Social Question

filmfann's avatar

Can you accept an apology that isn't heartfelt?

Asked by filmfann (39578 points ) March 4th, 2012

Rush Limbaugh recently made news by calling a woman who testified before the Senate regarding birth control, a “slut”.
He added: “So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch.”
Advertisers began pulling their products from the radio show, and Limbaugh issued this apology:
“My choice of words was not the best, and in the attempt to be humorous, I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Ms. Fluke for the insulting word choices.”
This apology was made on his website, not through a broadcast announcement.
Does this apology seem heartfelt?
Should this apology end the discussion?
Should Sandra Fluke accept this apology?
Should advertisers return to the radio show, or should they continue withdrawing, pending a better statement?
When someone offers you a half-assed apology, do you take what you can get, or do you wait for a better apology?

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123 Answers

Jaxk's avatar

Since the outrage is fake, I’m not sure what the problem is. When Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a Cunt, the libs didn’t seem to have much outrage. I find the whole thing a bit hypocritical. If you pretend to have ethics, you should at least apply them uniformly. It would seem that the libs have none.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Too many people think that offering some sort of apology makes anything that they did or said, just go away. Apologies only work if the person making the apology has actually accepted the fact that they were wrong. Limbaugh does not think that he was wrong, his “apology” was simply an attempt to stem the tide of losing his advertisers. An apology never fixes a problem & Limbaugh’s problem is that he sees the world from a bigoted point of view.

Coloma's avatar

No. Half assed non-apologies are duly noted and that person goes on the radar as expendable.
I may have a great understanding of their personal issues, but, on the rare occasions I confront someone about their behaviors or words if they are unable to respectfully hear and address my feelings I walk away, never to look back.
I just confronted a male aquaintance on his arrogance and domineering conversational style the other day and he profusely took his lumps with a sincere apology and promise that it won’t happen again.
We shall see, if he walks his talk.

Limbaugh, O’ reilly and many others are truly pathological narcissistic blowhards, no class, no empathy, control freak egos the size of Texas.
The only thing that will humble those assholes is death. lol

marinelife's avatar

No, not at all. I listen for words, tone, and more importantly, actions.

chyna's avatar

No. In my example: Husband hits wife in the face with a fist, breaking her nose. A couple days later he says “sorry, but if my dinner had not been luke warm, I wouldn’t have hit you.” Is that an apology that is sincere? No. He is still turning the situation back on her. This is the same with Rush. He isn’t really sorry. He is still turning the situation back on Ms. Fluke.
He says his choice of words was unfortunate. He doesn’t say that he was wrong to utter them.

cookieman's avatar

No. I prefer my apologies to be all-assed.

Seriously, like @Coloma said, I’ll let it go at that, but it puts a virtual star next to their name telling me to watch my back.

chyna's avatar

^Or a big-assed apology is always welcome!

cookieman's avatar

^^ Yes, but never smart-assed.

Coloma's avatar

Oh man, ego be damned, I am still high on the ass kissing I got the other day. It was positively fawning. Hey, this is how you tell the genuine from the disingenuous.
If you can’t humble yourself then allow me to break out my big stick and thump your thick skull. lol

Cruiser's avatar

Once again we are beseiged with the liberal double standard as @Jaxk pointed out Maher can call a public figure a heinous name and get away with it…to quote Mr. Maher…

“Maher To Limbaugh: I Can Call Palin Cunt, “I Don’t Have Sponsors – I’m on HBO”

When are people going to stand up for what is simply right and stop giving people a free pass on BS like this just because of political party affiliation.

I can’t wait to know that late night on Nov 2nd Maher where ever he is will be sitting there going “I can’t believe I actually threw away a million dollars”!

nikipedia's avatar

@Jaxk, I don’t see any reason for Bill Maher to apologize for speaking the truth. Sarah Palin is a cunt.

tom_g's avatar

Ugh. I usually don’t dive into conversations that have to do with supposed “hypocrisy” or “double standards” because they usually contain as many head-exploding moments that a statement prefaced with “I’m not racist but…” does.

Can I just offer a suggestion to anyone who is evaluating the Fluke thing and feels compelled to find some person that said something awful and is associated (at least in your mind) with “the libs” or “left”? Try for a minute to imagine that someone does find something different about Maher’s comments and Limbaugh’s. It’s not – believe me, it really isn’t – that difficult to see that one person is someone is a public figure who has significant power, wants more power, and has some decidedly scary and f*cked up ideas. The other person is a law student who got a chance to testify. Are we on the same page so far? Ok.

Now, imagine for a minute that there are people who disagree with you, who might hold positions that are considered left/libertarian (refer back to political compass), and who think Bill Maher is weak and only occasionally stumbles across decent positions on issues – but usually for the wrong reasons. Bill Maher is an unfunny guy and the last guy you would want to represent your position in a debate. I could be wrong, but I hardly think Bill Maher’s incompetent ramblings qualify as having any resonance with “the libs” or “left”. Are we on the same page still? Ok.

Now, the question of Palin being a “cunt”. While I feel such language is only appropriate among friends who might know what we’re really getting at, is there really any debate that if that term has any meaning whatsoever, the definition must contain the word “Palin”? In all seriousness, it’s a term that is meant to just express a thorough disgust, and I can see someone using that term to describe her because she is vile and you might try to use the offensive term possible to express your disgust.

Anyway, I suspect if you feel victimized by the Fluke/Limbaugh incident and the public outrage it inspired, you might want to investigate further. Sometimes feeling that you are part of a victimized class doesn’t mean you are.

ragingloli's avatar

Can anyone see the difference between insulting one single person and “Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis”? Because I can.

filmfann's avatar

@Jaxk I see your point, though I think you are wrong here. Calling Sarah a cunt is mean, but calling a woman whose only claim to fame is testifying before congress a Feminazi, a slut, a prostitute, and then to demand they display video online of them having sex goes just a bit further.
It’s not the same thing.

annewilliams5's avatar

I have never considered Limbaugh to be anything but a large, bloated, contemptible, large, ass-shaped bag of hot air. Apologies are never anything but cheap crap from animals like him. Change the channel.

