If you turned on a TV in the last day or so, chances are you’ve heard about Todd Akin and his idea of “legitimate rape.” But in case you haven’t–in which case, ignorance really is bliss and we’re pretty jealous of you–here’s some back story.
Todd Akin is a politician who hates any possible idea of women having the right to choose what she should do with her own body. This is evidenced by his attempts to ban the morning after pill (which, we should add, is not an abortion pill), among other measures.
In any case, Akin, who is clearly a candidate for MENSA (we kid!) as well as the U.S. Senate (sadly we don’t kid!), was interviewed about his views on abortion. He was specifically asked about abortion in cases of rape. His response was so unbelievably stupid that it’s hard to wrap our heads around. Here it is, and we quote:
“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. 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.”
In case you don’t believe someone could actually say something so idiotic, here’s a video. His abortion conversation and “legitimate rape” comments are right here:
Girls, to reiterate: Todd Akin thinks that in cases of “legitimate rape”–which is a concept so ridiculous that we’ll get to it in a second–rape survivors have magical powers in their bodies that make conceiving a baby nearly impossible. Though Akin later apologized and claimed that he “misspoke,” it still stands that he’s conveying an enormous amount of misinformation and misogyny in his policies. If we had magical powers, don’t you think we’d use them to NOT GET RAPED instead of just to not get pregnant as a result of rape? I mean . . . And as for the frequency of pregnancy resulting from rape? Rough estimates show that about 32,000 women get pregnant as a result of rape every year. It’s also important to bear in mind that these are just from rape survivors who reported their rapes–because many don’t.
However, now we have to question the legitimacy of those rape survivors. WTF is “legitimate rape”?! It’s actually a term that’s been used for a while. You know, starting in the 13th century. As in, the 1200s. You know, also known as the Dark Ages. Back then it was believed that if a woman didn’t give a guy consent, she couldn’t get pregnant from an encounter, even in which he raped and ejaculated inside of her, which, we all know because of handy thing called SCIENCE, is biologically how a lot of women get knocked up. Later it was believed that a woman couldn’t conceive unless she had an orgasm, which means that rape survivors who found the experience more traumatizing than titillating couldn’t possibly ever have their eggs fertilized by an attacker. As a result of this kind of Draconian, antiquated thinking, it was believed that if a woman got pregnant, she wasn’t really raped. We thought we’d gotten past that kind of absurd and offensive thinking roughly seven hundred years ago. Apparently not.
This is where Todd Akin’s brain is. In the dark ages. This is the same guy who tried to make only rape survivors who survived a “forcible rape” able to get funding for abortions if they so chose to have them. Which means if a guy, say, date raped you, you’d be on your own in terms of terminating your pregnancy. What. The. Eff.
Todd Akin doesn’t seem to understand what the rest of us do: Rape is rape. No matter what adjectives you put in front of the word “rape,” if you tell a guy no and he still has sex with you against your will, whether it’s “forcible” or not, it is rape. You know whether or not you’ve been raped. And if you’ve taken a biology class, watched TV, scanned Google, or had any form of unprotected sex–willing or not–at some point in your life, you’ll probably understand that you don’t need to have an orgasm to get pregnant (and most women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone anyway).
It’s unfortunate and absurd that someone with such literally medieval ideas feels the need to tell us what to and what not to do with our own bodies, because he clearly has no idea how they operate. And it’s even more unfortunate and absurd that enough people agree with him to make him a somewhat plausible candidate for public office.
If you think politics are boring and that they don’t affect you, remember: They do. And if you don’t make your voice heard, he’ll make his the only one you hear. We’re pretty sure our I.Q.s dropped a few points just listening to this.
A silver lining, though? In trying to repeal our right to choose whether or not we can abort a pregnancy resulting from rape, this asshat effectively aborted his own chances at winning the Missouri Senate election. Or, so we hope. We REALLY hope.
Do you think Todd Akin misspoke when he talked about “legitimate rape?” Do you think abortion should be legal in cases of rape or incest? Do you think rape survivors should have a choice of what to do if they’re pregnant? Tell us in the comments!