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GOP congressman and Senate nominee Todd Akin: Rape is an effective form of birth control

Not a doctor, but plays one on TV.

Our completely incorrect biology lesson today comes not from Chateau Heartiste or The Spearhead or EvoPsychBullshitBeliever997 on Reddit but from an actual elected official with influence in the real world:  Republican Congressman Todd Akin of Missouri, currently his party’s nominee for Senate.

In a recent interview with KTVI-TV, the Fox affiliate in St. Louis, he explained that the ladies just don’t get pregnant from rape — well, “legitimate rape” anyway. As he put it:

From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. 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 on the rapist and not attacking the child.

As The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake notes, this whole “rape as birth control” thing is not actually, you know, true:

Akin’s claim is one that pops up occasionally in social conservative circles. A federal judge nominated by President Bush in the early 2000s had said similar things, as have state lawmakers in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. …

According to a 1996 study, approximately 32,000 pregnancies result from rape annually in the United States, and about 5 percent of rape victims are impregnated.

Talking Points Memo notes that this isn’t the first time Akin has suggested that

some types of rape are more worthy of protections than others. As a state legislator, Akin voted in 1991 for an anti-marital-rape law, but only after questioning whether it might be misused “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband,” according to … the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Akin: making up shit to deny rape victims their rights since 1991!

Currently, Akin has a big lead in the polls over his Democratic rival, sitting Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Here’s the relevant portion of Akin’s interview; you can find the whole thing at the Talking Points Memo link above.

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Ami Angelwings
8 years ago

This reminds me of an MRA comment I read, where the guy said that women are evolutionarily conditioned to be okay with rape, because in the past we’ve been raped so often when men sack villages, that for women, our brains just “restart” and we wake up in a new place with new men and our brains say “okay this is your new home and the new men in your life”.

He never explained how this applies to modern society tho. xD I guess he’s implying that when women get raped we fall in love with our rapist, which seems an odd thing to imply without evidence. >_>

All of these things also suggest that the people who say this KNOW at some level how common rape is, and how it happens a lot, that women (in their minds) MUST have some biological adaptation to it. It also helps that it justifies them not caring about rape. >_>

PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
PosterformerlyknownasElizabeth
8 years ago

Bubye that big lead.

Bedelia Bloodyknuckle
8 years ago

I don’t want to live on this planet anymore…….. 🙁

MorkaisChosen
MorkaisChosen
8 years ago

Stockholm Syndrome is a thing therefore it’s a good thing?

[/horribleshittywrong’logic’]

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Not the first time an elected official has given this erroneous information. Back up to 1988:

http://articles.philly.com/1988-03-23/news/26277205_1_freind-woman-secretes-luigi-mastroianni

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

Oh, but he did specify that ‘there ought to be some sort of punishment, and that punishment should be at the rapist.’ Wow, specifying you shouldn’t punish the rape victim for her rape- what a guy

Freitag
Freitag
8 years ago

Oh, my aching head. Why don’t politicians just say what they mean? (Purely rhetorical, I know exactly why they don’t/can’t.) “…the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child” is double-speak for “nonetheless I do not support abortion in cases of rape where no matter how traumatized the victim is, my only concern is for the foetus.” He’s anti-abortion. Just say what you mean, Congressperson.

GT_GiantTurtle
GT_GiantTurtle
8 years ago

not attacking the child

… and all the millions of children died a lonely death on the Kleenex. Now excuse me, but I have to go make the burial for this month’s bundle of tampons.

cloudiah
8 years ago

According to a 1996 study, approximately 32,000 pregnancies result from rape annually in the United States, and about 5 percent of rape victims are impregnated.

Countdown to someone on r/mr saying that this proves that at least 5% of rape accusation must be false, because science.

feministwiep
feministwiep
8 years ago

I am no longer shocked by anything Republicans say. Disgusted, yes. What always surprises me is that real ordinary people actually vote for them.

Moose
Moose
8 years ago

I just read this post right after reading this:

http://tinyurl.com/cg285q4

DOUBLE RAGE

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Jesus H. Motherhumping Christ, I am SO TIRED of these old white conservative dudes telling me what matters in regards to my body.

They can’t get pregnant, they don’t get a vote. Easy. Unfuck them.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

Freitag- Ah yeah, it was my mistake thinking he was considering the victim there. I really should have known better.

TreeUrchin
8 years ago

Aaaah, I see someone has confused humans and ducks. Easy mistake, that.

