Unless you live in a vacuum, you already know that radio host Rush Limbaugh projectile-word-vomited these choice statements on live radio about Sandra Fluke, a law student at Georgetown University who testified on issues of women’s health coverage at an unofficial Democratic hearing: “It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex”.
While all of those words are enough to make anyone in favor of gender equality want to build a Noah’s Ark-type rocket-ship to escape such offenses to reason, it’s not the lewd language or sophomoric taunts that people should be enraged by. For those keeping tabs on the new women’s healthcare bill debacle, it has become apparent that those who are most opposed to the new mandate are largely individuals who lack the necessary organs to make this an issue that directly involves them at all: men. More importantly, it should be noted that it is being opposed by men who do not seem entirely certain of how birth control even works either as a contraceptive, or for various other medical reasons. They also seem to be a bit squeamish about female sexuality in general.
First off, Limbaugh’s complaint was centered on the fact that Fluke was allegedly having “so much sex she can’t afford contraception.” This is simply not how birth control works, and Limbaugh seems to confuse birth control with medications for erectile dysfunction, which he has no issue with. One does not take a pill every time one has sex. One takes a pill every day at around the same time, regardless of how much or how little sex she is having. Additionally, there is a long list of other medical uses for hormonal birth control. Some of these are polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, acne, alleviation of menstrual cramps, migraines, lowering risk of ovarian cancer and amenorrhea.
In addition to Rush Limbaugh’s view, it is clear that many Republican candidates, including Mitt Romney, sincerely believe that because “life begins at conception,” using birth control is akin to an actual abortion. This is impossible, being that most hormonal birth control works in such a way that it prevents implantation of a fertilized egg, meaning that if an egg is never implanted, there is absolutely no way an abortion, by definition, could ever take place.
And who can forget Rick Santorum backer Foster Freiss’ unbelievably drunk, old curmudgeon-esque comment about using an Aspirin between the knees as birth control?
Anyone who starts off his reasoning for denying women reproductive rights in the year 2012 with, “back in my day…” is not someone whose opinion should be counted in the matter. Sir, it’s no longer “your day.” A lot of us here in the vagina-possessing crowd are pretty psyched about that fact, actually.
In the interest of not leaving out the little guys, pop culture feminist website “Jezebel” reported that Virginia Republican legislator Dave Albo, chose to recount a truly frat-worthy tale at the state assembly about how his wife was too angry to have sex with him over a report that mentioned his name in the proposed trans-vaginal abortion bill. Being that Albo could not even utter the word “vagina” and kept referring to the procedure as “trans-v,” maybe “locker-room worthy” is a more accurate descriptor.
The fact that a group of influential men decided to have something comparative to a tree-house club meeting, complete with a proverbial “BOYS ONLY” sign, to discuss what should be done with women’s bodies and healthcare, is more than too much to stand for.
But to then realize that a portion of these men don’t seem to even understand the issues that they’re ready to make such impactful decisions on is enough to admit that, somehow, in 2012, the decisions being made are no more educated than they were even sixty years prior.
Here’s the bottom line: if these politicians do not have the intellectual ability to make an informed and truly democratic decision, then it’s time to tell this sort of “gentleman” to keep out: this territory is “girl’s only.”