Blackberry's avatar

@Jaxk has a point. In society at least, calling a woman a cunt is pretty bad as it implied that it’s usually a term for a woman, but saying all libs have no ethics is still bogus. Lol.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. He should be tried for defamation of character.

tom_g's avatar

And for the record – I don’t think Limbaugh should have to apologize. He meant what he said – or at least intended to say those things to stay in character. You can say whatever you want. If people find his arguments convincing they will continue to listen to his show.

I don’t like the culture of people having to trot out in front of a camera and read a scripted “apology” in an attempt to calm the mob or keep his sponsors. The sponsors should have no problem with what he said. It’s not as though those statements were out of character.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@tom_g That’s the crux of the question. He meant it, so his apology was BS.

DaphneT's avatar

No, she should not accept his apology. He thinks a little known apology will get him off the hook and it’s time he experience the pain of being selfish and misogynistic.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Does this apology seem heartfelt? No.

Should this apology end the discussion? There is little point continuing the discussion with Limbaugh, because he will not change. However, hopefully something will come of the discussion between others about his actions. For example, hopefully more men will come to understand how the pill works – I had no idea there were still men walking around who didn’t get this.

Should Sandra Fluke accept this apology? The polite thing to do is to accept the apology as offered. I think she’ll do that. But she should be allowed to make her own choice about this, obviously.

Should advertisers return to the radio show, or should they continue withdrawing, pending a better statement? No. Limbaugh has rejected an opportunity to learn from his mistake, and his show will not suddenly change because of his apology. I think advertisers should recognize that people are not complaining because of one incident, but because it is long past time that this man be removed from the air for spreading hatred.

When someone offers you a half-assed apology, do you take what you can get, or do you wait for a better apology? I guess it depends on how well I know the person, and how deeply I was affected by the thing they are apologizing for. I don’t have a set rule for apologies.

Coloma's avatar

I am truly and sincerely sorry that I must now take leave of this lively discussion, but alas, the sunshine beckons and I have but a mere 4 hours to go shopping, clean my abode and prep for dinner company. I’ll check back in sometime between defrosting the shrimp, peeling the avacados and running the vacuum. Preferably with a nice cold TsingTao in hand, looking poised when the guests arrive. lolol

tom_g's avatar

@Dutchess_III: ”@tom_g That’s the crux of the question. He meant it, so his apology was BS.”

Of course it was. I’m commenting more on the whole nature of apologies – or public apologies. I don’t think they are beneficial or sincere.

ucme's avatar

Unless an apology is sincere/heartfelt, then it’s no apology at all, merely dressed up words.
So my answer is no, stuff it up your arse!

plethora's avatar

@Linda_Owl Limbaugh’s problem is that he sees the world from a bigoted point of view
As does Bill Maher

Just sayin’

I’m a fan of neither

JLeslie's avatar

I guess maybe it is kind of like when Davis Letterman said something about Sarah Palin’s daughter. I really did believe Letterman’s regret at what he had said. I also do believe he thought it was the older daughter, not a 14 year old. I don’t think Letterman meant any harm, it was just a bad joke. Letterman said he never should have said something like that about a young girl, and I believe he really did feel that way. A lot of people did not accept his apology and thought he only apologized because he sort of had to.

Rush Limbaugh says all sorts pf inflamatory bullshit in bad taste, I am sort agreeing with at least some of what @Jaxk said (write down the date time, it doesn’t happen often). I don’t think Limbaugh has to apologize, I think maybe he genuinely thinks he stepped over a line, but he also probably thinks along the lines of, alright already, so what, just a joke, this is what I do.

Do I accept his apology? The truth is, I don’t care about his apology. I can’t see why anyone who thinks he is a blowhard, asshole, harming America by instigating more division in the country would care about an apology from him. To me when he says outrageous things it is just par for the course. I am not saying everything out of his mouth is horrible or untrue. But, certainly enough of what he says is ridiculous.

Earthgirl's avatar

An apology without sincerity isn’t an apology at all!

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to add that I completely believe in forcing people, especially children to apologize even if they do not feel it. I am not saying Rush had to do it, because his radio personality is to be a jerk anyway, but generally people should apologize to each other if they have caused harm, even if they don’t feel responsible. I know a lot of people disagree with that, but that is how I feel.

tom_g's avatar

@JLeslie: “I wanted to add that I completely believe in forcing people, especially children to apologize even if they do not feel it.”

I strongly disagree with this, although this could be a separate thread/question.

plethora's avatar

@JLeslie Great Answers

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g It probably should be a separate Q. It has been discussed before on other Q’s actually. I don’t remember how long ago.

King_Pariah's avatar

Most, if not all, public apologies are a load of bs. They’re never sorry for doing it, they’re sorry for being caught. And like others said, the double standards that people have is utter bullshit. But it is funny to watch. :)

MilkyWay's avatar

No, I don’t. As @ucme said, if an apology isn’t heartfelt, then stuff it up your arse.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g Two q’s on apologies. One. Two.

Funny, one of them was my question! I did not even remember I had started a Q about apologizing. I did not read them back through, but I think you might find them interesting.

tom_g's avatar

@JLeslie – Thanks. I ‘ll check them out if/when I have the time. My basic approach is that children should be encouraged to explore, understand, and own their own emotions – whatever they may be. Compassion, in my opinion, is a prerequisite for an honest apology. Honesty is so important to me. Forcing children to lie seems to be counterproductive to both honesty and compassion.

flutherother's avatar

All he apologised for was ‘insulting word choices’. I don’t think that is good enough. It is an evasive apology and not heartfelt.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g My basic thing with children is we need to start somewhere with people being able to face difficult situations, confrontations, and acting out a behavior that is expected in society. If two kids get into a fight, and they are still angry, they still can apologize for hitting each other, which is unnacceptable behavior. There is a good chance the 5 year old doesn’t care he hit the other kid, but I don’t care. If he is my kid he is going to go through the motions of apologizing whether he means it or not in his 5 year old psyche. Hopefully he is not actually a sociopath and within time he will understand and feel badly about his actions.

