Everyone's jumping on this "legitimate rape" thing and making fun and jokes about it, but that really just misses the point completely, and it gets Akin off the hook for the real
nasty parts of what he said. Honestly, you Americans get so easily distracted by incidental silliness, that you're completely blind to the really
sinister stuff going on in your politics.
Here's what Akin actually said. When the interviewer asked a question about whether it's okay for a woman who's gotten pregnant from being raped to have an abortion, he said:Take that in. Let it fester in your brain for a minute.
First off, let's just put the whole "legitimate rape" thing aside - it's just a silly distraction. Obviously what Akin meant was a woman's body prevents pregnancy when the woman is raped. He put it in a stupid way, yes, but his point is clear. He didn't mean that some rapes are "legitimate" and some aren't, he just meant to make clear that he was only talking about cases of real rape, as opposed to cases that only appear to be rape (such as consensual sex that gets falsely reported as rape - just keep your claws in for a moment, ladies, and remember, what I'm saying he meant is what he
meant, not what I
believe). So what he meant
was: "If it's a rape
, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
All right, are we done harping on this silly "legitimate rape" thing? Are we finished with making overblown and obviously false claims like that the GOP doesn't believe there's such thing as rape? Are we ready to look at this thing like adults? All right then, let's get serious, because there are serious
issues here, and we (or at least, you Americans) need to wake up and become aware of them.
Let's look at Akin's statement line-by-line. The first line is: "From what I understand from doctors, that's really rare." Now one of two things is true. Either:
- Akin lied about getting his information from doctors, and he really just pulled it out of his ass; or....
- There are doctors (plural!!!) in the US that believe that a woman can spontaneously abort a pregnancy when she doesn't want it.
What we could hope
for is that Akin just made that shit up... because if he didn't, that means there are medical doctors (plural!!!!!!) in the US who subscribe to beliefs about women's bodies from the Dark Ages. Sadly, that happens to be the case. There really are doctors in the US who really do believe that a woman automagically turns on her internal birth control when she gets raped.
Are you seeing that, Americans? I think the fact that you have a bunch of medical practitioners believing medical myths that were out of vogue when the Magna Carta was signed would be something more worth discussing than the "legitimate rape" verbal flub. Isn't anyone concerned with how incredibly stupid a doctor can be and still keep their medical licence?
The second line - "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." - is the one everyone's tittering about. I'm not. I don't think most people realize how horribly evil this statement is. Stop laughing and acting bewildered about "what is a 'legitimate rape'?" for a moment and look seriously at what Akin meant, and what that means about what he believes. To put it clearly: Akin is saying that he (and doctors, plural!!!) believe that when a woman is raped - for reals - that she shouldn't get pregnant. He's saying that it is "really rare". Stop and think for a moment about what that really means. It means that Akin and his nutjob doctors believe that if a woman gets pregnant during a rape, that most likely means she secretly wanted the sex.
Did your brain explode when you read that? Did it make you furious? Good. It should
make you furious. This is what that man - that man who wants to be in charge of around three million women - actually believes. More terrifyingly, this is also what others like him believe
, and there are probably several of them in power right now.
Take a moment to let that sink in. Callie Del Noire mentioned seeing a lot of attacks on the reproductive rights of women, and asked if that was really a "thing"... well there it is, in stark relief: that
is how some of the people in your government look at women. And everyone has to take a long, hard look at themselves and ask... how could it have possibly
gotten to that point. How in the hell
is it possible for someone who believes that women who get pregnant from rape secretly enjoyed it to get elected to Congress? You have to figure that around 50% of the people who voted him in (over and over!) are women. (And it's highly unlikely that all
of the other 50% - men - consider that kind of attitude toward women to be acceptable.) How could that happen? What is going on? These are the questions you guys should be asking yourselves. How is it possible that a person that
misogynist can be elected to Congress
? What on Earth
does that man bring to the table that is so important
that it made it acceptable to overlook his hatred of women? (And no, this misogyny isn't something he's never demonstrated before, because he was preventing women from getting abortions from at least 1995.) I don't care what
his economic platform is; is there seriously no-one
in Missouri with a more-or-less similar platform that isn't
that ignorant and hateful?
American women, what the hell is going on? Are you all sleeping in on Election Day? Seriously, what the hell? You don't seriously mean to tell me that every other potential candidate for the seat was worse
, do you? You don't seriously mean to tell me that your only options, through all the primaries right up to the election proper, were either "rape pregnancies mean the victim had fun!" candidates... or worse
, do you? So what's happening? Why has this man been allowed to get as far in politics as he has? Who the fuck is he running against? Hitler McStalin?
Let me point out something that you should chew on: everybody's chuckling about this "legitimate rape" thing, but Akin can - and apparently did - just point out that it was just a verbal misstep. And it was. People trip up on words in live interviews all the time, choosing the wrong word and all, and not saying what they really meant. It's no big deal. Akin can just honestly say that he didn't mean to say "legitimate rape" (because it sure looks like he really, honestly, didn't mean to say that)... aaaaaaand he's done. Because, really, all he did was trip over his tongue in a live interview, and no one can reasonably justify destroying someone's political career because of a tongue slip. He gets off with little more than a few days worth of public humiliation in the media, and then life goes on. The next story comes along and the media runs after it like dogs chasing a car, and Akin fades into the background and ultimately once again wins his election - for whatever reasons he's won the last five times. What? How did that happen? I'll tell you how it happened: it happened because everyone was too busy giggle-snorting about the "legitimate rape" thing to notice the real
problems in what he said - problems that I'll bet he's hinted at before - that he buys into 15th century medical myths, and thinks that rape babies mean the rape was good times for the mother.
Why is there any
tolerance for a politician like Akin? Let me put it another way: would you accept electing a shameless racist? Even if their economic or foreign policies were brilliant? If you wouldn't tolerate a shameless racist in government, why would tolerate a shameless misogynist?
~sigh~ Oh yeah, there was one last sentence to look at: "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 of the rapist, and not attacking the child." And there you have it, ladies... when talking about the case of a woman who was raped and got pregnant, Mr. Akin cares about justice for the rapist... he cares about justice for the foetus...
... but there's not... one... fucking... word... about... the woman
In fact, the only thing you can even deduce about the woman's role in all of this, indirectly, is that the woman is evil... because she's "attacking the child". Yeah, that's right, ladies. That man - representative in Congress for the state of Missouri - just slammed a rape victim
by implying she hates babies and wants to hurt them.
American women... seriously... what the hell? You've had the vote since 1920. You make up roughly 50% of the population (and with male supporters, that clearly makes women and their supporters a huge
voting demographic). Politicians should be terrified
of saying crap like what Akin said in public, let alone taking away control of your bodies from. What's going on?