A worldwide movement to end street harassment through crowd-sourcing called 'Hollaback!' has launched a petition on Change.org, demanding that Rush Limbaugh apologize for the ridiculously insensitive statements he made on his show last night concerning street harassment:
"The first way to deal with this that came into my mind, is you find yourself staring, looking at, casually glancing at a woman, but you know that it's now socially taboo. You shouldn't be doing it, and you think everybody is noticing you doing it and condemning you in their minds. You shouldn't be doing it. So you walk up to the woman and say, "Would you please ask your breasts to stop staring at my eyes?"
Limbaugh was responding to a study involving 65 male and female college students in which participants, upon viewing photos of women, immediately directed their gaze to the woman's breasts and "other sexualized parts of the body," and then continued to stare at them. Researchers say that these findings could be the next step in addressing objectifying gazes and helping to decrease their affect on women's lives. Limbaugh, on the other hand, calls this type of look, "human nature," adding that liberals (who he says are behind this study) "despise human nature and try to alter it and change it and create it, because many of them just don't fit in with it in many ways." Hmm.
According to Hollback!, street harassment is a form of violence that affects women globally, with long-term impacts such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Street harassment is defined by "any action or comment between strangers in public places that is disrespectful, unwelcome, threatening and/or harassing and is motivated by gender or sexual orientation," according to StopStreetHarassment.org.
I'd like to believe that most people will see how ludicrous Limbaugh's statements are and just write them off, but we know that's never going to be the case. Let's sign the petition and make him own up to his harmful words.