When Rush Limbaugh launched a blistering third day of national radio attacks last Friday on Georgetown University Law School student Sandra Fluke’s testimony explaining how the Catholic Institution’s recent exclusion of hormonal birth control pills from their insurance plan cost one of her instructors an ovary because she was unable to pay the $250 a month for the uncovered medically necessary pills, Mr. Sensitivity demanded as a condition of coverage, that Fluke videotape her sexual encounters and post them on the Internet. His remarks were later mirrored by Mr Civility – Bill O’Reilly of FOX News, (since both he and Rush were safe in the knowledge their Viagra/Cialis boner pills were fully covered under Georgetown’s health insurance policy) saying WE should not pay for HER fun.
They and others had long ago ‘jumped the shark’ in this debate trying to paint women into a corner. By standing up, they were somehow these over-sexed vixens (in their minds) for taking a pill readily available by prescription and used by many women (even Catholics!) for more than 50 years! Further, the debate was so screwed up, they did not seem to understand that these were one per day, taken every day pills, not something (like Viagra) a woman somehow took before each sexual encounter? Really? Are they that stupid? Yes.
What the hell is wrong with these mostly white, mostly men pushing this ‘sex is bad’ agenda (except when I do it)? It is a race back to 1950 and it is crushing the Republican Party. For the 18 months since they won back the Congress, we were told their agenda was to be “jobs, jobs, jobs…,” yet their first bill and most of the legislative agenda has (besides defeating anything President Obama wants, even if they were once in favour of it) revolved around abortion and who has control over a woman’s uterus? So they have spent this entire year re-litigating the 1960s, since the economy is slowly improving under President Obama.
They are nakedly playing to the base and horrifying moderate women (and men) everywhere. I have spoken with Republican women across the US and they are unanimously repulsed by this dive rightward. You can take a lot of things away but do not touch a woman’s access to the pill and do not tell any woman that in order to exercise her legal right to have an abortion, she has to undergo a government ordered trans-vaginal ultrasound and is forced to watch the screen as a probe is inserted into her vagina?
What’s next? Egyptian secret police are brought in to conduct virginity tests; no blood on their glove, the woman is beaten and stoned? Indeed, instead of worrying about Muslim fundamentalists, who is speaking up against this radical Christian fundamentalism? Why are a group of 50-80 year old white men allowed to legislate against women’s reproductive rights in State houses across the USA?
Are we not seeing the same thing happening in the Middle East, Persia and North Africa? Old rich men of power and might treating women and lower classes like dirt? They are all exercising brutal power over women because they can? Well no more. It high time we got YOUR backs sisters!
As a father of three daughters, I was heartened to see former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina speak out strongly against Rush’s tirade. It was great to see Maine Senator Olympia Snowe step down because she could no longer stomach the hard right turn her party has taken.
But where were the other key Republican women? Calista Gingrich is no wallflower, neither is Ann Romney… They would be the ones expected to speak out if their husbands can’t out of fear of the Rush man.
Instead crickets chirped in silence.
It’s time to salute Sandra Fluke and her bravery for speaking on behalf of all young women. It’s time to pull back the veil of sexuality and get used to the idea that women can enjoy sex and dictate the terms of it! Guys get out of your prurient Ozzie and Harriet blinder asses and accept that they outnumber us and demand their rightful place in the world. Cut the sexism and sexist rhetoric and let them work alongside of you to clean up this world.
We’ve not done a terrible job, men, so we’re fired. Step aside and turn your egos down a notch and listen to them! The kids are going to be alright. If someone like Sandra Fluke is leading the way, we’re all going to be just fine.
Now it’s time for us to let go and let her lead the way.
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
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