Monday, August 20, 2012

Shutting their whole thing down

I didn’t intend to start Monday off being mad. I had every intention of starting off this week on a nice, even keel ready to tackle life’s with a smile. But FUCK THAT SHIT. Because now, now I’m mad. I’m so mad. Truth be told, I’ve been so mad for a while, but every once while something comes so outrageous comes around that it ignites my rage aknew and I simply want to scream into the primal abyss that passes as political discourse today.

Today’s source of my madness comes from U.S. Representative Todd Akin, the Republican candidate running for the Senate in Missouri. On Friday, he said out loud in a televised interview that:

“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.”

I know. I know! I FUCKING KNOW! So many, many, everything is wrong about this statement. The bunk science. The victim blaming. The whole idea of “legitimate rape.” And it only gets more wrong when you learn a couple of key facts about Rep. Akin.

1) Rep. Akin is currently a member of the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee.

2) Rep. Akin is currently beating his Democratic opponent, sitting U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in the polls 49.7 percent to 41.3 percent.

Rep. Akin of course issues a statement saying he “misspoke,” which means he allowed what he really thinks to be recorded and televised. But there is no mis-anything when it comes to his record on women. Here are his own words again in the very same interview when he followed up his belief that legitimately raped women magically “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.”

Yes, let’s punish the rapist by punishing the rape victim by making her carry his unwanted child to term. That sounds legitimate. Akin’s vehemently anti-choice voting record speaks volumes. He is clearly against all abortion, even in cases or rape. He is against the morning after pill. He even co-sponsored that horrible bill last year that would have defined rape only as “forcible rape.”

Yeah, and, let me repeat this again – THIS GUY IS WINNING IN THE POLLS.

The thing that makes me even madder is that Rep. Akin and his beliefs are no isolated event. This is not one lone yahoo in a see of otherwise sane public servants. This is a prevailing view in one wing of our political system. This is the Republican’s War on Women. No, GOP, we didn’t make it up – you guys keep assaulting our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by trying to control our bodies. That’s how you get a Rep. Paul Ryan lands on the ticket for Vice President. That’s how we get a sitting member of the House of Representatives who serves on its Science Committee saying women who are “legitimately raped” – not to be confused with all those wanton sluts who were asking for it – have some sort of magic venom in their vaginas that shuts that whole things down.

Because, you see, what I understand from doctors [namely a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetricians and Gynecologists] is that “rape-related pregnancy occurs with significant frequency” and is “a cause of many unwanted pregnancies” to the tune of 32,101 each year.

I am so tired, so sick and tired, of rich white men telling what I can and can’t do with my body. Who I can love and who I can’t love. What rape is legitimate and what rape isn’t legitimate.

If only my female body had a way to try to shut that whole Rep. Todd Akin thing down. Oh, wait, it does – it’s called voting.

p.s. Please consider donating to Sen. Claire McCaskill, who in addition to not being a misogynistic idiot like her opponent, is a really cool lady and a kickass senator.

31 comments:

Katherine said...

This is just horrendous. I hope people pay attention and vote the right way!

Anonymous said...

Holy crap,
It's not often I read something that makes me so bloody angry.
I just bloody wish I could donate to Sen McCaskill's campaign but I'm pretty sure I can't cos I'm English and in England.
I just hope she buries this arsehole.

Anonymous said...

I was only 19 when I got raped. I had no money, no job and was in the middle of being diagnosed with both ADHD and autism. I think it's pretty safe to say I wasn't the best provider for a child back then, also I wasn't really capable on how to handle a child. And even if I did, even if I was going to be the best mother in the world, I never wanted children to begin with. Never in my life was I so happy with the existence of the morning after pill. I am so grateful to live in a country where this would never be an issue. If someone like him goes on stage here politicians would throw tomatoes at him. There would be a national outrage. It always baffles me that this great big country that is America, is so divided when it comes to such important issues. Issues that women ALREADY fought for. My heart goes out to every woman that has to suffer through guys (and eventually, laws) like this. I know if it was up to him, my (choice in) life would definitely be ruined by now.

Anonymous said...

Tell it, sister!

Anonymous said...