Effie
Effie
8 years ago

If you tout young earth creationism as truth, you have no business whatsoever trying to discuss complex things like reproductive organs and how they do and do not actually work. Do not pass go, do not collect $200,000 in bribes from the Koch brothers.

cloudiah
8 years ago

That Helen Mirren story is definitely DOUBLE RAGE inducing. She sounds like Owly.

Moose
Moose
8 years ago

cloudiah: It’s potentially even worse because she’s been a victim of date rape, meaning that there are some people that will read it and use the fact that one date rape victim doesn’t think it’s a big deal to justify all date rape. It also shows quite the lack of empathy on her part to assume that no one could possibly be more badly affected by date rape than she was/is.

bekabot
bekabot
8 years ago

There’s the weakness of these people’s argument: they believe, or pretend they believe, that the birth of any child, no matter to whom or under what circumstances, is a positive event. If rape never/almost never led to conception, they wouldn’t defend it, and yet they do defend it, since that’s what this line of blabber boils down to. So there you are: the only reason for these people to be okay with rape is that they’re convinced that it leads to childbirth often enough to be worth their while — otherwise they wouldn’t waste their energy excusing it. Since they do use up energy excusing it, one has to suppose that they expect, rightly or wrongly, that rape = babies, in at least a large enough proportion that enough babies are produced to be worth saving. If the babies aren’t there to save there’s no point in squandering airtime coming to their defense. (Little as I like Mr. Akin, I’m not inclined to accuse of being that stupid.) So: there’s the reason Mr. Akin can’t mean what he says: the fact that he says it means he can’t mean it.

Anybody who’s got a better explanation, please let me know, but please provide the basis of why you think I’m wrong.

(It’s worth noting at any rate that it’s darned rare that you’ll find the likes of Mr. Akin wrapped up in such a kindly mood when contemplating any of the generally acknowledged methods of cutting down on births.)

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

@ bekabot- Yeah, dude, a simpler explanation as to why they excuse rape is they are or know rapists. Longer answer- they think women are at their sexual service, they don’t always get consent, they are interested in controlling the sexuality of women, etc. One human being is never in the service of another, whether it is as a sexual object or as the incubator of a child. If you aren’t operating on that basic premise, you don’t view women as entirely human.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

This kind of crap is why I’ve gone canvassing for Claire McCaskill here in Joplin and surrounding communities. You would not want to know the things the tea partiers say when they find out who I’m going door to door for. I want to do some phone banking, too, and I can only imagine the things I’ll hear on the phone.

Oh, and with the white supremacists burning down the Joplin mosque, and now Akin winning the Republican nomination for Senate, I am not feeling much Joplin pride right now.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Oh yeah, and if Akin really cared about babies and children, then why is he in favor of abolishing the minimum wage, getting rid of free/reduced school lunches, not extending Medicaid for more people under the ACA, and getting rid of the Dept. of Education?
He can’t even claim to be in favor of fetuses, because he is against prenatal care being covered by Medicaid.

bekabot
bekabot
8 years ago

Well, okay, but then there are easier ways to make the same point than to come to the rescue of infants you don’t think are going to exist. (Which is bound to be a complicated project no matter how you decide to handle it.) Then too, what I was saying was more along the lines of “this is why this has to be bullshit” than “here are Mr. Akin’s deep motivations”. But for the rest I’ll accept your observation while inserting only one aside: of course men of Mr. Akin’s type don’t view women as entirely human; they don’t view most other men as entirely human either, as their actions prove; they often don’t view themselves as entirely human, if it comes to that, except that in their own case they reframe that as a bonus (“I am transcendent and above all rules”, etc.).

Flora
Flora
8 years ago

He says “only” 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, but that strikes me as a remarkably high number. Assuming the statistics are for single rape events only, that means that 1 in 20 intercourse events ends in a pregnancy. Given the huge variability in fertility, cycle, health, etc, not to mention the rate of spontaneous miscarriage, I’d say that’s actually more evidence to the contrary – that rape IS likely to result in pregnancy.
After all, healthy couples attempting to become pregnant over the course of a year are around 80% success, and I’m pretty sure they have sex more than 16 times in 12 months when trying to conceive.

drst
drst
8 years ago

@bekabot conservatives like Akin do not defend “rape” which they say is a terrible thing, but what you have to look at is what they define as “real rape” which is another part of this same guy’s legacy, saying marital rape doesn’t count, etc. For a Republican, only a virgin Christian girl who is walking home from Bible study and is attacked by a stranger in the bushes, who fights back until she is incapacitated, is “really” raped.

