If you needed another reminder that straight men are still the only group for whom it is acceptable to be open about being sexual beings, look no further than the trail of misogyny blazed by extremist talk-show host and sentient beanbag chair Rush Limbaugh. There’s this little debate in the States going on right now — maybe you’ve heard about it? — involving women’s rights to birth control, ranging from simple birth control pills to the right to safe abortions that won’t put their lives in danger.
And God help me, watching that debate rage makes me thankful I live in Canada.
Yes, the contraception debate isn’t a Canadian thing, but I do think it’ll go down as a milestone in the fight for sexual freedom. I’ll give you the SparksNotes version of what exactly I’m talking about specifically: women want contraception to be covered by their healthcare plans, just like Viagra is. The massive collective of angry, out-of-touch old men colloquially known as “the government” say no. Law student Sandra Fluke goes in front of Congress and makes the reasonable point that contraception has more uses than simply preventing unwanted pregnancies. All this is mashed together with a cup of batshit, a couple teaspoons of controversy-baiting, and voilà! We now have Rush Limbaugh slut-shaming a student because she had the druthers to demand the same sexual freedoms as men.
When did it become acceptable for someone in such a position of power to publicly lambaste someone much less powerful than him for shits and giggles? I mean for God’s sake, the woman just wants the medication she uses to be covered the same way everyone else’s is. I’m not sure how you can twist that around to justify calling her a slut, asking whether or not her parents are proud of her, and then demand that she post videos of herself having sex on the internet for his own viewing pleasure.
Yes, all that happened. Yes, this is considered political discourse south of the border.
First off, this is a very slut-positive space. Everyone has some sort of fetish, so pushing the idea that everyone only has heterosexual missionary sex with their spouse under a Jesus Christ-approved crucifix for the sake of conceiving 2.5 children is bullshit idealism that sends us flying backward in the march toward sexual freedom. If being a slut means that you’re informed, responsible, caring and open about your sex life, then God help us, we need more sluts in the world. Because it sure as hell beats having a bunch of petulant, angry children stomping their feet because they have to share their toys.