“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.