Just a warning – this is going to be a trigger warning for some of you, and I’m sensitive to such things, so be careful and cautious today, my little sweet potatoes. Also, I’m pissed as hell and that means I’m cussy, so even if you’re not triggered, but you hate all the cussing, you might want to go look at the pretty pictures over at I Can Has Cheezburger or something today because I AM GOING TO BE RANTY. Plus this ended up a little longer than planned. As mentioned, ranty. OK. Warning given. Still with me? Great, grand, lovely, hi hi hi.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. — Albert Einstein
Ah, Missouri. A grand state. The Show Me State! A state that yours-truly has actually visited. I rode a teeny-tiny elevator up high high high to the very tippy-top of the St. Louis Arch and looked out over the city and it was quite a sight. Very pretty. The site of the Missouri compromise! Home of the Ozarks! Home state of President Harry S. Truman!
What the holy fuck, Missouri, are you thinking at this exact moment in time? What are you thinking right now? No, I’m serious. I’m quite serious. I’d really like to know what was going through your head when you selected, from all of the people who I’m sure were interested in the position, Representative Todd Akin to run for U.S. Senate. Or – wait, I mean, I didn’t hear about this on the news, but did every other Republican candidate of the correct age pass away in a some sort of ill-timed industrial fire? I mean, that could have happened and gotten hushed-up by the government. My dad is always saying “THAT’S WHAT THEY DO” about things like this. So maybe Akin was the only one available and you HAD to put someone up, just HAD to.
I can’t think of any other explanation, honestly. I’ve been wracking my brain.
I know I have a lot of far-away readers. Maybe you aren’t aware of the latest bullshittery that’s gone on in the War on Women currently raging here in the good old US of Merka. (And Andreas, please let me apologize in advance. I know this is going to INFURIATE you. Things like this do. I wouldn’t expect otherwise, from my most-excellent Science Fellow. Please don’t get infuriated. Well, or, do, because it’s infuriating, but don’t let it get you all high-bloodpressurey. I like you too much and worry about your health.)
So, just to get you all up to speed:
Todd Akin is a member of the House of Representatives from Missouri who is running for Senate. I’m not really sure why you’d want to switch over. I’m kind of not good at such things. Someone better at government want to help me out with this? I just did a Schoolhouse Rock research session and from what I can tell, they’re just two branches of Congress, right? I guess the difference might be that there are only two senators from each state, so you’re one of two, while there are a random number of representatives from each state so you don’t get as much attention, like you’re a special snowflake if you’re a senator and just one of a gang of fellas if you’re a representative? I’m not really sure. I would ask my father but yelling happens whenever we talk about politics.
But that’s neither here nor there, at least not where this story is involved. Todd Akin is a Republican and a proud Tea Partier running against the incumbent Democrat for her Senate seat in the November election in Missouri. As such, he’s giving interviews. That’s what you do, when you’re running for a political seat. You give interviews. You can hardly hide in your closet, right? No one would vote for you if you didn’t put yourself out there. I take no objection to that. It’s what you do.
On a local show, our friend Todd was asked about his very hard-line stance on abortion. I think you can guess where the Toddster stands, right? He’s pro-life, of course. But he’s not JUST pro-life. He’s ALL pro-life. No matter the circumstances, no matter the case. The mother’s life is at risk? Well, that’s the risk she ran, getting pregnant. It’s incest? Well, damn, she shouldn’t have been so seductive to her daddy, he works so hard to put food on her table. Why make the baby pay for those things? The mother was raped? Well, first, was she? Was she really? Are you sure? Because if she was really raped, she wouldn’t be pregnant. Science says so.
“If abortion could be considered in case of, say, a tubal pregnancy [which threatens the mother’s life], what about in the case of rape?” asked KTVI host Charles Jaco, in a clip that was disseminated by Talking Points Memo. “Should it be legal or not?”
“It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,” Akin said, referring to conception following a rape. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
The…I…well. I don’t even know what I can say about this. Oh, wait. Yes. Yes, I do.
- “from what I understand from doctors.” Well, the minute this came out, THE MINUTE, “doctors” were all – EVERY ONE OF THEM – “um…yeah…no. He didn’t get this shit from me, yo. THIS IS NONSENSE.” This guy made this up. “From what I understand from doctors?” I could say this about ANYTHING. “From what I understand from doctors, I have a small green frog living just above my kidneys.” “From what I understand from doctors, it’s perfectly normal to eat a bag of Dove peanut butter chocolate candy every day the minute you wake up.” I can SAY these things, BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE THEM TRUE.