Had a momentary lapse of common sense and in a blaze of fury I have just tried to donate all the way from the UK. When did all of this madness start....2001 or was it already happening? How did the republicans turn into such a religiously fanatical and ignorant party who see intellect as a negative asset? (I have my own worries about UK politicians like Tony Blair who admitted in a televised interview that having become a born-again christian, was told by God to go to war in Iraq - not, you know, by the Intelligence we make considerable investment in. The lunatic is trying, I hope unsuccessfully, to return to the thankfully non-religious uk political scene). And why do news anchors have absolutely no interview skills so they can challenge these outdated views and out the ignoramuses? And why are rich white men still the face of the republican party in 2012?! Ahhhhhhhh *screams into pillow*. Growing up (and having a large family in the states), I always thought of the USA as a force for peace, now it appears that women need to be that force, so...stateside ladies...support your forward-thinking, peace-loving, reproductive system-protecting senators!

Also, Dorothy Snarker for President.

pecola said...

Today, you'll hear a lot of Republicans--both on television and twitter--calling for Rep. Akin to bow out of the contest and allow another Republican to take his slot as the party's nominee (despite the fact that he won the nomination just two weeks ago). Some prominent conservatives on twitter started the push yesterday and I'm sure it'll continue, in earnest, today.

And while it's easy to be assuaged by these brief displays of humanity, let's be clear about one thing: these people want to win an election, they don't want end the GOP's ongoing war on women. If they were genuinely offended, if they genuinely thought Akin's comments disqualify him from holding public office, they'd ask him to resign his House seat as well.

But they're not doing that...because all they really want is to beat Claire McCaskill and win that Senate seat.

Big Shamu said...

It's an interesting race. This was the candidate the Dems wanted to face McCaskill exactly because he's such an extremist. The more he spews his garbage the more money and votes go to McCaskill. I say shove a camera in this doofus' face every chance they get.
Claire is kickass.

Anonymous said...

I am ashamed to admit Todd Akin is from my home state. I could not believe the words fell out of his mouth, but then after seeing a commercial where his voice is heard comparing federal student loans to stage 3 cancer, why am I even surprised?

Claire McCaskill is awesome. And just as an aside, if they were able to get Todd Akin to bow out of the race we would then be saddled with Sarah Steelman. Why would this be bad?? Oh, I don't know she's just as pro-life as he is and she was endorsed by none other than Sarah Palin. It only gets scarier from here, I promise.

Anonymous said...

Geez, how disgusting. This guy is as sensitive and sophisticated as Atilla the Hun.

Your friend, Rusty said...

"If only my female body had a way to try to shut that whole Rep. Todd Akin thing down. Oh, wait, it does – it’s called voting."
Absolutely on point.

Anonymous said...

I am from Canada and we have our dear beloved leader who is a Christian fundamentalist and somehow he keeps getting back in with the money from thenUS republicans and other fanatical religious groups..he wants to reopen the abortion monologue again but knows it would not go well here. the query that where do these peopl come from???they have been here all the time ..biding their time to take over politics to twist all liberal policies into limp ineffectual policies.it is our right as gay liberal women to fight all these inequalities and to that, I have been doing that since I was little girl.

Anonymous said...

To my European sisters, this electoral system is corrupted by unlimited money donations from highly organized far right billionaire crazies. They manipulate the media, the ad campaigns, and most of all, they manipulate people's ignorance, fears. They legitimize the fears through religion (immoral gays, immoral urbanites, immoral poor). I no longer see any intelligent discussion in our politics. But I will keep voting, just to try keep the lunatics out of office and I hope for better things in the future.

IanW said...

If any British politician made a statement like that he'd be forced to resign/stand down/whatever. It just wouldn't be acceptable even to the right.

IanW said...

If any British politician made a comment like that, he'd be forced to resign/stand down/whatever. It isn't even right wing, it's just fascist.

IanW said...

If any British politician made a comment like that, he'd be forced to resign/stand down/whatever. It isn't even right wing, it's just fascist.

IanW said...

If any British politician made a comment like that, he'd be forced to resign/stand down/whatever. It isn't even right wing, it's just fascist.

IanW said...

If any British politician made a comment like that, he'd be forced to resign/stand down/whatever. It isn't even right wing, it's just fascist.

Anonymous said...

This bullshit is all tied in to the GOP attempt to limit federal aid for abortions in the case of rape (because they're showing they're reasonable people here unlike the OTHER GOPers who think no rape is vile enough to excuse a woman from carrying her rapist's baby). Instead of Akin's 'legitimate' rape, the language introduced in the bill is 'forcible', meaning in their wisdom and magnanimity, the GOP insists that you must be beaten to a pulp to be 'legitimately' raped and deserving of aid to terminate such pregnancies. The GOP, America's Homegrown Taliban. They hate because they love. They think. Well, they think they think, the evil assholes.

egghead said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, radical Republicans are scorching women every chance they get. They are haters of women. No matter how much they will whitewash it now, you have to look at their record to bring us back to ancient times and ancient myths. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Anonymous said...

