A guest post by Gwen Emmons.
Those of us who don’t read Hustler regularly miss out on the monthly misogynistic gems they throw out. But this month’s print edition is notable for an image of conservative commentator S.E. Cupp…with a penis Photoshopped in her mouth.
S.E. Cupp is a lovely young lady who read too much Ayn Rand in high school and ended up joining the dark side. Cupp, an author and media commentator who often shows up on Fox News programs, is undeniably cute. But her hotness is diminished when she espouses dumb ideas like defunding Planned Parenthood. Perhaps the method pictured here is Ms. Cupp’s suggestion for avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.
They’re right – defunding Planned Parenthood is a dumb idea. For many, Planned Parenthood clinics are the only place to turn to for accurate sexual health information, cancer screenings, contraception, and STI tests. Attacks on Planned Parenthood aren’t just about restricting access to abortion — they’re about shutting down access to health care services for the least advantaged among us. See how I just refuted Cupp’s argument without resorting to childish and offensive Photoshopping?
When sexual insults are used to denigrate someone for their intellectual or political views, all of us lose. Make no mistake, Hustler isn’t defending reproductive justice here – if they wanted to stand up for funding Planned Parenthood, they would have engaged in a real conversation about funding, instead of focusing on faux oral sex shots. They’re attacking a woman for being outspoken, plain and simple.
I agree with Cupp on virtually nothing, but an attack like this is just as terrible, just as out-of-place, and just as menacing as the months of innuendo-laced attacks piled on Sandra Fluke a few months ago. And the Cupp image should be condemned as resolutely as the attacks on Fluke were, because sexually based attacks like these are a reproductive justice issue. They’re made to shame women into staying quiet, into staying complicit, and to standing on the sidelines of a debate that belongs to us. It’s not “satire,” as Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is claiming. It’s silencing.
As reproductive justice activists, we should stand by Cupp – not because we agree with what she says, but because we understand that these attacks are made with an attempt to devalue and silence the passion of intelligent women on both sides of this issue. Make your voice heard: Stand with S.E. Cupp.