@flutherother So, you don’t think it is possible he truly is sorry for using insulting words? Or, you just think being sorry for using the words is not enough?

tom_g's avatar

@JLeslie – I’ll have to agree to (completely and strongly) disagree here. And I apologize for already derailing this thread.

flutherother's avatar

@JLeslie It is the cheap and nasty thought and the offence caused he should apologise for rather than the choice of words. His apology does not sound sincere to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother This is where I really differ with a lot of people. I think apologizing for word choice is the same as apologizing for what was said. It is saying he is sorry for hurting her feelings, which counts for something. It may not be as good as him saying he was gravely mistaken, and never should have even have thought hte thought of her being a slut, but caring that we hurt others matters in my opinion, even if we do not completely understand why it is hurtful.

@tom_g As long as children are learning how to apologize somehow, I can get behind your way of thinking. But I have relatives who never apologize, and I find it horrible. Their children never witness apologies being made, are never made to apologize even when they might realize they were in the wrong, and generally that part of my family lives in silence in a passive aggressive manner. I prefer to err on the side of apologyzing more, putting out olive branches, and clearing the air. I am not going to assume your family is to the extreme I described, it seems to me you probably do give out heartfelt apologies. The kids I witness growing up in atmospheres void of apologies tend to be adults who don’t apologize, and don’t talk during difficult situations. I find it to be all connected. They also think of an apology as an admittance of being wrong, and the only one who wronged. These people in my family are very black and white, if I apologize during a disagreement I obviously wrong and a piece of crap. They would never in that moment say, “I said some hurtful things too,” or, “I see how my actions contributed to the problem.” Now that I understand how those people think, and again I am not assuming it about you, I will probably NEVER apologize to someone I know to have that personality and view again. In essence I will become like them when around them.

And so, to tie it back to Limbaugh, if he feels badly about his words, I accept it. He may not feel badly about the ratings he is getting, but he might understand how hurt his mom or wife might feel if referred to as a slut, and so he may really realize he went too far, and regret any pain he caused to the individual he was talking about.

JLeslie's avatar

@flutherother Just out of curiousity, do you consider yourself to get offended easily, easily angered, and have a lot of rules how people should behave? How often someone should call if you are sick, what gifts are appropriate on specific occassions, how people should dress, etc.? I’m not assuming anything about you, I just find this theme with people around me who are also very specific about how an apology should be worded and done.

Jaxk's avatar

This whole discussion seems to be based on the knowledge that Miss Fluke is not a slut. Personally, I have no such knowledge. All I know for sure is that Miss Fluke wants someone else to pay for her birth control while she’s in college. Presumably, so that she can have indiscriminate sex with who ever she wants without fear of consequences. I realize I’m old and not of the current generation but in my generation, that is the very definition of a slut. I don’t understand why he apologized to begin with.

ragingloli's avatar

@Jaxk
“All I know for sure is that Miss Fluke wants someone else to pay for her birth control while she’s in college.”
Who do you think pays the insurance premiums? She does. To claim that she “wants someone else to pay for her birth control” is utter nonsense.
“Personally, I have no such knowledge.” You should have ended your post right there.

chyna's avatar

@Jaxk Really? Insurance has paid for birth control since I was a pup and that was long ago. Insurance agencies thoroughly researched this and found it to be cheaper for them to pay for birth control pills than to pay for a pregnancy and a baby.

filmfann's avatar

@Jaxk Presumably, so that she can have indiscriminate sex with who ever she wants without fear of consequences

Or, maybe to be able to have sex with someone special to her, without derailing her education by becoming pregnant.

How do you know the difference? That’s a big presume.

JLeslie's avatar

Even if it is indiscriminate sex it is the men who also want her to be on birth control so they don’t have to wear a condom. The women have the burden of paying for BC pills generally, even though both sexes are happy she is taking the drugs. If she did get pregnant and had the baby, the man is on the hook to pay the next 18 years. Seems men benefit from insurance coverage just as much as women.

augustlan's avatar

I can accept a half-assed apology in the moment (if the person is important to me), but that will not be the end of it. There will likely be more discussion in the future, and it will leave a mark if an understanding isn’t reached.

As to some of the answers I’m seeing about this particular situation…I gather that some people have only listened to (or read) what Rush was saying, and have never bothered to view the testimony Fluke gave. If they had, they’d know that she wasn’t talking about sex or preventing pregnancy in the first place. Her point was that many women need to take birth control for medical reasons, and that by denying them access to the pill, their medical conditions grow worse. Which ultimately costs insurance companies (NOT TAXPAYERS) more. How one could come up with the idea that she is a slut (not that such a term is useful, anyway) from her testimony is beyond me. Do yourself a favor, and watch the freaking testimony!

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan I had not seen her testimony, you make an important point. However, my guess is the majority of people on the pill take it for BC reasons. I kind of don’t want us (when I say us, I mean those of use who feel strongly about a woman’s right to have access to birth control, to control her own fertility amd body) to get our way because the BC pill is used also for other medical reasons. I want us to have the right to the pill no matter what. Arguing it is used for other reasons means needing a doctor to code things so we can get the drugs we should have a right to anyway, and false medical records. Someone mentioned on a different Q her doctor did that for her when her insurance would not cover just for birth control.

augustlan's avatar

@JLeslie Oh, I agree we should have access to birth control for its own sake, too. Just pointing out that the whole ‘slut thing’ is ridiculous, given what she was talking about.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan He probably calls women sluts all the time. I mean really, either it is in your vocabulary or it isn’t. Ya know? Like my exboyfriend, his brothers called women bitches all the time. And, I do not mean when they were being “bitchy,” I mean referred to women by substituting the word bitches, and basically saw women as things to have fun with and toss away.

