As much fun as it would be to lay into Rush Limbaugh for being a hypocrite who claims he’s a political commentator whenever he speaks and an entertainer whenever he has to apologize, I think it’s much more instructive to look at exactly what WAS said, and examine the premise behind each of these howling whoppers, because every one of them reflects a specific view of women.
We'll get to Rush's blathering in later posts, but for this one, let's start with the "Thank God for free speech because the assholes always say something assholey" quotation that began the whole mess:
QUOTE: “Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly." -- Foster Friess, financial backer of Rick Santorum.
PREMISE #1: Women are always the only ones who determine whether sex happens or not. If they say no, it doesn’t happen. If they keep their legs together, it doesn’t happen. And if they open their legs, it does happen.
Which implies that
PREMISE #2: If sex happens, it’s because the woman opened her legs, so she wanted it to happen. This automatically means that, if a man has sex with a woman who says “No,” then what she was really saying was “Yes! Yes! Oh yes!” Why? Because sex occurred, silly! And since sex cannot occur without the woman’s say-so, she must have been saying so. See how simple it is when you know the rules?
But the real underlying premise here is the one nobody talks about, and it defines the entire worldview of women that lies behind that aspirin crack. It’s a three-fold notion that nobody ever contradicts, and everybody assumes is true. Including the legal system in most civilized countries.
PREMISE #3.1: Men not only always WANT sex to happen, they always EXPECT sex to happen. Always. It’s the given behind everything. And when you think of it as a call and response, it’s totally illogical. Normally, The Party of The First Part is the one who asks the Question, and The Party Of The Second Part is the one who is responsible for the Answer. But since all responsibility for the sexual act resides in the woman, that makes HER both The Party of The First Part AND The Party of The Second Part. In other words, the Question itself is embodied by the presence of the woman. Simply by walking into a room full of men, any woman, single or married, is required by unwritten law to declare “No I do not want to have sex with you!” as loudly as she can to every single man in the room. Otherwise, the same unwritten law declares that, since silence is universally recognized as giving assent, simply by being in that room, she is saying: “Do me. Do me now.”
PREMISE #3.2: All women are sexually irresistible. This is the finger-pointing side of the responsibility angle. All a man has to do to defend himself from any form of sexual misconduct is prove that he had sex with a human being with a vagina, and a judge will slam down a hammer and say “Case closed.” Because men have no control over their actions whenever a woman is involved. It’s a given. Which is, sadly, why “The existence of a woman’s genitals” is a legally-recognized excuse for rape.
PREMISE #3.3: Women are nothing but doorways to sex. What do you do to a door? You knock on it. If it opens, you get to go in. If it stays closed, you don’t go in. Simple, right? And the great thing about this analogy is that there is no legally-recognized precedent for breaking the door down. If a man takes a sledgehammer to that door or blows it up with C4, the fact that he can walk into the bedroom means that door was opened willingly. Which means he’s off the hook. (See Premise 3.2 above.)
And y'know? This kind of guy is even GRAMMATICALLY off the hook. He doesn't think about having sex; he thinks about getting laid. Which is passive, not active; which implies that it's something that happens to him, not something he does. Getting laid; getting a blowjob--these things just happen, and if there's an active verb involved, then the subject of that verb is always somebody else. Somebody conveniently third-person female.
I would lay cash money that Santorum's rich friend Friess talks about sex in the passive tense, because it totally fits what his type of male really thinks. If, that is, he's capable of introspection. Which I kind of doubt. You can always count on two things with assholes: they're happier than everybody else, and they're barely capable of a first thought, never mind a second one. Which puts them in the same league with blowhards who think that the purchase of female contraceptives means that the buyer is having sex all the time. (I'm looking at you, Rush.)
LIMBAUGH: That was an exaggeration with humorous intent.
ME: No, that was a solipsism.
LIMBAUGH: Big words for a feminist-loving playwright.
ME: Big logical error for an overweight prescription-drug-abusing male chauvinist. Because a man only buys contraceptives when he thinks he's going to have sex, you think that the same thing is true for a woman.
LIMBAUGH: Contraceptives are always a sex issue.
ME:Contraceptives are sometimes a health issue.
LIMBAUGH: Health has nothing to do with it.
ME: Oh that has everything to do with it--as you've been finding out, and totally ignoring, for the last couple of weeks.