If You Are A Woman & Still Vote Republican, You’re A Moron

From left: Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), co-sponsors of "foricible rape" bill

Female Republican voters, this is who you’re rooting for: Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) & Republican VP nominee co-created the “forcible rape” bill.

“Well, you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.

But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

~ Rep. Todd Akin during his appearance on The Jaco Report.

Cue every woman’s reaction around the world:

Seriously, why is it that the multitude of discussions and ridiculous statements about women, their bodies, their rights, and their lives are, for the most part, made by white Republican men? What the hell do they know? Have they or anyone close to them been affected by any of the horrible shit that can potentially happen to women? Probably not because otherwise it’s unfathomable these men would continue to spew such foolishness. I mean, they just jizz their ideas and opinions all over everyone’s faces and then hand us a towel and cab fare, tell us to clean up, and get the hell out. So, if you are Republican with a peen, could you please shut your damn mouth when it comes to women because your ignorance has reached Code Red.

Let’s break down Akin’s quote. 1) “Shut that thing down?” Akin, that’s what parents say say to their teenage kids in a ’90s Freddie Prinze Jr. movie when the parents catch wind about their chillrens throwing a house party without permission. Women’s bodies aren’t magic. The unwanted sperm doesn’t go bye-bye because the woman made a wish to not get pregnant while rubbing on a Sacagawea coin. Although if it were possible that a prayer and rubbing on a gold coin could prevent a pregnancy, I’m sure the Republicans would be trying to find a way to ban the currency. Anyway, the point is Akin acts as though the body “shut[ting] that thing down” somehow makes sexual assault less awful: “Hey ladies, sure you might get raped, but you can just totally ctrl + alt + del the resulting pregnancy like it’s a Dell computer.” Gee, thanks, privileged White man.

2) “Legitimate rape.” Let me write that again. Legitimate…rape.

Is that opposed to…illegitimate rape? J/K rape? Or the “I don’t give 3/8ths a fuck about your rape because it doesn’t fit the narrative I’ve created in my mind about how the world should work” rape? Akin, you’re a legitimate fool. If a penis goes where it is not wanted, it. Is. Rape. The end. Stop trying to finagle around that fact or frame it differently so it fits with your own personal ideology. Like c’mon! The last thing a sexual assault victim needs is someone without any ounce of empathy to decide if their rape is “legitimate.” I mean, wasn’t it bad enough for the victim to be treated like an object to be used and abused by the attacker and now the victim must suffer through some outsider implying that any kind of rape isn’t legitimate. That their life-long pain isn’t as legitimate as others. Gee, thanks, privileged white man.

3) “First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s [getting pregnant following rape] really rare.” I would like to know which doctors these are, Akin. You can’t go around tossing out vague generalities on television like they’re facts, especially on serious matters like this. Well, just in case you were wondering, here are the facts according to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in their report about rape-related pregnancy that they published in the NCBI:

RESULTS: The national rape-related pregnancy rate is 5.0% per rape among victims of reproductive age (aged 12 to 45); among adult women an estimated 32,101 pregnancies result from rape each year. Among 34 cases of rape-related pregnancy, the majority occurred among adolescents and resulted from assault by a known, often related perpetrator. Only 11.7% of these victims received immediate medical attention after the assault, and 47.1% received no medical attention related to the rape. A total 32.4% of these victims did not discover they were pregnant until they had already entered the second trimester; 32.2% opted to keep the infant whereas 50% underwent abortion and 5.9% placed the infant for adoption; an additional 11.8% had spontaneous abortion. CONCLUSIONS: Rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency. It is a cause of many unwanted pregnancies and is closely linked with family and domestic violence. As we address the epidemic of unintended pregnancies in the United States, greater attention and effort should be aimed at preventing and identifying unwanted pregnancies that result from sexual victimization.

BOOM! Ya just been served, privileged white man. These pregnancies aren’t some rare, crazy happenstance. Unfortunately, they happen a lot, but when you view women as abstract objects instead of people, then it’s easy to dismiss them and the struggles they encounter. Yes, 32, 101 is a number, but it’s way more than that. It’s 32,101 women who have been traumatized and must face the heart-breaking decision to keep the baby or terminate it. Let that sink in. “Awful” doesn’t even begin to encapsulate that situation. Yet, someone like Akin doesn’t even allow this situation to sink in. 32,101 is merely a number amongst many numbers he looks at throughout his work day. Women are people. But that fact gets in the way of the war on women, right? It can’t be successful if women are viewed as people. They must be seen as numbers or objects or annoyances so these men can get their job done.

