Legitimate? Oh, I Don’t Think So.

It’s time to clean house.

Not my house. Not your house. The Houses of Congress and Statehouses and Governor’s Mansions. We need to get rid of any and all elected officials who don’t get that women are autonomous.

Yesterday, Representative Todd Akin (R-MO), who is running for the Missouri Senate seat currently occupied by Democrat Claire McCaskill made this charming observation:

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors, (pregnancy from rape) is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in a clip posted to YouTube by the Democratic super PAC American Bridge. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

OK, there’s a lot about that statement that is wrong. Like factually wrong, not wrong like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is wrong. According to the CDC, there are actually 32,000 pregnancies that result from rape each year. So, either 32,000 women per year have misfiring reproductive tracts that forgot to shut down during rape or Todd Akin knows fuck-all about women.

Or, and this is far more likely and far more ominous, Todd Akin doesn’t believe women really get raped because he doesn’t believe women know whether they want sex or not.

I would not hesitate to posit that a man who, like Akin, doesn’t believe that a woman has any reason to terminate a pregnancy, including when the pregnancy resulted from non-consensual sex, also doesn’t believe that women are fully competent to withhold consent for sex. I suspect Mr. Akin thinks rape – legitimate rape, as he puts it – is largely a myth, something that happens only rarely, usually at gunpoint and every other kind of sex is something that “she was asking for”.

That opinion should be enough to disqualify him from holding elected office. If that doesn’t do it, his staggering ignorance of reproductive biology should.

I am sick to death of men – powerful men – who don’t believe women should control their own sexuality. The idea that women fake rape or pretend they don’t want sex when really they do is antiquated in the same way that the torture devices used in the Spanish Inquisition are antiquated. Not only is that thinking the relic of an uninformed past but it’s also barbaric. It assumes that women are lesser beings who require the control of men who determine their fates.

It’s long past time when men who hold these attitudes should be relieved of decision-making power. There is no excuse for allowing a man who believes woman are less than men to legislate. Does Todd Akin believe that? I contend that he does. He cosponsored legislation that would restructure Medicaid rules to only allow abortion for pregnancies resulting from “forcible rape” instead of just “rape” as the rule used to read, thus creating a hurdle for Medicaid recipients to jump through in order to end an unwanted pregnancy. He disagrees with abortion in all cases, even from rape and incest and would happily remove a woman’s right to medically safe abortion. He is willing to impose his judgement on women’s sexual activity and reproductive rights on a macro level and make laws that affect us all that are based on his own ideology, not on science, medicine, women’s opinions or needs.

Todd Akin, in short, is a patriarchal fuckhead who needs to be voted out of office. Because the man who doesn’t think women know enough to control their own sexuality and reproductive health? Doesn’t think women are fully human.

It’s time for all of us women to start asking politicians, point blank, how they feel about women’s autonomy. If there’s even a hint that they don’t believe that any instance of withheld consent to sex is actually rape, shut them down. If they are unable to see the need for legal access to abortion, especially in the case of rape, shut them down. If they don’t believe in equal pay for equal work, shut them down. If they don’t value the new rules that prevent health insurance companies from charging women more, shut them down. If they don’t understand that women in America are still marginalized, shut them down. Shut them down and replace them with people who are acquainted with the reality of women’s lives.

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12 comments for “Legitimate? Oh, I Don’t Think So.

  1. Layne Aingell
    August 20, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I want to speak to the “doctors” he claimed provided him with this information. And then bitch slap them.

  2. Rebekah @ Mom-In-A-Million
    August 20, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Five bucks says the doctors he talked to are Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Tom Coburn, both anti-choice former doctors.

  3. August 20, 2012 at 10:08 am

    What I am sick to death of is WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE “POWERFUL” – who in the world is giving them this power? Ugh.

    But here is a mood cheering ad being played in MN. LOVE.

  4. August 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

    I actually cried when I heard about that statement. Blame the pregnancy hormones or whatever, but I cried.

    I feel like we’re back in the early 1900s just trying to get the ability to vote. I just …. I can’t even think about this any more. I get too upset.

  5. August 20, 2012 at 10:19 am

    AMEN! Thank you for this.

  6. Addie
    August 20, 2012 at 11:36 am

    WTF!?!? The definition of rape is “to force to have sex”, so isn’t “forcible rape” a bit REDUNDANT?? I don’t know why it amazes me that some people can be so effin stupid.

  7. August 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Thank you for this!! You said it all so well. I went to the personal side of things where you said everything I was thinking on the political side.

  8. Amy
    August 20, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Amen and let’s get the word out! These men do not deserve the right that we as voters have given them. Their power is for the good of man not mankind. Women are smarter than these cave dwellers think so we have to show them by voting their asses out of public office.

  9. Brigitte
    August 20, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    In contrast, I love what Pres. Obama said in response to this. It was something to the effect of “I don’t think the House & Senate, which is made up of mostly men, should be making major health care decisions for women.” Yay, POTUS!!!!!

  10. Wendy
    August 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Is there a website with a list of these asshats that are anti-woman?

    We really needed a good female running this time, however Hillary is too busy raising the roof every where she goes to care.

  11. August 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Anyone that ignorant should not be in a position of power. Any position of power. At least the Republicans are backpedaling away from him as fast as possible and pulling campaign funding because even they realize how bat shit crazy he is and they don’t want to be associated with him.

  12. August 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    My favorite quote so far in the discussion of Mr. Akin’s comment: “Todd Akin knows fuck-all about women.”

    Thank you for that.

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