Society and Culture
Rush Limbaugh Wants Your Boobs to Stop Staring at Him
Good morning folks! Are you staying warm? Because it’s snowing here in New York. And I’m totally wishing I never got out of bed.
But not just because of the weather or the sidewalk slush that always seems to work its way into my boots. Nope. Today, Rush Limbaugh is kind of making me want to burrow a hole in my blankets. This man is the bane of every feminist’s existence.
He’s also a source of never ending material and entertainment, though. So there’s that.
Anyway! Your (least) favorite conservative talk show host got pretty frisky yesterday. On his barf-tastic radio show, he discussed a recent study by the University of Nebraska that found that the male gaze objectifies women. And you know what he did? He responded by totally objectifying women.
First of all, this study must have been conducted by Captain Obvious. Of course the male gaze objectifies women! This is about as newsworthy as the fact that the sky is blue. No one is gasping with shock. So next time you set aside some money to conduct a study, University of Nebraska, maybe focus on producing some new knowledge? I feel like that would be more useful.
Anyway! Mr. Limbaugh, ever the conservative, God-fearing gentleman, responded to this study’s findings by encouraging men to get a little more creative with their objectification. He actually told his listeners to walk up to women and say, “Would you please ask your breasts to stop staring at my eyes?”
UGH. How charming.
First of all, Rush’s reaction was just plain weird. Like honestly. I’d expect the king of chauvinism to refute the Nebraska study as ridiculous. To claim that men aren’t objectifying women — women are just being too damned sensitive! Blast this sinful nation and its obsession with political correctness.
But he didn’t deny anything. He wasn’t outraged by the study’s conclusion that men are, in fact, kind of douche-y when it comes to how they relate to women. Nope. Instead, he jumped on the douchebag train enthusiastically. In short, he didn’t deny being a jerk. He just encouraged men to be bigger jerks.
Second of all, let’s talk about the intensely bizarre personification of breasts.
Rush Limbaugh wants women’s breasts to stop staring at him? Like they have eyes and a mind of their own? This is literally one of the weirdest things I’ve ever heard. Hate to break it to you, Rush, but breasts are just that. Breasts. They’re useless lumps of fat attached haphazardly to a person’s chest. And women aren’t the only ones who have them.
They aren’t staring at you any more than a woman’s arm is staring at you. Or her actual face, for that matter. Don’t flatter yourself. Degradation and disrespect isn’t exactly the kind of thing that gets our pupils dilated and our hearts racing.
Regardless of whether or not you’re delusional enough to think that women’s breasts are turning their proverbial heads every time you walk by, why are you so down with objectification in the first place, Mr. Limbaugh? Because here’s what objectification means.
It means that you don’t think women are people. You think we’re less than people, we’re sub-human, we’re objects. Like, we’re on par with your desk and your chair. We’re here to be used and abused and thrown away when you’re finished with us.
That’s what objectification means.
It doesn’t even have to be that intense. It can be more subtle, yet just as insulting. Just as disturbing. Maybe you don’t think we’re on par with chairs. (I think you probably do.) Maybe you aren’t interested in using, abusing, and tossing us aside. (I think you probably are.) But when you’re in a woman’s presence, and all you can think about is her lady bits, you’re assuming she’s an object. Maybe not a desk, maybe not a chair. More like a living, breathing, blow-up doll.
Rush Limbaugh is one of the most listened-to talk radio hosts in the country. He’s one of the most highly paid media professionals in the industry. He holds real influence. And it’s influencers like him that prompt Michigan legislators to propose rape insurance. Abortion restrictions. Lower wages. Victim blaming. Slut shaming. Rape culture.
Hannah R. Winsten (@HannahRWinsten) is a freelance copywriter, marketing consultant, and blogger living in New York’s sixth borough. She hates tweeting but does it anyway. She aspires to be the next Rachel Maddow.
Featured image courtesy of [Ginny via Flickr]