A Clarification for Rep. Todd Akin

Rep. Todd Akin, I just have a small clarification to make: people who can’t get pregnant from being raped are called men. Of course, distinguishing between a “legitimate” and an “illegitimate” rape of any human being makes you a jerk no matter what.

Jeez, people, I cannot believe we are hearing such things not from somebody who is getting intensive treatment for mental disease but from somebody who runs for political office. I keep reading in my blogroll that this particular bit of outrage is not an isolated concoction of a very unhealthy brain but that there is actually an entire movement of people who believe that women can’t get pregnant from “legitimate rape.”

Even just quoting this makes me feel like I’ve been rolling in horse manure. I’m shaking in rage right now which makes me incapable of writing anything of value on the subject but here is a powerful article from somebody who found the strength to address these vile comments.

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55 comments on “A Clarification for Rep. Todd Akin

  1. Thanks for the link. Trust me, I went through that shaking in rage stage, too. Completely unbelievable in this day and age. I saw an article somewhere (I think at the Atlantic?) that traced the concept of “legitimate rape” back to the Middle Ages, when they believed that women could only get pregnant if they had an orgasm and that they could only orgasm if the sex was consensual (by their definition, not ours, of course). This guy is literally using a medieval concept here.

    • I have a close friend who got pregnant as a result of marital rape, in which this vile animal probably doesn’t believe either.

      Of course, we have to denounce this as much as possible to ensure that the creep never has any career in politics again.

      • Wow. I’m sorry for your friend. And you’re right, these idiots have resisted criminalization of marital rape every step of the way…

  2. A lot of people, especially men, are just insane. Problem is, their insanity is a disease. Once one man becomes insane, others are infected and become insane too.

      • Yeah, that is true. There is an extreme, convoluted perversity in this kind of insanity. If you look at it for too long, you want to throw up. This kind of insanity that cloaks itself in innocence is the worst sort; hardest to combat.

      • TITFORTAT: Yes, Nietzsche was my therapist, also Bataille and Marechera. What I am saying, which may be hard for you to understand, is that patriarchy is a structure of thought that is based on projecting one’s inferior or unwanted characteristics into women. It’s not that some women don’t do this too (project onto other women), but mostly this is a system designed by and for men.

        It may be hard for you to understand that my sentence does not logically include “ALL MEN”. That is, it may not include you, if you are not personally insane and do not project your negative qualities onto women.

        Anyway, that is my critique of patriarchy. As a system of projection is is necessarily pathological and distorts logic.

        Typically, an extremely patriarchal personality will deem women as crazy and in need of mental treatment. This is how extreme patriarchs have been taught to think. Necessarily, when the demons are cast into another, the other must go mad — or at least appear to do so.

        So patriarchal madness is projected into women and women (especially those who criticize this madness) are deemed to be in need of therapy, as a means to silence and discredit them.

      • Make no mistake Muster, I am not referring to all women, I am referring to YOU. The fact is you are a sexist. You may not have said ALL men but your implication was quite clear while just using the word “especially”. Its unfortunate that up to this point no feminists have called you out on your blatant sexist comment.

      • “The fact is you are a sexist. You may not have said ALL men but your implication was quite clear while just using the word “especially”. Its unfortunate that up to this point no feminists have called you out on your blatant sexist comment.”

        - It’s funny that in this thread, of all possible threads, it’s musteryou who strikes you as sexist.

      • @Miriam

        Do you not ever call out things when they are not about women? Afterall you are one who champions that your feminism will make the world a more equal and fair place.

      • Titfortat, you are derailing a very important discussion with bizarre and weird comments. I refer you to the text of the post that will help you figure out what is being discussed here.

        I want to believe that you will manage to get yourself together and see how out of place your comments are.

      • Sure I do, titfortat. I write about issues affecting queer people and people of color fairly often. I also write about mental health, which affects all genders. However, I’m a woman, and I’m only one person, so it’s my experience that will show through on my blog, not that of a man. And you’re free to have your own blog where you talk exclusively about men. But constantly going on posts that are NOT about men and derailing them by talking about men is silly and immature.

