Rush Limbaugh Continues to Lose Advertisers
By Maggie Hames on March 16, 2012
When I heard that “entertainer” Rush Limbaugh was continuing to pay a price for his recent slut comment, my only surprise came when I heard the list of prestige companies that advertised with him in the first place. Limbaugh’s show truly is an illustration of the expression “nothing succeeds like success.” I rarely agree with him, but the man does bring in the numbers and that’s all that counts in some sectors.
Limbaugh is also a perfect illustration of the expression “sexism continues to be a potent force in America.” What does it mean when a woman is called a “slut”? It harkens to a time (still alive in parts of the world) when women truly were little more than property. And that property was at its most valuable when the woman was young and untouched and things only went down from there. Many expressions assigned to women had a transactional quality to them, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” comes to mind. Ever hear a woman described as “cheap goods”? How about “baggage”? There are countless examples in our culture where a woman was (and continues to be) described as property and “slut” is one of them.
There’s no male equivalent of the word “slut,” at least no equivalent that isn’t a thinly disguised compliment. There wouldn’t be a male equivalent because men (slavery most certainly excepted) aren’t mere goods. But it seems that in Limbaugh’s world, women are still property and that’s why he’s irrelevant.
It would seem too great a leap to invite him to join us in the 21st century. Let’s try for the early 20th century, say 1920, the year women got the vote. I’d love to see every woman in America vote with her feet and switch off Limbaugh’s show. I wonder if he could survive without a single female listener who does not acquiesce to the idea of women as property. Could be interesting. Women as property should end right here, right now.