Todd Akin and the Magical Rape-Sensing Uterus
The human body is amazing. My body does amazing things every day. But no matter how hard it tries, it doesn’t yet know when I want to be pregnant, and when I don’t.
Congressman Todd Akin thinks otherwise. Over the weekend, the Republican Senate nominee in Missouri said:
“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 logged onto twitter to find it absolutely flooded with #toddakinisafool and #legitimaterape. There are so many things wrong with Akin’s statement that it’s hard to know where to start. First of all, SERIOUSLY? Second of all, WHAT?! Ok. Ok.
Maybe Akin never took a middle school sex ed class (which should be mandatory for people trying to legislate women’s bodies) but it’s pretty clear that rape can cause a pregnancy. Even though plenty of people are deluding themselves into believing that it never ever does.
Also, I do not know what Akin meant by “legitimate rape.” I’m not sure I want to know. It probably has to do with the “forcible rape” wording that was in the original house bill, No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act in 2011. You know, the idea that some rape is “forcible” and some rape really isn’t so bad. Did Akin mean that there is a lot of misreporting about rape? There isn’t. But there’s certainly plenty of underreporting, thanks in part to politicians telling you that there is such a thing as “legitimate rape.” I can’t really even wrap my head around this phrase. I don’t think it’s a phrase anyone should say, ever. I think we should treat all rapes legitimately. But I’m just one of those crazy feminists, don’t mind me.
The other thing that really gets me here is that if my body knew when I didn’t want to be pregnant, I wouldn’t need condoms or birth control to prevent pregnancy. You know, those things that some Republicans are still working their hardest to ensure I don’t get. It would be super awesome if my body just refused to become pregnant when I didn’t want to be. But I’m not there yet.
In the end, remarks like Rep. Akin’s are exactly what we’re talking about when we say Women Are Watching. If you want to support candidates who are champs like Senator Claire McCaskill, not chumps like her opponent, sign up at Women Are Watching. Because from what I understand, the female [voting] body has a way of shutting down Todd Akin’s entire campaign.