Call to Action: Stop RushMarch 05, 2012
Two weeks ago, AAUW hosted Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke at our national office for a Re:Action panel discussion on birth control. It was our way of making sure that she had a platform to speak and be heard since she wasn’t allowed to testify at a recent hearing about contraception at the House of Representatives. That panel featured five men and no women.
So when talk show host Rush Limbaugh made blatantly sexist and offensive comments about Fluke last week, we took it personally. AAUW Director of Public Policy and Government Relations Lisa Maatz put it simply: “His aggressive personal insults and unnecessary coarsening of the public debate are unacceptable.”
Limbaugh’s “apology” on Saturday has not stopped his show from bleeding more sponsors. His remarks outraged women (and men of good conscience) across the country — probably because it wasn’t much of an apology. Just ask Fluke. He continued attacking her today, saying that she attended Georgetown Law only to “force them to abandon religious beliefs.” This completely misrepresents Fluke’s story and shows that Limbaugh has yet to learn his lesson.
On their own, Limbaugh’s comments are reprehensible. What makes them action-worthy is how widespread their effect continues to be. Limbaugh basically told his audience of millions that a woman who uses contraception and speaks out about it is a slut. This was his attempt to shame Fluke into silence. And it was a clear message to women everywhere: Speak out, and you’ll be punished in the same way.
Limbaugh may not listen to women, but his apology on Saturday shows that he pays attention to sponsors. Make sure he gets the message that women won’t stand for these kinds of attacks. Call, tweet, or write a Facebook update telling his sponsors that they only hurt themselves by supporting intolerant and offensive commentary.
It’s tough to pin down an exact list of sponsors, especially because some are local and others are national. To the best of our knowledge, here is a list of current national sponsors that have yet to pull support from Limbaugh’s show. Take action and tell them to stop supporting Limbaugh and his vicious rhetoric.
Twitter: @GoldCoinPro (Kevin DeMeritt)
Need ideas for tweets and Facebook updates? Make sure to link to this blog post and use the hashtag #StopRush. And tweet at Limbaugh himself using his handle, @rushlimbaugh. Here’s some sample language in case you need inspiration.
Stand up for Sandra, stand up for women, and #StopRush http://bit.ly/xtnNlE
Tell @rushlimbaugh advertisers not to support personal attacks on women #StopRush http://bit.ly/xtnNlE
Let companies know they should not support Rush Limbaugh’s anti-women commentary with sponsorship — join me in standing up for Sandra Fluke and for women everywhere by contacting these sponsors today http://bit.ly/xtnNlE