So I grew up on Dr. Laura and Rush Limbaugh and all of that. My stepdad lurved these people. I never took it upon myself to listen to them on my own until, oooooh, seven years ago? Maybe eight?
I was a default conservative (didn't understand what it meant, but the "tough love/family values" crap got to me). I came from a proud conservative family. From a proud conservative part of the state. I was raised on these values. Taught that everyone who was on welfare was a lazy sumuvabitch and panhandlers were only looking for drug or booze money.
Later I joined a very conservative church. To make everyone happy, I voted yes on Prop 22 (Prop 8's predecessor) in 2000. I was 18, new in the church, and looking to make my mom happy regarding something about the church. I certainly don't recall much, but I knew the church was against gay marriage. And so was my mom. WIN. I don't think I had any thoughts beyond that.
Now I'm not a total conservative hater. I can see where they're coming from, even if it is often lame. Hell, I lived it. And I do think we need both conservative and liberal people in the world. I just happen to think we need more liberals at this time ;)
So I went through a little Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Laura phase. I thought Rush was hilarious. Totally over the top. Nobody can be that bad. It was like listening to a caricature. I also thought it was funny when he would play "dude looks like a lady" whenever Hillary Clinton popped up.
Funny shit, right?
I bought into his (and Dr. Laura's) crap about feminism. I thought feminists were kidding themselves a little bit--lookit the girls vying for male positions. Do they want to be male?
I'm not proud, but there it is.
Then there was Dr. Laura. I thought she was pretty spot on. I loved it when she went apeshit on some of her "idiotic" callers.
YES! Be a good girl, not a slut. Don't "shack up"--why buy the cow when the milk is for free?
Then, and especially, there was her tirade about how ALL men were ignored and treated badly by their feminazi girlfriends and other women.
I bought it. As Eric and I were having some issues, I thought perhaps it was my fault. And I'll admit I still have those lingering thoughts that it was all me. That something was wrong with me.
But maybe I'll get into that later. Maybe. It's a little personal and while I can be rather open, I do have my boundaries.
So Dr. Laura starts promoting her book "Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands."
Apparently "Proper Care and Feeding for Wives" was unnecessary because husbands always treat their wives like queens. All good husbands, at least. And if he's not a good husband it's obvs his wife's fault for not feeding him sandwiches, greeting him at the door with a kiss at the end of the day and then giving him a good fuck.
At least she had enough sense to be against abusive husbands. I'll give her that.
Anyway, genuinely good husbands do treat their wives well, but not all the time, right? Especially young husbands. We all screw up, wives and husbands. But women moreso because of those damned feminists. Hence the no need for the Proper Care and Feeding of Wives.
I thought I was treating my husband badly, so I wanted this book to help set me straight.
I mentioned this to my husband. I wanted to be a good wife. So he buys it for me for Christmas. I was happy to have the book, but extremely embarrassed that he stepped into a bookstore and bought the damn thing. I didn't want him to look like a man who needed to set his wife straight. I worried he thought I was a bad wife. That said, he did it because I'd said I wanted it. It wasn't because he--well, I hope it wasn't because he felt I needed it. That's something I'm still afraid of. Even if he swore up and down it wasn't. Which is what he has done.
Maybe. He tells me now that it used to bother him when I wouldn't act like the wife the church had promised him growing up. He likes it now, but admits it used to bug him lots. Though he never exerted his church-given authority that I can remember (maybe except for the time that he--very kindly--suggested that he choose whom to pray in our home). He's angry he ever felt the right and need to be the priesthood presiding member in our relationship. I mean, I covenanted to "hearken" unto him as he "hearkened" unto God, right? He was the man. The ultimate authority. He knew my new name and would be the one to take me to the Celestial Kingdom. The Man.
So I got this Proper Care book and immediately began to read it. It said men were simple. They only wanted/needed sandwiches and sex, and that I should put out whenever he wanted it to make him feel good.
Now Eric wanted sex all the time and I didn't. And he did say it was a matter of validating him, but it's sex, you know? It's still personal, even if you're married to your best friend. It's still my body. My feelings. So this was an issue.
(oh dangit, I forgot: my body is his and his body is mine)
And not that there isn't something to be said about putting out when you're not totally into it sometimes --sometimes you get into it as you go. I have also learned that good sex is fantastic for getting rid of tension headaches. No aspirin required, girls. Just a good lay.
But all the time? It's cute and fun as newly weds, but goddamn. Gotta sleep sometime. And after kids? When he works full time and goes to school full time? Dream on.
So anyway, Dr. Laura's book added some serious unnecessary guilt into my life. What's worse is I allowed it. I allowed her to validate my feelings that I was a bad wife. A disappointment.
Bad Lisa! Go mop the floor and look pretty for your hard working husband! MAKE HIM SANDWICHES! Then get nekkid and make sure he gets off good, no matter how you feel about it. It's your duty as his wife. And if you do your job (with a smile) he'll then treat you right. As it should be.
Reminds me of some so-called gospel principles. I'll have to explore that later.
So it is with great peace of mind that I can say fuck off, Dr. Laura.
After a while, and I don't remember why exactly, I stopped listening to her. I told Eric that the book made me feel like shit and that I didn't like that he bought it and that I wanted to throw it away. It took me a while to actually do it, though. Guilt and all. I'm good at that.
I don't remember when I stopped listening to this radio station, but I'd largely forgotten about her. Felt a lot better.
Then I hear about her racist rant on her radio show this past week. She went crazy over this woman who was involved in an interracial marriage and was dealing with racist in-laws.
Dr. Laura told her that she should have a sense of humor about it and that if she couldn't, she shouldn't have married outside her race. And why can't she say the n-word when black people say it all the time? TOTALLY UNFAIR!
But that's not all. And I'm not even talking about the repetition (11x) of the n-word. That was the least of her problems, given the context.
So now Dr. Laura has announced the end of her radio show...
"to regain her first amendment rights."
That, right there, is enough reason to disregard everything she's ever said. If she can't understand that her rights were never taken away and that the right to freedom of speech isn't exclusive to her, then...well.
I don't think I need to say much more than that.