Look, anyone who knows me knows I am not very easy to offend. As long as you don't criticize my body, my abilities as a mom, or those I care for, we are pretty much ok. I let a lot slide. I appreciate people and their diversities. It's always been my belief that your opinions are yours, and yours alone, and it's not up to me to change them. You have your reasons for believing what you do. As long as you are not hurting anyone or being disrespectful, I don't care what you think. It's your life. You have to live it. I have my own. What is that saying? Opinions are like assholes. We all have one, and they all stink.
(My dad's wisdom there for you...)
That being said, I also let a lot of shit go. Things don't rile me all that easily. Honestly, you have to try to get me fired up unless you are hitting a well known nerve with me. Life is too short to worry about things like what other people think and how different it is from what I think, and I do my best not to. I also don't believe in censorship. We might not like the opinions of others, but they have just as much of a right to have theirs as you have to have yours. Chances are, they think you are just as lost as you think they are. Making them see the light is not possible unless their eyes are open...and for many, they are shut tight. And you know what? They are their eyes to open and close as they see fit. We may not like what someone thinks, but this is America, and they can think what they want. Until it affects our rights. Our lives. And the boundaries of common decency
But I am also not made of steel, and sometimes, things go too far.
Rush Limbaugh is no stranger to controversy. He has made a living off of getting someone's back up with his inflammatory speech about his political and social opinions. It's who he is, and it gets him followers as fast as it gets him enemies. We would be silly to assume he is the only person out there who thinks this way. I am not a Republican. I am also not a Democrat. I am an Independent. I think parties are silly, and have gotten so far gone in today's day and age that some of the members of both base too much of their work as politicians on what side of the fence they fall on, rather than what the actual issue is and how it will affect the American people. It's a problem on both sides. Rush likes to play into this fire by throwing as much gasoline on it as he can, getting it to burn higher and higher. With his comments about law student Sandra Fluke, he simply went off the deep end.
I have read a lot of commentary about this issue. About Freedom of Speech, about our rights to opinions, etc. Some people think we should let it go, and move on.
My issue is this...do we all remember when Don Imus was fired?
His use of terminology in a joking sense...right or wrong...got him fired. Ruined his career for a short time. Don Imus is not a bad guy. Did he make a bad call? Sure. Speaking as someone who works in radio as a sideline aspiration, sometimes you get to talking and you don't realize what comes out of your mouth until it's too late. There is no take 2 in radio. Once you said it, there it is. You better be able to explain it. What Imus said was one sentence. Poorly worded, absolutely. Worth being fired for? Not in my opinion, but I don't pay the bills there either. He is a decent human being. He does a lot of charity work with his wife for under privileged urban kids. He finances these ventures with his own money and from the profits of products he markets, like his salsa (which, if you can find it, is actually pretty freaking good...). Still, he took his punishment, made his apologies, and built himself back up.
Here comes Rush. He takes his issue with a law student who took it upon herself to stand up and act as a voice for women all over the country and the availability of oral contraceptives. Yes, there is more to that issue than just that part. It's a big one, and I am not going to go into it all here. I have my opinions, and you have yours, I am sure. But Miss. Fluke herself was no more than a regular woman who stood up and spoke for us. For a lot of us. Speaking as someone who has battled issues in her own reproductive system for years, especially with ovarian cysts that were for a time treated with oral contraceptives, this is an issue close to my heart...and my uterus.It's not a place that I appreciate anyone...especially a man with a big filthy mouth...having any say. I know that is not right or wrong...it's just how I feel.
I heard what Mr. Limbaugh said in response to Miss. Fluke. I was disgusted. Not because an overly opinionated radio host had an opinion I did not agree with. Not because Miss. Fluke was right or wrong in what she said. It was his completely misogynistic rant. It was the words he used. It was the fact that he took the entire matter out of context, and attacked this woman personally. He called her a SLUT. He called her a PROSTITUTE. He made reference to her sex life, and said she should be making videos and posting them on the internet so he could watch them. Is this justified? Since when is it ok to attack a woman's sex life, her character, in such a blatantly crude manner because she stood up for reproductive health and safe sex? How is this ok?
Again, I would like to point out that I don't agree with censorship. If it starts small and is allowed to grow, it will surely take over and create quite a mess of what we have worked to build for freedom of speech. And that creates quite a pickle here, doesn't it? I am incensed about what was said about this woman. Is she perfect? I am sure she is not. Who is? I'm not either. Mr. Limbaugh is surely not. For someone who has had as many problems as he has with addiction, marital issues, and personal struggles as he has, I think it's bold for him to be picking on anyone. But he picked on a woman. He, and older man, picked on a college girl. He didn't pick on her for her opinions that maybe he didn't agree with. He tore her apart based on sex. On her sex, and on actual sex.
What I wondered most of all through this whole issue is...does Mr. Limbaugh have a daughter? A sister? A mother? A niece? Has he ever known a woman he cared for? If so, would he have allowed anyone to speak the way he did about her simply because she stood up for what she felt was right? If his behavior continues to be applauded on some circles, what does that mean for young women in this country? I was sent an article about how Ron Paul scolded Mr. Limbaugh for apologizing for what he said, and while I didn't think one way or the other about Mr. Paul up until now, my opinion of him dropped as well. This was a girl who took how she felt...how a lot of us felt...to the men who make the decisions. She stood up and spoke her mind. She spoke for a lot of us. For women now, and women yet to be born.
And for her efforts, she was called a SLUT on national, syndicated radio.
I don't know enough about Miss. Fluke to know if her father is in her life. But if he is, how must he feel? Does she have a brother? How does he feel?
All I know is how I feel, and I think this is a small glimpse of a much bigger problem. One we need to start suiting up for as women. As men who love their women. As people who care for one another. It's a matter of respect. Respect is lacking.
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