March 7, 2012 / Opportunity, Safety

Misogynists on the Left Trash Limbaugh While Giving Themselves a Pass


The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and not necessarily those of The New Agenda.

A spate of articles have popped up taking hypocritical lefty men to task for tearing into Rush Limbaugh. While Limbaugh’s comments about Sandra Fluke were disgusting, men like Chris Matthews, Bill Maher, Keith Olbermann, Jack Cafferty, Ed Schultz and many more regularly engage in similar practices, with no consequence.

As Karen Tumulty of WaPo points out in her article, Rush not the only culprit, left guilty of misogyny too:

Over on the Daily Beast, columnist Kirsten Powers makes an excellent point that all the furor over Rush Limbaugh, while totally justified, has also been one-sided. When are we going to hear similar outrage over the casual sexism of the left-leaning commentariat?

Dealing with criticism is part of the job for people who do what I do for a living. I’ve felt it from both sides. But as I read Kirsten’s column, I thought back and realized that some of the more blatantly sexist attacks I have personally felt have come from the left.
Blogger Allahpundit made the point that you can be as big a woman-hater as you please, so long as you hold the correct opinion on progressive social issues…it seems perfectly fine for Matt Taibbi to refer to Ms. Tumulty as“mannish,” “a pre-op version of Dave Barry,” and a “female impersonator.” Tumulty also shared that “[Taibbi] wrote at length about the size of one female reporter’s rear end, and called another one “a squirrely b–ch.”

I can relate to the shock Ms. Tumulty feels.

Woman hate is as old as the hills, but arguably, 2008 is the year that made misogyny cool. “The Bros Before Hoes” tee shirts were mild compared to the rest. The 2008 election cycle felt like daily assault and battery. The toughest part is that so much of the onslaught was coming from the left. When men who belong to the “party of women’s progress” refer to women in a way that is anything but progressive, it makes one question how much they value women in the first place. The convenient talking point, “I love women – just not that woman” isn’t cutting it.

If a man does not have intelligence and enough command of the issues to take a woman to task on the merits, instead resorting to the level of a sixth grader, that says a lot more about the man than the woman he is attacking.

Clearly, men on both sides of the aisle have long enjoyed pigeonholing women by objectifying them. Cleaving women into body parts is a convenient way to disempower them. Only a man who is intimidated by a woman would do so.

Congressman Alan Grayson called one woman a “K-Street whore.” Senate Majority Harry Reid referred to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand as “the hottest member of the Senate.” Bill Maher joked about Secretary Clinton’s “c*nt,” later calling Sarah Palin one.

Where is the outrage?

Men who pretend to agree with me, yet treat me as a lesser being by treating others of my sex with disdain and disgust do not get a pass, nor should they. As Ms. Powers and Ms. Tumulty rightly point out, it is about time we call both sides to task for classless, debasing discourse that has long become outmoded.

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  • Allison

    I agree with a lot of what Kirsten Powers wrote. However, she is wrong that NO progressives have stood up to Maher’s misogyny. Ralph Nader called him a sexist to his face on Real Time. Maher just laughed it off.

  • Bill Maher is the left’s Rush Limbaugh and he should be fired!

    You can call

    Or email HBO here:

  • BevWKY

    Thank you for this post, Ani. I have to admit that I go through weekly, sometimes daily love-hate spells with this site on the very specific issue aspect of the way the left and conservatives react to things. Why? Because the comments themselves can become so very one-sided and I just don’t have the time to invest in either fighting back against them OR shield myself from the negativity.

    Does that mean I think the name calling is good? Hell no. But we have to tackle the name calling totally separate from any ideology, issues or political agendas or our fight is absolutely meaningless in terms of being pro-woman. Any time it’s linked to anything else, we’re being used as pawns in their games.

    If anyone thinks I’m blowing spoke, then look around, because just this last week, while everyone has been celebrating the impact of the “boycott” on Rush Limbaugh, what they aren’t apparently seeing is that it’s becoming a rallying cry for conservatives to come to his aid. Do you honestly believe that any boycott of his show is going to outnumber his listeners plus the entire conservative base once riled?


    Yeah, you won alright. But exactly what did you win? The right to act like children and throw a temper tantrum while they continue to behave exactly as they always have. How exactly is that a victory.

    We can’t continue to be pawns in political war games because it does not equal victory.

  • Kimble

    Thanks for this… I hope that the Limbaugh incidident ushers in a new era when ALL misogynist speech is called out, no matter where it comes from.

    It saddens me that this is a partisan issue!

    Does anyone have an example of a person on the right who has truly and sincerely condemned Limbaugh? The responses of the candidates (except perhaps Paul) was tepid at best.

  • BevWKY

    I honestly don’t know the answer to that question, Kimble. All honesty it’s a difficult one to answer, not because he should or shouldn’t have used those terms but because most of the conservative base agrees with the points he was attempting to make so even the candidates are walking a tightrope in how they respond. People can rant and rave or disagree with that all they want, but that part of it is what it is.

