In the last two weeks there has been a ton of false equivalency bandied about by far-right apologists and internet dunderheads shouting over discourse from the kids’ table, and it concerns what they perceive as unfair treatment of Rush Limbaugh in light of the free pass Bill Maher gets.

Let’s break this down.

Rush Limbaugh, a talk radio pundit, called a private citizen who testified before Congress about birth control a slut because she uses birth control. He also has a history of that sort of deplorable pigeon-holing and out and out bigotry, including but not limited to telling a black caller “take the bone out of your nose.”

Bill Maher, a stand-up comedian, called Sarah Palin a c*nt because she totally is.

“Waaaaaiiiiit a minu—” SHUT UP, I’m going to explain the difference.

The word “slut” is used by guys like Limbaugh to disenfranchise and belittle women as a whole who simply want to explore options other than being baby machines betrothed right out of High School. The word c*nt is used to disparage someone who’s generally mean, obnoxious, and deplorable. It’s one of the few true dirty words left, to the point that I actually censored it where otherwise I wouldn’t for other words (i.e. fuck, shit, piss, anal, Santorum), but when employed in this instance it is not meant to disparage an entire group, nor is it unfair.

Besides, we’re almost at the point where it’s a gender neutral term. In the UK it certainly is, and while you might disagree, I think the word c*nt should totally be used for guys. Like Rush Limbaugh. What a big, smelly c*nt.

Scoff and grumble if you must, but they’re not the same thing at all. And no, myself and others don’t need to acknowledge that someone or something else is “just as bad” whenever we criticize someone like Limbaugh. That attempt at deflection isn’t just specious and intellectually dishonest, it’s downright suspicious. Because why on Earth would someone even attempt the comparison unless they sympathized and/or agreed with him? Or, perhaps, they’re one of those people that think it’s actually an interesting talking point. Let me be clear: when I say “those people,” I mean idiots.

So no, calling Sarah Palin a c*nt because she’s being a c*nt is not the same as calling a private citizen a slut because she’s using birth control. Is it a poor choice of words? Yeah, probably. But not even remotely in the same ballpark, even if you get a little flustered when someone uses a word that you don’t hear very often.

Now stop defending deplorable people and get back to work.

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  • http://twitter.com/SteveHenel Stephen Henel

    Was Bill Maher really the best punching bag they could find for the left? The guy’s a libertarian. He actually agrees with the right on some of their views regarding contraception, especially whether the government should pay for it.

    Also, while I’m not a huge fan of the “it was a joke” defense, Maher has a lot more credibility when he says his job is to make people laugh than Limbaugh does.

    • kevinmarshall

      I know Maher has identified with libertarians in the past, but mostly because he thinks prostitution and marijuana should be legalized. As it pertains to government and public funds use, though, he’s totally not a libertarian despite what he might say.

      Also, you want a real laugh, look at THIS pathetic attempt at equivocation: Liberal hate speech. It’s both sad AND offensive, neither in the way they intend.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=507820302 Courtney Smith

    I’m going to be totally PC and annoying here.  I *hate* the use of the word Cunt as a swear word, for the same reason I hate using the word retarded, or gay.  Why is it unspeakably disgusting to use a word that means vagina?  Why is that an insult?  I realize it *is*, but it reeks of misogyny to me.  So I will continue to find it offensive when anyone uses that word, for that reason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cvella Charlie Vella

    Even if they were equally bad, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  • Roger Green

    I have to agree with Courtney here.  C*** is a way to dismiss women (even dismissible way) that makes her her body part.  I don’t like it, don’t like that Maher used it.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6FLIHLOOX7O4R7VAJQR7IKY6CY R

    I remember my first husband screaming this word at me at me one day while we were sitting in a parked car. He was so loud and I was crying so hard that someone called the cops to see if I was all right. It’s been almost 30 years and I can still hear it. Did I deserve it? Yes, because I complained about being used by my unemployed-by-choice husband’s beer buddies as their personal taxi service. “YOU’RE A C***, AND C***S DESERVE TO BE USED!!!”

    Bad behavior doesn’t excuse bad behavior. Roger Green is right. It’s a cruel, vile way to say that women are inferior to men, the same way the N-word is used to infer that African Americans are less than human. Remember when you blogged for the TU and commenters tried to insult you by calling you gay? Justifying the C-word’s use by saying that you can use it to insult a man is the same thing; you’re putting down a man for having the worst female qualities. 

    What Rush Limbaugh said was horrible, and so was what Bill Maher said. This post strikes me as a rationalization of Maher’s remarks and it doesn’t hold water. Public or private, both of them were insulted needlessly. Even the little shots about Palin taking care of her “baby with Down’s Syndrome” were just plain nasty and indefensible. 

    Please tell me how name-calling is an improvement over discussing solutions to our nation’s woes. 

    Roz