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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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thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I kind of hope Akin stays in the race, just because he’d be the easiest to beat. Every time he opens his mouth, he helps McCaskill. McCaskill was happy when he got the Republican nomination, and his views on “legitimate” rape shows why she thinks he’s the weakest opponent. But if he does step down, I’d be happy about that, too. As long as he doesn’t become Senator, that’s the most important thing.

thebionicmommy
thebionicmommy
8 years ago

I liked what Obama said, from BigMomma’s link:

That 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,” he said.

Amen to that!

pecunium
8 years ago

sunshinemary: You do realize that any of you who are men could have such a thing happen to you, right?

Only if I raped someone. Because, contra the bullshit of the rape apologists (such as yourself) false allegations of rape are rare.

I have had sex I regretted. I’m pretty sure some of the women I’ve had sex with probably decided it was, on reflection, not the best of sexy-times and, as a result, not worth repeating.

None of them has ever accused me of rape. That means more to me than your fantasies of “rape by regret”.

Moreover, if a Christian can’t rape a spouse, then a marital rape law is nothing for them to worry about. It’s no skin off your nose, unless you think everyone ought to have to abide by the rules of your religion; as legal mandate.

pecunium
8 years ago

sunshinemary:

Neither spouse has the right to refuse sexual relations unless the other agrees to abstain, too. For Christians, there can be no such thing as marital rape.

So… mutual consent is only required for the refusing. If he doesn’t want to put out she has the right to force him… right?

What if he refuses for more than some little while? What if he isn’t interested often enough… is that abusive?

Is that grounds for leaving him?

If not, then you aren’t making it an equal sharing of possession.

And… per your previous comments, where the man is the master, and has the final say… how do you reconcile your conflicting interpretations?

pecunium
8 years ago

sunshinemary…. The FRS is your go to source for support on claims of false rape?

And how is it you (a woman) feel fit to contradict a male pastor? Esp. as you are telling me (a man; a Christian man) about matters of religion?

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

@ Seraph

Yeah, I get the impression that Mary and many others like her are completely nonplussed when the response to their Bible verses is “so? why should I care” rather than “well in my opinion verse X contradicts that”. Which is good in that it limits their ability to do political damage, but very odd to observe. These people are on the internet – you’d think they’d have noticed that there are a lot of people who don’t much care what the Bible says.

Denise
Denise
8 years ago

So I wonder, if, according to sunshinenary, a woman’s husband decides he wants to invite all his buddies over to watch him do her in their living room, is that ok? Has she, by consenting to marry him, consented to doing that, too? According to Christianity? What if she just came down with the stomach bug from hell and moving makes her want to vomit, it’s ok if husband is like, roll over and let me do you?

When you say marital rape doesn’t exist, you’re saying that this shit isn’t rape either. It perfectly ok, it’s what your husband signed on for.

And hey guys, it’s really not hard to tell if someone is consenting! They do stuff like climb on top of you, wrap legs around you, make out with you, say “omg I want you”, tear your clothes off, and when you start sexing them, they act like they like it! If you’re paying attention to your partner and you give a shit about their pleasure, it is the most obvious thing in the world when they really want you. If its not obvious, then you need to stop and ask what’s up.

pecunium
8 years ago

sunshinemary:

Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, in his sermon entitled Disgrace and Grace, said that rape is “Any type of sexual behavior or contact where consent is not freely given or obtained and is accomplished through force, intimidation, violence, coercion, manipulation, threat, deception, or abuse of authority…And it manifests itself in three ways: “The ‘acts’ can be physical, verbal, or psychological.” In the age of bullying and the Internet, in the age of certain inappropriate speech and conduct, it just, it can be physical contact that connotes sexual assault, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. It also can be verbal and/or psychological.”

Way to bear false witness. The bolded portion is what he said. Sexual behavior. Are you seriously saying that he meant mere words were sexual behavior?

If so… we Heaven help you, because that level of failure to comprehend is something a person who is a “professional writer” can’t really afford.

sunshinemary
8 years ago

@ Pecunium
Pastor Driscoll clearly says in the last sentence that sexual assault does not necessarily have to involve physical contact.

On the issue of a Christian woman correcting a pastor – women are to be silent and not teach in the congregation; this does not mean they can never discuss scripture with a man or disagree with him although she ought to heed Paul’s admonition to ask her own husband about it at home if she is in doubt. HOWEVER, I am not disagreeing with Pastor Driscoll on a theological matter but rather on a sociological matter.