    There is also another aspect to this, too. Rush did apologize, which is why the base WILL rally to his defense and the continued attempts to get him off the air are only making that more likely, not less.

    Curiously, though, check this out:

    Bill Maher Defends Rush Limbaugh

    Yeah, I know, the title is gag inducing but the article makes some interesting points.

  • Bes

    Good luck with getting Democrat men to give up the misogyny. They enjoy it far too much just like Republican men. More Democrat women need to grow spines and call them out on it every time it happens.

    Economic power, the power to boycott, is important power because many of the Powers That Be do not listen to others, do not process language, they have no concept of the “common good”. They do understand money and they want more money. So by boycotting you are communicating with them in terms they can process and value and they will respond to you. It is time for Feminists to give up on the childish idea that if you talk to the Powers That Be long enough (decades worth apparently) they will see your side and be nice and give you the power and respect you feel you deserve. They wont. In fact it is too the point where they just engage Feminists in pointless chatter to keep them occupied and unable to work effectively towards creating a pro woman country. So I don’t understand the distaste for boycott. It is a distaste for your own power which is economic power. I think young women trained in business will recognize this.

  • Pls call Alabama Dem Party and tell them there’s nothing progressive about demeaning women. (334) 262-2221 @BillMaher

  • Anita Finlay


    Ralph Nader also called President Obama a sexist for sidelining Elizabeth Warren instead of making her our country’s “top financial cop” in a regulatory agency that she created. But unfortunately, Ralph Nader is not considered a part of this party and the thundering silence on the part of most everyone else makes the point.

  • BevWKY

    Who has a distaste for boycotting? I must’ve missed that one. ‘Cause from what I can see we all vote with our wallet every day. The difference between that and an organized campaign to get someone booted off the airwaves is massive, however, whether we’re talking about going through their sponsors or through their employers.

    To me, it’s kind of like the race card. At what point does it become meaningless if someone is always pulling it out as a weapon, particularly if the “other side” is there ready to counter attack immediately?

    At some point one has to consider changing tactics.

  • Kimble


    Thanks for your reply.

    Limbaugh said that Fluke should videotape herself having sex and post it online for everyone to see.

    Is that part of what “most of the conservative base agrees with”?

    The base might rally around, but the middle are and will continue to flee.

    The ranting and raving on Twitter and Facebook is working, just as it worked with Komen. I agree that it should be applied to all offenders, and I have done my part on FB (I admit to not really getting Twitter).

  • BevWKY

    Kimble, let me ask you something, do you honestly want to stay on the topic of women being called names by both sides or do you want to get into an honest ideological discussion related to the points Rush was attempting to make – regardless of HIS bad word choices? Because that’s where you’re leading with your question, but, frankly, I don’t care to follow unless you cut out the attitude towards conservatives. I don’t willingly submit myself to get beat over the head for what I believe or don’t believe.

    Even better and on topic question, though, what if it is not just what the conservative base but what most people believe? Seriously. It always amazes when those of you from the left are so sure “the middle” will side with them. Why?

    Heck, people, we know we’re not talking about just Rush here. That’s what this article is about. We’re also talking about the multiple instances of the “other side” doing the exact same thing. Over and over again. And being defended for it.

    Get over any ideological divide and face reality here. This is not a me vs. you issue. This truly is an us vs. them and if so then we better adjust our attitudes accordingly which is why I seriously question the long-term efficiency of any boycott solving a problem like this to begin with.

  • Kali

    do you want to get into an honest ideological discussion related to the points Rush was attempting to make – regardless of HIS bad word choices?

    Frankly, I think his choice of words were perfectly accurate for describing his ideology. Framing it in any other terms would be obfuscating and misrepresenting the true ideology. Rush Limbaugh blew the cover on the true ugliness of the conservative ideology on birth control. He blew the religious freedom cover, the economic conservatism cover and went straight to the heart of the conservative ideology on birth control, i.e. women with sexual agency, or women advocating for women’s sexual agency, should be publicly shamed and silenced and punished. If it was truly about religious freedom, we would be hearing conservatives ranting and raving about insurance coverage for Viagra. But we don’t. If it was about economic conservatism, conservatives would not be singling out birth control. But they do.

  • Allison

    Maher is coming to Limbaugh’s defense because he has demeaned women (in both parties) as much as Limbaugh has. They are just two sides of the same coin. I don’t like either of them.

  • bev
    I have to say that if MLK and african americans in the south took that view re. boycotts, we might still have segregated lunch counters and people of color sitting in the back of the bus. No, power doesn’t understand quiet, respectable disagreement. Power understand push-back and hard rapid response.

    I think the article is saying that this push-back should be applied evenly to both sides. There is no way that the statements made by rush regarding video viewing can be said to be supported by conservatives in general without calling them degenerates. I believe that this was just one mans attempt in some sort of sick way to tarnish a student who wished to have her views heard. As I recall, she was able to do that without calling anyone a slut, or insulting anyone in anyway; hows that for progress!

