Let’s All Talk About Rape

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*Trigger Warning

So everyone is talking about rape. Legitimate rape, illegitimate rape, date rape, statutory rape, forcible rape, accidental rape, mistaken identity rape, it-wasn’t-me-officer-it-was-my-evil-twin rape, rape-y rape! ALL OF THE RAPES! My god! Here I was kind of under the impression that rape was rape, but we basically have a Chinese Food take-out menu of rape!

Let’s get something straight here. Obama pretty much summed it up when he said “rape is rape.” If a person commits a sexual act on a person who has not consented, guess what? RAPE! That simple. 

But why do people keep making up these different categories of rape? Because it makes it easier to dismiss rape victims, and in a lot of cases can turn the blame around onto them. Saying things like “legitimate rape” also implies that if a woman does get pregnant after she says she was raped, she was lying. It also implies that a lot of women lie about being raped. Or that victims that dress provocatively or take birth control pills or are in a relationship can’t technically be raped either, because they’re kind of asking for it.

I find it so very offensive that there is this wide spread belief that women are constantly lying about being raped. When was the last time you heard about someone lying about this? I can’t remember because even media reports of it are that rare. I’ve used this statistic before, but in Canada as few as 2% of reported rapes are falsified. And please don’t try to give me bullshit about how one woman lying about it gives us all a bad name. People are constantly on the lookout for that one story of a woman falsifying a rape claim, because for some reason discrediting rape victims has become a cultural pass time. Why? Why is this? Is it because on the very rare occasion that a man is found guilty of committing rape, he is permanently seen as a monster and his life is destroyed? Do we believe that his life shouldn’t be destroyed because he made one mistake? Because rapists don’t generally seem to care about ruining the lives of their victims. I really hope that’s not the case, but I honestly don’t understand this victim blaming culture we have surrounding rape.

Now, I think I’ve written the word “rape” enough times to last a while, and I think anyone who follows the news and uses earth logic have already spoken out about how ignorant, misinformed, and whatever other  adjectives you want to use to describe Todd Akin’s comments on the topic. So, though I don’t have anything new to say regarding Akin, I would like to use this as a warning sign, and as an example for anyone who wants to try to tell me that women have equality in this world.

It might be easy to try to dismiss Akin as one crazy-son-of-a-gun. Which he is. But he is not just “one.” He just happened to have a microphone. Despite being asked to step down, and the Republican Party no longer supporting his campaign, he might still win. Last I checked, he was still ahead in the polls. This means that millions people in Missouri agree with him, don’t really care, or live under a rock and haven’t read the news yet. Think about this. There are millions of people who honestly believe that women’s bodies have a way to “shut that whole thing down” and cling to the notion that “hey, we’ve never heard of anyone getting pregnant from rape,” in complete and utter disregard to mountains of evidence to the contrary. Now, the Republican Party and the Religious Right taking the “I’LL JUST PLUG MY EARS AND SING REAL LOUD TILL SCIENCE GOES AWAY!” approach to anything important isn’t new, but even though they have publically distanced themselves from Akin,  the Republican Party honestly don’t believe that women deserve the same rights as men. They used this opportunity to officially put forward their stance on abortion, and their intention to redefine was constitutes rape. Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan has sponsored every bill pertaining to the limitation of women’s rights he can get his hands on – including voting against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would help women earn equal pay. (This one isn’t even controversial. It’s just the basic “women are people too!” type deal.)

This all seems to come down to controlling women’s reproductive rights.  Viagra is covered by health insurance, but they’re fighting to have Birth Control Pills removed. They want to limit women’s access to birth control and abortion, yet they still want to make sure that men can still get a boner well into old age? They are even going as far to try to limit access to  contraceptive pills similar to the morning after pill, and to redefine when a fetus is considered a person in the eyes on the law (at the exact moment of conception) – thus making any form of abortion murder. So… men can (and should) have sex… but women… should not… unless they want a baby? Because having sex while being female makes you a slut, I guess. I don’t know who these men are planning to have sex with if they don’t want babies…

But I digress. This legitimate rape stance really makes the whole abortion thing a non-issue, because if a non-slut gets raped, it’s impossible for her to get pregnant! So that’s hardly an argument for abortion at all! And if a woman who SAYS she was raped does get pregnant, well she was full of shit, obviously! She keeps the baby! That’ll teach her! Because the only reason women should have sex (or have a romantic night of “Illegitimate rape” if you’re Todd Akin) is to have babies!

Seriously. What the fuck?

This shit storm that exploded over these last few days has made my head hurt. It’s discouraging, it’s disheartening, and it scares the hell out of me. I feel like one morning I’m going to wake up and read the headline “GOP Sponsor Bill to take away Women’s Right to Vote!”

I haven’t really said anything in this blog that hasn’t been said before, but I guess what I’m getting at is please, please, don’t tell me that we don’t need feminism, because I’ll probably lose my shit and go crazy-town-banana-pants on you, and I haven’t even started talking about what women put up with around the world.

Rocks. They put up with rocks. Like, they get stoned to death. Just a quick example.

 

*EDIT November 6, 2012, 9:22PM – Todd Akin was defeated, thank fuck. Let the “we have ways to shut that whole thing down” jokes commence.

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