Rush Limbaugh's Decades Of Sexism And Misogyny
Rush Limbaugh's recent barrage of sexist attacks on Sandra Fluke are being described as a “new low” for the radio host, which is a remarkable feat given Limbaugh's decades-long resume of misogynistic smears and attacks on women.
To provide a proper understanding of just how far Limbaugh has sunk, here's a worst-of list of sexist attacks from the man who recently defined “misogynist” as “a man who hates women almost as much as women hate women.”
13-Year-Old Chelsea Clinton As The “White House Dog.” As reported by the late columnist Molly Ivins, during an episode of his television show in the early years of the Clinton administration, Limbaugh “put up a picture of Socks, the White House cat, and asked, 'Did you know there's a White House dog?' Then he put up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, who was 13 years old at the time and as far as I know had never done any harm to anyone.”
When viewers objected, he claimed, in typical Limbaugh fashion, that the gag was an accident and that without his permission some technician had put up the picture of Chelsea--which I found as disgusting as his original attempt at humor.
The “Testicle Lockbox.” One of Limbaugh's (many) running attacks on Hillary Clinton is that she is in possession of a “testicle lockbox” that represents, in Limbaugh's retelling, “the worst characteristics of women ... totally controlling, not soft and cuddly. Not sympathetic. Not patient. Not understanding. Demanding, domineering, Nurse Ratched kind of thing.” He boasts of having invented the concept, and deploys it whenever he perceives weakness by men (Clinton need not have any connection to the story).
Are Cain's Accusers Appearing Together Because “They Want To Synchronize Their Menstrual Periods?” During a November 2011 discussion of sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain, Limbaugh wondered: “I did ask yesterday, what's the big deal with the panel here? Do they want to synchronize their menstrual periods? Why appear together? What, does it give added weight?”
Presidential Limo “Weighs Eight Tons Without” Michelle Obama. Michelle Obama's nationwide anti-obesity campaign has rankled Limbaugh and other conservatives, who have responded to the fitness drive with a barrage of nonsensical attacks on Mrs. Obama's weight -- Limbaugh is fond of referring to the First Lady as “Michelle, my butt,” and has said “it doesn't look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice.” Last September, commenting on the size of the presidential limousine, Rush said: “The beast weighs eight tons without Michelle in it. Eight tons. Sixteen thousand pounds.”
“Translating” Obama Statement On Clinton: “I Don't Know Why The B-I-Itch Is Staying In.” On his March 31, 2008, show, Limbaugh discussed comments by then-candidate Barack Obama that “Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants.” Limbaugh responded:
LIMBAUGH: Can I translate that for you? “I don't know why the B-I-itch is staying in. I feel like a damn hostage here. But I can't say it because she's a woman. And if I say that, they're going to jump down in my throat for being a sexist.”
Feminism “Was Established To Allow Unattractive Women Easier Access To The Mainstream.” Anyone who has listened to enough Rush Limbaugh knows that he holds feminism in low regard and will often refer to feminists as “feminazis,” a term he proudly takes ownership of. Last June, in trying to explain attacks on Sarah Palin, Limbaugh declared that feminism “was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream.” He elaborated, saying the “feminazis” were “trying to reorder human nature because of how unkind it was to them.”
Women Think, “Cheat On Me, Just Don't Tell Me About It.” In March 2009, Limbaugh discussed a poll showing support for President Obama despite respondents saying Obama is likely to raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000. Limbaugh commented: “They know [Obama is] lying through his teeth and they still support him. It just means this: what women have always known, 'cheat on me, just don't tell me about it.' ”
The following day, Limbaugh told listeners: "[W]hile my closing comment yesterday was certainly a comment containing a large element of truth, it still perhaps was inappropriate and so for that, I apologize."
