Which of these two events do you find more distasteful?
1. Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut for her position on contraceptives.
2. Activists are treating Fluke as a helpless victim who needs society’s protection against the harsh words of an entertainer.
My interpretation of events is that Limbaugh saw Fluke as a capable adult, and a public figure, tough enough to handle some harsh language. The boycotters apparently see Fluke as more of an endangered child, or a helpless damsel in distress, threatened by a monster. Light the torches and launch the boycott!
One way to look at this situation is that Limbaugh is a misogynist bully who cold-heartedly attacked a young woman who was only trying to make the world a better place through her testimony.
Another way to look at it is that Limbaugh’s brand of entertainment involves saying cruel and absurd things about any public figure with an opposing opinion. Fluke volunteered to be a public figure, and by all evidence, she’s a capable adult (age 30?) who doesn’t run from a fight.
Did I miss the part where Fluke asked society to fight her battles for her? What I saw was the opposite. Fluke willingly waded into the fight about contraception. The timid people stayed home and watched her on television.
From my point of view, Limbaugh treated Fluke like a worthy opponent, capable of handling a harsh attack. In other words, he treated her the same way he routinely treats the President of the United States. As I’ve said on other occasions, you haven’t achieved equality until you’re a legitimate target for humor. Obviously we aren’t there yet.
Full disclosure: I don’t agree with anything that comes out of Rush Limbaugh’s mouth, but I have a great appreciation for his entertainment skills.