An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh

Dear Mr. Limbaugh:

So, you were forced to make an apology to Ms. Fluke and other women you insulted when you called her a “slut” and a “prostitute”. However, I have to take umbrage with several statements in your apology. In an attempt to be fair and balanced, I have included your entire apology in this post. I pulled it from the Huffington Post, I hope that doesn’t rankle you too much:

“For over 20 years, I have illustrated the absurd with absurdity, three hours a day, five days a week. In this instance, I chose the wrong words in my analogy of the situation. I did not mean a personal attack on Ms. Fluke.

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability? Where do we draw the line? If this is accepted as the norm, what will follow? Will we be debating if taxpayers should pay for new sneakers for all students that are interested in running to keep fit? In my monologue, I posited that it is not our business whatsoever to know what is going on in anyone’s bedroom nor do I think it is a topic that should reach a Presidential level.

My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”

Now, I could argue that your whole apology was weak, at best. And I could point out that the coercion is almost palpable. But, instead, I’m going to focus on three specific statements you made. And thank you for the expediency of making all three statements consecutively. This is the passage I’d like to discuss:

I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress. I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities. What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Let’s break the statement down to individual sentences so each statement can receive the response it so richly deserves, shall we?

(And since you started your “apology” with the idea that you have “illustrated the absurd with absurdity,” I’m going to borrow from that phrase for just a moment.)

Absurdity Illustration #1: I think it is absolutely absurd that during these very serious political times, we are discussing personal sexual recreational activities before members of Congress.

Here’s a stat for ya, Rush: Men think about sex almost twice as much as women. Notice I didn’t trot out the “men think about sex once every seven seconds” urban legend. That’s a, well, absurd statement, and I don’t need to be incendiary or outrageous to make a point. (You should try that sometime.)  Don’t believe me? Check here, here and here. Also, men see sex more as a recreational activity than women (that point is also supported in the previously provided links). Republican congressMEN created a committee to discuss contraception, and refused to let women participate.

Believe it or not, I agree with you, Rush. It is absurd that a group of men decided to get together and discuss recreational sex. That should have stayed on the golf course, in the locker room, and around the poker table — you know, those other places men work to keep female-free. Here’s an interesting tidbit: when women get together to, oh I don’t know, make a quilt, discuss the latest book club selection or swap recipes, female contraception only comes up if someone’s having an issue “down there.” Otherwise, it’s generally not topic worthy.  Birth control is not recreation for us — for many of us it’s a necessary evil. Period. (Pun intended)

Absurdity Illustration #2: I personally do not agree that American citizens should pay for these social activities.

Did I miss a memo? When did this become something that the American citizens collectively would be required to pay for? I thought the point of the hearings was to discuss if private insurance should be required to cover oral contraceptives. How did that become free birth control lines at the free clinic? I believe that if I’m paying for insurance, then I should be able to get any medication I need to live a healthy and comfortable life. I get highly insulted when I’m paying for a service but I cannot receive all the parts of the service I want because someone determined I didn’t need it. Someone who has NO IDEA what I really need or want. That’s insulting. What if your insurance company told you that you’ve had enough sex in your life, and therefore they will no longer cover your Viagra? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Absurdity Illustration #3: What happened to personal responsibility and accountability?

Oh, Rush, Rush, Rush (when was the last time a woman said THAT to you?)…I’ve been pondering this same question for years. I ponder it when I hear statements such as:

  • It’s the woman’s responsibility to take care of birth control.
  • Women who use birth control are awesome. I hate having sex with a condom — it ruins it for me.
  • (When the birth control fails): Not my problem — you should have known you were fertile!
  • (When no birth control is used and pregnancy results) See statement #1 followed by “What do you expect me to do about it?”

You dare to pose the question about responsibility and accountability, while other men place that responsibility and accountability squarely on women’s shoulders. And when a woman does take on the accountability, and a pregnancy results, you point the finger and denounce her.

That’s bad enough.

But then, when the woman takes on the responsibility, but simply asks that her insurance, which she is paying for, offer contraception coverage as part of the planfor which the woman is paying premiums, you have the audacity to insult her and tell her she has no right to make the request.

You’re out of your freakin’ mind.