Symbeline's avatar

I can’t. If I perceive an apology to be fake or forced, I won’t do anything about it, whether I deserve it or not. I may not want much to do with that person after though, seeing on how little they think of me.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie “I kind of don’t want us (when I say us, I mean those of use who feel strongly about a woman’s right to have access to birth control, to control her own fertility amd body) to get our way because the BC pill is used also for other medical reasons. I want us to have the right to the pill no matter what.”

Amen! I realize that Fluke’s testimony was about her friend’s specific condition, but I fear that statements made about this case will later be used to bargain away rights women already have. There is absolutely nothing “slutty” about being on the pill! This should not be a controversial issue.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves Full disclosure, I kind of winced when Obama first tried to demand the Catholic church supply birth control under its healthcare plans. I tend to agree it can be argued it is a church and state issue. I did a Q about it, the arguments to mandate birth control coverage were pretty persuasive I must say. But, this is so fundamental to the church, something they are so fundamentally against. Still, the “liberals” using the argument BC is used for other reasons to me sounds kind of, well, annoying to me. I don’t like when the right wing kind of changes the topic to try to argue their point.

Here is part of what I said on a previous Q about the issue of mandating birth control coverage, and the talk surrounding it: I would say the better argument against the right wing is to say if a Muslim organization does not want to cover something under sharia law, are we going to accept that as a good argument? Or, side with what our secular government feels is proper health care for it’s citizens? I don’t think we should use medical arguments, because I think most of America knows it is used for other conditions. Pounding that point starts to sound ridiculous to me, and the real issue is the church being against birth control. Of any kind for that matter. I don’t think Limbaugh really cares nor judges if a woman sleeps around or not.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie I think I see your point – I think it is important to cover the alternative medical reasons for women to be on the pill (i.e., I think that Fluke’s testimony was important and relevant), because those making decisions need to be fully informed. I don’t assume that “most of America knows it is used for other conditions”, if only because I am surprised at the amount of ignorance I’m hearing in the media lately. However, I do agree that the first defence when the pill is assaulted should not be “but it’s used for reasons other than birth control.”

Regarding Obama and the churches, I think he needs to take a firm stand on this one, if only not to lose ground that has already been claimed. So many churches were already insuring birth control – they simply can’t claim that this is unacceptable. They’ve already accepted it.

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves It is the Evangelical right wing that went crazy, not the Catholic churches. It’s political more than anything. I agree Fluke’s testimony is important, and I agree a lot of people are ignorant, but I guess I just grew tired very quickly hearing it on TV over and over again from talking heads. I don’t feel like everyone upset about Obama’s decision is antiwomen, or any such extreme. Obama alreafy came to a compromise that the Catholic church seems fine with.

JLeslie's avatar

I know what it is. The babble about the topic sounds like “talking points.” I hate when the Republicans are on message and sound like robots, and that is how the democrats sounded to me on the subject.

Jaxk's avatar

@filmfann , @chyna , @ragingloli

The definition of a slut is “A person, especially a woman, considered sexually promiscuous.” Now we may have gotten to the point where being a slut is OK, socially acceptable. That’s a different issue.

ragingloli's avatar

@Jaxk
And you assume, baselessly, that she is sexually promiscuous.
Have we come to a point where being a liar is socially acceptable?

chyna's avatar

@Jaxk I have read Ms. Fluke’s testimony. No where in it does she say she should be afforded birth control pills because she wants to have as much sex as she can and be a “slut”. You are so closed minded about the whole thing that this is my last post to you. You may be an older person, but you have not become wiser in your years.

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk You know my comment up there ^^ about doing yourself a favor and watching her testimony? That was for those of you making erroneous assumptions. Really, you ought to know what you’re talking about, don’t you think? Please watch (or read) the testimony, and tell me how you come to the conclusion that she is a slut sexually promiscuous? PRO TIP: ‘Slut’ is offensive, and you really should stop using it.

JLeslie's avatar

I saw Ms. fluke on The View today. She was great.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Socially, among acquaintances or co workers for the sake of relaxed continuity, yes but it’s only a surface gesture, a character marker for me to learn from in dealing with that person.

Jaxk's avatar

@augustlan

Your comment that an offensive term should not be used would be more realistic if you said that consistently instead of just those that you disagree with politically. I have heard the testimony. I find it unconvincing. It’s like saying we should supply FREE marijuana for everyone because some people need it for medical reasons. Your argument becomes fairly transparent.

Dutchess_III's avatar

According to Rush, even if a woman is married and is with only her husband, she’s a slut if she wants access to birth control.

And what really slays me is that Viagra is probably COVERED under insurance.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III People keep bringing up Viagra coverage, and see how that relates to Limbaugh’s comments, but I don’t see how it relates at all to the Obama healthcare mandate for the churches? Believe me I get that BC pills give people, especially women, the freedom to have sex, and viagra allows men who others might not be able to perform to have sex, but the Catholic church wants people to have sex and make babies, so it seems logical they would cover viagra and not BC pills.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t think the church necessarily WANTS their people to breed like rabbits. I think their take is that birth control is interfering with God’s “natural plan.” Well, isn’t Viagra doing the same thing? Looking at it from a faith POV, maybe God doesn’t want a particular guy procreating anymore so “makes it” so that he can’t. How can the church justify interfering with that?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well, my girlfriends priest said to the congregation, it does not matter if you have enough money for school and nice things, the best gift you can give your children is siblings. Not to mention the Catholic school where her kids attended kind of made her feel bad she only had two kids, I don’t mean anyone directly said to her she should have more, or asked why doesn’t she have more, I mean being around so many families with 4 and more made her feel a little badly.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s uncalled for. That’s just rude. But, if it’s God’s Will, I guess being rude is OK.
You know, if they only had 4 kids, then chances are they’re practicing some form of BC, even if it’s the rhythm method (which is also against God’s Will, isn’t it???.) It doesn’t happen so much any more, but a generation ago it wasn’t unusual for a Catholic family to have 8, 10, 12 children. That’s usually how you could tell they were Catholic if you didn’t know them.