On the issue of mutual consent to abstain from sex: the husband and wife must both be submitted to God first and foremost. He must not choose to withhold sex from her for long periods of time because it is specifically prohibited in Scripture for him to do so. He is of course the master of the wife, but he must not lead her into sin nor be in sin himself.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

You still haven’t explained why those of us who are not part of your particular sect, or who’re not Christians at all, should care about what the Bible says about any of this, or your interpretation of what it says. You also have not explained why, if you recognize that non-Christians have the right to order their lives differently, you keep showing up here and making sweeping moral statements.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Little miss sunshine has no problem speaking on behalf of women who aren’t part of her sect.

Women were created to submit. In a sinless state, we should be perfect helpers to our husbands, with submission being as natural as breathing. In our fallen state, submission has been flipped into rebellion and perversion. I am not speaking only of Christian women, but of all women; even our lost sisters were created to live their lives in subjection to a man.

Source.

I see in her previous post she also makes reference to a “perfected Jew” (i.e. one who has converted to Christianity) so she’s a real class act on many fronts.

pecunium
8 years ago

sunshinemary: He says it’s acts of coercion that makes it assault. That requires being in the same space.

On the issue of a Christian woman correcting a pastor – women are to be silent and not teach in the congregation

That’s parsing it pretty fine. Are you saying the congregation only exists when all are assembled in church? Sort of puts the lie to the idea that, “wherever two are gathered in His name” doesn’t it? Because I’d say two people talking scripture are, “in His name” and so constitute part of the “Congregation of Christianity”.

I am not disagreeing with Pastor Driscoll on a theological matter but rather on a sociological matter.

Nope. You are disagreeing with him about rape, which you are discussing, not as sociology, but religion. Otherwise Paul’s comments aren’t relevant.

He must not choose to withhold sex from her for long periods of time because it is specifically prohibited in Scripture for him to do so. He is of course the master of the wife, but he must not lead her into sin nor be in sin himself.

Ah… so the “mutual consent” required is… the man’s to have, or not. It’s not actually mutual.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

He must not choose to withhold sex from her for long periods of time because it is specifically prohibited in Scripture for him to do so.

Still missing that passage where Paul states, “I say this as a concession, not as a command.”
It is not a prohibition, but a recommendation.

He is of course the master of the wife,

Of course. So if the master decides that the wife needs a good “roguering” (isn’t that what you good Christian Domestic Discipline folks like to call it?), who is she to disagree?

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

SHIT!! Blockquote fail again!! 🙁

Amused
8 years ago

Curious how it’s different in Judaism: spouses can’t engage in sexual relations except by mutual consent, although the husband is charged with a special obligation to please his wife sexually. No such thing as having the right to the other person’s body, because lovemaking by spouses must of necessity have the proper emotional component; it’s sinful otherwise. In fact, even consensual sex is forbidden if the husband and wife bear any resentment towards one another or are in an ongoing conflict. (Thus, sex as an act of making up and sweeping things under the rug is forbidden; must resolve the underlying conflict first.) There are a lot of things in Orthodox Judaism that I find retrograde and highly objectionable, but I think this part of it is quite enlightened. Who knew becoming a “perfected Jew” meant finally engaging in marital rape and treating one’s spouse like a soul-less property, whose feelings are worthless and may be ignored?

drst
drst
8 years ago

Pastor Driscoll clearly says in the last sentence that sexual assault does not necessarily have to involve physical contact.

Yep, and he’s not wrong. He’s talking about the “era of the internet” where you can violate consent by sharing photos/videos/information without permission of your partner, or film them without them consenting, or a whole raft of disgusting shit that a decent person would never do to anyone without their wholehearted consent.

But that you apparently think would be perfectly fine for man to do to a woman as long as he got some guy in a robe to say some words over them both once.

You are everything that disgusts me about Christians.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Pam, you cursed! Better not vanish for a while or Mary will assume that your husband is punishing you. She may even praise you for showing proper subjugation.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

Lemme try that one again…….. don’t want cloudiah’s eyes to bleed 😉

He must not choose to withhold sex from her for long periods of time because it is specifically prohibited in Scripture for him to do so.

