Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Words on Limbaugh and Slut Shaming

I almost didn't write on this because it seems to be low-hanging fruit, pointing out that Limbaugh is an idiot, but the more I think about it the more important it is that sensible people readjust the focus of the talk. You see, all the focus since the incident has been on Limbaugh's apology and whether it was sincere, and whether he'll have any sponsors left, but you'll notice the new stories coming out only mention in passing Sandra Fluke or the issue on which she was speaking. For that, I'm sad to say that Rush has won this media battle.

The larger problem is that our culture and most of the media is still made more uneasy by sexually independent women than they are by people who would publicly shame them for doing so. The shift is happening, and the undertone seems to understand this is wrong, but thoughts translating into actions is as big a shift as the changing of minds. This is why you do see overt disapproval of Rush for being a jerk, but you don't see a lot of news outlets (outside of bloggers) actively promoting the cause any more - because in the average mind it's easier to decry a slut-shamer than it is to speak out on behalf of sluts. What would the neighbors think?

The thing is, most women I know who are very independent & confident in their sexuality probably guard it more closely than your average repressed woman. They just don't feel the internal guilt and shame for it that most religious tradition demands; they dare to admit they're sexual beings just like a man would, and they risk shaming for this. The reality is, though, that repressed folks are having just as much sex as everyone else. If they're ashamed of it, though, they may be more likely to engage in risky behaviors, like not using condoms/contraception or not getting tested.

So the next chance you get, do something positive, rather than just decrying the negative. Speak up on behalf of contraception in front of your religious family, give money to Planned Parenthood, remind your friends to get tested for STD's (once a year, minimum, if you're active), or offer sincere words of encouragement.

Side Note:

Most general practitioners don't test for STD's unless you report symptoms or ask specifically. I asked my doc the last time I was in and I got a horrible disapproving look and told he could refer me somewhere. That's how I decided to drop that doctor - he judged me for becoming involved in my own health concerns and being responsible. I can't imagine what he does to women who ask the same, and I hope they don't get dissuaded from taking responsibility.

Skipping the family MD, you can go to your local health department during weekday business hours for excellently affordable testing. My solution was that Planned Parenthood has a location in Oklahoma City that's open on Saturday. They were very friendly, supportive, and professional.

1 comment:

  1. Travis, would you like to be a guest blogger at OAtPA sometime?

    ReplyDelete