Tulgey Logger
Tulgey Logger
8 years ago

This meme that abortion is “punishing” or “attacking” a “child” needs to die. A fetus doesn’t have interests because it does not have consciousness, nor does it feel pain. It is not in any sense an independent agent. The idea of punishing a fetus doesn’t even make sense; speaking of “attacking” one only makes sense if you’re talking about physically trying to damage or destroy it. In Owly’s usage, it’s ungrammatical.

@cloudiah

That Helen Mirren story is definitely DOUBLE RAGE inducing. She sounds like Owly.

but women = good men = bad, right yu guize

aworldanonymous
8 years ago

Ok, so the Canadian conservative party are kind of mildly stupid and spend our money on military shit that we can’t afford, as well as a ridiculous revamp on the “war on drugs”. But this makes me feel genuinely sorry for Americans who have to watch people like that get elected to positions of power. Seriously, why do people legitimately feel that society needs to be that way, is it the tax breaks, or are some people just genuinely that shitty?

princessbonbon
8 years ago

Bionic Mommy, thank you for your efforts on behalf of Senator McCaskill. Canvassing is some of the most difficult work to do in a campaign and it is really appreciated by all politicians.

bekabot
bekabot
8 years ago

@bekabot conservatives like Akin do not defend ‘rape’ which they say is a terrible thing, but what you have to look at is what they define as ‘real rape’ which is another part of this same guy’s legacy, saying marital rape doesn’t count, etc. For a Republican, only a virgin Christian girl who is walking home from Bible study and is attacked by a stranger in the bushes, who fights back until she is incapacitated, is ‘really’ raped.

So: instead of riding into the breach to defend infants they don’t think are going to exist, they ride into the breach to defend a practice whose existence they’re unwilling to admit. To me that sounds like a variation on a theme. “Here’s why that has to be bullshit” is still a valid response.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Seriously, why do people legitimately feel that society needs to be that way, is it the tax breaks, or are some people just genuinely that shitty?

That’s the $64,000 question. Most people in southern Missouri do not benefit from the tax cuts Akin supports, yet he gets a lot of support around here. They’re not voting their own pocket books at all. Instead, they just vote however Rush Limbaugh and Fox News says they should. Many of them are single issue voters, and they don’t care what someone believes as long as they’re anti choice or anti marriage equality.

I know my family’s gotten a lot of help from the government, not only from the tornado relief, but also from public schools, the health care system, and free school lunches. That’s why I care so much about McCaskill’s campaign, because I want to support the politicians who are fighting for my interests. If only I could talk some sense into everyone around me, then people like Akin wouldn’t be the frontrunner to become a Missouri senator.

You wouldn’t believe how much money rich people and corporations have donated to Akin’s campaign. There are TV, radio, and Internet ads everywhere bashing McCaskill. The liberals and moderates in the state don’t have enough money to ever compete like that, so we’re fighting an uphill battle.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

@ bekabot- I suspect there is a little talking past each other going on between us all. For sure your observation is partially valid in its own way, and I’m pretty fond of my take on the matter. I suspect we could list a million ways these ultra-conservative dudes would oppress women given the opportunity and we’d both be right.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

Bionic Mommy, thank you for your efforts on behalf of Senator McCaskill. Canvassing is some of the most difficult work to do in a campaign and it is really appreciated by all politicians.

Thank you for that, princessbonbon. That’s good to hear, because some of the houses I go to aren’t too thrilled to see a Democrat at their door, to put it mildly.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

Jesus, I just re-read that and realized I am the world’s worst conciliator. Never call on me to talk down a shooter.

princessbonbon
8 years ago

Thank you for that, princessbonbon. That’s good to hear, because some of the houses I go to aren’t too thrilled to see a Democrat at their door, to put it mildly.

I know, and they do not respond well to facts. I have had arguments where I have shown someone the actual facts and they keep coming up with ways that the facts are not accurate.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

This kind of crap is why I’ve gone canvassing for Claire McCaskill here in Joplin and surrounding communities. You would not want to know the things the tea partiers say when they find out who I’m going door to door for. I want to do some phone banking, too, and I can only imagine the things I’ll hear on the phone.

Yeah, I was just thinking the other day that I should see if I can volunteer for the McCaskill campaign, and this has pushed me over the line into “I will not be able to live with myself if I don’t. I just signed up on her website. I’m about at the point of giving up on my state ever being sane again, but I have to try.

aworldanonymous
8 years ago

I know, and they do not respond well to facts. I have had arguments where I have shown somepony the actual facts and they keep coming up with ways that the facts are not accurate.

