Sticks and Stones

There are certain words that men should never say.  I know that my friend Laura is rolling her eyes and thinking this is a male bashing moment for me but it isn’t.  I know that there are men – including my husband – who are outraged by what Rush Limbaugh had to say about a young woman who was trying to invoke her constitutional right of free speech. 
Sandra Fluke felt passionately that women should have birth control be freely accessible to all women because a friend suffered medical issues because she couldn’t afford to stay on her birth control. 
Rush Limbaugh took that genuine concern and valid medical reality and turned ugly.  He called Sandra Fluke a slut.  Not shocking in our society.  Any time a women gets out of line men turn to words like bitch (Newt Gingrich about Hilary Clinton – first lady at the time), slut, whore, and so on.  I’ve seen this happen on reality tv with boys calling their girlfriends these names.  I’ve seen it in business.  I’ve seen it in politics.
Here’s what I want to say – men use these words to make women feel powerless.  They throw them out there so that women have to defend their own honor instead of addressing the issues.  It is meant to hurt and distract from the actual issue. 
Limbaugh couldn’t refute her medical information so he vilely called her a slanderous name.  She now has to defend herself.  She should ignore him and keep pushing the issue at hand.  The discussion should be about birth control not about how contemptible and loathsome Limbaugh is for using slanderous words about this woman. 
Perhaps some smart lawyer would volunteer to assist Ms. Fluke in filing a defamation of character and slander suit against Limbaugh to stop such attacks in the future. 

My advice – for what it is worth – to Sandra Fluke.  Use the publicity of Limbaugh despicable comments to bring the focus back to the issue at hand – birth control being free for all women.  Use his words and extremism against him and keep the issue at the forefront of discussion.  Women for health reasons deserve to have free birth control regardless of the organization they work for or belong to.  An organizations beliefs should not come before the health and well being of an actual person.