Still missing that passage where Paul states, “I say this as a concession, not as a command.”
It is not a prohibition, but a recommendation.

He is of course the master of the wife,

Of course. So if the master decides that the wife needs a good “roguering” (isn’t that what you good Christian Domestic Discipline folks like to call it?), who is she to disagree?

cloudiah
8 years ago

Ha ha, thanks! 🙂

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

@CassandraSays,

I am contrite [hangs head in shame]

I currently do not have a husband (twice married and twice widowed), and have no inclination to get married again. I have never felt happier, more relaxed, and at peace since not having a man in the house demanding my undivided attention whenever I had a free moment for myself.
Lord only knows how I manage to take care of the house, both inside AND out, without a man to tell me what to do! /sarcasm

Howard Bannister
8 years ago

I’m serious, Mary. When last we met you were bearing false witness against a neighbour.

That’s a serious offence, according to the Bible. If a Christian continues willfully sinning after being made aware they’re sinning, the Bible says to shun them, and HARD.

You’re STILL bearing false witness against Sandra Fluke.

https://thewomanandthedragon.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/20-reasons-for-a-woman-to-remain-a-virgin-until-her-wedding-night/

8. will not shame her entire family by appearing before congress to discuss how she’s been having so much sex that she just can’t even afford to buy that much birth control

When you were already told that she was discussing women taking hormonal BC for health reasons, not for sex.

HEALTH REASONS.

So you continue to bear false witness.

Your own Bible tells me to shun you.

Can you give me one single reason to ignore the Bible in this area, Mary?

pecunium
8 years ago

Howard: You forgot to remind Mary that Sandra Fluke is Married.

So even if it was true that she needed lots of BC because she was fucking up a storm, it was legitimate sex, unless Mary is alleging Ms. Fluke is cheating on her husband.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Although I don’t play it any more I did play D&D for a while in my tween years, and it always amuses me to try to apply D&D classifications to people/groups of people.

Quiverfull is definitely lawful evil, as is Mary.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

Little miss sunshine has no problem speaking on behalf of women who aren’t part of her sect.

“Women were created to submit. In a sinless state, we should be perfect helpers to our husbands, with submission being as natural as breathing. In our fallen state, submission has been flipped into rebellion and perversion. I am not speaking only of Christian women, but of all women; even our lost sisters were created to live their lives in subjection to a man.”

LOL!!! Ummmmmmmmmmm………no. Women were created to be co-rulers of the earth, right alongside men. Genesis 1:26-28

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

In a sinless state, women should be perfect, equal partners with their husbands, not subservient lackeys to them. In our fallen state, women will yearn for their husbands, even though relations with them may consequently result in increased pain in childbirth, and, in turn, men will desire to rule over their wives.

Why oh why do these fundies insist on perpetuating our fallen state as if it were righteous.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

Howard: You forgot to remind Mary that Sandra Fluke is Married.
So even if it was true that she needed lots of BC because she was fucking up a storm, it was legitimate sex,

AND……….. wait for it……….. it was sex that she was strictly and biblically prohibited from denying to her husband!

pecunium
8 years ago

Pam… you saw the subtext. 🙂 😀 XD

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

So basically we’re back to Quiverfull people trying to close every loophole that might enable a woman to avoid being constantly pregnant for her entire adult life, again.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

@pecunium,

Yes, and I had a hearty laugh at it!

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

I might have missed the boat on this conversation, but Shakesville’s post about this asshat contained the following:

Men like Akin don’t define rape by the lack of consent. They define rape by its victims. They have a detailed vision of the perfect rape victim: A traditionally pretty young, virtuous, straight, cis, white Christian woman, who was raped by a stranger in the bushes while she was walking home from her job as a nurse or a teacher or some other caregiving profession in her conservative wardrobe and sensible shoes. She was left suitably bruised to prove her rape, but not so much that it will permanently ruin her luminous beauty. A perfect victim of the most terrible crime.

If the victim of a rape doesn’t fit this description, then it wasn’t “forcible” and therefore “legitimate” rape. Ergo, the dirty slut was asking for it.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

So basically we’re back to Quiverfull people trying to close every loophole that might enable a woman to avoid being constantly pregnant for her entire adult life, again.