The people your girlfriend is dealing with sound very mercenary, and not very Christian, IMO. More kids=more money for the church, =more money for the school.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Like I said, no one says anything to her. Except for the priest saying something to the group. And, yes, of course most of them do practice some form of birth control or they would have many more than 4.

I think there is just an underlying message that God wants people to procreate. Hell, you have probably seen me write that when I see shows about the holocaust, or I see Jewish families with 4 or more children it makes me want to have 10 kids. Well, not really 10, but easily 4.

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk I’d like it if everyone stopped using the word ‘slut’, not just you. But you still haven’t answered my question… How do you come to the conclusion that Sandra Fluke is a promiscuous woman? Whether you agree with her testimony or not is irrelevant to my question to you.

Jaxk's avatar

@augustlan

A couple of points. First the whole discussion is about Rush using the word ‘Slut’ and then apologizing for it. I find it difficult to discuss without either using, defining, or putting in context, the word under discussion. Your rules are too strict for me.

Second, miss Fluke is an activist. She enrolled at Georgetown knowing full well that they did not provide birth control in thier coverage. She made a conscious decision to enroll anyway. She immediately began petitioning the school to change that policy to provide birth control. She is supporting a law to get free birth control for everyone. It isn’t much of a leap to assume she uses it regularly for it’s intended purpose. Is she a slut? I have no idea nor do I care. The word in question was designed to be offensive at a time when having sex out of wedlock was frowned upon. The fact is the times have changed and whereas having sex out of wedlock is no longer such a big deal but the term is still offensive. By definition, the term applies to more women than not these days. The sexual revolution changed behavior but left behind some archaic but offensive words.

chyna's avatar

@Jaxk “It isn’t much of a leap to assume she uses it regularly for it’s intended purpose. Is she a slut? I have no idea nor do I care.” Really? It seems to me that is all you care about. You did take the leap to assume she is using it to have sex on a regular basis and that you are no better than Rush. Do you think that men that have many sex partners are “male sluts”? I bet not.

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk You’re being a bit disingenuous, I think. In this comment you say: “Presumably, so that she can have indiscriminate sex with who ever she wants without fear of consequences. I realize I’m old and not of the current generation but in my generation, that is the very definition of a slut. I don’t understand why he apologized to begin with.” Seems pretty clear that you think she is sexually promiscuous, but you have absolutely no reason to think so. You don’t even know if she is actually on the pill, in the first place. And even if she is, how does it follow that that makes her sexually promiscuous? Many people take the pill because they have sex with one person, in a loving and monogamous relationship. And many (as was Ms. Fluke’s point) take the pill when they aren’t having sex at all.

I started taking birth control pills when I was 14, for medical reasons. One of my daughters had to start it at 15, for the exact same reason. Neither of us were sexually active at that time. Do you presume that we are sluts sexually promiscuous, too?

JLeslie's avatar

I can’t believe I am sort of going to defend @Jaxk here, but he is talking pure definition of the word slut and agrees it is offensive. He also says he does not care if she is promiscuous or not. I believe him. This is all semantics. His point is she has spent a lot of time trying to change this policy at Georgetown it seems? I don’t know if that is true? That she was arguing this even before this issue came up with Obama? I think slut should go the way of nigger and other derogatory terms. There is no place for the word slut in my opinion anymore.

As a side note I think GYN’s dole out birth control for PCOS and other cycle problems too easily. It masks symptoms and does not address underlying problems. I argued with drdredd about this, went round and round as she told me she prescribes it for her patients and had been taking BC pills herself since her teens for PCOS. I was annoyed GYN’s do not know more about hormonal testing for PCOS, and do not recommend reproductive endocrinologists to their patients. She still tried to insist the pills were a good treatment, and then eventually admitted she was going to go to an RE because her problems were increasing. Huh? That she learned about the specialty during residency or something? And had never heard of it before. That was my point all along. Patients don’t even know there is another option until they have trouble getting pregnant.

Jaxk's avatar

@chyna

You definitely don’t understand my personal positions. Men that have many sexual relations before during or after marriage are no better or no worse than women that do the same. My morales don’t change depending on the sex of the person. In fact I have no issue with anyone that wants to be sexually active. That’s their call. But if the term fits, don’t go crying for public outrage when someone uses it.

chyna's avatar

@Jaxk That’s the issue. You absolutely do not know if the term fits in this case.

Jaxk's avatar

@chyna

And neither do you. Given the fact that she has been petitioning for several years to get free birth control for all, I would say the odds are in my favor.

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk Sigh. One should not make assumptions based on no evidence. Surely you know that. Furthermore, the definition of the ‘N’ word is “a black person”. Are you suggesting that black people should not be offended if someone uses the term? It is becoming increasingly difficult to take you seriously.

chyna's avatar

@Jaxk Or maybe she just cares about others. It’s apparent to me that you don’t.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it does not matter why she wants birth control covered. For birth control, other health reasons, it should not matter.

JLeslie's avatar

Except of course Georgetown is a Catholic University.

augustlan's avatar

@JLeslie I have had ovarian cysts throughout my life, and the problems connected to them. The Mayo Clinic says birth control pills are the accepted treatment for them, if they are persistent.