    • A lot of people, especially men, are just insane. Problem is, their insanity is a disease. Once one man becomes insane, others are infected and become insane too.(Muster)

      Are you fucking kidding??? No wonder you train martial arts, you must need it after you open your mouth.

      • @Clarissa

        Do me a favour, READ this statement again and then change male for female and then tell me what your response would be.

        “A lot of people, especially men, are just insane. Problem is, their insanity is a disease. Once one man becomes insane, others are infected and become insane too.(Muster)”

        Todd Akin is a sick person with distorted beliefs, so is Muster.

      • If a woman said something this horrible about men getting raped, I would understand any kind of emotional reaction. I have to confess that I have said some pretty harsh things in a discussion of underage male victims of sexual abuse by women. I identified with the pain and reacted emotionally.

      • It’s just an empirical observation. If you dissect it logically, you will see that it’s not offensive, unless of course you happen to be one of the insane men I am referring to. Should you ever happen to come across any of my blogs, you would be able to read my theories on why patriarchal notions cause and reinforce insanity. You would have to look at what they say, though.

      • Wow, very abusive Tit for Tat, and not at all logical on your part. There are a lot of insane men, who have a lot of power and use patriarchal ideologies (definitively insane in my view) to do so. This is a mere empirical fact. There is nothing controversial about it.

    • Wow.. was about to agree with the idea that Titfortat was way out of line here (still was a little aggressive perhaps…) BUT when musteryou continued with defending her comment and not saying it was taken out of context I was more than a little offended.

      What is ironic is one of the largest critiques on this issue with Akin is it ignores science. So does musteryou by clearly implying that men are more likely to be “insane”… an offensive term itself that I am surprised an open-minded person would use. Here is a link to a pretty reputable science organization…
      http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/

      There is no difference in mental illness. If I misinterpreted you musteryou and you are not clearly implying men are more mentally ill then I would be happy to take by critique. However, if you stand by your statement… then your credibility is severely damaged (I clearly understand you don’t seek my validation) and am a little disappointed other commentors defended her factually incorrect implication.

      Also, i tried to quickly search your blog for your articles on insanity and patriarchy, but could find them so I would be interested in reading your theories if you want to link to them.

      • “There is no difference in mental illness. If I misinterpreted you musteryou and you are not clearly implying men are more mentally ill then I would be happy to take by critique. However, if you stand by your statement… then your credibility is severely damaged”

        - Will I have to ask every male commenter in this thread to step back from the discussion “musteryou is the enemy of humanity” and pay attention to a very real and a very powerful evildoer discussed in the OP?

        “an offensive term itself that I am surprised an open-minded person would use”

        - I hate the word “open-minded.” It is as meaningless as “tolerant” and ‘diversity.” Just saying.

      • Why did you need me to say words to the precise effect that what I said was taken out of context? Is that normally how the game is played in your neck of the woods, with one prescribed response and no others allowed? What a strange culture you must be immersed in!

        No, I didn’t use the magic words that might have made you feel better about my comment — not least because I have no idea what makes you tick or what words to the special trick for you.

        As I stated, patriarchy is a form of insanity, where the negative parts of one’s character are projected into women. That is the psychological structure of patriarchy, which TITFORTAT claims to already understand.

        Also, I did not use any stronger language than was directed against me, in the conventional patriarchal fashion by TITFORTAT, when he announced, in typical patriarchal fashion, that because he couldn’t understand the logic of my language, I must necessarily need a therapist.

        All I did was to point out that that attributing madness to women in general, including women you don’t understand because you haven’t taken the time to do so, is part of the patriarchal madness that I had earlier indicated.

      • I did criticize TitforTat… I just thought it was an unbalanced statement that was unfair.

        I don’t think I really attacked anyone, and certainly didn’t call her the “enemy of humanity” Clarissa…. my response was rational but fair enough. I said my piece and that is all.

