Rush Limbaugh Needs to Take a Manhood Lesson from President Obama

Poor Rush Limbaugh, he doesn’t know where men fit anymore since feminism ruined everything for men. He’s not alone in these feelings, and indeed, there is some truth to the notion that American men of a certain age might feel lost, not knowing what their purpose is since women can and do work and earn a living and all of that feminism stuff.

Limbaugh ruminates here that feminism changed forever the normal human relationships between men and women. Listen here via Media Matters:

One could ask what is “normal” for Rush, but sewer diving is not our thing. Let us instead address the kernel of truth in Limbaugh’s fear; the idea of manhood and the role of men has changed since feminism all of those years ago. We can mock Limbaugh for feeling lost, but the truth is that many men feel this way. It’s okay to feel confused. It’s not okay to become so angry at the confusion that one ends up hating on women for wanting equal rights.

If I were to counsel Rush, I’d suggest he look to some positive male role models – men who manage to embrace their masculinity while at the same time showing equal respect for the women in their lives. Several men come to mind here; one of them is our President.

As a woman, I can only imagine what Barack is like as a husband. We know he suffers from a massive ego — he has admitted as much, and hello, he is the President. Any politician who runs for President has to have an unnaturally strong ego. But he chose to marry a strong, smart, warm and loving woman whom he respects. You get the idea that Michelle doesn’t take any crap from her husband, and yet they have managed to sort through the traditional roles and find strength in equality. They’ve balanced important careers with family, and managed to do it all while maintaining a relationship rooted in mutual respect.

Michelle chose to temporarily give up her job to support Obama’s career choice and become First Lady. But in Michelle and Barack’s relationship, I don’t see the traditional Stepford wife First Lady. Their marriage is the first presidential marriage that I’ve ever related to as a woman; one that makes me feel good about the ability of modern men and women to work it all out.

In February of 2009 the AP wrote about the Obama’s modern marriage, based on mutual respect:

A scholar of the American marriage, Stephanie Coontz, is struck by how different the Obama marriage is to White House partnerships that preceded it.

“We’ve seen love in the White House before, but in many cases it was the adoring wife, along the lines of Nancy Reagan,” says Coontz, a professor at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash. “What the Obamas have is a jocular, playful love, a mutual respect, and on Michelle’s part, a lack of awe and of adoration.”

It’s about grace and respect. Limbaugh just seems to not get it; it’s not about gender roles. Women who stay home with their kids and women who work outside of the home want respect and want to feel honored by their partner.

Michelle told People magazine in October of 2009, “Cute’s good. But cute only lasts for so long, and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?’ Don’t look at the bankbook or the title. Look at the heart. Look at the soul. When you’re dating a man, you should always feel good. … You shouldn’t be in a relationship with somebody who doesn’t make you completely happy and make you feel whole.” Can you imagine feeling good with a man who calls other women sluts and prostitutes? Can you imagine wanting to have children with such a man?

Since we know what deep issues Limbaugh has with the President, I’ll offer another role model, albeit a fictional character. The role of the coach on the TV series Friday Night Lights is an excellent example for Rush; and one he should be able to relate to. Here’s a guy who is all traditional man. A sports loving, Texas-living football coach whose wife has supported his career throughout their marriage, and indeed, put his career first. But as the series develops, her career begins to take on a life of its own and he is forced to deal with this. It’s not pretty. He is not perfect. But in the end, grace and love win out over gender roles, and he comes to the party, giving new meaning to the coach’s chant, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!”

He shows a new appreciation and respect for his wife, and in doing so, deeply honors their marriage and her sacrifices for him and their family. The coach’s wife reminds him in season three of his responsibilities as a man, “You are a teacher first, and you are a molder of men.” Imagine if Rush Limbaugh had chosen a better path for his talents and fame; one in which he would lead by example. It’s almost enough that Rush serves unwittingly as an example of why his ideas don’t work. He isn’t even a good man professionally. His attitudes enable men to stay angry, lost boys instead of reaching higher. No wonder Rush feels robbed.

