It’s no coincidence that the chapter in Limbaugh’s first book entitled Feminism And The Culture War begins by citing examples of extremism——a feminist who wants the abolition of marriage and another who doesn’t believe women can be fully feminine unless they recognize themselves as lesbians——and then states: ‘‘It is from this perspective that I want to share with you the following thoughts on feminism.’’ More than just being annoyed by a few instances of extremism, it’s clear Limbaugh’s exploiting radicals to tarnish the very idea of feminism. (Much the way he uses the extremists to dismiss just about any movement he disagrees with.)

Like so many other things, Limbaugh conveniently disregards feminism as another radical faction of the Socialist Utopians. He says that ‘‘feminism is another of those vehicles which attempt to transport unpopular liberalism into mainstream society. . . . [liberals] have decided to repackage those ideas in more politically palatable gift wrapping, and feminism is one of those packages.’’

But Limbaugh’s characterization of feminism is so inconsistent, it often rings less of liberal bashing than as the bitter fumings of a fatass scorned. In both his original and his updated ‘35 Undeniable Truths of Life,’ Limbaugh said feminism was created so as to allow ugly women access to the mainstream of society. And yet in his first book he wrote, ‘‘The original concerns of feminists, such as equal pay for equal work, were laudable and justifiable. People had a right to be upset at the treatment some women received, and some of their activism and protests were understandable.’’ Well, since obviously few women——beautiful, ugly or plain——were a part of the workforce until after the rights secured to them by the women’s movement, saying that feminism was created to allow ugly women access to the mainstream can only be construed as his backhanded (and rather cowardly) way of calling all feminists ugly. And if that isn’t the acerbic fury of a fatass scorned, then I don’t know what is.

Limbaugh also makes constant references to feminazis. When I first heard him using this reference, I wasn’t all that offended, and on a certain level thought it was pretty true. There are feminist radicals out there, just as there are radicals in every aspect of life. (There may even be some conservatives more extreme than Rush——ya think?) It’s just a fact of life that there are good people and bad people, smart people and stupid people, and without fail this axiom proves true with every religious group, political party, or social movement.

But Limbaugh implies that all feminists are extremists, and tries to paint the portrait that your average, sensible woman wants nothing to do with that crazy movement altogether. He writes: ‘‘It’s not what most women want. Time magazine reports that 63 percent of American women reject the feminist label.’’

Had Limbaugh not been so busy misinterpreting this to support his groundless assertion, he might have noticed that Time claims these women specifically reject the feminist label, not the feminist movement. Huge difference. I myself reject the liberal label, but there’s no denying my views lean towards what some would classify ‘‘the left.’’ The feminist label has come to represent those who belong to a specific group or organization; most women do not belong to such, and so it’s not surprising they would reject this label.

The majority of women in this country may not embrace the feminist label or organizations, but it’d be naive to believe most aren’t supportive of and involved in the women’s movement in their own personal everyday way.


Sexual harassment accusations are typically frivolous, and all the hyperbole the issue’s been given is only a growing inconvenience for men to have to be more self-conscious about what we do and say while in the workplace. Or so would roughly appear to be Limbaugh’s sensitive position on the issue.

Limbaugh claims sexual harassment ‘‘has poisoned relations between the sexes’’ and that sexual harassment’s ‘‘exploitation by feminists who seek to advance their political agenda has resulted in total confusion and chaos.’’ Limbaugh gives an example of the fallout: ‘‘Men can no longer enjoy themselves or tell jokes with a lot of women around, because anything they say within the earshot of women can be construed as sexual harassment.’’

But the fact is everybody must take personal responsibility for their own behavior while in public, especially a forced social situation like at work. Seems some guys would prefer to preserve the workplace as their own private Good Ol’ Boys club wherein they can be just as rude, crude, and nasty as they like. Get with the times you geezers.

And even assuming that charges of sexual harassment are frequently frivolous, to claim this as proof that it’s been blown out of proportion makes little sense when you consider how many frivolous lawsuits abound in regard to police brutality, prison abuse, and product liability. What area of the law don’t frivolous lawsuits abound in? This hardly means that the seriousness of these things has been exaggerated; frivolous lawsuits are simply the price we pay for living in a society with due process of law. Better that than living in a country where things like sexual harassment, police brutality, and harm caused by careless corporations aren’t taken seriously at all.

Limbaugh, however, suggests that sexual harassment is so frivolous and trivial a problem that it should be allowed to take place unhindered by any burdensome laws. ‘‘I want people to get along with one another, without making a legal case out of everything. . . . It bothers me no end, especially when so many people think the government should intervene to solve these things.’’