Hell, self-righteousmary believes that birth control pills and IUDs should be illegal, in addition to abortion. Here’s a portion of a comment she made at Complementarian Loners regarding a discussion she had with her gyno:

“I said, “Wait a minute, I’m on the pill, I can’t be ovulating.” And she told me that women often ovulate on the pill, especially on the progesterone-only pill, but not to worry because the pill causes changes in the uterine lining that make it hostile to the fertilized egg.

At that moment, I had a very horrible realization; I was possibly conceiving every month and spontaneously aborting due to the pill. I immediately stopped using birth control pills.

Along with abortion, birth control pills and IUDs should be illegal.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

@ Pam

See, this is the problem with people like Mary. Look at that bit you just quoted – she had a moment of realization that something she was doing might be against her own moral code, felt horrified, and therefore concluded that it should be illegal. Never mind that most people don’t share her moral code or her religious beliefs, or that a lot of women would react to the information she was given with a shrug and not be upset at all. It upset her, therefore it is terrible and must be banned.

Basically they’re just very selfish.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

Holy shit, that list! 20 reasons why a woman WOMAN should be a virgin until her wedding night O.O (although, really, a lot of them were repeats).

However, this one:

6. is less likely to end up divorced if and when she does marry

I thought to myself, “Self, I wonder if that link leads to an actual study, or just some bible-thumping propaganda.”

Self was right. The source (Rocky Mountain Family Council brochure on abstinence) says

More likely to divorce
A study by the National Center for Health Statistics and the University of Maryland showed that those who are sexually active before marriage are 71 percent more likely to divorce than those who are virgins on their wedding night.

Whereas Wikipedia says

A 2011 study at the University of Iowa found that loss of virginity before age 18 was correlated with a greater number of occurrences of divorce within the first 10 years of marriage.

And google in general found a bunch of bible-thumping blogs touting the same “results” from studies done at the University of , but no hits on the actual studies or actual universities.

TL;dr: I call bullshit on Mary Sunshine.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

Yep, let’s take away EVERYONE’S free will to choose, so that I don’t have to be uncomfortable.
Never mind that other self-identifying Christians, like myself, believe that her moral code is lacking.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

BTW, I use “bible-thumping” as a derogatory term to refer to those christians who use scripture they clearly haven’t read or understood to bash people who disagree with them. It occurs to me that everybody out there who doesn’t live in my head might not be aware of that shorthand. I’m not attacking christians in general, just the buttheaded ones. Sorry if that was unclear.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

“Shrink wrap your vagina until you get married and then relate to your husband like an obedient dog for the rest of your life” is a pretty poor substitute for a moral code, in my opinion.

Pam
Pam
8 years ago

“Shrink wrap your vagina until you get married and then relate to your husband like an obedient dog for the rest of your life” is a pretty poor substitute for a moral code, in my opinion.

ROTFLMAO!!! I’m surprised that she didn’t actually include that in her list.

Steele
Steele
8 years ago

I do indeed disagree with the Senator with regards to “legitimate rape”; I agree with the President’s take on the situation with respect to rape. However- and listen up- Barack Obama agrees with Boobzland.

Far from exposing any sort of “misogyny”, this whole imbroglio seems indicative of a feminist culture- now crucifying the man who went against the grain. In other words, a lone voice is the exception that proves the rule.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Criticizing a creepy dude-politician who doesn’t have even a basic understanding of science and yet doesn’t let that stop him from pontificating, a dude that even r/mr acknowledges is an ignoramus, that proves a feminist culture? Oh Steele, you really are adorably dumb.

drst
drst
8 years ago

Sandra Fluke was NOT talking about herself, btw, she was talking about someone she knew at Georgetown who had Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) who needed the Pill to control it since HBC is the only treatment we have for PCOS. Even though the school’s own rules said the pill should be covered under their insurance since the woman had a note from her doctor, the school still refused to pay just because.

That woman lost an ovary to that illness. It was preventable, but the school refused to cover it.

AND Fluke’s testimony was about the student insurance that she was paying for, that all the women who attended the school that she mentioned were paying for. She was not demanding free birth control for anyone, or subsidized birth control from taxpayers. She was demanding that the health insurance she was paying for cover all her medical needs without restriction.

(I get a bit short-tempered on this subject since I have PCOS and lost one of my ovaries to it thanks to the negligence of my OBGYN.)

