20 August 2012

"Legitimate rape"

In reaction to the Todd Akin shocker (see post below), some bloggers are focusing on his use of the phrase "legitimate rape", as if he meant that some rapes are "legitimate" in the sense of being morally acceptable.  This is missing the point.  It's quite clear that he didn't mean that.  What he did mean is, if anything, more disturbing.

Remember, he said, "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing [pregnancy] down."  He was re-asserting the distinction, popular among abortion-banners, between "real" rape (what he meant by "legitimate" rape) and some unspecified but putatively-large category of rape that isn't really rape, just women claiming to be raped when it was actually consensual or they're just mad at a guy or they just need an excuse to get an abortion or whatever it is that these guys (it always seems to be guys) have in mind when they make this distinction.  Abortion-banners know that rape is a case that undermines their stance in the eyes of many who might otherwise favor it, so they have to minimize rape as an issue, and one way of doing that is to claim that real rape is much rarer than people think.

What makes Akin's formulation distinctively disturbing is the claim that his (wholly imaginary) natural anti-conception mechanism operates exclusively in cases of "real" ("legitimate") rape.  That is, if you want an abortion after a rape, the very fact that you got pregnant shows that it wasn't a real rape.  If it had been a real rape, you wouldn't have gotten pregnant.  So there.  No abortion for you, and stop making a big deal out of nothing.

That's what he was really implying.

This man is a major-party candidate for a Senate seat.


Blogger Leslie Parsley said...

Guess those women "claiming" to have been raped were just raped "retroactively." Kind of like he "misspoke" - retroactively.

Let's hope he went off the cliff with this comment and ruined his chances at the polls. Even Republicans have called him on it.

20 August, 2012 07:18  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

"This man is a major-party candidate for a Senate seat."

In addition to being a major-party candidate, he's a major-party idiot.

Every time I think I've heard a GOP pol say something wildly stupid,[think Michele Bachmann] along comes another GOP pol and blabs something more wildly stupid.

There seems to be a limitless supply of these know-nothing pols, who attracted to the know-little-to-nothing party.

I think this particular dimwit just helped Clair McCaskill get re-elected.

"On Sunday night, Akin said he had misspoken, but did not disavow his remarks or explain where he had received the information on which they were based. By Monday morning, top Republican officials were calling on him to resign, with strategist Mike Murphy summarizing the sentiment in a tweet: 'Akin should put good of GOP first and resign nomination now after his idiotic comment. Senate control too important.'"

"Misspoken" is GOPspeak for "Made an Utter Jackass of Myself."

20 August, 2012 08:12  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

LP: Let's hope he went off the cliff with this comment and ruined his chances at the polls.

At the very least. If the majority of voters in Missouri still want him to represent them after this, sane people should probably steer clear of the place.

SK: I can't imagine how anyone could have "misspoken" such a thing without being, in fact, an utter jackass.

did not disavow his remarks or explain where he had received the information on which they were based.

Probably the same place the know-nothing party gets its "information" on evolution and climate change.

In yesterday's post I linked to this Republican discussion about Akin. It's quite startling to see the condescension and insults aimed at a couple of Republican women who tried to explain to the troglodytes why this is, in fact, a big deal. And they wonder why they suffer from a gender gap.

20 August, 2012 09:14  
Blogger LadyAtheist said...

Yep, conception itself is proof that it wasn't a rape.

Missouri is the place that just passed a constitutional amendment "protecting" citizens' right to pray in public, as if the First Amendment didn't already do that. They want schools & city councils to be able to link Jebus to their activities. I can't wait for a Muslim to thank Allah at a high school commencement there.

20 August, 2012 10:09  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

LA: Yep, I know the religio-nutters are big in Missouri. Akin himself got his degree in "divinity", which may help explain both his troglodyte attitudes and his ignorance of biology.

I hear Akin was just on Huckabee's radio program and put his foot in it again -- said he personally doesn't know any rape victims who got pregnant, as if that proved anything. He's not going to drop out of the race, though.

20 August, 2012 10:56  
Blogger Ahab said...

It's sickening that misogynists like this are still around in the 21st century. I hope the idiot loses his seat because of his cruel (and false) comments.

20 August, 2012 16:42  

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