My lovely readers,
This week, I would have loved to write about something fun and upbeat, perhaps Cosmopolitan‘s latest outrageous article or lingerie preferences according to St. Olaf men. Those articles will have to wait. Something far more disturbing has come across my radar, something I feel like I need to address. That something is really a someone: Rush Limbaugh.
If you keep up with the news regularly, you have probably heard the controversy regarding Sandra Fluke, the graduate student from Georgetown who was barred from speaking in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee. House democrats had brought her in to talk about the Obama administration’s policy supporting contraception coverage for workers at Catholic organizations. This past week, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh threw his hat into the controversy with the following comment: “What does it say about the college coed who goes before a congressional committee and essentially says that she must be paid to have sex—what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute.”
When I heard this, I felt like someone had literally punched me in the gut. I do not care what your political affiliation is; it is absolutely not okay to say something like that about anyone. It is because of statements like these that women feel like they can’t speak out and be open about their sexuality. And who can blame us? Who would ever want to risk being called a slut or whore just for being open and honest about her opinions and beliefs regarding her body and sexual behavior? Seeing statements such as these made on the national level only reinforces the stigma about sex and the hesitation we have about being open and honest with ourselves and others regarding our sex lives.
Comments like Limbaugh’s make me feel like I am dirty and worthless- even though I know that I am being healthy and safe in my sexual explorations.
I think that our generation is afraid to be open and speak out because we were raised on Disney movies in which women took on a passive roll (not knocking Disney, I love me some Lion King and Beauty and the Beast), and grew up in a culture where any women who is strong and speaks her mind is a bitch or a slut or a whore. I don’t know what makes people think that saying these things is okay, but it needs to stop. We need to stop letting it happen and we need to stop saying these things ourselves.
Women must stop judging one another and using these hurtful words and taunts; this is the first step to empowering ourselves in our sexuality and self-image. We cannot tolerate being bullied by people like Rush Limbaugh – our physical, mental, and emotional health depend on it.
Your feedback means everything to me, so please leave a comment below by clicking “Add a new comment” if you have anything to say about this week’s blog or have any questions or ideas for future articles.
Stay strong and sexy St. Olaf,