I doubt you’ll read this, and that’s okay. I didn’t really write it for you to read, since that might mean having some sort of contract with you, and like the flu, I try to avoid things that make me feverish, clammy and feel like I want to faint. I really wrote this for my readers who actually respect your opinion, and for my other readers who think you are a moron. So, let me finish off this post with a brief summary:

Men can get Viagra through insurance. It’s used primarily to treat Erectile Dysfunction. Most men use it for recreational sex. And yes, sex with your spouse that is not a deliberate attempt to procreate IS recreational sex.

Women use oral contraceptives to treat a myriad of gynecological ailments, including infrequent cycles, PCOS, endometriosis, PMDS and acne. They also use it for recreational sex. But insurance doesn’t want to cover oral contraception because women might use it for recreational sex.

If you can’t see the flaw in that logic, then it’s a good thing this is the end of my post, because I have nothing more to say to you.

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25 thoughts on “An Open Letter To Rush Limbaugh

  1. RJ Clarken says:

    Kim – that was brilliant! Every time I read one of your posts, I feel a wholly kindred sense. You rock – keep it going!

  2. Thank you, RJ — means a lot that you feel that way. And back atcha! 🙂

  3. Kim says:

    So I was away all day, though following the Rush rash issue on the news for several days now, and I have to say I was waiting with bated breath, okay so that might be overkill, but waiting for your response as I knew it was coming. You did not disappoint.
    The apology that Rush’s lawyers wrote for him to read only came after commercial sponsors started to cancel and flee like fleas from insect spray. I love how you picked it apart, sentence by sentence, idiotic statement, by idiotic statement.
    It has always amazed me that people still pay attention to this drug taking, cheating bum.
    Kinda like paying attention to Faux news reports….whoops …fox news.
    For those who still wish to believe these babbling hate spewing yutzes, shame on you.
    For those of us who shake our heads in disbelief when yet another incident such as this hits the fan, we have you, Kim.
    So you keep writing and we will keep reading and cheering you on from in front of our keyboards and screens. Thanks….for what you do and will continue to do.

    • Thank you, Kim. I appreciate the vote of confidence.

      I’ve been watching the whole Rush thing unfold, and didn’t write about it sooner because I *knew* by the swell of protests he would be forced to back down in some fashion, and I figured it would be even more worthy of criticism than the act that created the firestorm to begin with. I mean, as you said, we’re used to him spewing forth venom and nonsense from his bully pulpit, but seeing him deliver it while knocked on his butt was something we’ve never actually seen. I’ll give the man credit — he’s consistent. Too bad his consistency is akin to compost.

      Thanks for your comments!

  4. Editrix says:

    You rock. That’s all.

  5. Barbara says:

    The man truly does not understand how birth control works – he thinks women have to pop a pill every time they’re going to flop on their backs and open their legs. (Ewww, even writing that. . .)
    He is the personification of misogynist. And he can’t deny it because we know better.

    • You pretty much nailed it, Barbara. He’s said some incendiary and inflammatory things in the past, but this is a whole new level. It will be interesting if his “career” can weather this newest stunt. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Cathy says:

    This is my first time reading your blog. I can see I’m missing a lot. I think I better “follow” this blog. Wish I could write like this.

  7. […] post was one of those […]

  8. Molly Burns says:

    I could not agree more with your many excellent points, but I feel that I should point out a factual error in your post. The debate is actually over whether or not insurance companies should cover the cost of birth control, not just be required to cover it. Under the Obama administration’s proposal, insurance companies will be required to provide birth control at no charge (co-pay free.)

    This is only to say that this point:

    “Did I miss a memo? When did this become something that the American citizens collectively would be required to pay for?”

    is in fact what Rush was likely referring to. I in no way agree with any of his comments and again applaud your many excellent points!

    • Hi Molly, thanks for you comments.

      I get what you’re saying. And I understand the confusion. But since we’re talking about private insurance, even though the oral contraceptives would be co-pay free, the cost of the medications would still be included in the premiums paid by the individual. So, no, American citizens would not collectively be paying for the birth control.