Jaxk's avatar

I began this discussion by pointing out the selective nature of the outrage. Everyone got all bent out of shape when Rush called miss Fluke a slut. But there was no such outrage when Maher called Sarah Palin a cunt. It would seem the outrage was politically motivated rather than genuine. Of the two I would consider cunt much more offensive.

Based on the need for evidence, I decided to run an experiment. Purely in the interest of science you understand. I called my wife a slut and she gave me the finger. I then called her a cunt and she hit me with her chair. I concluded that she felt cunt was more offensive. She confirmed that conclusion when I explained my experiment.

So now armed with evidence, I wonder where was the outrage with Bill Maher when he used an even more offensive term? Or is it really just a hate Rush sentiment rather than any real outrage.

JLeslie's avatar

@augustlan Yes, I know that is the accepted and expected treatment. If you are happy with the treatment I have no quarrel with that. I understand why women want to relieve the symptom, and I understand why medically it is a good idea to prevent the cysts. But, if borderline insulin resistance or sugar problems might be underlying it, wouldn’t you prefer to treat that? That might not be your problem, you obviously had children, so I guess getting pregnant was not a problem. But, for some with PCOS (I have no idea if that is your diagnosis, I am not assuming) when the sugar is corrected they start cycling again. I have never had a GYN do a day 3 test, which is what RE’s do. They just take a hormone test any old time of the month. Nor have I ever had a GYN do the sugar related tests suggested for PCOS patients. And, you know me…I often take issue with the medical establishment.

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk I personally hate the word ‘cunt’ even more than the word ‘slut’. That still doesn’t address why on earth Rush or you conclude that Sandra Fluke is one.

@JLeslie I didn’t have PCOS.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Uh, pretty sure people took issue with Maher calling Palin a cunt. Just like Letterman saying what he said about Palin’s daughter.

@augustlan PCOS specifically is what can possibly be treated in an alternative way. But, GYN’s often do not test for it. Maybe it is changing now. I don’t think it harms women to take the pill if they have PCOS, except for typical risks associated with the pill in general. I just tend to hate bandaid approaches by medical doctors.

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk: “Second, miss Fluke is an activist. She enrolled at Georgetown knowing full well that they did not provide birth control in thier coverage. She made a conscious decision to enroll anyway. She immediately began petitioning the school to change that policy to provide birth control. She is supporting a law to get free birth control for everyone. It isn’t much of a leap to assume she uses it regularly for it’s intended purpose.”

Really? So, my participation in activism to protect a woman’s right to choose (abortion) means that it isn’t much of a leap to assume that I regularly have abortions or need my partner to have abortions?

I’m not sure why I’m even diving in here. Sure, this whole “slut” thing is absurd and a distraction. Maybe we should let it go. There is some bizarre sexism associated with the whole concept that doesn’t even make any sense to me. The real danger, in my opinion, of this whole thing is that there are people who feel that….

a) health care should be provided by private, unaccountable corporations

and

b) these private corporations should be able to decide not to provide a service for things they find religiously or ideologically distasteful

We might have something to discuss if (a) was not part of your argument. Nearly everyone agrees that police and fire services work fine as public services. If someone argued that these services would be better managed by private corporations and these entities could withhold service to anyone they want based on religious and/or ideological differences, then we’d have the same problem. A fire department might decide to not put out the fire of a local gay couple.

Jaxk's avatar

@tom_g

Your analogy doesn’t work. Miss Fluke can buy health insurance that covers her birth control. She just can’t buy it from Georgetown University. None of this is about withholding services to anyone based on anything. It’s about what services have to be offered by private businesses.

In you analogy, if you’ve paid for Fire protection that service is required. But the Fire Department doesn’t have to fix the pump on your well. This is about trying to force the fire Department to provide well repair in the fire coverage. Your gay couple will be fine as long as they pay thier premiums. But if they choose not to, all bets are off.

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk: “Miss Fluke can buy health insurance that covers her birth control. She just can’t buy it from Georgetown University.”

She can? Which one. Is there a law that states that the last health insurance company to not cover birth control is stuck covering it?

So, I’m living with my same-sex partner in Boston, and fire services are privatized, what if I can’t find a fire service that will cover me?

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Not exactly. Georgetown is saying they won’t provide BC pills period from what I understand, not even when a woman needs it for other health reasons. So, for a woman who does have cystic ovaries, which has been shown to lead to higher incidences of ovarian cancer, can be painful for women even without the threat of cancer, and other problems. Some women take it to control acne, there are many other reasons for the pill. So the fire department analogy would be we won’t put out the fire for your house except by using prayer and blankets to pound it out, because the only fire department is x religion and they don’t believe in using water for anything other than baptism.

I still think the better analogy is to ask, if Sharia law said kidney stones can not be treated, would we accept that as an ok reason to not have coverage for it in healthcare insurance?

Honestly, I still am iffy on the whole topic, but I think you are not thinking apples to apples.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g I just can’t get away from how awful I think it is that medical insurance is tied to our jobs. That is the real problem here.

tom_g's avatar

And I’d just like to add, if I ran a health insurance company, I’d love to not cover diabetes and heart disease related health issues because I find the sedentary lifestyle and disgusting eating habits of the culture disgusting. Why should I have to pay for someone’s expensive care if they brought it on themselves?

Note: This is why I am not for private health insurance and opening the door for less coverage based on religious or ideological reasons. I’m an asshole, and I shouldn’t have the right to deny health coverage because I think someone’s a lazy, fat shit.

@JLeslie – No kidding. If my employer told me I suddenly needed to clean the restroom at night using a toothbrush, I’d have to do it so my family would not lose health insurance.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g Exactly. It drives me crazy. It discourages entrepreneurialism. It inhibits the freedom of employees to move from one company to another. It discourages early retirement. It’s so f&#ked up! Creates a middle man. Decreases competition. And, the inside and outside of network sucks too. Whole thing sucks.

