Undead Sexist Cliches: Real rapists never get girls pregnant

You’ve probably already heard about Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Repub who stated that in “legitimate rape” the woman’s body has the super-power to shut down conception so nothing happens. As Slacktivist and Garance Franke-Ruta note, this is not a new view. Right to lifers have embraced this idea for at least 20 years, and occasionally pushed to make it law by eliminating rape exemptions in anti-abortion laws. After all, if rape doesn’t get women pregnant, then the lying bitches are just making it up to get rid of the baby their slutty behavior created, right? So who needs an exemption.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of Republicans have responded by staying the course, including Rep. Steve King and Mike Huckabee. Not to mention another Missouri repub of lower profile.
The defenses fall into two categories:
•Akin is right. Only as Franke-Ruta details above, he’s wrong. The weirdest argument, which turned up in one of the links, is that a woman can only get pregnant three days a month, which is wrong too. Apparently abstinence only education is having the desired effect of making people ignorant.
•Rape is a magical gift from God to give some woman a beautiful baby. Which is also an old argument, and no less disgusting than the last time I blogged about it.
I’m sure for some of them, like Akin, this is perfectly obvious. As Slacktivist notes, it’s a stock right-to-life view, they may have never thought to question it. And if they had, why would they? The Republican party is solidly in the forced-birth camp: Telling the base they’re full of it has never been a Repub strategy.
And then they’d also have to explain to other people that sure, rape can get you pregnant and no, it’s not a generous gift from a loving god, it’s a hellish experience … but we oppose abortion under all circumstances anyway. And also birth control.
Plus, of course, it’s a two-fer: This line of thought reinforces the idea that there are “legitimate” rapes but most of the supposed victims are just sluts suffering from “buyer’s remorse.” Akin, for example, has opposed marital rape as some kind of scam women can use in divorce cases.
It also reinforces the religious right’s madonna/whore myth (my apologies to all religious conservatives who evade this trap): Women going out and having sex are sluts, so if they do get raped, it’s what they deserve. I mean, you can’t expect guys to keep it zipped if women show too much thing/knee/calf/ankle/face/skin anywhere on the body, can you?
Some forced-birthers are genuinely concerned about the fetus, though I still think they’re wrong. But for a lot of them it’s all wrapped up in a toxic brew of hostility to women having any independent sex life. Or independence.

21 Comments

Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

21 responses to “Undead Sexist Cliches: Real rapists never get girls pregnant

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