Monday, August 20, 2012

Legitimate?

I have been debating writing about my love/hate (mostly hate lately) relationship with the Boy Scouts, and was planning to suck it up and do it today, but then yesterday happened.

A Congressman bestowed upon my laptop keyboard the gift of procrastination.

I have to talk about what he said, because it has to be talked about.

It has to be addressed.

It has to be viewed as a part of what is fundamentally wrong with the way decisions about health care are made in this country.

It has to be exposed for what it is.  Ignorance.


Todd Akin, a Republican Congressman from Missouri who is running for the Senate seat, just made a complete ass out of himself.

In an interview, he said the following:


First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare," Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
Akin said that even in the worst-case scenario—when the supposed natural protections against unwanted pregnancy fail—abortion should still not be a legal option for the rape victim.
"Let's assume that maybe that didn't work, or something," Akin said. "I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."


Almost immediately, he tried to amend his statement though he's firm on his point.  And almost immediately, the Romney/Ryan campaign publicly stated they were not of the same opinions as the gentleman from Missouri.  If the Mormon/Catholic ticket is jumping ship on an abortion issue, you know you've screwed something up pretty significantly.

There are so many things wrong with this statement that I don't even know where to begin.

First, who the hell gets to decide what is and is not "legitimate" rape?  Is there a series of secret cameras to film all non-consensual sexual acts where someone gets to be judge and jury and determine whether that particular rape was legit?  If a woman (or man, or child for that matter) is forced against their will to engage in a sexual act, IT IS RAPE.  No discussion necessary.

I don't care if someone is wearing a short skirt.  I don't care if they went on a date.  I don't care if he bought her a few drinks or a $100 lobster dinner.  I don't care if they are even married.  Rape is rape.  To suggest otherwise is a blatant insult to any past, present or future victim.

I know women who have been raped.  I know men too.  I know women who became pregnant through rape.  I once found myself pinned down by someone who wanted to do the same to me.  How dare this man act as though there are rapes which are legitimate and those that are not?

Mr. Akin, with all due respect, I'm assuming that you've never been victimized.  You have never been forced into a dark corner and violated.  You do not have a right to an opinion on this issue.  Shut your mouth.

Second, there is absolutely no proof that a woman's body has protective mechanisms that kick in during rape to protect against pregnancy.  We don't have voodoo vaginas.  There isn't a gatekeeper in my uterus that opens the door only to sperm with an invitation.  I lack the ability to shoot laser beams out of my hooha at intruders.  I have a hard time with those who actually believe in magic instead of science.

I have no clue where these men gets these asinine ideas.  Sadly, Akin isn't alone here.  Rep. Friend said something quite similar back in March.  What is shocking and appalling is that these men are elected officials.  People actually voted for leaders this ignorant and uneducated.  People will continue to vote for them.

Over 30,000 women become pregnant every year as the result of rape.  I guess their lasers must have misfired.  Either that, or they weren't legitimately raped.  They must have wanted it.  Obviously.

Third, your statement about punishing the rapist and not the child ignores the victim here - the woman!  You know, the one who was raped.  The one who is now pregnant completely against her will, with a child fathered by a violent sexual predator.

For now, I'll ignore the fact that mental illnesses and such that lead to the development of rapists can indeed be the result of genetics.  Genetics that you would willingly pass down to these babies.

Mr. Akin, let's pretend your daughter is legitimately raped and finds herself pregnant.  (I don't even know if he has a daughter, this is purely to play devil's advocate).  You'd honestly force your own daughter to go through an entire pregnancy for this?  To be a captive for nine months, reminded daily of the violation of her body?  Then, you'd expect her to either raise this child born of hate and violence or give it up for adoption to a willing family who has no idea that their new child's father may have passed down his violent sexual predatory tendencies to that baby?

Extend the logic on this, and it doesn't get better.  You are willingly punishing the victim here even more, taking away her right to do as she wishes with her body just as the rapist did.  You are victimizing her.

In this day and age, I am occasionally rendered speechless by the idiocy of others.  Yesterday was literally one of those times when I watched and I questioned, did he really just say that???

Yes, he did.

Men like this must be forced from office.  For the sake of the victims, for the sake of all women, for the sake of their own daughters who might someday find themselves one of the 30,000.

This cannot be allowed to continue.

12 comments:

  1. She said "voodoo vaginas"

    I agree...totally asinine. Roll him over, he's done.

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    Replies
    1. Pew, pew, pew. If we can shoot lasers out of them, there should be cool sound effects, right?

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  2. Speechless. Completely, utterly speechless. Not only is he running for election...he's ahead in the polls. The entire situation is scary.

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  3. Few people know this about me, but I became pregnant in high school as a result of rape. After a lot of soul-searching, I decided (without being pressured by anyone) that I was going to have the baby, but miscarried just shy of 5 months. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever gone through, and this moron's comments make me sick.

    You raise a good point about the genetic component of mental illness (that was the one thing that made me contemplate abortion), but in the situation, the only thing I could think of was that this child was a part of ME as much as the man who fathered him/her. I will never judge a woman who chooses abortion in this situation, because I know exactly what she's feeling. But even though I'm pro-choice on a broader level, when it comes to my body and my offspring, I'm pro-life.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, I am so sorry. (((Kimberly))) This man has no idea what he is talking about. My philosophy is the same as yours. I wouldn't choose it myself (though I've not been in your position so I cannot say for sure), but I would never dream of denying it to other women. Hugs.

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  4. Great post, Kelly. Even with everything I've read I am left stunned this kind of statement is not only said aloud but repeated and even debated as if what he said had any credence. I do not understand why ignorance prevails so often.

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    1. I just don't understand how anyone can make these assertions as though there is some factual basis to them. Or how anyone else is stupid enough to believe them. Shaking head.

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  5. If only I could shoot laser beams out my hooha....that would avoid all kinds of issues lately regarding the whole birth control controversy....wow, Just WOW!

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    Replies
    1. pew, pew, pew (that's my laser noise)

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  6. Akin's statement makes my stomach churn every time I think of it. And I can't even think of anything to say other than I can't believe people like this exist in the world.

    I haven't heard anyone mention this point - but from a purely scientific point of view...I've never heard of a woman having protective mechanisms to deter pregnancy as you stated, but we do know for a fact (thanks, Darwin) that people have "survival of the species" instincts which means that isn't it more likely that a woman gets pregnant...no matter rape or not...which makes Akin's comments legitimately in violation of the laws of nature? Also known as, he is a bigger moron than we thought.

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    Replies
    1. Yep. You are correct. A woman who is not on the pill has approximately a 5% chance of becoming pregnant with each sexual encounter. Whether it is consensual or not makes no difference. I'm amazed that people can think like this in the first place, but appalled that this man is on a science committee.

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