But didn’t you know? Facts are just the way we’ve been taught to think by the femminati, they’re giving our jobs to wimminz and Mexicans, and they’re making it so that straight white cisgendered guys everywhere are gonna stop being able to get laid. Which means no more white babies!!!!111111oneoneeleventy!11!!!!!!!!

aworldanonymous
8 years ago

*sidenote* Facts are also MISANDRY!!!!!!!!

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I’m about at the point of giving up on my state ever being sane again, but I have to try.

Tell me about it. I remember you saying you’re from around KC, so I want to apologize for what’s going on in southern Missouri. I don’t think many people around here realize most of the state money comes from St. Louis and Kansas City, that we’re actually financially dependent on the state government, and that Missouri is one of the states that gets more federal money than we give. So because people don’t appreciate those facts, we have a lot of people voting against their own economic self interests. It’s like we have forgotten where all that FEMA money came from, and what Eric Cantor from Virginia said last year about disaster relief.

princessbonbon
8 years ago

Could be worse-you could be in Arizona.

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Tell me about it. I remember you saying you’re from around KC, so I want to apologize for what’s going on in southern Missouri. I don’t think many people around here realize most of the state money comes from St. Louis and Kansas City, that we’re actually financially dependent on the state government, and that Missouri is one of the states that gets more federal money than we give. So because people don’t appreciate those facts, we have a lot of people voting against their own economic self interests. It’s like we have forgotten where all that FEMA money came from, and what Eric Cantor from Virginia said last year about disaster relief.

Yeah, it’s depressing and bizarre how great a job the Republican party (and their mouthpieces on Fox and so forth) have done of convincing people that up is down and left is right. Have you seen the McCaskill ad that accuses her of “supporting the government“? It doesn’t matter that that should not, in itself, be a bad thing in any sane universe. It doesn’t matter that it would kinda be impossible for a member of the US Senate not to “support the government” unless she goes around punching herself in the face or something. There’s a large enough voting bloc that thinks “government = BAD!” that this sort of nonsense ad is effective, despite those same people being perfectly cool with their Medicare or their food stamps or their farm subsidies or their schools or their libraries or their highways or even, in more than a few cases, their public-sector jobs. It’s freaking weird.

(And no need to apologize to me – having worked for both the Obama campaign in ’08 and the US Census in ’10, I’m far too aware that the greater KC area has plenty of idiots of our own. Sigh.)

katz
8 years ago

*Says a silent prayer of thanks that I was born in Washington and live in California*

Polliwog
Polliwog
8 years ago

Er, “McCaskill ad” should be “anti-McCaskill ad.” Stupid tired brain.

aworldanonymous
8 years ago

@Pollywog

The attitude is sadly starting to creep it’s way into Canada, It’s rather frightening really.

KathleenB
KathleenB
8 years ago

I lived in Cape Girardeau for a few years, going to SEMO. I was ever so grateful to GTFO.

Nanasha
Nanasha
8 years ago

So apparently rape isn’t actually rape if it doesn’t involve the vagina? That’s news to me.

Anal rape, oral rape, hell, using any part of an unwilling person’s body to get off with your genitals is RAPE and is fucked up as hell.

Although, personally, when I got raped by having a penis shoved into my chest cavity area and using my breasts to bring himself to orgasm, I was actually relieved that he didn’t rape my vaginal area. I really did not want to worry about getting pregnant, or having to deal with abortion.

What woman WANTS to get an abortion? SERIOUSLY, that’s minor surgery/bodily traumatic medication right there. But it’s not NEARLY as hard and messed up as having to give birth.

I have only ever been pregnant willingly. The idea of having to be pregnant and give birth against my will would probably make me suicidal or murderous at whoever had forced me to be tortured for 9 months.

katz
8 years ago

Anyway, BIG cheer for people who are helping out with campaigns in contested states! We need you so much!

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

@ aworldanonymous- not so slowly I am afraid, but far more quietly. Have you liked this community: https://www.facebook.com/RadicalHandmaids. Go like them.

timetravellingfool
timetravellingfool
8 years ago

Bahaha, literally, like, this minute the Radical Handmaids totally linked that video!!

xardoz
8 years ago

I think the word “legitimate” is the ultimate scare word here. Thanks, MRAs, for putting it out there that women LOVE making up rape, now your dinosaur cousins in the GOP are using the “legitimate” dogwhistles JUST FOR YOU!

“Liberal” and “civil libertarian” MRAs should be ashamed, by participating in the MRM you’re working to make the world a less free place.

aworldanonymous
8 years ago

@timetravellingfool

I’m seriously considering moving elsewhere, but I know no matter where I go I won’t be able to escape it.

Social Liberalism Y U NO BE MOAR POPULAR!!!

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