- “really rare.” Well, it depends on what you mean by “really rare,” I guess. Per a 1996 study quoted in the article I linked to above, 5% of rape victims ages 12-45 get pregnant each year. There are approximately 32,000 rape-related pregnancies each year. (It doesn’t say whether those are nationwide or global statistics. They’re fairly low, comparatively, so I’m going to assume nationwide, only because rape is a lot more prevalent in other countries (some other countries – Andreas says to add “some” as it’s quite low in some and quite high in others, my apologies for the oversight) and also getting statistics from those countries would be difficult.) I guess 5% would seem rare if you were playing the lottery. But if you were a rape victim who got pregnant, that wouldn’t seem that rare at all. If you were a child of rape, one of those 32,000 children a year, that wouldn’t seem that rare.
- “if it’s a legitimate rape.” A legitimate rape. As opposed to one of those other rapes. The kind we ask for, by going on a date with our rapist; by dressing provocatively; by walking in a bad part of town too late at night; by smiling at a stranger; by smiling at a friend; by laughing; by being female. One of those rapes. You know. Those non-legitimate rapes. Those lying whore rapes. Those rapes that we dare cry rape about, but really we’re just saying it for attention, to get revenge on the man for something he did or didn’t do, because we’re dirty lying women with nothing better to do. Get back in that kitchen and make me a pie and shut the fuck up, you asked for this when you came out of your mom without a penis.
- “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down” – what are these ways? Do we send out sperm-killing ninja cells? Do we develop vagina dentata? Do our eggs develop an impenetrable shell when confronted with rapist-sperm?
- “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something” – yep, “or something.” You know what that “or something” is? Science. That “or something” is science.
- “I think there should be some punishment” – well, thanks. That’s nice and not at all weak. Glad to hear it. Glad we have your approval on this.
- “but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child.” Without going into eel-infested waters of WHEN DOES LIFE BEGIN, here, I’m just going to say that no one having an abortion due to the fact they were raped is thinking about “attacking” the child. I think that’s the last thing on their mind. They’re not in attack mode. They’re in protection mode. They’re protecting themselves. THEY are the one who was attacked. And (until it’s taken from us, because ladies, unless we fight our asses off, it’s on its way to being yanked, don’t fool yourselves it’s not) we still have the right to choose whether or not we want to carry the child of our rapist to term.
In even more disturbing news, Akin is a member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. You might want to re-read that sentence. The man who thinks we have magical powers in our vaginas that can differentiate between the sperm we want and the sperm we don’t sits on a governmental committee which names, among its goals, “enhancing long-term economic competitiveness through investments in science and technology.” YOU JUST MADE US A LAUGHING STOCK. You think we have MAGIC POWERS IN OUR COOTERS. You think we can STOP OURSELVES FROM GETTING PREGNANT USING MIND-BULLETS.
(The “science” behind the magic hoo-ha theory is that some super-religious weirdo about fifteen years ago published an article saying if a woman is forcibly raped, her hormones are “upset,” causing pregnancy not to stick. Nope, I’m serious. Here’s the article. Which I don’t recommend you read, because it’s full of blatant lies, mistruths, and skewing of facts. Religious-types, misunderstanding how women’s bodies work for MILLIONS of YEARS!)
And don’t you dare say legitimate rape. Don’t you even dare. Seriously, sir, if you were in front of me right now, I’d spit in your fucking face. Have you ever been raped? Have you ever been forced to participate in a sexual act against your will? I’m going to guess not. Because if you had, you wouldn’t say something like “legitimate rape.” It wouldn’t cross your mind. It wouldn’t even be a blip on your faulty fucking radar. Who the hell do you think you are to pass judgement on what’s legitimate and what’s not? Because let me tell you how it works. A woman says she’s been raped? A PERSON WITH A HEART BELIEVES HER. There are very few sociopaths who go around claiming rape when it hasn’t happened. Because who would want that stigma? Who wants the name “rape victim” hung on them when they’re not one? Especially with ignorant assholes like you, sir, walking around slut-shaming them for trauma they’ve gone through?
President Obama made a statement the next day, which I think it’s important we read. Let’s read what another man has to say about this issue, shall we? Let’s compare the two statements. Here’s Obama’s statement in response to the magic ninja vagina (or, I don’t want to get this wrong, it might well be a magic uterus, he didn’t really qualify where those ninjas reside) no one is ever really raped statement. Ladies and gentlemen, the current (and next) President of the United States:
“The views expressed were offensive,” said Obama. “Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.”
Even more telling? FUCKING ROMNEY CONDEMNED IT. Oh, shit, Akin. Even ROMNEY thinks you’re an asshat. Romney doesn’t even know what doughnuts are called because he’s so fancy he probably eats nothing but croissants flown in fresh from the south of France every morning, but even HE thinks you’re a douchebag.