  9. Andrew Grendahl says:

    Look,I dont condone Mr. Limbaughs comments about this lady,but I find it pretty pathetic that all of this fuss is being made over the word “slut” being used to describe Ms Fluke.Where were you when Bill Maher (a liberal) called Sarah Palin a “cunt”?Or when Keith Olbermann (a liberal)said she looked like a “slutty flight attendant” or how about the many remarks made by David Letterman (also a liberal) like the one about Bristol Palin being knocked up by Alex Rodriguez at a Yankee game.Where were these voices demanding them to be terminated,or to make a half hearted apology? Like I said I dont condone what Rush said,but I do think that if he werent a conservative it would have been swept aside.Women rights groups should be concerned about all women,and not just women insulted by conservatives.I think his apology was just fine,and now his apology is being disected….for what? Accept and move on for Gods sake,just because it didn’t meet your standard for what an apology should be doesn’t give you the right to pick it apart.I think the remarks made about the members of the Palin family were far worse in comparison,especially the ones made about Trig.Maybe you should focus some of your work on Bill Maher,he is a sexist pig with no respect for women…..I’m sure you can find something to attack him on!

    • Andrew, first, let me thank you for your comment.

      Now, I think you need to go and re-read my post. Other than my first sentence, which was really only used to explain why he issued the apology, I never mentioned Ms. Fluke, the word “slut” or make any other mention of whether I felt what he said was right or wrong.

      Because, Andrew, this isn’t about Rush calling Ms. Fluke a slut. It’s about the assault against women’s rights that is being waged in the country. You can throw all the other examples of what everyone else did at me til the cows come home or they make sense to you — but they don’t matter. At least not to me. What matters is that I’m tired of a bunch of men deciding what is best for me. I’m tired of being treated as if I need to be “protected” and “taken care of”. I will no longer let anyone pat me on my head and send me on my merry way.

      And because I am a woman who will no longer remain silent, and because I have a platform from which to speak and because I didn’t like those statement in his apology, you’re DAMN right I picked it apart. And I know damn well I have the right to do so. You may not like that fact, but it’s a fact nonetheless. Accept it and move on, for Gods sake.

      I am pretty sure you are a new reader to my blog, so I’m giving you some latitude. But know this: NO ONE is safe from my ire. If someone says something I don’t like, I call them on it. Stupidity knows no race, creed, color, sexual orientation or political affiliation. If it’s stupid, it’s stupid, and I’m going to point that out. Stick around, one day you might actually agree with me.


  10. Iris D says:

    Kudos. I hope he looses all his sponsors and is no longer on the air. His attempt at an apology was not an admittance of wrong but more of a rant on why we think he is wrong. He needs to be excused; EXCUSED FROM THE AIR PERMANENTLY!

  11. Mary says:

    Thank you for speaking for what I must believe is a majority of people, men included. I am so incensed by this Rush idiot I can’t even respond to his gibberish. Thank you for doing so in a very eloquent way. Rush’s motive is clear-attention getting equals job security. Rush’s supporters? What is their motive????

    • Hi Mary, thanks for your comments and compliments.

      I agree with you completely about Rush’s motivation, but I really cannot speak for Rush supporters because I can’t understand why anyone IS a Rush supporter. To each their own, I suppose. *shrug*

  12. Bee says:

    Really enjoyed your words of wisdom dealing with Rush who never says anything positive. I was especially not surprised that the only negative comment you received was from a man. I am a just turned 72 year old woman and have enjoyed the progression of woman being considered equal through my years. But we still have a long way to go. Thanks again for that wonderful piece.

    • Thank you Ms. Bee, so your kind words and comments.

      I wasn’t shocked to see a negative comment from a man either, but I am shocked it’s the only negative comment. But I am so enjoying the love the post is receiving and I’m thrilled people enjoyed it. As a writer, I couldn’t ask for a better result.

      Again, thanks for commenting, and I hope you stick around. 🙂

  13. Jane says:

    Very eloquent retort to what can only be described as vitriol. Having never listened to Rush Limbough I was shocked at his ramblings over three days last week. I was further shocked that he was not roundly denounced in a public forum by the party that he apparently supports. Maureen Dowd of the NYT wrote that the Republican party would like to pretend that the 1960s never existed. This seems to be part of that agenda. And is it possible that neither RB or his supporter on Fox (Sean Hannity) know how birth control works, do they really see it as the female viagra? Can they be that ignorant? In response to Andrew: this was an vicious attack on a private citizen, not someone choosing to be in the public eye.

    • Thank you, Jane.

      It does seem that the Republicans would like nothing better than to have the 1950s American back again. But for more reasons than I have fingers, that shift cannot be allowed. And it wouldn’t shock me that neither Rush nor Sean know the ins and outs of oral contraceptives — I put them both firmly in the “it’s the woman’s responsibility” camp.

      Thanks for your comments.

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