Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Limbaugh: "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society"

This is a strange piece, but, nevertheless, this piece, if it gets wide distribution, will set feminism back 50 years.
It's a story from a website called BitterLawyer.com—BitterLawyer.com: "Law professors won't tell their female students this, but one method some women use to get ahead in the corporate world has nothing to do with grades, or professionalism, or hard work—just fake boobs. In a recent Bitter Lawyer poll, 58 percent of those asked said that boob implants could only help a woman's career; the remainder of respondents were split on the matter. Just over 23 percent of those polled paid—said that such cosmetic changes were 'irrelevant'." [reads more of the article, which is, in actuality, largely about the relationship between subtle breast enhancements and self-esteem]
"…In other words, if she feels sexy, she'll be more confident (in the bedroom and at work), and success will likely follow." Can I redirect you to feminist truth number 24—undeniable truth of life number 24—written by me in the mid-80s? Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society. It's proved practically every day in our modern culture.

I found this over at Shakesville where Liss commented, “let me just issue a reminder to be better than him: His weight and addiction have nothing to do with his diarrheic vitriol.

When people criticize Limbaugh they have a tendency to fat shame him.  While I agree that fat shaming is wrong, we should not ignore the fact that when people bully others it comes from a place of insecurity.  Limbaugh could quit the radio business tomorrow and lead a life of comfort with the wealth that he has amassed and yet for fifteen hours a week he dives willingly into an emotional black hole to attack marginalized bodies.   No one is spared his vitriol as he attempts to situate himself as a voice of authority.   If one is secure in who you are as a person, there is no need to attack others.

Limbaugh is a college drop out, far from conventionally attractive, and has an issue with previous drug abuse.  All of these factors play a role in making him who he is today.   We should not ignore them simply because we know that society tends to shame people that are obese or are recovering addicts.   I believe that we can take these issues and discuss them respectfully without ignoring the role they play in making him the horrid insecure man that he is.

When he speaks about ugly women, I do believe that it is a reflection of how he feels about his personal appearance and his inability despite his wealth to secure a lasting love connection with a woman.  Feminism is problematic to him precisely because it empowers women to make choices.   Limbaugh falls under the category of old school misogynist wherein money and power should equal female companionship however, because of the fact that today women now earn their own money and have a high degree of independence, we are less likely to put up with oppression in order to secure subsistence. 

Limbaugh's anger and vitriol have everything to do with his inability to convert his white male privilege into real social prestige, despite the  power that he exists with.   He lashes out at women, people of color and the poor, all in an attempt to express a power that where it not for his wealth he would be unable to wield.  If Limbaugh were a poor man despite being white he would find that his weight, lack of formal education and history of drug abuse would mitigate the degree to which he is able to benefit from white male privilege.  Though at times he is intentionally obtuse he is will aware of how power, privilege, and hierarchy work, as these are social elements that he regularly plays with on his show.  Limbaugh feels entitled because everything in his existence tells him that he should be respected, and yet due to our ability to fat shame and mitigate his white male privilege in many circles he is little more than a cosmic joke. 

Looking at picture of Limbaugh from his younger days reveals that his weight has been a life long issue.  Knowing that obesity often means a stigmatized identity, it is not a leap of the imagination to suggest that he has had to deal with negative social experiences based solely on his appearance.   There are those that deal with oppression and marginalization by internalizing the hatred and there are those that lash out at everyone around them.  Limbaugh falls into the latter group and what  has become clear, is that rather than dealing with his issues he has decided that offering society another group onto which to target its desire to oppress, somehow serves to lessen the hurtful attacks that are aimed at him.  It is a classic bait and switch strategy.  Yes, he is a pompous, ignorant ass, of epic proportions but he like everyone else is a product of our society.


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