JLeslie's avatar

The reason I am iffy, is because I don’t like telling the church they have to do something against their tenets. Ironically, or maybe disturbingly, 1/6 of hospitals are Catholic, last stat I heard. The Catholics have been amazing in many ways regarding healthcare throughout history. Hell, look at Georgetown U, an extremely well respected university, with great medical and science programs. It is not some fly by night Christian institution that the majority of the country would not see as a serious college. Catholics have embraced education and science generally speaking. There are just a few places they stick to their fundamentals, and issues regarding procreation is one of them.

tom_g's avatar

@JLeslie – You’re not telling the church they have to do something against their tenets. It’s acknowledging that there are some people/institutions that may not have any business getting involved in a service.

If you are going to provide a service, you cannot do x and you must do y. It’s that simple. If I call the cops and they see that I have some atheist bumper sticker on my car, should they be allowed to ignore me or not help me because I am an atheist? No. Is that violating the cop’s religious freedom? No. He chooses to be a cop, and with that means serving everyone.

JLeslie's avatar

@tom_g This is where I disagree. My husband’s company for instance is self insured. They create and pay for the healthcare insurance offered to their employees. They contract with BCBS (used to be Cigna and United Health, but a couple years ago they switched) to administer the health plan, but it is the company he works for health plan. Also, I saw a priest a week or so ago speaking to the matter, and he said if they contract with a health plan that provides the service, to him it is collaborating with what they believe is wrong. He pointed out he would never try to stop an individual from seeking out birth control on her own, of course there are varying belief among their employees, and in the nation for that matter, but he did not feel it right to obligate the church to be an accomplice to the pursuit of such things so to speak.

I like that the majority of Catholics, even priests, understand and respect there are many different religions and belief sets in our country, and tend to want to protect the rights of each religion and the protection of the separation of church and state.

When it comes to healthcare it is so difficult. A friend of mine said when she entered the navy she was told which doctor to go to if she needed birth control, because one of the doctors available would not prescribe. It is kind of scary to me that doctors be able to decide things like this. What if where someone lives has no options? I don’t know the answer.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

The answer seems fairly simple to me. Instead of the government mandating what we have to buy, let us buy what we want from whoever we want. You open up ‘Health Savings Accounts, have the employer put thier of the helth insurance into your health savings account. You put your share of the insurance (from your paycheck) into it as well and you choose your own provider. Open up interstate competition so that you have more choices and the problem should be solved. You can buy whatever you want from whoever you want and the health insurance is disconnected from your employer.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Jaxk The fact is, most people simply do not want the free market to rule everything. That is the way it is. You are in the minority, and will never convince enough Americans that it would make a better system. They do not believe you.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk As you know my first preference is socialized medicine. Barring that, which it does seem an impossible fantasy in America, then I say let employers pay more in wage and salary and employees shop for their health insurance and health care. Interstate, fine with me. Thing is, how are you going to mandate they buy any health insurance? And then you have uninsured people all over the place.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Even countries cited as examples to have low corporate taxes, and flat income taxes, countries like Singapore where their economies are doing very well, and unemployment is very very low, the country has a basic principle of everyone being cared for from housing to healthcare. The extremists in America are too black and white, taking their ideology and theology across all issues, instead of looking at each issue separately.

chyna's avatar

Maybe a new thread needs to be started about healthcare. This one started out about accepting appologies.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

Maybe your right. It seems that once we get to government mandates the don’t mandate a minimum level but rather a Cadilac. Everytime you get something from the government you have to give up something else. What you give up may be OK with you but not for me. One size fits all, will always give me grief.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Jaxk I haven’t read all of the 35 answers that were posted since I was here last, so I hope I’m not way off base with my comment.
The government is just trying to arbitrate a stupid mandate that the CHURCH is trying to push through, that the private insurance they provide to their employees NOT include birth control. Obviously this is really unfair to women and someone is raising a flag. The government is just trying to settle the argument fairly. Private insurance doesn’t have anything to do with the government or with tax payers money, like Limpbaugh was trying to insinuate.

Jaxk's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Actually, that’s not quite right. It is the government that is trying to push through the mandate. The church is merely saying, don’t make us purchase something that is against our religious beliefs.

The latest iteration forces the insurance companies to provide the extra coverage at no additional cost to the individual. That means a likely increase in premiums to offset the cost. In other words, everyone picks up the tab. Not a tax but very much the same thing.

Personally I am against government mandates that force me to buy something I neither need nor want.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it is the church’s issue, but I guarantee you every woman who is an employee or who is in the parish is using some form of birth control, and the church is wrong to try and stop it if they can. The “additional cost,” or the “raise in premiums” would be pennies, at the most. Not only that the insurance companies would have a lot fewer pregnancy related complications, not to mention births, not to mention growing children that they’d have to pay for, so overall costs would go down.

So, maybe I don’t understand the issue. The government is saying that employers need to provide insurance coverage for their employees, right? Do you disagree with that? I don’t. Two of my kids now have health insurance they didn’t have before, through the companies they work for and they pay the premiums. They needed it, badly.

Also, you may not like someone forcing you to buy something you neither need nor want (which is a bit confusing…how do you figure that you don’t need health insurance?) but isn’t it even worse to try and STOP someone from getting something they DO need and they DO want.

Jaxk's avatar

@Dutchess_III

No one is trying to stop anyone from doing what they want. The church is merely saying don’t make us pay for it if it is against our religion. The church is already paying for health coverage, just not birth control. I’ve heard the argument that free birth control will reduce pregnancies but find it lacking. The last study I saw showed that 99% of women have used birth control so I don’t see how that number can get much higher. It is merely a mandate that they get someone else to pay for that birth control. It’s against the church doctrine so they don’t want to pay for it. If you want to use it go ahead just don’t make the church pay for it.