  • Kimble


    I’d like to keep talking about words. Americans will always have strong disagreements about policy, but we should all be in agreement (and I think it’s the point of this article) that we can disagree without calling each other names!

    I’m over the ideological divide… all misogynists must be called out, no matter where they are on the ideological spectrum. I have stated that already in response to this article.

    Ryan, I think your comments are spot-on. Indeed, power does understand push-back and rapid response that hits them in the pocketbook. To quote “This is Spinal Tap”: Money talks, bulls&*t walks!

  • BevWKY

    Applied evenly, yes, Ryan, but until the same group that is out to destroy one target applies the same pressure to the rest, is it not total hypocrisy, however hard and rapid their efforts might be? All I’m saying is that the power of any boycott isn’t in its relative “loudness” but in its focus.

    Or put another way, it’s extremely difficult to get behind a boycott to “stop the name calling and vile behavior” when it’s very apparent it’s true purpose is to drive someone off the air for all their past crimes and misdemeanors.

    Notice I didn’t mention any names there?

    There is no way that the statements made by rush regarding video viewing can be said to be supported by conservatives in general without calling them degenerates. I believe that this was just one mans attempt in some sort of sick way to tarnish a student who wished to have her views heard.

    Really? If I recall correctly, Maher and the like routinely get off with the “I’m an entertainer” or “It was a just a joke” defense even when making political commentary. Do none of you realize that Rush is as much of a political entertainer as Maher, just in a different venue? And yeah, he does sometimes go to extremes to make a point. That is part of why so many people listen to him. Deal with it.

    Do not in any way take that as a defense of Rush or an agreement with what he said this time, but rather as a way of again pointing out the hypocrisy and double-standard at work here. Conservatives do not have to agree with the specifics of what he said to understand or even agree with the point he was making nor does it make them degenerates to in turn support him. None of us walk in lockstep. Do you agree with everything your left-side “speakers” say?

    You know there is still such a thing as Freedom of Speech in this country and this is not any more mystifying than the left supporting some of the characters they’ve supported in the past beyond logical sense. 😉

  • Thank you bev for you thoughts; some of them I agree with. But first, I consider myself an independent. As i recall i agreed with the need to provide balance in holding all public folks accountable. If that makes me liberal thats fine; I certainly don’t run from labels. Sometimes labels are used by folks that are angry or wish to attack a messenger. I am fine with that also as, I will never suggest your politics from one brief conversation.
    No one is arguing against his right to speak. He can speak on any street corner he wishes. The KKK, black panthers and other racist organizations do it every day without arrest or criticism. Thats free speech. He does however have access to public airwaves and they are respondent to market forces ie. boycotts etc. which is free marked. The main point I was making was the value of protest and boycotts. It is a proven effective tool in fighting oppression in this country.

  • Bes

    Here is the problem. The men on the left who are serial misogynists need to have economic discipline enforced on them too. Maher is boycottable all you have to do is cancel HBO and I never paid for it in the first place. If he ever has a sponsor associated with his show they should be informed that women don’t do business with misogynist companies. The bigots at MSNBC can’t be reached. First of all they already have crap ratings and are consistently the lowest rated “news” channel. Second no one can cancel the channel as it is force fed over your cable connection. If we had the OPTION of cable TV a la carte or cable choice, no one would take MSNBC and it would die a quiet death. But it does not exist in a free market it is owned by Comcast and it will be shoved up your ass like it or not unless you cancel all cable. The way to put a stop to most misogyny is to force TV into a free market so we can get the channels we want without subsidizing misogynist channels. That is close to happening because young people watch TV on their computers and are not paying for cable connections and not subsidizing vast quantities of unwanted mind numbing sexist crap.

  • Bes

    Women’s groups should be spending their time developing a clear idea of what modern women want in health care and what modern medicine experts (not political or religious experts) feel women should have. Then they should go to the insurance providers and say this is the polity most women want, will you provide it and at what cost. Then they should go to government and pass a law that the woman designed policy should be offered to all women as a choice and those who object to it can take a different policy. If you insurance is provided by your company than it is a product that you own and you should be able to pick the policy you want. I would prefer to be in an insurance group with only women because I feel it would cut down on the enormous costs orthopedic surgeons due to male risk taking behavior.

    Neither political party is the “women’s party”. Both show contempt for women. It is a waste of time to decide which is worse and both should be repeatedly called out for their brain dead sexism. It is like training a dog sometimes you just keep training and they just don’t get it but if you give up they will go off the deep end like Rush and Maher.

  • Great post, Anita – thank you for this. And I concur with you – the most misogynistic statements I have heard, have been from men on the left. I was talking abt this very thing with a friend this morning. The only people I have EVER heard use the “C” word were liberal men. And frankly, anyone who does use that word is despicable in my book, Even Ensler’s claims in the “Vagina Monologues” notwithstanding.

