On the infamous Mr. Akin


It’s my opinion that the majority of (deliberate) bad things in the world occur for one of two reasons: either ignorance or basic lack of regard for other people.

I have a lot of feelings — disbelief, shock, fury — toward Missouri Rep. Todd Akin, who on Sunday claimed that women couldn’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”  As well as toward the Republican Party itself, which, while publicly distancing itself from Akin as fast as possible, just approved the official party platform for the current election cycle to exclude any abortion exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother.

Preaching to the choir here, but again: someone’s body belongs only to that person.  When you decide against someone’s wishes what can go in or out of his/her/hir body, that is not okay.  That goes for women’s bodies, but also for men’s.  Or genderqueer bodies.  That goes for anyone that wore the “wrong thing” or drank or knew their rapist.  Anyone who got pregnant and didn’t want to be.

I wrote a longer, more well-thought-out post on this last night, but when I clicked the “Publish” button, WordPress promptly decided to malfunction and lose my post.  Apologies for poor WordPress handling and any lack of articulation here.  I have rape fatigue — as I imagine you do as well.

Bottom line: please, please do not vote for someone this year that delegitimizes or flatly dismisses the rights or experiences of others based on ignorance, particularly due to reasons of religion or personal morality.

Thank you.

One thought on “On the infamous Mr. Akin

  1. Thank you for addressing this, Heather. I have “rape fatigue”, too- I get so sick of reading about and debating sexual politics, not because they aren’t vital but because it’s taxing for me on a personal level. Sometimes I tell myself to leave it, that I need a break, to let the bastards be bastards because the world can be so appalling that sometimes the most you can manage is just not to let it hurt you. And I do leave it, for a while, but inevitably someone like Akin or Daniel Tosh comes along with their violent language, or a “sex” scene in a movie makes my blood boil, and I’m mired in the same fight again.
    What I want to know is why, with the recognition of rape culture as a concept and the increasing dialogue about it, aren’t things changing more? Are they? Because really, I feel like a kind of silence has been broken; there are a lot of feminists addressing sexual violence, be it through personal essays or pop culture analysis or SlutWalk or Take Back the Night. And all of that is awesome, and granted, you can’t erase millennia of internalized sexism overnight. But how is it that some are still so totally neanderthal in their attitudes toward women’s bodies, and in light of all our efforts, feel that they can get away with expressing those attitudes publically?

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