Looks like Rush is getting his just desserts. Forty-plus advertisers have pulled their ads from Rush Limbaugh’s show, and the show itself has been pulled outright from two radio affiliates. At least two prominent musicians have told him not to use their music on his show ever again.
And somehow, it all continues to snowball.
Despite his not-pology this weekend, Rush keeps talking about how horrible Sandra Fluke is, without a scrap of evidence — much less any reason to call her horrible even if she IS promiscuous, which nobody has any right to attempt to prove anyway.
People are getting rightly lambasted for defending Rush and his odious and antiscientific attacks. In a way I’m sad that it took this particular instance of misogyny to trigger this implosion, considering Rush has been doing the exact same schtick for years. But no amount of sadness over how long it took to upend his empire can overcome the sense of justice that said empire is being upended at all.
The whole fight over contraception, and Rush’s role in it, is part of an overarching anti-womens-rights fight, which includes such skirmishes as in Arizona, where a law was passed withholding potentially important medical information from women in the event that this information might lead to the woman or doctor choosing abortion. That’s right — if the doctor knows the pregnancy might kill the mother, it’s illegal for them to tell the mother because they might choose to abort rather than have the woman die.
And yet, the right to insurance-covered contraception is probably the single most pro-life action one could support, given that half of the 6-mil annual pregnancies in the US are unwanted, and the best way to prevent abortions resultant from those pregnancies is to provide women with the ability to prevent those pregnancies in the first place. It would cost less than abortions do presently. It would help lift poor women out of poverty by keeping them from having to spend their meager living on contraception, or failing having to pay for contraception, having to pay for the children they couldn’t afford either.
Covering contraception is not, as Rush argues, subsidizing women’s sex lives — it’s definitely not nearly as unambiguously coverage for someone’s sexual promiscuity as, say, the coverage presently provided for Viagra so old men can get their dicks up. Covering contraception is about allowing women the ability to choose when they get pregnant, in an environment where they shoulder all the responsibilities for any pregnancy resultant of sexual contact, and they might not always even have the choice when they have sex. And frankly, the only other argument I’ve heard against contraception, that it is an abortifacient, is patently scientifically incorrect. So those folks clawing back against women’s rights are either grossly misinformed or they’re slut-shaming women without even-handedly likewise slut-shaming the men who must needs have intercourse with said women to have made these women pregnant.
This week’s Doonesbury comics are intended to cover all of this, but apparently they’re not going to get run in many newspapers because it’s too “controversial”. If it’s too controversial to make it to the funny pages, why isn’t the fight being hashed out on television, in the newspapers? Is it too controversial to touch there too? Why do we only hear about the asshole contingent — two prominent members of said contingent being the only Republican candidates who might get the nod in this primary — who demands that women’s rights be eviscerated? And can you honestly blame some of us on the blogosphere for getting hot under the collar over this stuff, given the stakes?
And yet, despite all these individual actions on the greater battlefield that is women’s rights and the Republican clawback against such, some folks in the skeptic community apparently believe it’s more important to shame people for being mean to one another over all of this. Granted, the “meanness” aspect needs to be discussed, but could we maybe wait until after we’ve prevented a regression of thirty to forty years of women’s rights?