I didn’t say anything about the “If you’re on birth control you’re obviously a whore” debacle earlier because I had a rare encounter with a personal boundary, which happens so infrequently that when I do bump into a stray “Are you SURE you want to go there?” thought that I feel like I need to really unpack what is making me feel like something might be off limits.
I thought about it.
And then I decided that, uncomfortable as it might be, I’m going there.
As you probably know by now, Rush Limbaugh denounced a law student who had to audacity to speak on a matter of public policy regarding birth control as a whore. A prostitute. And then said that, if birth control is subsidized, she owes him sex tapes so he can see the sex he’s paying for.*
Here’s the thing about the birth control pill: yes, it’s a contraceptive. It also, fortunately for me and many other women, has other medical uses.
I have been on the pill since I was in my teens. And it’s not because I’m a whore, thanks, but because my body doesn’t seem to be able to regulate my menstrual cycle. (This is the TMI portion of this … I’ll get through it fast. Sorry, Mom.) What does that mean? It means, basically, that if I’m not on the pill? I have my period every other week.
You have never witnessed the kind of PMS this can cause. In fact, I don’t even think it can be described as PMS... it’s more like “Batshit crazy”. As in, in addition to becoming ridiculously anemic, exhausted, and miserable? I’m also insane. Not the fun kind.
So, the Pill.
But that makes me a whore, right? Being on the Pill? Thinking the Pill should be covered by insurance – no matter where I work – makes me a whore. It would probably be better for me to have to shell out the costs of the Pill out of pocket (and it’s expensive, I’ll have you know) than it would be for my medical needs to be covered. And I guess that if I just couldn’t afford it, I’d have to suffer the consequences of having my period 15 days of out 30. Right?
Here’s the Make a Difference part: The Constitution of this great country guarantees free speech. (This blog is brought to you by the Constitution. Yay!)
As such? You can say whatever you want.
And you can ALSO be held accountable for it.
If you believe that people should be held accountable for the things that they say, then stand up and hold them accountable. If you think that what Rush Limbaugh said was inflammatory, inappropriate, and just plain mean, CALL HIM ON IT. (As of this writing, seven of his sponsors have pulled out of his show due to public pressure and outcry.)**
Do NOT, ever, stand silently when someone says something that you find hateful. Do NOT allow people to get away with something that you believe to be wrong. You don’t have to be equally inflammatory or hateful. You can be respectful, polite, and kind.
You just cannot be silent.
Silence is not how a difference is made.
*I have WAY simplified this issue because I don’t want to rehash the whole thing, but there’s a much better article here: http://www.xojane.com/issues/so-much-sex-rush-limbaugh-and-sluts-georgetown-university
** You can complain about Mr Limbaugh if you want -- this website lists sponsors, and his employer: http://www.topplebush.com/boycott_rush.shtml