So instead, let’s talk about what I really learned here.
So, according to Limbaugh’s discourse, it seems that anyone taking birth control for any reason must be a raging slut.
That’s good to know.
Like Fluke’s friend, I took hormones for cystic ovaries for 2 years. I quit them because they didn’t really work with my body’s physiology, but it doesn’t mean I didn’t feel the social stigma while I did. My grandmother gave me the aspirin between the knees talk when I was 13, and, while I knew it was a joke, the obvious disdain for girls who have sex, not just from my grandma, stuck with me. So there I was, a woman in my mid twenties, whispering to the pharmacist when I said the name of my pills. I turned beat red if I got a male pharmacy tech, particularly if he wasn’t married, and I noticed that they tended to react too. Yeah, it’s silly, but that stigma was still fresh in my mind.
What I’m taking out of this issue is that Rush Limbaugh is obviously much better at classifying people than I. I never knew I was a slut, but I do take birth control after all. I guess I can just take from this that I never really knew what I was until Limbaugh classified me. I think Limbaugh is probably nostalgic for the Victorian Period, when it was easy to classify women. If women did anything to even look like they were sexual, then they were obviously sexual. We should just allow him to decide who is who and get over it. Probably, according to his logic, no one would have issues that require birth control if she wasn’t slutty. That is, after all, a state of mind, not necessarily a state of physical condition, so maybe we should thank him for exposing our true natures.
And just in case you didn’t get how damaging Limbaugh’s comments were for all of us, here’s a link I stole from a Facebook friend. It’s written by a mother who has to help her daughter rebuild her self-esteem after she’s told that she is a slut for taking birth control.