"How many of you guys in your own experience with women have learned that 'no' means 'yes' if you know how to spot it?"
-- Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, which miraculously still has sponsors.
So, you remember the other day when I wrote about how so many of these pronouncements from the far right comes close to making one's head explode? Whether the Republican candidate who suggests that the Newtown massacre was a government hoax, or the GOP state vice-chair who wants to sterilize women on Medicaid, or the Republican congressman who refers to the President of the United States as "the enemy." Or...well, you get the point.
And now this.
And now freaking this.
And the Republican Party wonders why it has a problem with women voters. Honestly, I don't think the Republican Party has a problem with with voters -- I think the fact that the Republican Party has any women voters is seriously impressive, and the GOP should be pleased with that.
Republican officials always get their their nose bent out of joint when it's ever claimed they have a War on Women. And I agree. It's more of a jihad.
The thing is, horrible as Rush Limbaugh's comments are on their pure face value, that's not actually the thoughtlessness of it. It's that they come on the heels (an intriguingly appropriate word) of the NFL being inundated by a rash of domestic violence arrests, including child abuse, but all starting with the video of Ray Rice pounding his fiance to unconsciousness and then dragging her out of the elevator.
I guess it's just bad luck that he and the others simply didn't know how to spot it.
I understand that Rush Limbaugh often says things just for effect. Just to start controversy. Just for the attention. And often, yes, it's offensive like when he called Sandra Fluke a "slut," or talks about Black people and bones in their noses. But saying this in the midst of all the news isn't just tone-deaf and clueless, it transcends mere "offensive." It borders on dangerous.
There are people who listen to Rush Limbaugh as a god. If Rush says it, it must be so. And they'll think, yeah, he's right, it's just a case of knowing how to spot it. And I listen to Rush, so I can spot it. He's told me so.
And that's why the mantra is -- "No means no."
I was going to give a long, "to be fair," analysis of different conditions of life, because after all, life has oh-so many gray areas. But then I figured, nah, screw it. No means no. Deal with it. Just go with the advise that so much easier to remember. Better to err on the side of not brutalizing a woman. And if you're too self-centered a person to worry too much about others, look at it this way, better to err on the side of not getting yourself jail time. And after all, if she actually ever really does mean yes, you can be pretty sure that at some point she'll let you know. And the good part is you won't have to try and spot it.
I don't know who's sponsoring Rush Limbaugh's show these days, but they must be so proud of themselves.
I feel the same about those who listen.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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