        In all seriousness I would like to read your “patriarchy / insanity” article musteryou if you could link to it.

      • @Matt

        You do realize where my issue is? It is with one person’s comment. I am not taking aim at women in general, nor am I trying to minimize the horrific comment made by Todd Aiken. I am addressing the generalized sexist statement of a person who happens to be a woman. I wish the moderator of this blog would at least call that individual on it.

      • ” I wish the moderator of this blog would at least call that individual on it.”

        - The moderator of this blog is me, and I ask you for the third time to refrain from discussing another commenter in this thread. It is disrespectful and hugely insensitive to do that.

      • I do understand what your issue was. I must have not communicated well, but my overall thinking was, “wow.. titfortat seems to have overreacted by appearing to so harshly criticize musteryou”.. then i saw her responses and felt that she should have been called out at as you said. Ultimately she did deserved to be called out I think.. and you were maybe a little agressive

        I realize it sounds like I am trying to be arbiter of all that goes on here.. and I don’t want to be like that.. just want to smooth things over and move on to otehr discussions. Hope my explanation makes sense.

  3. And this moron Akin is in the House Science and Technology Committee! Unbelievable! I am afraid for the future of science and technology in the United States.

  4. “Todd Akin is a sick person with distorted beliefs, so is Muster.”

    - Akin is an elected representative who is trying to introduce inhuman legislation that will victimize actual human beings. Let’s concentrate on that for the moment.

  5. “Should you ever happen to come across any of my blogs, you would be able to read my theories on why patriarchal notions cause and reinforce insanity. ”

    - Being able to read does not equal being able to understand.

    • Of all the nastiest, most manipulative things to say in this situation is this “Look at this wonderful person. Would you prefer for her not to be here since she is a product of rape?” You have to be a really vile cockroach to say something like that.

    • Oh fsck! And to think that Huckabee was once leading the race for GOP presidential nominee and he’s still a “respected” member of the party. How could any intelligent person vote for this party, who has transformed from fiscally conservative into medieval anti-science christian taliban?

  6. Quotation from Tit for Tat: “Do you not ever call out things when they are not about women?”

    Miriam doesn’t need do that because right now we are living in a system in which men wield economic and political authority. Although there are times in which men suffer within this system (pressure to be the breadwinner, pressure to not cry, etc.), men are still the economic and political benefactors of that system. Miriam seems to be interested in _changing_ that system and so (I presume) she isn’t interested in locating the moments in which the benefactors of the system are victimized.

    Note that this doesn’t mean that ALL men hold power but it does mean that men, by and large, men wield considerably MORE economic and political power than women. Akin’s stomach churning comments just reinforce the point: women at one point were literally raped in order for men to maintain authority and now women are symbolically raped in order for men to maintain authority. The fact that Akin’s comments are even MARGINALLY acceptable to the public attest to the degree to which Americans (and I imagine Canadians) internalize patriarchal norms. In other words, Akin’s comments could ONLY happen within a patriarchal system. (And I realize that you critique those comments but again remember that Akin is not some crazy loon speaking to the wall: he is a member of the political establishment.)

    Things are changing and I feel confident that we will one day realize gender equality but we aren’t there yet. And we won’t ever get there until we define the current system for what it is. Hiding behind terms like “kyriarchy” obscure the simple fact that men have the money and the political clout. You seem to be a good guy and I like the “back and forth” you have with Clarissa and I know you participate in her community. That means that you are drawn to her community. So try to understand her community. Try to adjust your world view for a moment and see what that reveals. Why do SO many women think that we live under a patriarchal system? Are the women all really crazy? Or are women on to something? I think Akin’s comments point towards the answer to those questions.

    • “(And I realize that you critique those comments but again remember that Akin is not some crazy loon speaking to the wall: he is a member of the political establishment.)”

      That is for certain. Although he is also a crazy loon.

