Nuts and Sluts – Misogyny in Modern Politics

March 5, 2012
By Karyn Albano

Nuts And SlutsRush Limbaugh made some crude and tasteless remarks last week when he called a Georgetown Law student who had recently testified before congress a “slut” and a “prostitute”. Limbaugh’s comments were an attempt to demonstrate absurdity by being absurd (something he’s been doing for over 20 years), but he failed miserably in his wording and he came off as mean spirited. This afternoon on his radio program, Limbaugh spent about 45 minutes explaining the situation from top to bottom and again apologized several times. Of course no amount of apologies will satisfy the mainstream media, who gleefully call Limbaugh misogynist and, to be fair, Limbaugh should not be let off the hook too easily. But this outrage against misogyny is rather selective.

Remember the “nuts and sluts” strategy by the Clinton administration? This was where any woman who stepped forward to speak out about the former President’s transgressions was either emotionally unstable or morally compromised (and I believe Monica Lewinsky was portrayed as both). Was this misogyny, mainstream press?

And what about female politicians who happen to be Republican? Look at some of the unfair attacks on Michelle Bachmann earlier in this primary. Everything from her looks to her family were brutally attacked – things that had nothing to do with her political positions.

I personally encountered an example of misogyny three years ago when my husband and I went to see Bill Mahar and Ann Coulter in New York City. It was shortly after President Obama took office and the crowd was obviously left-leaning. Fair enough, this was New York City and Mahar was very popular there and was obviously more talented as a comedian than Ann Coulter. But what really struck me was how the biggest applause lines were not for the genuinely witty satire of Mahar, but were consistantly for the sneering, Sarah-Palin-is-so-stupid pot shots. I thought New Yorkers were sophisticated, but it seems they were more in the mood for junior-high-level banter than any kind of legitimate debate. And against Sarah Palin, why? Their side had won the election over four months earlier and Palin had gone back to a relatively anonymous life as Governor of Alaska. It didn’t make sense to me.

Bill MaherBut Sarah Palin bashing made for great ratings and Mahar rode that gravy train. Just last May, Mahar called Palin a “dumb twat” on his television show. No such outrage was expressed by the same media who were so offended by Limbaugh’s “slut” insult. Further, this past weekend the media beat the drum time and again that Mitt Romney should have come out and denounced Limbaugh’s comments, but not one of them said that President Obama, who received a well-publicized $1 million donation from Mahar a few weeks ago, should condemn or “distance himself” from Mahar’s past misogynistic statements. Left-wing nut Ed Schultz of MSNBC called talk show host Laura Ingrahm a “right-wing slut” last May. Where was the outrage?

So it has become clear to me that “misogyny” only exists within a narrow political band to these people. And it is maddening that true intellectual lightweights like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz purports to speak for all women. This repesentative from Florida irritates me like no other liberal can – she makes emotional arguments, not logical ones supported by facts and spins and twists any logical statement to suit her liberal talking points. Wasserman-Schultz has a “church lady”, judgmental tone that would irritate me even if did agree with her. She smugly belittles people who believe in “conspiracy theories” while arguing that Republicans are waging a war against women, black people, immigrants and all poor people and yet isn’t bright enough to see the irony in her own statements. As a woman, I find her insulting and I do not need her protecting me from myself. Does this make me a misogynist?

Empowerment works in many ways, its not just about contraception. It is the power of a woman to choose whether or not to use contraception as well as how they should pay for it should they choose to use it. The current argument from the left  implies women don’t have the power to say no or make the right choices in taking the correct precautions unless the government or our employers protect us. It is a false argument, but unfortunately too many women fall for it.

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