Rush Limbaugh is an unabashed, unapologetic misogynist. It’s hard to be surprised by what comes out of his mouth. What is surprising – and telling – is our response to his latest diatribe against Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who tried to speak out for insurance coverage of birth control. While many of us reacted with utter disdain, there were those who didn’t and accused the rest of us with overreacting. Women like Michelle Bachmann (I know, hardly an advocate for women but she is, as far as we know, a woman) said this much.
To me, the fact that women across the spectrum – and the men who support them – didn’t immediately call what Limbaugh said what it was, which is hate speech, shows why there is still so much violence and disdain for women in our society. Anyone who is able to accept what he said can only believe that women are less than human. And when we believe something is less than human, it’s an open invitation to treat it with an utter lack of humanity and compassion.
As my Dad said to me today, women are making gains in today’s world like never before. Perhaps Limbaugh and the sudden popularity of other misogynists like Rick Santorum are a backlash against these gains. Whatever the reason the only way we can combat them is to call them what they are. Rush Limbaugh is spreading hatred to millions of listeners every day. His show remains the highest-rated talk radio show in the nation.
The millions out there who listen to him are getting the message that it’s okay to hate women. If it’s okay to hate women it’s certainly okay to abuse women.