    This is abt holding all men accountable regardless of their political ideology, or OURS, for that matter. No man, no one, should get away with calling a governor such a vulgar term, or a “journalist” like Chris Matthews to say any number of horrid things abt Hillary Clinton, or Sarah Palin, or any other women. Same for Ed Schultz, and so many more – TOO many more who have not lost their jobs, have not had major boycotts started to get them off the air.

    Limbaugh was wrong, and he apologized for it, as well he should have. But how abt all other men who have made such demeaning, belittling comments? TO what standard are they being held?

  • Bes

    By the way the reason “Feminist” groups like NOW don’t do work to define what women want in health care then go to industry and arrange it and then to Government to make sure women can have the right to choose it is because “Feminists” are really the ladies auxiliary of the Democrat party. What ever the misogynist pigs at Democrat central put up as the preferred policy for women is what NOW will accept. Oh and of course there is always Obama’s Office of Women and Girls but of course they will passively accept whatever the male Democrats toss their way too because they are a bunch of sell outs.

  • Bes

    Limbaugh did not apologize he just spewed a new, more conciliatory line of BS. Fluke testified that 20% of women who take “birth control pills” take them for reasons other than contraception such as ovarian cyst and endometriosis. Rush continues to distort her testimony. He also said that his choice words was not acceptable. However what I find most unacceptable is his call for Fluke to put sex videos on line. That is a thought or suggestion that was inappropriate and he did not apologize for that.

  • janet wolf

    Four women on a national tv show laughing it up after talking about a mans genitals being mutilated. Now how many of you have the initial reaction that he must have deserved it? sexism is all around us back and forth, most of the time it’s followed by laughter, so it’s no wonder that the big shots think it’s okay. Everyone should speak up about it on every level, too bad so few do when it comes from “our side of the coin”

  • BevWKY

    Ryan, the problem with the Internet is that one can quote someone and still be making a more general than personal comment so I’m sorry if you thought I was labeling you. OTOH, I always chuckle when anyone starts assuming what my ideology on anything is just because I say I’m conservative and I’m not just talking about the “other side” there. Heck, I’m not even sure what I believe from day to day much less what the “movement” believes as a whole. Whatever The Movement is at the moment. Most times I think “Say what, I’m supposed to believe what?” Then just roll my eyes and go about my business. I’ve been doing this Internet stuff way too long to waste any time on anger or foolishness. 😉

    As to boycotts being effective. Eh, not so much:
    Rush: Don’t believe the leftist hype. My show is just fine

    Or rather not effective in the way people wanted, I think:
    Carbonite stock plummets after decision to abandon Limbaugh

    Mileage varies but I can’t help wondering if sometimes the simpler but more direct approach is better:
    Now that’s a money shot.

  • I have zero love lost for Rush, zero, and his comments were reprehensible, and he is being held to account for them. Since this is abt the double standard and hypocrisy of how many liberal men continue to spew misogynistic comments without repercussions, at least Rush apologized, which is more than a lot of them have done, whether one believes it to be sincere or not. I’d still like to see Matthews, Maher, Olbermann, Schultz, and some others held to account. Any time now.

    And while I am trying to stay on topic for Anita’s great post, I did want to add thatthe medical necessities for some women to take birth control, those are covered (and the Catholic Church, at least, does pay for that. Don’t know abt other religious institutions).

    And I have to ask, why is Fluke considered to be an authority on this subject exactly? I’m not sure what her qualifications are, and why she was chosen to be the spokesperson. Seriously – I’m just wondering. Why her? Why not, say, a medical doctor instead of a law student?

  • BevWKY

    Thank you, Amy. I think we’re on the same wavelength here. It’s not that I doubt you, Bes, but this is like the umpteenth time in the last day that I’ve seen someone say Fluke said stuff about medical reasons with no links provided so I finally got curious and did a search in both my own feeds and here. And it’s weird because everyone’s talking about what she said but there’s no links to her saying it in any format that I can find. So far I’m coming up zilch on a link to either a video or transcript of her testimony before the committee.

    So…um, forgive my ignorance here but where would that be found?

  • Susan

    Boycotts are excellent tools. Maher lost his TV show, Politically Incorrect, because of comments he made about the 9/11 hijackers. I remember him appearing on Leno during that time, sweating heavily because he thought his career was over.

    The boycott against Glenn Beck might have had something to do with him leaving the Fox News channel. While the dedicated went with him, he doesn’t have anything near the exposure that he once had.

    Don Imus was boycotted and lost his show when he called some female athletes “nappy headed hos”.

    Sadly, all of these men have a found new gigs but, at one point, they had to pack up their coffee cups and staplers and take a hike.

    I think that Rush is too powerful to lose his show but I would bet that he has felt it as he lost each and every one of the forty-one sponsors, thus far, that have dumped him.

    The only reason that men get away with openly denigrating women in the media is because women don’t stick together when they are attacked. We control 80% of the purchasing in this country and businesses know that. Money talks!