And sensing the annoyance coming around the bend from his comments, an annoyance that would distract him from getting his job done, Akin sent out a b.s. apology about how he “misspoke.” Like Black Jesus, I’m giving you the “Bitch, please” face:

Except Akin didn’t misspeak. He spoke correctly the first time. In fact, he and Republican VP nominee Paul Ryan co-sponsored a bill that introduced the term “forcible rape.” Here we go again with finagling around what rape is. Essentially “forcible rape” excludes statutory rape and rape that doesn’t involve strong violence. So young girls, if you’re still reading Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret OR adult women, if you didn’t get smacked upside the head by a murse (aka man’s purse) before you were raped, then you’re S.O.L. Gee, thanks, privileged white men. Except there’s one glaringly huge flaw with this new term. All rapes are violent. No one is raping politely! Cheese on a cracker, why do I even have to type that sentence?! Don’t you have brains?!

Holy hell, these dudes are seriously out of touch and I seriously feel uncomfortable with them being in positions of power. And that’s where the title of this blog post comes in. These men have little regard for rape victims and zero regard for rape victims under the age of 18. That’s why I can’t understand why any woman would vote Republican right now. Yes, there are other issues like immigration and gay marriage at stake, but how can you even look at Akin & Ryan’s opinions on those issues when they make it so abundantly clear that they don’t give a damn about you or even view you or womankind as people. Because if they viewed women as people then perhaps they wouldn’t be trying to redefine rape, according to Jon Ponder of Pensito Review:

Federal law prevents federal Medicaid funds and similar programs from paying for abortions. Yet the law also contains an exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from “forcible rape” may be terminated. Because the primary target of Akin and Ryan’s effort are Medicaid recipients — patients who are unlikely to be able to afford an abortion absent Medicaid funding — the likely impact of this bill would have been forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapist’s baby to term.

Wow. Akin & Ryan would rather a sixteen year old carry her rape-induced baby to full term then to have the option to not do that. Look, I’m not saying, “abortions for everybody!” However, I think it’s rather inhumane to essentially say, “You have no choice in getting raped and guess what? You also have no choice but to carry the rapist’s baby to term.” I don’t know about you guys, #TeamBlaria, but it sounds absolutely traumatizing to force someone to live through a growing, daily reminder for nine months of the attack. I’m sorry, Akin and Ryan, you don’t get a vote in this matter. The choice should be left to the victim.

OK. Yes, I’m  singling out Akin and Ryan, but the scary fact is that they aren’t anomalies. There are plenty of Republicans joining in on this war on women. And I don’t see how it will stop unless women, Republican women, to come out the woodwork and say, “No! I will not vote for you. I will not support your ideology. I will not help you get elected until you act like women are people, who are just as valuable.” Please come out, ladies, because many Republican males have no problem with trying to legislate you into insignificance. To legislate you into being viewed not as a human, but as an object that can be striped of everything at a whim. To legislate that you don’t matter. Show them that you do matter by saying enough is enough. I implore you.

16 replies

  1. THANK YOU, Phoebe! You put into words the feelings that I’ve been feeling as I pull out my hair and try not to punch something. In addition to Akin’s complete ignorance of the fact that eggs aren’t like, “Yo–were you invited?” when sperm show up banging on their walls, is this quote by Akin: “…there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.” CHILD!?!? Dude–it’s a ball of fucking CELLS at this point. And sure, it would be GREAT if rapists could be more widely punished, but does he have ANY idea of how under-reported rapes are because the victims are usually crucified by the media & their peers (“what was she wearing? Was she asking for it?) And it “attacking the child” means saving the rape victim the horror of carrying a baby that she doesn’t want and that was FORCED on her, then by all means, “attack the child.”

    It was put brilliantly by feminist Joan Dunlop:
    “To give the unborn child — I don’t care what stage of gestation they are — preference over the woman in whom parents, teachers, society, culture has deeply invested, and say that investment has less value than a bunch of cells, is just to me an outrage,” she said in the oral history, created by Smith College.

    • Ooooh, that’s a great quote from Dunlop. Thanks for sharing that because I hadn’t seen it.

      I mean, it’s just simply horrifying the way things are going in this country. The whole problem is that a lot of people don’t have the compassion they so clearly should for sexual assault victims. People like Akin or Ryan would only only care if it happened to someone they’re related to. Well, I haven’t been assaulted and no one in my family as been either, but I know quite a few woman (some friends, some not) have been sexually attacked and even just knowing those people makes my heart bleed for all rape victims. They need emotional support, societal support, and legal support. They aren’t the bad guys. They have been thrust into a traumatic, life-altering experience and they should be cradled in the arms of everyone in society. They are still people, no matter what happens to them.

  2. I agree with this article pretty much completely. However, I would like to object to your use of the whole “privilege” meme. Firstly, these people aren’t wrong because they’re white men, they’re wrong because they’re fucking wrong. A black woman who said these things would be exactly as wrong as Paul Ryan and Todd Akin. Secondly, as a white male myself, I don’t appreciate being lumped in with these people. Some of us are actually capable of thinking about things objectively, and understanding how a policy might affect other people. Besides, this issue isn’t just about sexism. It’s also about the government coming in and fucking with people’s personal lives, and that’s something everyone should be worried about.