“Congressman’s Akin comments on rape are insulting, inexcusable, and, frankly, wrong,” [Romney] told National Review Online. “Like millions of other Americans, we found them to be offensive.”
He added that his view was “entirely different” and that Akin’s statement was “entirely without merit and and he should correct it.”
(Notice Paul Ryan didn’t have a statement. That’s because Paul Ryan also believes we have magical ninja vaginas and that we should all be up in that kitchen rattlin’ our pots and pans, but he’s savvy enough not to open his mouth about this issue. Or his handlers have him shut in a closet and have ever since Akin made this statement. In case you’re confused: Paul Ryan hates women, y’all. But that’s a blog for another day.)
Now, almost immediately after he made this statement, our old friend the Toddster was all, “a-duh, I misspoke.” MISSPOKE! No. You misspeak when you say “clap” instead of “crap” or something, you know? Not when you say “most rape victims are lying liars who lie and the reason I know this is because imaginary doctors told me their vaginas would fight off intruder sperm if it was, truly, sperm of a rapist.”
“In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year,” Akin’s statement said.
Akin also said in the statement he believes “deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.”
Also, this isn’t even an apology! It’s not an “I’m sorry, I’m a total douchenugget” but it’s a “my silly MOUTH, you know? Whoopsie!” statement! Plus, he throws in AGAIN how he’s pro-life at the bottom! WE FUCKING KNOW, YOU MORON!
Do I have any Missouri people reading this? I don’t think I have many Republicans reading this anyway, because I’m one of those shouty liberal chicks (and therefore probably a lesbian, and most definitely the enemy) but if I do, please don’t vote for this man. I mean, even if you believe in everything else he stands for – THE MAN DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HOW BASIC HUMAN REPRODUCTION WORKS. How old were you when you understood that? I had a basic idea when I got “the talk” at age 11 or so, then had health class in tenth grade with the charts and graphs and such so I understood it more then. But I’m pretty sure, at no point in my life, did I think I had any sort of magical powers in my cootch that could all Wonder-Woman intruder sperm. OUR VAGINAS DO NOT DO THIS.
Here’s some basic biology for you: you can get pregnant if you have sex right before, while, or immediately after you ovulate. You don’t always get pregnant – there are factors in play like biology, sperm speed, sperm volume, biological compatibility…if you want to research it, you can. Thing is, most of you don’t have to, because I think, as a human, you know how we reproduce. (Shit. Shit, shit shit. AKIN IS AN ALIEN. Oh, that’s it. That’s totally it. He’s an alien PRETENDING to be human. We caught him in a slip-up. If we cut him, he’s totally going to bleed green goo, you guys.) Anyway: you have the same odds of getting pregnant with anyone if you have sex with them during that approximately week-long window each month. Your boyfriend. The mailman. The pizza deliveryman. Your husband. The person who raped you. THE ODDS ARE THE SAME. Do you know why? Because the SCIENCE is the same. Science doesn’t change for politics. That’s why science is awesome. Science doesn’t take sides. Science doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican or a Socialist or if you think the Rent is Too Damn High. Science just IS. And science says, if you have sex in that approximately week-long window, you have a decent chance, depending on biological factors, of course, of being impregnated – whether you want to be or not.
I don’t care if this man apologized. I don’t care if this man’s being pressured to step down by 5pm today (sounds like he won’t, even though people want him to, because DAMMIT! He is a MAN! He is CORRECT! He did NOTHING WRONG! He just made an OOPSIE!) I don’t care about any of this. What matters here is: this is a man running for a position to help run our entire country. A man that doesn’t believe that violence against women really happens and a man that believes we have magic vaginas like Lieutenant Dan had magic legs, I guess. This is a man who votes on laws that affect me and people I love. And he obviously not only doesn’t understand women, he hates and fears them.
Missouri, you’re the Show Me state, right? So, show me. Show me what the hell you were thinking, allowing someone who doesn’t understand basic science to not only run for Senate, but to serve in the House of Representatives, representing your state. Please, go ahead and show me that. Show me the thought processes behind this man, who hates and fears women representing your state, which I can only assume has some women in it. Please feel free to show me this. I’d love to see it. Because I can’t wrap my mind around it, honestly. Completely at a loss.
I’m going to go have a legitimate popsicle because I’m legitimately hot under the collar. Well, at least I think it’s a legitimate popsicle. How can I be sure? A politician didn’t tell me it was and I obviously, being female, can’t make such judgement calls on my own.
Have a nice day, from me and my magic ninja vagina. Hi-ya!