In the wake of Rush Limbaugh’s hate speech regarding Danica Patrick, and probably the whole “you’re a slut if you use birth control” thing, a lot of people have been wondering if feminists should join together and push the FCC to remove him from the air. Disclaimer: this is going to be an opinion piece. I’m not saying I’m right and I’m not saying you’re wrong – I’m saying what I, as a writer and someone who has broadcasting experience, think.
What Rush Limbaugh said was loathsome and ignorant, but so is most of what he says. Here’s a recap:
“This is about expanding the reach and power of government into your womb, if you’re a woman. This is about the Democrat Party wanting more and more control over you. What was early feminism all about? Emancipation, individuality, freedom, liberation, all of these things. Now here comes Danica Patrick out and she says, ‘I’m perfectly comfortable letting the government make my health decisions for me.’ Well, folks, I’m gonna tell you: Right there, that’s the death and the end of feminism.”
Also, he said that you’re a slut if you use birth control. Plain and simple.
The great thing about the radio, or the internet, or the TV, is that you can change the channel. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to listen to it. And with regard to censorship, I don’t think any organization, especially feminists, should force anyone to do anything. The feminist movement comes under heat for everything as it is, and there’s just no need to fan those flames.
I’m a writer, I’ve worked in radio, and I’ve been inundated with people who don’t like my opinions. In fact, the first time I got hate mail, I called my dad, who also works at a newspaper, and excitedly screamed, “Some guy hates me! He said I don’t know what I’m talking about and my opinion is wrong!” My dad promptly congratulated me and said, “That’s when you know you’ve made it, when people take the time to say you suck.” He then told me about how they had to shut down the forums on one (very famous) particular writer’s column because of all the horrible things that people posted there. I guess he made it, too.
Haters are motivators. It’s just the way it is. The best way to get rid of a bully (that you can’t hit with a brick) is to ignore them. I was always told to ignore bullies no matter what, and as I got older I realized that this was only half of the advice. You never start a fight but you always finish it – that’s the advice I give my nephew. If someone hits you and they’re bigger than you and you know you can’t win with your own strength, then supplement your strength with whatever you need.
Rush Limbaugh is a bully, plain and simple. How should you treat a bully, at least according to me? You treat him the way you treat any other jerk on the playground. We’ve tried for years to shut him up, but hating him only makes people more interested in him. And fuels his fire. The more people talk about him, the richer he becomes and the more advertising he gets. This time advertisers pulled out (that was the brick we used) but he’s still on air, still pandering to his faithful followers. Now? We go to my Mom’s advice. If you can’t beat him, ignore him.
And guys, moms know. Another good piece of advice my mother always gave me was “Just because someone else is trash it doesn’t mean you have to become trash, too.” We shouldn’t name-call or sabotage someone just because they’re doing it to us. We stand tall and ignore him, why? Because he’s a pest. He’s an ignorant, angry man who’s frankly not worth our time. We have bigger issues to handle. There will always be hate and there will always be people who will listen to someone spew it. It’s the nature of the beast. What we need to focus on is bettering ourselves. Let the pig roll in the mud to stay cool while we build ourselves a delicious shade. He’ll be the one that comes out looking dirty, not us.