To me the really sad part of all this "war against women", is repugnant women are voting these a-holes into office.

How can a gay person, a person of color or a woman be a republican, or even worse vote for these low lifes.

I say and will continue to say religion is the most destructive force in the world, always has been, always will be.

My answer to all this is vote and if all else fails - CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE doesn't.

Erin Kennedy said...

I didn't expect to read your blog today and cry. I've been reading it for years. But I was angered too. And to make things worse, I read through a political debate on Facebook today in which two men told a lesbian that she should just face up to the fact that she "chose" to be gay.

Why is what I do with my body so fascinating to the right? As a rape survivor, I shake at the thought of what I would have done had I gotten pregnant. I irrationally still shiver when I wait 20 minutes each year for my HIV quick test (I know it is a smidge irrational 10+ years later but I can't help it...I'm just thankful I no longer have to wait a week for results).

And maybe I am silly for becoming so enraged when another privileged white man says something like this...may we should all be used to it by now. But we can't stop fighting.

Thanks for posting this and thanks for always reminding me why women are incredible.

The only laughable thing is that men honestly do think our vaginas are magic, don't they? It really makes you wonder if Rep. Akin has ever even looked at one up close.

Anonymous said...

Seems this legitimate stupidity is catching.
Today in the UK a MP called George Galloway stated that if all of the rape claims against Julian Assange we're 100% true then he would only ever be guilty of 'bad manners'
When will people like Galloway or Akin learn to shut their mouths? It's people like them who seriously undermine the hard work done to have rape be taken seriously in a world where the 'she never said no' excuse is used successfully more than ever.
Rape is Rape.
No excuses.


Danie said...

*sigh* If he actually knew about women this guy would know that yes, stress can change a woman's menstrual cycle, stress over time.... not acute stress. Oy.

And then Romney comes out and basically says 'Akin shouldn't have said that'. I have to say, I'm not gonna vote for Scott Brown, but, he came out and blasted Akins, which, if Romney had done it would have scored him thousands of votes lickety split, but... he's still gotta cater to the haters. Gag. Love my country, hate my country's politics.

kia said...

I'm so glad you wrote about this Dorothy. I don't even have words to describe the rage and disbelief that I'm feeling that ANYONE could even THINK this stuff let alone say it on television. Thank you for using YOUR voice to get the word out and for fighting back. I'm with you all the way!

Amanda said...

I've met McCaskill. She IS an awesome lady. I'm from Missouri, and you're right, Akin isn't the only crazy right-winger in the state. It's a sea of red out there once you're past St. Louis. It's why I left for NY. I put in my absentee ballot. I just hope enough people care (the youth vote) to make their voices heard. So many people don't believe in the government anymore, they don't believe in their vote. And people like Akin are the consequence. So sad, so sad.

Amanda

Anonymous said...

As a scientist I cannot imagine which kind of "doctor" told him this BS!
You can believe in every God you want but Science is Facts, ans facts only!

Anonymous said...

To me the really sad part of all this "war against women", is repugnant women are voting these a-holes into office.

How can a gay person, a person of color or a woman be a republican, or even worse vote for these low lifes.

I say and will continue to say religion is the most destructive force in the world, always has been, always will be.

My answer to all this is vote and if all else fails - CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE doesn't.


I agree 100%

kilik said...

Omg! is he SERIOUS?!!!.

Oh wait, maybe he's been Raped before

THAT'S WHY HE KNOWS A LEGITIMATE
RAPE?...COME ON?!!!..
And to begin with is there such a
thing as a "Consensual Rape"
Isn't Rape is Rape in all means?!!
Whatever Language you use..
RAPE IS RAPE!

Anonymous said...

He really should read this letter from Eve Ensler.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eve-ensler/todd-akin-rape_b_1812930.html?utm_hp_ref=yahoo&ir=Yahoo

we live like this. said...

You're amazing, I worship your rants xxxx

Zed said...

My 12 year old son said in response to my comment about 'what constitutes legitimate rape?', but Mom 'rape is rape, everybody knows that' Out of the mouth of babes. http://justnotliketheothers.blogspot.com