Rahu
Rahu
8 years ago

From Unimaginative

I might have missed the boat on this conversation, but Shakesville’s post about this asshat contained the following:

Men like Akin don’t define rape by the lack of consent. They define rape by its victims. They have a detailed vision of the perfect rape victim: A traditionally pretty young, virtuous, straight, cis, white Christian woman, who was raped by a stranger in the bushes while she was walking home from her job as a nurse or a teacher or some other caregiving profession in her conservative wardrobe and sensible shoes. She was left suitably bruised to prove her rape, but not so much that it will permanently ruin her luminous beauty. A perfect victim of the most terrible crime.

Not to derail or get all “me” on this, but (with the probable exception of “pretty/beauty”) that pretty much describs me and my rapes (even down to the “sensible shoes”!) and yet I still didn’t report them, because I knew (and know) that there is almost no chance of the authorities or most people doing anything other than harrassing me and just generally being awful to me and making things even worse. So, you know, “legitimate” rapes don’t really “count”, either.

Gametime
Gametime
8 years ago

Yes, clearly the fact that the president of a single country agrees with feminists that rape is a bad thing proves that we are living in a feminist society. That isn’t at all the lowest possible bar you could set, and it certainly isn’t the case that this president is frequently and vocally opposed by a substantial number of politicians who do not share that view, and it would be ridiculous to suggest that even this president can be criticized for his weak or nonexistent stances on several other issues of importance to feminists.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

Rahu, that sucks. I’m sorry that happened to you, and I’m sorry we live in a culture in which any rape doesn’t “count”.

Rahu
Rahu
8 years ago

Thanks, Unimaginative!

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

BTW, if it’s of any help to fellow PCOS-ers out there, I manage mine by eating like a diabetic. The cause of my polycysts seems to be my hormones getting all fucked up by too much sugar -> insulin resistance -> too much insulin -> too much testosterone. When I keep my blood sugar under control, my symptoms essentially disappear and I get more-or-less regular menses. When I say fuck it and carbo load (or sweet binge), the pause between menses gets longer and the PMS symptoms are horrible.

katz
8 years ago

Rahu, I’m sorry that happened to you 🙁

Rahu
Rahu
8 years ago

Thank you, Katz!

Btw, what is your icon?

katz
8 years ago

You are the first person who has asked! It is Chimera of Arezzo.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

I’m sorry Rahu that’s terrible :/

Rahu
Rahu
8 years ago

Katz, that is seriously cool – the statue and the article that you linked to – and I had no idea that western dragons were linked to chimeras!

Snowy, thank you so much!

Nanasha
Nanasha
8 years ago

@Unimaginative- I have PCOS as well. I take metformin in addition to a low-glycemic index diet. I eat similarly to a diabetic as well. In my first pregnancy, I developed gestational diabetes, but was able to control it with diet and exercise. It resolved after I gave birth, but it caused my body to attack my thyroid and kill it, so now I have to take thyroid replacement pills.

So far in my second pregnancy, I’ve been able to semi-carb-load without having to worry about high blood sugar, but I’m still checking my sugars, and sometimes if I *really* overdo it, I get a higher number, but nothing dangerous. The doctors are AMAZED that I got pregnant two times without having to use clomid or other fertility medications. My husband is (not surprisingly) pretty proud of himself for being able to impregnate a woman who was deemed hormonally infertile by several doctors after my bloodwork came back. I think this is also due to me being in my early/mid 20’s, as PCOS tends to get worse with age. Once I finish having this baby, I am going back to my Mirena IUD. Unfortunately, birth control pills caused me to develop high blood pressure (which went away when I went off of it), but the Mirena’s localized hormone basically keeps my periods small or non-existant while not affecting my BP (yay!).

I also exercise every day for at least 30 minutes a day. For me, cycling is my exercise of choice because it’s low impact. It helps me feel good and lowers my blood sugars as well.

Anyway, that’s what has helped with me. And yeah, eating sugar or high carb meals can make me feel a bit icky, but I generally try to just up my exercise after eating like that (even just taking a walk helps) and I tend to be ok. I am of the opinion that eating intuitively and enjoying foods that I like, even if they aren’t the “best” ever, is worth it. Besides, I find myself eating less sugary things when I allow myself a little bit. But that’s just me! 🙂

There is a fucking huge difference between people using their religious freedom to make choices for themselves and trying to use “religious freedom” as an excuse to control everyone else around them. Can’t they all just fuck off to their own batshit religious island or something already?