Rush needs to stop getting so hung up on feminism allegedly stealing his masculinity. Feminism didn’t steal his masculinity. The real truth is that men like Rush refuse to embrace the better side of their masculine role. He could have chosen to be a man of honor and integrity; a man who defends the vulnerable, is a role model for young boys, and through his love for his partner, grows into a deeper understanding of what equality means to a woman.

Equality does not mean being the same; it does not need to rob men like Rush of their manhood. American feminism has been reduced by the media to the notion that women are equal because/if they are just like men. This is inherently flawed for obvious reasons; for starters, biologically, women are not just like men. Women can have babies, and in the animal kingdom, the female who gives birth requires certain things for her offspring. Translating this to an evolved, modern relationship can be tough, but a lot of people do it.

They do it because they love more than they fear.

It’s true that many men feel threatened by feminism and while we can mock that as unenlightened, it does nothing to address the root cause and truth that there aren’t a lot of role models for men these days.

The things that make men so spectacular to women don’t need to be suppressed. For example, the natural desire to care for and protect children and women does not need to be suppressed. It needs to be built upon in a positive way, wherein caring does not diminish the recipient, but instead is a mutual relationship resulting in stronger people and a better union.

Rush is a conservative, and as such, he should be familiar with one of the more positive aspects of “conservative/traditional/Christian” values — respect and courtesy for the role of wife.

Yes, I know it’s not always in evidence, but when it is, it actually provides a way for men like Rush who allegedly embrace the “good old days” values to find their way. A traditional gentleman might seem on the surface to not get women’s rights, and might even express disdain for feminism – but he does not treat his wife with disrespect. For example, while I never felt I could relate to George W Bush’s marriage, he treated his wife with respect; I can’t imagine him calling women sluts in public. Rush can’t even live up to the expectations of courtesy from old school masculinity, so why does he think he’d be any better in the modern world?

Perhaps if Rush knew how to be a gentleman, he could find his way into being a conservative man in a positive way. Instead, Rush uses feminism to excuse his vulgar behavior and obvious ineptitude.

There’s really no excuse for Rush to continue rejecting his masculinity by whining that feminism stole it. He could have chosen to be a traditional male gentleman, but even that he has tossed aside in favor of being an ill-bred, willfully uneducated boor.

Rush Limbaugh has no class. That is his real problem. He embodies the modern day conservative movement as a whiny, mean-spirited, greedy finger-pointer who brings nothing to the table but can’t stop complaining about what others are taking from him.

Rush needs to grow up if he wants to find his MIA masculinity. But since he makes so much money being a lost, angry boy, the chances of him ever embracing his masculinity are slim to none.

Don’t blame us, Rush. Our equality never demanded that you not be a man. In fact, if you look at the President, you can see that you can be a man and still have respect for women.

Image: Pete Souza, White House Photo

16 Replies to “Rush Limbaugh Needs to Take a Manhood Lesson from President Obama”

  1. I’ve spoken of this before, but a good deal of advertising pitches to a male lactation fantasy. Ten or more years back, Daisy Sour Cream ran an ad that featured a husband coming home and spoon-feeding Daisy Sour Cream to his bright-eyed wife, who in turn took the carton and doled out more spoonfuls to joyous children, and then they all danced around deliriously, somehow smiling gleefully but neatly with their mouths still full of sour cream. A darker episode reminiscent of this occurs in Dracula, where the vampire forces Mina to drink from an open vein in his chest, claiming her as

    Flesh of my flesh, kin of my kin…

    This is not, I submit, either a seduction or a rape; it is a forced adoption, and indeed, she is marked soon after by a scar on her forehead that matches his.

    A search on the web for male lactation envy/fantasies does not reveal any real research into the realm of psychology/psychiatry, but boy…does it come up with kink sites! Clearly, we’re onto something, here! I submit that the “something” is the desire to be at the top of the lactation chain, the Prime Giver who sustains all the others.

