I have no idea the context in which Rush Limbaugh made the statements he did about Ms. Sandra Fluke. For the purposes of this discussion, however, I’m interpreting those statements in the worst possible light. As such, I utterly condemn them. Mr. Limbaugh has done the right thing by apologizing.
What has subsequently dismayed (but not surprised) me is how some of my Liberal friends have reacted when confronted with the hateful comments made by Bill Maher and other Liberal personalities.
These include, but are not limited to, the following (warning: graphic language follows):
Bill Maher called Sarah Palin the “C” word and a “dumb twat.” Ed Schultz of MSNBC called conservative commentator Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut.” Keith Olbermann said Conservative woman writer S.E. Cupp, “…should have been aborted by her parents.” He also called Michelle Malkin a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick.” Matt Taibbi wrote, “When I read [Malkin’s] stuff, I imagine her narrating her text, book-on-tape style, with a big, hairy set of balls in her mouth.”
I asked on my Facebook page: “To all women rightly offended by Limbaugh’s statements, what do you think of these statements”?
Now, the replies are not anywhere close to a scientific survey. However, I was dismayed that only two women condemned the statements regardless of who said them. I had very few other replies from women. Most of the rest were from men who are either self-proclaimed Liberals or called themselves “moderates.”
The most interesting thing about the discussions that followed was that these respondents did everything but condemn Maher. They twisted themselves into pretzels by claiming that I was trying to demonstrate a moral equivalency when there isn’t one.
Another friend, when asked about how he condemned Limbaugh but not Maher when Maher’s comments were pointed out, said that he was just expressing his opinion and he doesn’t feel the need to be fair. Another said that the comments are somehow acceptable because while Ms. Fluke wasn’t a public figure, these other women are.
But you know what nobody said? Not a single person began by saying something akin to, “The comments by these other men about these women are inexcusable, hateful, misogynist, disgusting, in poor taste, etc etc.” and then launching into whatever other thing they wanted to say.Even after pointing this out to them, they still droned on without condemning these statements.
That tells me that they 1) think those statements are fine because they are made about Conservative women, 2) that they can’t bring themselves to admit that one of their own is saying the same horrible stuff about women, or 3) they don’t actually even recognize how awful those words are – the subconsciously ingrained hate that defines racists.
I finally got one to admit:Actually, I have a hard time considering it misogyny when we are talking about Palin, Ingraham and Malkin. The nasty poison spewed by these gals makes pay back just a price for the BS they spread all over the internet and the airwaves. Unlike Ms. Fluke, they are public figures.
Most distressing was the lack of women who responded. Women jumped at the chance to defend other women who want free contraception, and they’ll throw themselves in front of a train to protect abortion rights, but when a Liberal male makes hateful comments about Conservative women they are nowhere to be found.
And that’s the saddest thing of all, for women everywhere.