In the wake of Ohio State University's new policies regarding sexual assault and harassment, Rush Limbaugh took to the airway to share his views. What people took from that particular show varies greatly on their opinion of Rush.
My conservative friends heard a man taking a stand against sexual harassment. My liberal friends, however, were flabbergasted at Rush's comments about all the measures to insure consent taking the romance and seduction out of it. They also focused on this sentence:
"How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?"
He seems to be advocating that men can accept "no" as permission for sexual advancement if the guy understands the lingo. But I don't think that's what Rush is saying. He goes on to clarify.
"In this modern world, this is simply... that is not tolerated. That would not... People are not even going to try to understand that one. It used to be a cliché. It used to be part of the advice young boys were given."
He went on to say this is what we have to change and that we have to reprogram the way we raise men. So while it is clear that Rush is mocking the new Ohio State policies, which is why he's talking about it on his show, he does advocate for change. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the error comes in knowing where to exact those changes.
Rush implies that parents have got to teach their sons these moral responsibilities to coincide with the "modern world." He definitely takes a shot at society with his "modern world" reference. However, I think he's very off base here.
I would ask any adult guy if their parents ever sat them down when they were younger and said that if a girl says no, she might mean yes. Did they ever say anything like if a girl is unsure, it's part of the seduction? No, I don't think parents ever did that. My parents sure didn't. In fact, if I had ever done anything like that and it got back to my dad, I would have been in for a helluva beating.
So, if we guys didn't learn it from our parents, where did we learn it? We learn it from our idols, the older athletes and cool dudes in school. We learn it from TV and movies that make heroes out of guys like that. We learn it from the police, prosecutors, and judges, who for so long were very lenient on people like that.
In other words, we learn it from society. We learn it from the world. And that's exactly what the policies at OS could help correct. That's what we all need to work on changing. We have to change the perception of society.
That's why Rush mocking "the modern world" for not understanding these things seems very backward to me. I don't think Rush takes sexual harassment lightly and certainly doesn't endorse it, but at least try to be part of the solution. We, as a society, as the world, need to work together. That's why tearing down the new sexual assault and harassment laws at OS and rolling your eyes at the modern world is not productive. The answer to everything can't always be that the parents need to do a better job.