Kaylee Sheppard

This past Tuesday, President Trump stopped his annual address to Congress to recognize conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh and allow First Lady Melania Trump to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom. This honor comes after Limbaugh announced he is battling stage four lung cancer.

Trump showed his admiration for Limbaugh saying,Rush Limbaugh, thank you for your decades of tireless devotion to our country. Rush, in recognition of all that you have done for our nation, the millions of people a day that you speak to and inspire.”

I was unsettled to say the least when I watched this. I thought of all the other courageous and incredible people like Toni Morrison and Martin Luther King Jr.

Rush Limbaugh was all too famous for his sexist comments across the airwaves.

“Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society” ishis most famous remark regarding the women’s movement. It was also on his radio show that the slurs “feminazi” and “militant feminism” were coined, as Limbaugh bellowed daily against the crime of women seeking to claim value and rights not given to them by men.

He also had other glowing opinions regarding the women’s movement:

"I love the women’s movement, especially when walking behind it.”

“Women still live longer than men because their lives are easier.”

“How many of you guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?”

“I think this reason why girls don't do well on multiple-choice tests goes all the way back to the Bible, all the way back to Genesis, Adam and Eve. God said, 'All right, Eve, multiple choice or multiple orgasms, what's it going to be?' We all know what was chosen.”

“Ladies, if you want a happy marriage, then do whatever your husband tells you without questioning his authority.”

Yeah, he said all that.

Rush Limbaugh has no respect for women, as is displayed in the previous quotes and many more thoughts shared on his show. Are these the kind of ideas that deserve the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

Every single person watching the State of the Union address was given one specific message from President Donald Trump: Ideas like this regarding women should be celebrated.

Rush Limbaugh is not an individual I hope inspires my future children like other Medal of Freedom recipients. Someone who stood for truth and equality deserves this award, not someone who knows their reach and viewership and continues to spread lies and misogyny to his fan base.

These ideas should not be recognized as valid in our modern American society, much less celebrated.

Many, especially Trump supporters, will dismiss these quotes and say they do not matter or overshadow other accomplishments by Limbaugh. But words matter, especially the words we celebrate — because they will be what our generation is remembered for.

Kaylee Sheppard is a senior majoring in American Studies and Political Science. She can be reached at ksheppa7@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

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