  • Thank you for checking, BevWKY. I am just trying to figure out how this woman was found so quickly once this became the way this story was portrayed (morphed from being a matter of First Amendment to birth control access, which is not in doubt), and why a law student? Why not a Social Worker, or an administrator of a women’s medical clinic, or an Ob/Gyn? Or, since this was a matter related to the First Amendment initially, a minister, priest, or rabbi? But a law student? Huh?

  • Good points, Susan! I wish there was a “like” button here! 🙂

  • Susan

    RevAmy, everyday people frequently testify at Congressional hearings. Fluke is a student at a university that forces students to buy health insurance but does not provide a policy that includes women’s reproductive care based on a religious objection to all forms of birth control. If they can afford it, students can buy a private individual policy but I know that I could not afford that when I was in school. I think that she represented my feelings on the issue very well.

    Issa limited witnesses supporting the Democratic pov to one person. Then, he refused to let her testify, claiming that she had nothing to offer because, according to him, the issue had nothing to do with birth control. How’s that for living on another planet? The first day’s testimony was limited to an all-male panel of clerics who supported the Republican pov. It wasn’t a hearing. It was propaganda.

  • I appreciate that that is your point of view. I was just wondering how they came to know of her so quickly (and I am aware that regular citizens testify – it was more a question of how they found her SO quickly).

    And she chose to go to Georgetown, knowing that was their policy. Some accounts claim she went there specifically for that purpose – to make them change their policy. (As an aside, a friend told me this morning it costs her $9 a month for BC, and she does not have ins. The medical issues, as I understand it, are covered by ins.)

    Regardless of Ms. Fluke, the issue is one of misogyny and sexism – unfortunately, that is a trait apparently shared by too many men, regardless of their political ideology.

  • Anita Finlay

    Men who makes these comments in the first place, regardless of party affiliation or target, have no shame, so shaming them will not work. Boycotting is a good answer. Hitting them in the pocketbook tends to make the “shame” level rise.

    Thank you, Susan and RevAmy, for your great points about that.

  • Susan

    I don’t know how the Dems found Fluke but she has been active in a campaign to get Georgetown to provide birth control coverage. I’m sure that she was known amongst local advocates for women’s issues.

    Fluke was quoted in the Washington Post as saying that she knew about Georgetown’s postion on birth control but decided that the opportunity to attend one of the top law schools in the country was more important to her than finding a school that covered birth control in their student insurance poliices. The meme that she chose Gerogetown just so she could challenge their birth control policies is a misrepresentation of her statement that I’ve seen on several conservative blogs and news sites.

    According to Fluke’s testimony, the woman who had fibrocystic ovaries was denied coverage for the meidcation by the insurance company. In my experience, insurance companies frequently deny coverage at every opportunity,so, I don’t find that particularly unusual.

    There are different compounds and not all women can take the cheapest generic pill. There have been women posting on feminist blogs stating that they were paying $80-90 a month for their particular prescription. Diaphrams, rings, IUD’s and various other delivery systems are not cheap and everything except OTC barrier methods, which are less reliable, require a prescription which entails a visit to a gynecologist for the purpose of obtaining birth control which, as I understand it, is not covered in Georgetown’s policies.

    The bottom line is that access to birth control is good public policy. It reduces medical costs because women who plan their pregnancies tend to be healthier as are their babies. That reduces medical costs for everyone. Public policy should be based on science and reality (most women have sex) and not religous tenets. The fact that erectile disfunction drugs were immediately covered by insurance companies that denied women birth control coverage makes it clear that this policy is not about money or morals. It’s about men trying to control women’s sexuality.

  • BevWKY

    Thank goodness for C-SPAN because guess what I found after giving it some thought and doing some digging after supper. 😉

    Women’s Health and Contraception
    Feb 23, 2012
    House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee

    I think it’s the full video of Fluke’s testimony but because of connection problems this evening I haven’t had a chance to see what’s there. It’s 1h:06m so surely it’s more than her opening statement.

  • Well done, Bev!

    Guess who is going to appear on Bill Maher’s show in a few weeks? David Axelrod. As in, Obama’s senior campaign strategist and former senior advisor to the President.

    Considering Axelrod was making pointed comments abt Limbaugh and his remarks abt Fluke, his choice to appear on Maher’s show is telling indeed.


  • Juliette

    Obama should give back the on million dollor donation that Bill Maher made to a democra tpolitical PAC which supports Obama’s campaign. The hypocricy of the left is outrageous. And believe me I am mad as hell at Rush Limbaugh but I vere listen to talk radio because it has to be controversial to hold it’s audiences attention. Ted Kennedy’s actions trump’s anything Rush could have said about this women. Democrats can literlly get away with murder and even be rewarded for it. So how about some balance from the people who gave US president Barak Obama- our nations greatest enabler of Misogyny!