“Everybody Knows It Was The Vacuum Cleaner That Liberated Women More Than The Pill.” In March 2009, Limbaugh discussed a claim that the washing machine was “more liberating [to women] than the pill”:
LIMBAUGH: This continual playing to stereotypes must stop. It must be challenged, and it must be swept aside. Women face enough tough decisions each and every day particularly during this recession. We all know that during economic downturns women and minorities are hardest hit, and it's no different now. And in this time of economic challenge, downturn, hopelessness, where is the next car coming from, the next job for the husband? The husband! Where is the husband coming in? Where is the next man coming? To sit here and pretend that you are a comedian and to say that the washing machine was more liberating than the pill according to the Catholic church, this has gone far enough. Besides, everybody knows it was the vacuum cleaner that liberated women more than the pill.
Accidentally Attacking A (Male) Journalist As A “Stupid Babe.” In Limbaugh's world, the media are under constant threat of “chickification” and women journalists are not news professionals, but rather "info babes." Limbaugh's ardor for sexist attacks on female reporters has backfired on him, however, like when he (wrongly) assumed that reporter Sasha Abramsky was a woman and attacked the decidedly un-female journalist for his analysis of Obama's political style, saying: “This is what this stupid babe at Salon believes. This is what she wants! Sorry, 'stupid.' Take it back. Ignorant, hopeful, uninformed -- this is what she thinks! This is what she wants!”
NOW Are “A Bunch Of Whores To Liberalism.” Limbaugh often channels his disdain for feminists and feminism into attacks on the National Organization For Women, which he has charmingly renamed “NAGS, the national association of gals.” In October 2010, Limbaugh declared that the “the NAGS are a bunch of whores to liberalism, and that they are not faithful to women, and they never have been about women's issues.”
Attacking Danica Patrick's Statement On Contraceptive Coverage “What Do You Expect From A Woman Driver?” Late last month, professional auto racer Danica Patrick was asked her opinion of the Obama administration's mandate that employers provide health plans that cover contraceptive care. Patrick responded: “I leave it up to the government to make good decisions for Americans.” Limbaugh attacked Patrick, saying that her answer “sums up the Democrat mindset perfectly,” adding: “What do you expect from a woman driver?”
Justices Kagan And Sotomayor Discuss “Life Experience” Because “They're Women -- That Means They're Victims.” Limbaugh, as one would expect, opposed the nominations of both Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Rush said that both were “not qualified,” adding: “The whole point of talking about life experiences -- who are we talking about here? Sotomayor and Kagan. What are they? They're women -- that means they're victims. That means they're minorities. That means they've been discriminated against. That means we owe them!”
“There Are Plenty Of Lard-Ass Women In Politics, And They Get A Total Pass On It.” During an October 2011 discussion of politicians' weight, Limbaugh said that female politicians “get a pass on every aspect of their appearance”:
LIMBAUGH: Let me just tell you point-blank, folks, I don't care what Ruth Marcus said, the truth and the fact of the matter is that female politicians get a pass on every aspect of their appearance. You would never have stories about how some female politician is fat like there are stories about Christie being fat. You wouldn't have those stories. When's the last time you saw a story on Barney Frank being fat? When's the last time you saw -- well, it fits, it still fits. When is the last time -- you don't have it, but all these stories about Christie being fat, they're all over the place. “Will he have the stamina? Will he have the energy? Will he have the health?” You don't have those questions. There are plenty of lard-ass women in politics, and they get a total pass on it.
Female politicians certainly haven't received “a pass” from Limbaugh about their appearances. Limbaugh has targeted prominent politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.
We Can Say Scozzafava Is “Guilty Of Widespread Bestiality; She Has Screwed Every RINO In The Country.” During his November 2, 2009 program, Limbaugh attacked former New York Republican congressional candidate Dede Scozzafava:
LIMBAUGH: Scozzafava has screwed every RINO in the coun -- we can say that she's guilty of widespread bestiality. She has screwed every RINO in the country. Everyone can see just see how phony and dangerous they are. You know, 2010 might be a nightmare for PETA. Two animals may become extinct; RINOs and Blue Dog Democrats. Pelosi's gonna kill off the Blue Dogs, and the conservatives are gonna finally get rid of RINOs. The American people have had enough.
Limbaugh later defended his remarks, claiming it “was a fabulous line.”