Monday, August 20, 2012

todd akin

putting aside his ignorance about biology, it's also pretty shocking that representative akin would use the word "legitimate" with "rape."

i think what he was meant by "legitimate rape" was violent rape, as opposed to a less violent but nonetheless coercive "date-rape," and maybe also "threat of violence rape." obviously i've never spoke with akin, but what the phrase suggests to me is that he takes a very narrow view of rape so that what makes something rape isn't about consent it's about how badly the woman was physically injured.

maybe i've giving the guy too much credit, but i don't think he is pro-violent rape. i trust that if the victim is sufficiently beaten up, todd akin would probably call that rape and consider it to be a crime. but the choice of the word "legitimate" is really strange. because doesn't he really mean "illegitimate rape," i.e. the one kind of rape that he actually thinks should be a crime?

akin's apology for his remarks is also pretty pathetic because it doesn't address any of the issues his original statement raised. does he still think that when a woman is raped, her body has "biological defenses" to prevent her from becoming pregnant? does his use "legitimate rape" mean that he doesn't believe all circumstances that constitute rape under law are really rape? why did he use the word "legitimate"? i don't think it should count as an apology if you read the statement and still can't tell what specifically the apologizer thinks he or she did wrong.