  • Susan, women’s access to birth control is not in doubt. Women will continue to have the same access as always. There is zero difference, except that Obama’s Fiat infringes on the First Amendment. Not only do we not allow “fiats” in this country by the president, but especially not when it infringes on the Constitution. No one, but no one, is trying to take away women’s ability to secure birth control.

    Not only has the primary issue been lost here – the 1st Amendment – but it is also forcing everyone to pay for birth control, whether we use it or not. One of my friends told me just yesterday that she has no ins., and pays a whopping $9 a month on BC. If a woman can’t afford that (and please tell me how someone can go to grad school and not afford birth control? Clinics are always available for those who truly cannot afford it.), because I don’t get it.

    As for Fluke, there is this piece abt her, her connections to Obama officials, and how they “found” her:

    Seems there are connections a-plenty between her and White House officials. What a surprise.

  • Bes

    Axelrod gave a long interview on Chris Matthew’s show last night and Chris Matthews is one of the misogynist bigot boys on MSNBC.

  • And how, Bes! Thanks for the heads up,. I refuse to watch Chris Matthews because he is such a misogynist, so I would have totally missed that connection.

    Axelrod is really making the rounds of the Misogynists. Telling, very telling.

  • Bes

    Of course there are connections between Fluke and Democrats. The Dems think they are discussing THE WOMEN’S ISSUE and jerking women around trying to gain their votes with fear. They do it ever year and this was predictable. It is the only way the know to relate to women voters.

    Of course this controversy isn’t about the first amendment or religious freedom because if it were we would also be discussing erectile dysfunction drugs being made available to unmarried manwhores by tax funded insurance.

    This entire manufactured controversy is a waste of feminist time and energy. Pro women people should be surveying modern women and health care professionals to see what services we want to have covered by our insurance, sending those standards out to the insurance industry to see what kind of price they can get for such a policy then sending a bill to Congress stating that all women must have the option of choosing a relevant insurance group. I don’t think it is a stretch that women own their insurance benefit and should be able to use it to choose a relevant policy.

  • Kali

    I don’t think it is a stretch that women own their insurance benefit and should be able to use it to choose a relevant policy.

    I think this should apply to everyone, not only women. Once we introduce women-only policies, women will be paying more for less coverage.

  • Kali

    I don’t think it is a stretch that women own their insurance benefit and should be able to use it to choose a relevant policy.

    In fact, thinking about this a bit more, the more we individualize health care insurance, the more women will pay. Women use more health care because of pregnancy and childbirth. Men benefit from women’s labor in pregnancy and childbirth, but they have complained about sharing the cost of it in health insurance.

  • Bes, I agree – this is the latest stick to keep women in line, and yes, it is predictable.

    Regarding health ins. policies, don’t most policies cover these issues? Admittedly, since I have not had children (rather, could not), I have not had to push the envelope with childbirth/maternity, but have had other issues, so there’s that. Anyway, I could just be missing something here.

    The only thing that this Presidential mandate pushes is for birth control and related issues to be FREE. But absolutely nothing is free in this country, which means everyone will be paying for it one way or the other.

    And that takes it back to the original issue – forcing religious institutions whose theology/tenets disagree with certain elements having to pay for them, whatever they may be, thus bringing it back to the First Amendment issue this has always been.

    What I know is when one part of the Constitution can be violated, other parts will follow. It is a slippery slope. A president should never have so much power as to violate the Constitution, regardless of which political ideology one supports, or to overstep Congress. If it is this today, who knows what it will be tomorrow?

  • Bes

    I don’t think women will be paying more for coverage in all women insurance pools. Women may have more health upkeep but I doubt they spend more on medical costs. I would be very interested in the raw data and real women’s groups should be too. Men take more risks in work and play. They ski out of bounds and when is the last time you read about a woman or group of women getting swept up in an avalanche? All of the orthopedic surgery and neurological damage putting these male dare devils back together is extremely expensive and they go right back out and do it again. Then let’s not forget VA hospitals that have mostly male patients. These costs have to be averaged in to male health care. And Childrens health care is not women’s health care children are in their own category. I would be very interested in seeing a break out of dollars spent on men patients vs women patients. I don’t want my tax money or insurance payments going to support male risk takers, I would prefer to know that the money taken from me is being spent to research womens health issues and develop great facilities for women’s care and I would pay more to know that was the case.

  • Kali

    The only thing that this Presidential mandate pushes is for birth control and related issues to be FREE. But absolutely nothing is free in this country, which means everyone will be paying for it one way or the other.

    The only reason this mandate exists is because the religious institutions were singling out birth control and other reproductive services for women for removal from health insurance coverage. It is religious institutions singling out birth control, not Obama. If we had hospitals and universities run by Jehovah’s witness groups trying to exclude blood transfusions from health insurance coverage, do you think we should allow that to happen? Should these hospitals and universities then get special tax benefits from the government?

