Betty Duffy

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: You're in Hot Water Now!!!

If you don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, I don’t blame you. I’m a conservative and his voice is like a gong in my ear. But while I was driving today, flipping through the channels, I heard the voice of Rush saying “Vatican” so I stopped to see what he was up to.

Turns out the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published a piece in which the author (who was a woman, and not the Pope—Rush seems to have missed that point), said that the washing machine has done more to liberate women than the birth control pill (sound familiar?).

But Rush was filling his air time with lots of huffing and puffing about how he respects women, and how this crazy ode to a modern appliance (one that many of us could not live without), supports gender stereotypes. The Vatican should know better, and should not try to be a funny guy (or funny girl, for that matter) because gender stereotypes are evil and so are people who downplay the importance of the contraceptive pill, which is the savior of all women. The stereotype that the Vatican consists of a bunch of crusty out-of-touch old men is fair game, however.

My first thought was, “Oh shit. Rush is really going to try and run for office.” He’s pandering to women. A call to my friend Pedge, pointed me in the direction of this article, in which Rush asked why women don’t like him, and the author, Ellen Goodman, outlined the answer for him. So to kiss up to the ladies, Rush will perpetuate the stereotype that having children is the worst thing that could happen to women.

Is it really so offbase to suggest that the washing machine liberates women more than the pill? Think about it: washing clothes by hand EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE vs. having a kid, putting him in daycare and being done with him when he’s about 18, or having a kid and putting him up for adoption, or having a kid and being surprised by how much joy he brings to your life and not ever wanting him to leave home. We have lost touch with how much work our foremothers really had to do to survive. Would women have even dreamed of working outside the home without the washing machine? They would not have had the time. Why is that an unacceptable observation to make? Virginia Woolf said as much in "A Room of One's Own."

Not to mention the fact that there are other ways of regulating birth beside birth control and abortion.

It looks like the Vatican gets to play scapegoat again. Rush wants female listeners and he’ll do anything to get them, including creating a straw man argument against gender stereotypes at the expense of a sense of humor and the Catholic Church (two things I cherish highly). Hence, one more reason not to let Rush take over the Republican Party.


Betty Duffy said...

Disclaimer: If someone can please tell me if Rush was being sarcastic, or if he was seriously criticizing the Vatican on this issue, I'd love the input. Sorry, this is yesterday's news, but I've been second guessing myself.

angie said...

I was so upset to hear Rush talking about this yesterday. I emailed him to ask if he had ever used a ringer washer, hung his clothes out to dry and then ironed his own shirts with a iron he had to heat on a wood burning stove. Lets be clear... men NEVER did the wash before a machine came along, and now we can get a little help. Or at least a bit more free time by sticking it all in a machine and closing the lid! It didn't seem to me that he was being sarcastic. His tone was serious until the first caller defended the Vatican statement. Either way I was very mad he was speaking just like the libs on this. Thanks for your post!

jenX67 said...

i have no profound contribution beyond what you have said except to say he is a complete and utter disaster. like a boring circus act. 20 years ago, he was trying to prove how much women loved him by having them send in pictures of themselves to his show. the gimmicks continue.

Betty Duffy said...

Angie, thanks for coming back. I'd love to know if you received a response from Rush to your email.

angie said...

Thanks, no response from him, but I wasn't expecting it. I was so fired up that I actually sent more than one email. I had a hard time sleeping that night. I expect that kind of talk from the mainstream media... but not him.

I love your blog though. you are so witty! What a good find!

Lindy said...

Hi, Betty. Was pointed here from Jen at Conversion Diary. I'm so glad I was; I've enjoyed reading around!

Just wanted to say that I'm an avid Rush listener, and I remember hearing this on the radio. He was being sarcastic--trust me. I think it takes a regular Rush listener to detect it, though, because his sarcasm is frequently delivered so deadpan that it is lost many times to people who might not listen regularly. I really value his opinion, and in my own, I think that he is the least misogynistic person in the media. People may scoff at that, but his perspectives are often very aligned with the Catholic view of women--which is also frequently misinterpreted.

Anyway, just wanted to chime in on this. As a fairly recent convert (and mom) I love finding Catholic blogs that I love.

Meredith said...

Women used to work themselves to death in the bad old days. Think about washing sheets and towels by hand. No permanent press. If you didn't iron them, they would dry out stiff as cardboard. My mom has her grandmother's old iron. It's just a giant hunk of SOLID IRON, and yes, she heated it on a wood stove. Imagine how time consuming and back breaking all of that was. And oh Lord, cloth diapers.

So yeah, thank God for the washing machine! That's women's liberation right there.