Republican Congressman Didn’t Get Why Women Couldn’t Be Called Sluts

Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) pondered in a 2012 radio show why society was no longer allowed to call women sluts if they behaved like sluts. 

Lewis made a number of misogynistic statements when he hosted the syndicated “Jason Lewis Show,” before he was elected in 2016. In a recording obtained by CNN’s KFile, Lewis discussed a sexist remark made by radio commentator Rush Limbaugh in 2012 about women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute” for asking that birth control costs be covered by health insurance. Fluke, then a law student at Georgetown University, had testified before Congress about contraceptive coverage. 

On his show, Lewis asked a guest, “Can we call anybody a slut?” 

“But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard,” Lewis can be heard saying in the March 2012 recording. “We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”

Lewis defended Limbaugh’s comments by explaining that the so-called logic behind calling Fluke a slut was that someone asking for free birth control pills “must use a lot of them” and, in “the old days,” that woman would have been called a slut.

CNN reported that in the raw audio of Lewis’ radio show episode, the congressman also brought up pop singer Madonna. 

“Madonna dresses up in these sorts of prostitute-like outfits on stage, and she goes there and she sings and she shows half of her body,” Lewis said, according to CNN. “What did we call those people?”

When a CBS reporter asked Lewis about the CNN KFile report, Lewis laughed, asked, “They’re back with that?” and told the reporter he wanted to answer questions on issues.

“That was litigated two years ago. They took my comments out of context,” Lewis responded. 

Lewis’ office did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

CNN’s clips of Lewis’ remarks have been uploaded to the KFile Soundcloud account.

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