    Secondly, unwanted pregnancies and childbirth are much more expensive than birth control. That is why the health insurance companies did not object when they were asked to pick up the tab for birth control coverage for religious institutions. There are certain things in society where you get back over the long run more than you pay for as the upfront cost. Education, for one example. Infrastructure investment, for another example. And yes, birth control. The societies that allow women to plan their families are much more prosperous than societies that try to restrict women’s choices in planning their families.

  • Kali, there was an issue with members of Obama’s inner circle abt this whole mandate – VP Biden, former DNC Chair Kaine, and others told him not to do it, and he had promised then Bishop Dolan (now Cardinal) that he would not. Then, he did. It was not the other way around.

    As to your example, if someone chose to go to a hospital that was run by Jehovah’s Witnesses, presumably, they would KNOW that blood products. (And as a former hospital chaplain at major trauma hospital, I guarantee you that hospitals are very careful to ask what someone’s religious affiliation is, if they have problems with blood transfusions, all of that, before doing anything. They are very respectful of people’s religious affiliations.)

    And the ins. companies are not going to be paying for this coverage – we are. They are not going to eat those costs. They will most definitely be passed on. It’s all a big shell game. Which is why this continues to be an issue.

    Access to birth control, family planning and all of that, are not going to be taken away or anything of the kind because some religious institutions object to paying for them. Women will continue to have the same access they have always had. That is not at risk in any way.

  • Kali

    Then let’s not forget VA hospitals that have mostly male patients.

    We are paying for it directly with our taxes. It is not a factor in calculating health insurance premiums.

    And children’s health care is not women’s health care but foetuses and newborns don’t pay for their own birth. Women pay for all the costs (insurance, out of pocket costs, co-pays etc.) for pregnancy and childbirth. If we allow market forces alone, without regulation, to decide who will pay what for health insurance, women will definitely pay more. Most women go through pregnancy and childbirth. Most men don’t get into skiing accidents.

  • Kimble


    I agree with you about the positive long-term ramifications of access to birth control.

    The NYT had a piece the other day about the correlations between the advancement of women in the workforce and The Pill.

    “(one) paper suggests that the pill accounted for 30 percent – 30 percent! – of the convergence of men’s and women’s earnings from 1990 to 2000.”


  • Kali

    As to your example, if someone chose to go to a hospital that was run by Jehovah’s Witnesses, presumably, they would KNOW that blood products.

    I am not talking about Jehovah’s Witnesses being able to refuse blood transfusion for themselves. I am talking about people of all different beliefs and religions, who themselves have no objection to blood transfusion, being refused to have it covered if they happen to work in a hospital or university run by Jehovah’s witnesses.

  • Okay, I get your point. Mine is that birth control access is not being denied to anyone. One way or the other, women, we, will be paying for it.

    Frankly, I think this is a ginned up argument, as Bes highlighted earlier. And I understood your analogy.

  • Kali

    Kali, there was an issue with members of Obama’s inner circle abt this whole mandate – VP Biden, former DNC Chair Kaine, and others told him not to do it, and he had promised then Bishop Dolan (now Cardinal) that he would not. Then, he did. It was not the other way around.

    The bishops and cardinals have been trying to attack birth control and abortion from before the time Obama was born. And why are bishops and cardinals trying to influence government policy? What about the separation of church and state? They have a choice – they can give up their tax exempt status and discriminate against women and gays to their heart’s content. Or they can take the tax exemptions and then follow the law. They can’t have their cake and eat it too.

  • Bes

    Birth Control, which is seen as a women’s health issue when in fact it should be as much a men’s issue, is how the two political parties chose to frame their issue of “religious freedom, first amendment” violation. So the question is are we going to exempt all health services any religious group doesn’t approve from coverage in the health care system? Because there are a lot of others that religions object to. They should object to free ED drugs for unmarried manwhores, blood transfusions for Jehovah Witness, and then there are the medical procedures I personally find distasteful like giving growth hormone to genetically short children and many of the billable procedures they perform on old dying people who just want to pass on. So while this Religious Freedom worry is a valid concern it is completely misogynist of both political parties and religious men to focus this issue solely on a “women’s health” issue like birth control. The question is can Religious institutions opt out of providing coverage for any and all procedures they find objectionable. Another question is does the employer own the health benefit they provide or does the worker own their health benefit. If the benefit is owned by the employee they should be able to choose a policy they find relevant.

  • Anita Finlay

    Unfortunately, the cynicism of politics is once again uin evidence as women are being used as a bargaining chip. All this attention to contraception is not to help women but to have a successful issue to get the president re-elected.

    And it is distracting from the topic at hand — men on the right and the left (and complicit women) bash other women horribly when it suits their political purposes.

    All of this is to fulfill a particular agenda. Nothing more.

  • Susan


    Cost is not the issue. The same part of the ACA requires that employers provide a number of other basic health services for free. No one has complained about those mandates. Only the mandate related to women having sex has become a public issue. Also, public health officials have determined that medical costs are reduced in groups where family planning information and devices/medications are easily accessible because women who plan their pregnancies and their babies are healthier. Additionally, prostate care is never going to be an issue for me but my insurance premiums cover it. Fair is fair.