I am currently in the process of changing my health insurance. I am looking at a plan that has all the coverage I need. It does not include maternity coverage which makes it more affordable. neither me nor my wife will need that coverage so it works for us. Once the government mandate goes through, I most likely will not have that option anymore and my coverage will escalate in cost. That is always the case with a government one-size-fits-all solution.

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk Are you just going to pretend I never asked these questions of you? I’m still waiting for your answers…

A) How do you or Rush conclude that Fluke is a slut promiscuous woman?

B) In light of your answer here and my reply here, do you also feel that a black person who is called the ‘N’ word should not complain about that?

Jaxk's avatar

@augustlan

As for the N-word, Black comedians use it all the time without offense. That would indicate that just like this discussion, it is more about who said it than the word itself.

As for Miss Fluke, she went to Georgetown specifically to get herself in the limelight. She got it. In lieu of any evidence to the contrary, I’ll make my assumptions, you make yours.

tom_g's avatar

@Jaxk@augustlan just asked you again, “A) How do you or Rush conclude that Fluke is a slut promiscuous woman?”. Rather than answer the question, you made an additional accusation (one that is rather nonsensical in my opinion) by linking to a “Fox Nation” blog post that doesn’t even support your accusation.

ragingloli's avatar

@tom_g
What do you expect? This is what happens when people try to defend an indefensible and baseless position. They grasp at any hollow straw they can find to not sink.
Creationists, free market extremists, racists, homophobes, they all do it.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Seriously, now I cannot defend you. You are trying to argue it would be ok for you to call a black man a nigger? That is basically what you are saying. You are saying it is ok for Limbaugh to call Fluke a slut and for you also according to your rationale? Come on! Back off the slut thing already. Fine, debate whether government should be able put in mandates regarding healthcare, but trying to argue slut and other derogatory words are acceptable, and should not be taken as offensive is just ridiculous.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

If you want to be taken seriously, you need to apply your rules (and your outrage) a little more consistently. While you all are trying to drive Rush off the air to silence his voice, you embrace Bill Maher. While you’re decrying Rush, Maher is hobnobbing with the Democratic elite. Just like the N-work, you’re not so much outraged by the usage, but rather by the usage from someone other than your own. You use the outrage like a weapon to beat up those you already disagree with. Offensive apparently depends on which side of the political fence your on.

JLeslie's avatar

@Jaxk Wrong! Look at my first posts above. I accepted Limbaugh’s apology, as much as I did Letterman’s. Bill Maher calls someone a slut I am just as unhappy, I said above slut should go the way of other derogatory terms as unnacceptable. No one should be judging or assuming anyone else’s sexual frequency, or commenting on it. How much sex any of us have is irrelavent to the discussion of birth control and health coverage in my opinion. Married women use birth control and sex has nothing to do with some of the illnesses birth control treats.

I am in no way pushing for Limbaugh to be fired. I think he has every right to say whatever he wants, I am not trying to sensor him. I am saying that he risks offending people, and I would rather he make his point about his opinion on BC coverage without being so awful to a particular woman, or women in general. Men want their wives and girlfriends to us BC also, this is not just an issue of the female gender. Believe me, men really don’t want to put on those condoms, they want the girls to get the birth control so the men don’t have to worry about paying for 18 years.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Jaxk you said, “It is merely a mandate that they get someone else to pay for that birth control.” So….people getting health insurance, which they pay premiums on, is just a ploy to get “someone else” to pay for their doctor’s visits, operations, dental exams, well woman checks, prescription meds, etc? That makes no sense.

Jaxk's avatar

@JLeslie

The whole point of this discussion is whether Rush should continue to be punished for his remark. Whether you personally want that or not. The same people that are outspoken about Rush remain notably silent about Maher. The issue is not about Birth Control but rather who pays for it. Right or wrong the Catholic Church has a religious objection to paying for it or supplying it. It’s all about whether they should be forced against thier specific doctrine, to do so. You could make the argument that free birth control for college students condones or promotes promiscuity.That is the source of the ‘slut’ comments. And you’re right in that they have little to do with the actual controversy at hand.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Geez, @Jaxk. You’d think that the only people who need birth control are Girls Gone Wild at college. Not married women, not engaged women, not any woman in a monogamous relationship, only promiscuous women. Further, what makes you think that birth control would be “free” any more than any other insurance covered procedure or medicine that college students would qualify for under an insurance plan provided by their school? (Lord, if their insurance covers everything 100%, I’m heading back for my Doctorate!)

augustlan's avatar

@Jaxk I, myself, have made no assumptions whatsoever. Sandra Fluke could, in fact, be a sexually promiscuous woman. However, there is no way to know, one way or the other. That is the entire freaking point! You, and your ilk, are the only ones making baseless assumptions.

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Jaxk I am a Catholic woman. My mom is also Catholic. Pre-hysterectomy, she required birth control for her health.

Right or wrong the Catholic Church has a religious objection to paying for it or supplying it. Many Catholics hospitals already provide BC. I haven’t the slightest idea why the Church has any reason to protest this.

98% of Cartholic women use/have used BC. We must all be a bunch of sluts, huh?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I think the Church needs to keep its nose out of people’s sex lives.

Jaxk's avatar

@Dutchess_III

Their insurance plan is fairly good for $1800/yr. Remember that if the church decides to make an issue of it, than can drop the group coverage altogether. As far as I know there is no requirement for colleges to provide health coverage to students, even under Obamacare.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yes, they can drop the group coverage insurances, and the direction The Church is heading, they’re going end up dropping ALL of their groups, not just their insurance.

If it came down to money, I would think it would be cheaper to prevent unwanted pregnancies than to provide prenatal care for woman after woman, year after year, not to mention the post natal children that come along who need vaccinations, not to mention stitches and hospitalization for accidents and so on and so forth, until they go forth and create another rabbity generation of producers who need the same pre-and-post natal care.

They’re acting like fools.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, and @SpatzieLover you’re only a slut if you have sex. See?

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