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Rush Limbaugh speaking to America in front of an American flag

There has been a lot of talk about whether Rush’s spewing of hared of women is freedom of speech. Some say yes. Some say no and other say not with the platform he has on the radio. Questions have also been raised about why other radio show hosts have said things that are equally bad and have been fired, but Rush continues on in his tirade of hate.

This is the first ammendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Okay, so it’s cut and dry. Rush actually has the right to say whatever he wants. Right? WRONG!

At the time of the writing and approving the Constitution by the House of Representatives and Senate, there was much controversy about the wording and about having abstract amendments. In speaking to the controversy that the amendments of the Constitution may have, William Blackstone wrote many things and this quote below is taken from a larger quote, but I want to highlight a few things he said:

Every freeman has an undoubted right to lay what sentiments he pleases before the public; to forbid this, is to destroy the freedom of the press: but if he publishes what is improper, mischievous, or illegal, he must take the consequences of his own temerity.”

So, Rush must take the consequences of what he said. At this point, I think those consequences are being forced upon him. The people have gone after advertisers, which has been seen as the most effective tactic in a Capitalist society. But has he learned? No probably not. It’s sad for him and for all the people who listen to him how ignorant he is, but he doesn’t have to change what he thinks, just what he says.

Blackstone continues:

“To subject the press to the restrictive power of a licenser, as was formerly done, both before and since the Revolution, is to subject all freedom of sentiment to the prejudices of one man, and make him the arbitrary and infallible judge of all controverted points in learning, religion and government.”

So having the FCC (Federal Communications Commission– Established by the Communications Act in 1934) regulate Rush or be the licenser is having the FCC be the arbiter on what is right and good for our society. Not necessarily, as it is directed by five commissioners, only three of which can be of the same political party at the same time.

Blackstone talks more about preserving “freedom of thought and inquiry” and “leaving the liberty of private sentiment.” He says that “the disseminating, or making public, of bad sentiments, destructive to the ends of society, is the crime which society corrects.”

So, society will correct it. And yes, we are doing that. Many of us. There are some who support Rush and his misogyny but a good many in the society are standing up against what he said. There is talk of lawsuits and complaints to the FCC.

BUT- People in our society do not have complete freedom of thought and inquiry. If this is too creepy and you are about to go to another screen, hear me out.

People in our society, me included, have been taught that women are the weaker gender. We have been taught that feminine is second class. We are continously taught by media that women are sexual objects, women clean house, women take care of children, women can’t drive, women are irrational and emotional, women are gossips, women are stupid. I could go on, but I won’t.

We have all been taught these things by the system of Patriarchy that has been in place years before we were born. Rush, especially Rush, has been taught these things, which is why he spits them back out. It is also part of a larger agenda. Does the Republican Party sit around talking about how to take power from women? YES they do. We saw that with Darrell Issa’s committee of men discussing birth control. Do they talk about Rush’s role in that? I’m not sure. They might. But if they don’t, they certainly don’t disapprove of his tactics, which are as follows:

Oppress women by silencing them. Shame them. Laugh at them. Be mean to them. Tell everyone women are for your pleasure by saying Sandra Fluke should make a sex tape for him, call them names (slut, prostitute) when they speak about their rights. Other men are on board with this and then they go home to their wives and rule their households and if that means using violence, well a man has to do what a man has to do.

When women are seen as less than or as objects, the risk of violence against women goes up.

So, is Rush Limbaugh utilizing freedom of speech?

Yes and No. This is a scary issue because we all want to be able to say what we want to say without being censored. I do not believe in censorship, but this is a spewing of hatred of half of the population. It could be argued that the Republican Party and Rush Limbaugh have it out for half of the population of the United States and that could be seen as a takeover.

Rush Limbaugh’s words about Sandra Fluke have put me  and all other women in danger. His words shape how women are seen in America and this makes us second class objects that can be thrown to the curb, killed off, or hurt in any way any man wants because he is just doing what the Patriarchy deems appropriate. And Rush gave him the license.

This is not censorship, it is about threatening women all over the nation and as a nation that other countries watch, he is endangering women all over the world.

There needs to be a law in place that says people may not use public media outlets to constitutionally oppress groups of people based on gender. Rush is keeping women from being seen as full equal participants under the Constitution, that is not what America is about and it must be stopped.

-Liza Wolff-Francis

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Rush Limbaugh

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