    Biden and Kaine are Catholics and, while Biden is nominally pro-choice, Kaine is anti-choice and should never have been given the job as DNC chair. It was one of the early indications that Obama was not committed to women’s rights. As men who belong to a religion which allows women’s reproductive issues decided by an elderly man in another country who doesn’t even have regular contact with any woman other than his cleaning lady, their opinions on the issue couldn’t be less important.

    There is a Constitutional violation here but it was committed when Obama separated out reproductive health from any other medical care. Public policy cannot be based on religious beliefs instead of science and rationality. That is a direct violation of the Establishment Clause. Churches are well-protected from government interference but business that are affiliated with religions are still businesses, not churches. As such, they need to obey the same laws that every other business does.

    Finally, it’s simply not true that access to birth control is not under attack. The efforts to close Planned Parenthood will affect the two million women to whom they provide birth control every year. The Roman Catholic Church told their members to stop giving to the Komen Foundation until they cancelled their contracts with Planned Parenthood. Catholic hospitals are already exempted in some states from providing birth control information or,even, a referral to rape victims. That applies even if the Catholic church is the only church in the area. Pharmacists in some states are not required to stock or dispense birth control pills or devices even if they are the only pharmacy in the area. The Roman Catholic Church is claiming religious discrimination because they were not awarded a federal contract to combat sex trafficking because they refuse to provide those victims of rape with comprehensive medical care including information about contraception.

    Make no mistake, access to birth control is under attack.

  • Irene

    Bill Maher’s $1 million donation is dirty money. It should be returned.

  • BevWKY

    Irene, wow. Just wow. That needs to go viral. Like yesterday.

    Also, check out this Palin interview on Hannity from last night:
    Palin slams Bill Maher: Wouldn’t demean herself by talking to petty, small-minded man

    There’s also a post there with the full interview where she makes a very revealing comment about being held back during the 2008 campaign, which is the first time I’ve ever heard her say anything that specific along those lines.

  • BevWKY

    Huh. So, explain to me again exactly how it is that boycotts work ’cause maybe I just haven’t had my caffeine fix this morning but aren’t boycotts supposed to drive advertisers away & not towards the target?

    Rush rejects advertiser begging to come back

  • Anita, thank you for bringing us back to the issue at hand – the serial misogyny of too many men. Not only are people like Bill Maher NOT getting his comeuppance, but now he has one of Obama’s top guys abt to appear n his show.

    So Obama and the others can stop already with their sanctimonious rhetoric. Obama’s spokesman said Thurs. that there is no comparison between what Rush said, and what Bill said. I agree – what Bill said is worse.

    And you are spot on abt this being an issue used for the sole purpose of getting Obama -re-elected. It is the newest stick.

  • Bes

    Bev: Boycotts are your form of First Amendment rights, your free speech. Women are 52% of the population and make 80% of the purchasing decisions. I just counted 7 sets of mattresses in my house and there are two sets I purchased which are currently away at college. I did not even consult a man before my purchases, I bought what I wanted. Clearly boycotts are not perfect, but I won’t do business with a company who gives voice to misogyny with their ad dollars.

    Limbaughs apology was for “word choices” and I was not offended by word choices so his apology had no effect on my opinion of him which is the same as my opinion of Maher. What I objected to in Limbaughs diatribe was that he deliberately misstated Flukes testimony and acted like a woman testifying on birth control was an unimaginable outrage (and clearly it was to Republicans). What I object to about Maher is he is outraged that a woman would stand for election and if one does he is determined to tear her down as stupid and sexualize her to degrade her and expects to be well rewarded for it.

  • Bes

    Here is what the political parties need to address to get my attention as a woman voter, Media Images of women and girls and parity of woman owned media outlets, Parity in political representation for women, Equal pay for equal work for women, Equal access to schooling and professions and sports for women, Equal access to relevant health care for women.

    It is absolutely true that this whole controversy is a man drama issue which Democrats plan to use to get Obama reelected and for some brain dead reason Republicans think being anti birth control will get their man elected. Neither political party is talking to me and in the mean time their self indulgent spewing is making me less likely to listen to or care what they say when and if the are able to calm themselves and address authentic women’s issues.

  • BevWKY

    Bes, are you saying that regardless of what names Rush called the student who testified, that your motivation to boycott him and his show was because he – a radio host from the opposite political ideology than you – might’ve misrepresented something someone obviously you agree with said?

  • Bes

    Bev, I do think the names Rush called Fluke were poor choices on his part and made him look like an ignorant creep, but that’s his problem. Yes, my problem is he deliberately and repeatedly misrepresented her testimony because he and his followers consider it outrageous for a woman to testify in front of Congress about women’s health. He is a raging bigot against women and I am asserting my freedom of speech by not doing business with the companies who give him a voice.