Limbaugh incident highlights double standard

Jessica Jost

I confess; I never paid Rush Limbaugh much attention until this weekend when on a segment of Limbaugh’s radio show where he called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke “a slut” for testifying in front of Congress about birth control.
The incident reminded me of the ever present double standard when it comes to sex.  The saying “A good key opens every door but a good door only opens for one key” has been running through my mind this whole week as I’ve tried to put my outrage into appropriate words. The phrase essentially means that a man can have sex with whomever he wants while a woman should wait for one man. How can it be that now, in the 21st century, women are still supposed to be sexually pure while men can be as promiscuous as they choose with no ramifications?
When a man buys contraceptives, his buddies may comment on how he is “getting lucky tonight.”  When a woman testifies in front of Congress about a new health care bill providing for payment for birth control pills that while in addition to preventing pregnancy, also help regulate abnormal periods and helps treat ovarian cysts, she is labeled “a slut” and “a prostitute” by Limbaugh and the far right that support him?
Fluke does not deserve to be branded as a slut for wanting ownership of her body, she should be commended as brave and responsible. She is brave because testifying in front of Congress is never an easy thing, and responsible because she taking care of herself by waiting until she is ready to have a child; 1,693,658 children were born in 2009 to unwed mothers who may be unprepared for being a parent; birth control is a way to lower that rate and hopefully ensure that children are born into families who are ready for them.
But obviously Limbaugh would rather have women subjugated to a lifetime of pregnancy à la Michelle Duggar, or maybe he was feeling a little attention deprived and chose Fluke as his train back into the front mind of America.
I’d also like to take this time to call out the Republican candidates, specifically Mitt Romney, for their reactions to Limbaugh’s debauchery. When asked what he thought of Limbaugh’s rant, Romney replied,  “It’s not the language I would have used.” Well, then, Mr. Romney, what words would you have used? Tramp? Floozy? Or god forbid, unsavory person?
If the sexual double standard is to be eroded and women can purchase contraceptives without the stigma of being a slut, then men like Limbaugh need to keep their thoughts to themselves. Or better yet, they should educate themselves on birth control (honestly, it’s only one pill a day, not 500,00) and start treating women as equals.
It’s been 93 years since the Nineteenth Amendment was passed, and 44 years since the birth control pill was created. One would think that America could be more mature about the matter, but I guess not.
By Jessica Jost