    • “The fact that Akin’s comments are even MARGINALLY acceptable to the public attest to the degree to which Americans (and I imagine Canadians) internalize patriarchal norms. In other words, Akin’s comments could ONLY happen within a patriarchal system. (And I realize that you critique those comments but again remember that Akin is not some crazy loon speaking to the wall: he is a member of the political establishment.)”

      - This is what I find completely out of this world disturbing. I hear this freak has daughters. Probably a wife, too. I wonder, are they speaking to him right now? Kiss him? Call him Daddy? What hit these idiots over the head to keep being in the same room with him?

      I come from a very patriarchal society and I love my father dearly. But if he made this comment, he would be dead to me. Nothing could repair this.

      I understand why men don;t spit on him. They need what he offers, so they choose to be complicit. But what about women? I mean actual women who meet him in daily life?

    • Why do SO many women think that we live under a patriarchal system? Are the women all really crazy? Or are women on to something? I think Akin’s comments point towards the answer to those questions.(Evelina)

      I think the voters will tell you what system we live in. I dont think Akin’s political life will be around for very much longer. Regardless of how I reacted to Muster’s statement does not deny the reality of its inherent sexism. Akin is a loon for sure but not the first nor the last either in America or in Canada where I live.

  7. The comments are filled with lots of emotion, and rightfully so.

    I guess something I’m a little surprised no one has brought up is how this is basically a position a large majority of social conservatives either explicitly or implicitly have to believe due to their stance of abortion as murder. If you think abortion is murder and/or taking of a life (as a good majority of social conservatives do)… then even if raped caused a pregnancy, how can you allow for it? I think the pro-choice movement should force more social conservatives to defend this line of thinking.. or explain why rape and incest deserve an exception but the others don’t. I’m not exactly the leader of the pro-life movement, but I’m a little surprised that both here and in other media outlets this hasn’t been talked about a lot.

    Now, I think it is absolutely ridiculous to even consider banning abortion for rape or incest, yet I also cringe when I think about late-term abortions. The position I hold about late-term abortions is where I think the majority of americans fall based on anedcdotal and many polls.. but the inherent logic of it is tough to rationalize. On most positions I have an ideological pure answer that I adjust for pragmatic realities, but in this debate I struggle with the ideologically pure answer.

    One thing I am sure about is comments like this are terrible for the republicans, and they are indeed disgusting comments.

    • “If you think abortion is murder and/or taking of a life (as a good majority of social conservatives do)… then even if raped caused a pregnancy, how can you allow for it?”

      - Why should anybody’s thinking “allow” things to other people?

      “I’m not exactly the leader of the pro-life movement, but I’m a little surprised that both here and in other media outlets this hasn’t been talked about a lot.”

      - Really? The answer is simple: when we talk about rape and incest, they can’t defend their profound inhumanity and contempt for women even to themselves. Anti-choicers don;t give a rat’s ass about fetuses. Until you understand that, these things will continue puzzling you.

      “yet I also cringe when I think about late-term abortions”

      - Do these thoughts visit you often?

      “but the inherent logic of it is tough to rationalize”

      - Maybe it’s because it isn’t your place to rationalize these things.

      “One thing I am sure about is comments like this are terrible for the republicans”

      - If we assume that most of them disagree with this position. People keep saying that they don’t disagree.

      • “I’m not exactly the leader of the pro-life movement, but I’m a little surprised that both here and in other media outlets this hasn’t been talked about a lot.”

        - Really? The answer is simple: when we talk about rape and incest, they can’t defend their profound inhumanity and contempt for women even to themselves. Anti-choicers don;t give a rat’s ass about fetuses. Until you understand that, these things will continue puzzling you.

        In this quote i meant PRO-CHOICE… my bad…I was trying to follow the previous statement saying that I think following this line of logic making pro-lifers answer questions like the one Akin did would be good for the PRO-Choice cause.

        And in terms of “Why should anybody’s thinking “allow” things to other people?”..

