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Thursday, March 1, 2012

We're All Feminazis Now: Limbaugh's Long History of Sexism

We're All Feminazis Now: Limbaugh's Long History of Sexism
Rush Limbaugh is a sexist pig, and he's proud of his misogyny. One of Limbaugh's most famous statements is, “Feminism was established so that unattractive women could have easier access to the mainstream of society.”

Limbaugh sometimes does defend women, if they are conservative. He complained about the media treatment of Sarah Palin and declared, “Nobody should be attacked because they’re a woman.” Nobody, unless it's a liberal woman like Sandra Fluke.

Today, Limbaugh repeated his offensive comments attacking Fluke, declaring: “She's having so much sex it's amazing she can still walk.” Limbaugh noted,
I said, "If we're paying for this, it makes these women sluts, prostitutes." And what else could it be? If we are buying it.

Limbaugh's comments were not only sexist, they were bizarre. Limbaugh apparently doesn't understand how birth control pills work because he said about Fluke, “Have you ever heard of not having sex so often?” Limbaugh seems to think that the number of birth control pills women take depends on how sex they have.

Back in 2010, Limbaugh declared:
I've called nobody a "bitch," I called nobody a "whore," I called nobody a "slut," as some called Sharron Angle and some called Meg Whitman. All Republican women were called b-i-itch, slut and whore.

Of course, Limbaugh was lying then, and now he's open about calling liberal women “sluts.”

In my book, The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, I devote a chapter to Limbaugh's sexism. Here's a few highlights:

Limbaugh is particularly fearful of women controlling men. He wrote, "Militant feminists are pro-choice because it's their ultimate avenue of power over men....It is their attempt to impose their will on the rest of society, particularly on men." Only Limbaugh could imagine that supporting the right of women to control their own bodies is intended solely to exert power over men.

Limbaugh's sexism includes joking about rape. He once played video from a rape trial, laughing and saying “I'm trying not to laugh” as a traumatized woman detailed anal rape.

Rush even compared criticism of him from feminists to the genocidal murders in Bosnia, accusing feminists of "political cleansing": "It's just like this ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. They're trying to wipe out and shut up all the opposition."

Early in his talk show career, Limbaugh called the National Organization for Women “a terrorist organization” and described two members of the group on the air as “ugly dogs.”

Limbaugh would play the 1966 song “Born a Woman”: “A woman’s place in this old world/Is under some man’s thumb/And if you’re born a woman/You’re born to be hurt” and then yell, “She said hurt, not heard.”

Limbaugh’s view of women is perhaps best expressed by this anecdote he told about his cat:
My cat comes to me when she wants to be fed. I have learned this. I accept it for what it is. Many people in my position would think my cat's coming to me because she loves me. Well, she likes me, and she is attached, but she comes to me when she wants to be fed. And after I feed her -- guess what -- she's off to wherever she wants to be in the house, until the next time she gets hungry. She's smart enough to know she can't feed herself. She's actually a very smart cat. She gets loved. She gets adoration. She gets petted. She gets fed. And she doesn't have to do anything for it, which is why I say this cat's taught me more about women, than anything my whole life. But we put voices in their mouths.
Limbaugh may be most famous for popularizing the word “feminazi.” For decades, Limbaugh has been using the term, without apology, to smear the feminist movement. He wrote in his first book, “A Feminazi is a feminist to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur.” The comparison of feminists fighting for gender equality to the most brutal and murderous regime in human history should shock everyone. But he delights in repeating the word over and over again.

Limbaugh has repeatedly asserted that he has been misquoted and was only describing a “few” feminists as feminazis. He told Playboy, “I have been misstated, misrepresented, misreported on this. A feminazi is not a feminist. A feminazi is two things: a woman to whom the most important thing in life is seeing to it that every abortion possible happens. I've not found more than 20 of those.”

He must have found a lot more, because Limbaugh said today: “So, Ms. Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here's the deal: If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. And I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.” Wanting equality for women's health insurance coverage now makes you a “feminazi,” according to Limbaugh. The man who claimed that he's never called more than 20 women “feminazis” is now declaring that believing, as a majority of Americans do, that birth control should be covered by health insurance makes you a “feminazi.” We're all feminazis now.

Crossposted at DailyKos.

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