How Do You Know If It Was Legitimate Rape?

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Rape survivors are pissed at Todd Akin–and they have every right to be. | Source

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!

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  • Allison

    I was 14 years old when I was raped by my best friends ex-boyfriend. Sure we were flirting and making out but I DIDN”T WANT TO HAVE SEX. Things got heated and I told him to stop and when I did, he called me a tease and kept going. I was so hurt… I just kind of let him… I really didn’t know what to do. I told my mom two days later and went to the hospital. I was not pregnant but sperm supposedly lives in you for up to 4 days so I took the Plan B pill for my mom even though I didn’t want to. For a year I was suicidal because I believed that it was my fault for teasing him like that.. It took being in a treatment center for 4 months to realize it wasn’t my fault. And its not always forcibly to be considered rape. When a little kid is assaulted, they don’t know any better and they think it is okay. Does that make it illegimate because it wasn’t forceful? I’m totally against abortion, I believe it has very harmful affects on the mothers mind and body. It breaks my heart for all the girls out there that have been raped and got pregnant as a result and a MAN that probably had anything he wanted his whole said that they weren’t really raped, that they liked it, so they got pregnant. Eff you man…

  • roselove445

    what the bleepedy bleep is wrong with politicans. Do they just instantly become complete and total Bleepin idiots the second they become politican or is it just that only stupid people become politican because all the smart people set off to do things that are of importance. DID YOU GURLS KNOW A POLITICAN MAKES MORE A YEAR THAN A U.S. SOILDER?!?!?!?! THATS JUST STUPID. i hate politics it seems some times that our contry would be better off run by kindergardners because they still have a firm grasp on whats right and whats wrong and they make friends with anyone no matter what color or religion or anything else a person is. okokay gurls im done with my ranting about how stupid society today is

  • fatimarox1

    Listen up in health class guys. Or that ^(Todd Akin) will happen to you too.

  • Tori

    I agree, no matter what, rape is rape. You are never “asking for it”. No matter what someone wears, what places they go, the things that they do, or are perceived to have done, they are never to blame. The rapist is the person who acted, the one that made a decision. I think a woman should have the choice to decide. It’s her body, and no man will ever truly understand the importance of this right.

  • Anna

    And thus a bit of my faith in humanity has died on this day, August the 20th, 2012.

  • Artemis95

    While I don’t support abortion, unless it is absolutely necessary for the survival of the mother, what he said about rape is absolutely ridiculous. Rape is rape. Horrible act, simple concept. And, though having an orgasm increases the chance of pregnancy, not having one will not prevent it.

  • AsianIggs1

    Quick! Someone get him a sex change and some plastic surgery! Push him into a really bad neighborhood that’s full of rapists and see how he likes it! Or, y’know, if God exists, change him into a full-blown woman for a year and get him raped. Maybe then he’d be one less stereotypical guy if he changes at all.

    This guy… No wonder women think guys have smaller IQs! This is just pathetic! It’s bad enough women are pegged at needing to be beautiful for a guy to even consider her, but this- what the eff?! Women aren’t TOYS. We’re people, too. We’re the smarter breed of mankind. If you disagree, you should seriously read this article again. You clearly didn’t read it well enough.

    I think he’d feel differently if he’d been born a girl. He may have understood women a lot better than he does now.We already have to deal with periods, boobs, smelling nice, dressing as best as we can, looking the best we can, being practically hairless everywhere BUT on our heads, and ALREADY BEING PREGNANT ON OUR OWN TERMS. When we choose to have a baby, it’s stressful enough then. Being RAPED and getting pregnant? I couldn’t even imagine how terrible that must be… I’m not saying every mother doesn’t love her child. At some point, she really does. This, though… She probably wasn’t even planning on having a baby in years- or having a baby period. I’m ashamed that men like him exist.

  • Teia

    I hope he doesn’t breed

    • Ada

      And just think, because he said this on a news channel, there are some a-holes out in this world who think that legitimate rape is a thing.

  • Gabbers

    Please excuse me as I flip my desk in anger.

  • kissmeimgone

    This whole ordeal is ridiculous. Can’t believe he seriously uttered such stupidity.

  • anonymous

    saying its illegitimate rape when you get pregnant from it is like saying its not really raining if you get wet ’cause doesn’t your body do something to stop it?

  • Elice

    This is so messed up my mom was raped and in that result had me. So if he thinks that you can’t get pregnant through rape that means that I don’t exist? 0_-

  • Amanda

    You know I think your articles would be a lot more effective if you used proper terms throughout the whole. Either choose to use slang or proper terms, not both.

    • morgan

      I just wanna say that has nothing to do with what the article is about

  • Carpenter

    Holy crap–is he SERIOUS? Rape is usually a blitz attack so it’s no surprise that a woman’s body wouldn’t necessarily be able to react fast enough. This is insane.

    • Amy Kaufman

      About 3/4 of survivors know their assailant, only a small amount of sexual assaults are attacks in an alley, kidnappings, etc.

  • oliva

    seriously I thought we were over this! all i want to know which doctors if any told him this.