Limbaugh concluded his sexual harassment argument by pointing out that men and women are (gasp!) different. The truly odd thing about his conviction of the great differences between the sexes is that, at the same time, he denounces the idea that women might somehow contribute something different than men in the governing process.

While addressing some pro-choice rally, Vice-President Al Gore said, ‘‘For quite a long time most political systems around the world have been overbalanced toward a distinctively male way of interpreting the world.’’ Limbaugh didn’t only believe this statement was wrong, he thought it was downright weird, that Gore was pandering to feminists who are setting themselves up as victims. This from the same guy who, after admitting to getting off on a dirty phone call, wrote: ‘‘It just proves how men and women instinctively and naturally look at events differently. . . . It’s always been this way. It’s a beautiful thing.’’ So women look at things differently when it comes to dirty phone calls but not in regard to politics or matters of state? Or their right to an abortion? Or when it comes to the appropriateness of sex jokes in the workplace?


My own pedestrian observations as to the differences between the sexes is that males seem more naturally aggressive, more physical in the way they interact with the world around them. Women, on the other hand, seem more naturally nurturing, more verbal and emotional in how they interact. This isn’t to say men aren’t capable of child-rearing; nor that women aren’t capable of hard labor, such as in the military or as firefighters.

But we should expect such women to be rather exceptional specimens; nor does this mean, as some extremists have suggested, that the physical strength and endurance tests should be reduced for women. Those women who wish to enter these demanding professions should have to prove their strength just like anyone applying for such a job; for tasks like putting out fires or engaging in military combat, you only want the most qualified people for the job——there’s no room for affirmative action for the physically weak.

Limbaugh conveniently talks out of both sides of his rather large mouth when it comes to women fighting in combat. First he says: ‘‘Women have played a very powerful role in civilizing men. . . . It is not to say that this has been their only role or that they should not have an identity apart from men.’’ But then later he explains that women shouldn’t be allowed to fight in combat because: ‘‘Women have definite societal roles that are crucial to the continuation of mankind.’’ Huh? He says it’s bad enough there are men coming home in body bags, must we put women in them as well?

So, what, it’s unacceptable to see women coming home in body bags compared to men? This almost suggests he views men coming home this way as acceptable . . . but women in body bags, no, now that’d be going too far?! You wanna know something, I view the deaths of women or men exactly alike: with complete disgust. But, sickened as I am by such violence, it’s an unfortunate fact that ‘‘to attain peace we must prepare for war,’’ and people are inevitably going to die in the duties of our military. What difference does the gender of the fallen soldier make? If American women want to fight and, yes, possibly die for their country, then why not afford them this?

Limbaugh might argue it only illustrates his tremendous love for women that he doesn’t want them dying in military combat. But I suspect this view of his is actually much more crude and condescending. More likely explanation is that it just breaks his heart to think of those fertile women dying overseas in the military when they could be back home popping out babies and fulfilling their crucial role in ‘‘the continuation of mankind.’’


It’s been my experience that a fair number of individuals——mostly white males——become very uncomfortable discussing our country’s history of sexism and racism. They feel that any attempt to confront these issues is equivalent to placing all the blame on their doorstep. And so, rather than accept these realities as fact, their irrational feelings of guilt prompt them to deny that such prejudice is even an issue worthy of discussion.

Not to make any kind of overt comparison——but if the metaphor fits——maybe people do this for the same reason many fascists deny the Holocaust took place: because it makes them look bad and weakens support for their party. Perhaps the reason some conservatives don’t want to openly acknowledge this still-existent sexism, or racism, is because it’s rooted in the same schools of traditional thought they so cherish. (Though of course the beliefs underlying ‘‘conservatism’’ have become a little more Disneyfied here in America compared to their Old World roots.)

There’s no question that great strides have been made in equalizing the sexes; and yes, like all movements, feminism has been taken to extremes by specific individuals. But we must bear in mind that these changes, and these attempts at change, have been in effect collectively for such a limited time. For less than a hundred years this movement has attempted to overcome thousands of years of deeply rooted, institutionalized sexism.

There are numerous people in positions of power and authority still strongly against women’s political and economic rights. And that’s just here in the United States——that’s to say nothing of all the cultures around the world which remain extremely prejudiced toward women.

And so of course this is gonna be a gradual and steady progression, not something that’s resolved overnight. It’s come a long way so far, just think of how much further it can go. You think the state of things now are much improved over yesteryears past?——just imagine how much greater our awareness of the basic equality between the sexes can grow in the years to come, in this country and around the world.

That’s why I say today’s ‘‘women’s movement’’ (whatever name it goes by or embodiment it takes) has not overstayed its welcome, and, despite what Limbaugh seems to want everyone to believe, is still a positive cause to be stalwartly supported.


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