    Until the end of the Eighteenth Century, though he might legally be the “one person” in the family that the law recognized, only a very wealthy man had that. Husbands and wives worked together in small businesses; on farms, there was some division of labor, but since women not only did all the cooking, spinning, weaving, sewing, and brewing, but traditionally controlled the dairy barn(!) and the hatchery, neither party was unilaterally dependent on the other. The Nineteenth Century, however, saw the rise of a middle class where men provided, servants did, and wives did…nothing. It is maybe no accident that at this time, women began to think of their place in the world, and men began to worry about what their place in that world would be if women took theirs.

    Humanity isn’t really there yet. We still haven’t all quite realized that the essentiality of one partner doesn’t mean the superfluity of the other. The President and the First Lady appear to get it. Poor Rush…it’ll take him a few more incarnations.

  2. When I was just freshly married and still had a full head of hair, my wife went from penneys to Accounts Receivable in the huge GM parts warehouse. I was devastated until I realized I was threatened by the men she worked with and the fear she would find one better than me(couldnt happen). Men do it to themselves. The fear of some one superior to themselves.

    Let it go Rushmore. It only drags you down.

  3. Such bull crap..and you are stupid if you can defend the GOP in any way shape or form. Their actions their words all say WAR AGAINST WOMEN. They really think us ladies on the left are as brainwashed as those on the right. No mind of their own. They don’t mind the GOP holding them back. They don’tmind they have cowards for leaders. They don’t mind them taking their basic rights away the whole time saying Obama is doing it. NOTE as soon as these guys see positive for people tet ter it up with BS lies and half ass justififications like this. Pathetic is all I can say about anyone who believes any thing this gop pigs say.

  4. Free Republic website. A habitué thereof is known as a “freeper”. Freepers are notoriously full of conspiracy theories, liberal-hatred, and the idea that President Obama is going to take their guns away. Some are frank racists.

  5. hope Rush is having bacon for breakfast lunch and dinner and washing it down with a tall glass of melted butter.

  6. Good insight. Also I just want to comment on the article itself which is incredibly well written, insightful and thoroughly explores the subject. As a father I know I wanted my daughters to find men like myself who believe women are equal in every way and would treat them with respect and accept that they are intelligent hard workers. Rush Limbaugh and his mysogynistic ilk are not the kind of men I would want in my daughter’s lives or my grandchildren’s.

  7. The thought that Rush puts forth that we are getting away from what was the natural way is the real problem. The natural way as he puts it was nothing more than age old mysogynism enabled simply because men wer bigger and stronger. Now that strength lies more in the intellect and earning power we have overcome what was really the unnatural ways of the past.

  8. Sir Lardbelly is an insecure, boorish excuse for a man who doesn’t get that feminism does nothing whatsoever to undermine men. Of course, he could definitely take lessons from our president who is younger than he by 10 1/2 years on how to be a man. But his psychotic hatred of Barack Obama will never allow that. His despicable and unwarranted attacks on Sandra Fluke reflect all his own insecurities as well as his ignorance about women’s contraceptives. As the late Maureen Reagan once said on the John Davidson show on Thursday, October 8, 1981: “A man of quality is never threatened by a woman of equality.”

  9. Won’t hurt him.

    What really hurts people like Rush is to be shown to be wrong or a liar, and in such a way that they can’t retract or take the Rush Escape Clause (I was just joking!).

  10. Great post and tribute to a great marriage. President Obama and the first lady have been attacked so much by the Right and it’s been so disrespectful. It’s so nice to read a true tribute to the first family and their core values. They’re both smart, educated, down to earth, attractive with great leadership abilities and great moral character. And they are both compassionate about our democracy and the American hard working people who simply want the best for their families and livelihoods. The Obamas pay their taxes; they don’t send our jobs overseas; they care about our military families, and they want all Americans to have healthcare, etc. President Obama is surrounded by women. He was raised by a single mom. He married a strong powerful woman in her own right. He has two precious daughters. He moved his mother in law into the White House. He has appointed not one but 2 Supreme Court female Justices. He passed the Lily Ledbetter Equal Pay Act. Of course he is for women’s rights and he has the record to prove it in policies as well as his everyday life.

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