        Well clearly society’s “thinking” doesn’t allow people to kill those who are old, or are disabled etc…. so I think you point about people allowing stuff doesn’t make a lot of sense. My logic is sound, its just a matter of opinion of if you think abortion is murder… which clearly you don’t.. i probably agree with you. Clearly social conservatives disagree. There is no fallacy of logic here.

      • —Anti-choicers don;t give a rat’s ass about fetuses.

        I am not sure it is that simple. I believe that the conservative politicians exploit very real beliefs the regular social conservatives genuinely have. And the conservative politicians do not give a rat not not only about fetuses, but also about patriarchy. The only thing they give a rat about is their personal quest for power. And women are as likely to use conservative agenda to achieve the goal of personal power. Think of Palin, Bachmann…
        But the real rank-of-file conservatives do give a rat about fetuses. And once the person is convinced that fetus is a human being, it follows logically that it should not be murdered. Or that the issue of abortion is about a conflict of interest between two persons (woman and fetus), which a) should be resolved in the interest of the weak and defenseless, and b) is not about patriarchy as the fetus is as likely to be male as female.
        I am not advocating those views, I am just explaining how it works.
        And anyone who uses a “legitimate rape” construct is a vile jerk.

      • “But the real rank-of-file conservatives do give a rat about fetuses. And once the person is convinced that fetus is a human being, it follows logically that it should not be murdered.”

        - OK, let’s accept the working hypothesis that fetus-advocates do, indeed, care about fetuses and consider them to be human beings. Then, it should logically follow that:

        1) they will be passionately in favor of pre-natal care.
        2) advocate strong maternity leave policies, including ones that guarantee at least a month off work before the due date.
        3) would champion children’s rights.
        4) would be in favor of strong post-natal care, especially given that a percentage of children is killed or abused by mothers who experience post-partum psychosis.
        5) would promote a healthcare legislation that guarantees free and save delivery to all women.

        Do anti-choicers do any of these things? Surprise, surprise, they do the opposite. Their efforts to defund pre-natal care are vicious. If I’m not mistaken, the same Akin fellow has been pushing for a legislation that would deny children from poor families free lunches. Just think about it, he and his supporters want to withhold food from children. And you are telling me they care about children?

        So how come these people care about fetuses in the single instance when these fetuses can be used to control women? Until I see a single anti-abortionist doing something to promote the things I listed above, I will remain convinced that they lie about their belief that a fetus is a person.

      • My statement above was not so much a theoretical construct, but something based on interactions with Midwestern Americans in the town where I used to live. These people are not hard to find outside of the University context – after all somebody has to belong to those ~50% of the population who vote Republican. These are the people who do not have any personal political ambition yet put pro-life bumper stickers on their cars, talk the talk, etc.
        I am not saying their position is fully logical, I agree with you about all those things true pro-lifers would have done. And I agree with you that Akin is evil and crazy. In fact my own main pro-choice argument is that if one can logically derive all those nasty consequences from the pro-life stance, the starting point must be problematic. But at the same time I personally know pro-lifers who indeed care about fetuses. Even if it is illogical.

      • “These are the people who do not have any personal political ambition yet put pro-life bumper stickers on their cars, talk the talk, etc.”

        - So you think they care because they put bumper stickers and talk? Maybe we have a different understanding of caring. To me, caring about fetuses only when that gives you a chance to persecute women and not caring a damn in ever other instance is not called caring. It’s called hypocrisy.

        According to this logic, parents who control every breath their children make yet don’t consider it necessary to provide them with food and clothes really care about the children. Especially if they keep repeating how much they care.

  8. In my view, Clarissa is only half right. All politicians should, but none ever do, undergo treatment for mental disease. Every single person in politics suffers from a type of mental disease. That is what takes them into that cess-pit. Some of course are more diseased than others. But not a single one in the history of the republic has ever been completely free from that disease. It is called narcissism.

    • “All politicians should, but none ever do, undergo treatment for mental disease. Every single person in politics suffers from a type of mental disease. That is what takes them into that cess-pit. Some of course are more diseased than others. But not a single one in the history of the republic has ever been completely free from that disease. It is called narcissism.”