  3. > If You Are A Woman & Still Vote Republican, You’re A Moron

    … or, you know, you agree with a lot of the Republican worldview and less with the Democratic worldview and can identify and ignore obvious fringe extremists that exist on both sides. You also are not making your decision for either side because of a single issue alone.

    • Yeah, but this debate about women and their bodies isn’t just by fringe people within the party. Check this out: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/20/first-on-cnn-gop-prepares-tough-anti-abortion-platform/

      Once again, they’re attempting to get a constitutional ban on abortion and people like Ryan don’t even want to allow abortion in cases of rape, incest, etc. This isn’t just a couple of folks saying things. This is the GOP.

      Granted, there are several factors when deciding who to vote for, but I honestly don’t understand why any woman, gay person, or person of color would ever vote Republican. For the most part, Republicans have made it abundantly clear that these groups are not a factor. Heck, there are many Republicans who think (or at least want to spread the lie) people of color are the main ones on welfare. Actually, the majority of people on welfare are White, but that does not fit the narrative some of them want to paint. There are also some Republicans who are trying to prevent poor people and people of color from having the opportunity to vote: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/08/20/13375605-accidental-candor-in-ohio

      So I think it’s mind-boggling to vote for a party that really doesn’t give a damn about you at all. And would strip away your rights if given the chance. Doesn’t matter if you share the same opinion as them on fiscal responsibility. Them disregarding you as an equal human being and trying to legislate you into being a non-factor trumps that, in my opinion.

  4. I just stumbled upon this blog via reddit and I must say this post is very well done. Just wanted to say thank you for articulating so well the crazy train that is the tea party movement in this country. The only solace I have is that privately some of these women do NOT support tea party policies but often feel pressured to on the outside in deference to their husband’s beliefs. But when they go to vote it is only them and the machine and hopefully they will do the right thing. Meanwhile, women like you should keep up the good work and reach out to the others.

  5. “THE FEMALE BODY HAS WAYS TO TRY TO SHUT THAT WHOLE THING DOWN” ?!!

    I can’t… even… that is so offensive on so many levels. I can’t believe this person has any power over anything. What is wrong with this person? Honestly, words fail me.

  6. Love this and the only thing I’d like to say is that having recently been the victim to sexual assault, one thing I learned right off the bat in the ER was that advocates are trying to spread the word to replace the word “VICTIM” with “SURVIVOR”. We survived and are going to continue to survive rather than continue to be victimized. And bullshit like trying to say what is legitimate and what isn’t, is being a victim.
    Thank you for your awesome article, it really made me laugh for the first time in several days. <3

    • Hey Survivor! Thanks so much for commenting. I’m glad that my writing, if even for a moment, a bright spot in your day. I want everyone to treat people who survived sexual assault with respect and acknowledge what you have gone through requires strength and courage. We shouldn’t turn a blind eye, instead we should celebrate you. xoxo

  7. Yes they are assholes who do not belong in office but I am sick of this singling out white republicans or only republicans on this issue, I know more Catholics that believe have the baby no matter how it was conceived then any other group! Guess which
    party the VAST majority of them belong to?

    • Eric, I understand that it’s not just Republicans, but as I stated in my blog post, I’m talking about the discussions of women’s bodies and rights at a legislative level. That is mainly being done by White Republican males. Yes, my next door neighbor may be anti-abortion even in cases of rape, but guess what? That’s not the same as the GOP platform trying to push forth a constitutional ban on abortion. My next door believes what he may believe and goes on with his day. However, those in the GOP can have the power to try and make their beliefs a reality. So I have to address those who are doing that on a legislative level (and not Jerry, the next door neighbor), which are mostly White Republican males. I’m not going to not say it’s not mostly White Republicans because it doesn’t feel good to hear. There are bigger issues at hand.

      • I think you hit the nail on the head there. The problem with the republican party these days is that they are catering to the fringe element so much that the line between republican and far right extremest is becoming blurred. The GOP is trying to ban abortion in all cases, eliminate critical thinking in schools, and generally trying to bring us back to a society like the 1950’s.

        And you are right that it is mostly rich, white men who are pushing these policies. The thing to remember for everyone reading this, is that it’s not an issue of white men being sexist and raciest. The issue is that the GOP is mostly white men trying to push policy about women and people of color. That says a lot about the GOP and their views of groups that are not their own. Great post by the way.

  8. As someone who’s friends with a victim of rape when she was in her teens and was still having nightmares about it well into her late 20s, Akin’s comments are not only ignorant and insensitive, but also callous.

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