      - I really love this comment. :-) :-)

  9. This good, concise discussion of patriarchal thought, in a comment upthread, bears repetition:

    “…patriarchy is a structure of thought that is based on projecting one’s inferior or unwanted characteristics into women. It’s not that some women don’t do this too (project onto other women), but mostly this is a system designed by and for men.

    “…[this] does not logically include “ALL MEN”.

    …[Patriarchy] as a system of projection is necessarily pathological and distorts logic.

    “Typically, an extremely patriarchal personality will deem women as crazy and in need of mental treatment. This is how extreme patriarchs have been taught to think. Necessarily, when the demons are cast into another, the other must go mad — or at least appear to do so.

    “So patriarchal madness is projected into women and women (especially those who criticize this madness) are deemed to be in need of therapy, as a means to silence and discredit them.”

  10. Whoever said that Akin’s political career is dead, I hope you are right. For now, however, we see the following:

    10:23 AM PT: Akin—with Huckabee’s help—is really doubling down on his anti-abortion views. He says he didn’t mean to offend anyone, but he is standing by his views. “It’s the whole significance of the idea that our creator blessed us with life,” Akin says. So he’s staying in, and making abortion a centerpiece of his campaign.

    10:26 AM PT: Akin is citing PPP’s survey showing him up by one point as part of the reason he’s staying in.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/08/21/1122576/-Todd-Akin-We-are-going-to-continue-this-race-for-the-United-States-Senate

  11. “During his 2008 presidential campaign, Mitt Romney welcomed the endorsement of a pro-life doctor linked to Rep. Todd Akin’s widely condemned statement that “legitimate rape” rarely leads to pregnancy.
    Dr. John C. Willke is a leading proponent of the view that women are unlikely to become pregnant by “forcible rape,” a theory he laid out in a 1999 article on the subject. . . In 2007, however, Romney’s campaign had embraced Willke – who served as president of the National Right to Life Committee for a decade. In a statement announcing Willke’s endorsement, his campaign said the doctor would be “an important surrogate for Governor Romney’s pro-life and pro-family agenda.”
    “I am proud to have the support of a man who has meant so much to the pro-life movement in our country,” Romney said in a statement. “He knows how important it is to have someone in Washington who will actively promote pro-life policies.”

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/pro-life-doctor-john-willke-linked-akin-forcible-rape-claims-endorsed-romney-2007-article-1.1141021#ixzz24Ch6NVsf

    So Romney holds the same beliefs and it has not damaged his career. Of course, this doesn’t prevent him from having all those in-vitro grand-children. Tell me again how much these creepazoids care about fetuses. Romney’s own children didn’t mind tossing a few fertilized eggs in the trash when it suited them and we haven’t heard a peep of condemnation from Romney.

  12. He keeps digging deeper and deeper:
    http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/08/21/721791/akin-clarifies-legitimate-rape-comments-women-make-false-claims-about-being-raped/

    I’m done for today. Honest to God, I hate people like Akin more than I could ever hate my rapist. My rapist hurt me greatly and he dramatically changed my life for the worst, but this guy ENABLES the culture which allowed my rape to happen, which made me afraid to report it, which made me fear that if I came into the open about it, I would face victim-blaming backlash. He is pure evil.

    • After these most recent comments, I begin to wonder if he is suffering from a stroke right at this moment. I mean, he see what the reaction to his words is, even from his own party. He is a public official. On every level, it would make sense for him to stop talking for a while, apologize profusely, and claim temporary insanity. Yet he keeps making claims that grow more egregious at every turn.

      I’m starting to think that musteryou was onto something when she mentioned that Akin is unraveling in a scary way.

  13. The latest update on the GOP platform is there will be no exception for rape in anti-abortion even after Tod Atkin`s comments and the response.

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/20/first-on-cnn-gop-prepares-tough-anti-abortion-platform/

    The GOP leadership also blames Atkin`s faith and his wife for his comment.

    “GOP sources emphasize Akin is a devout evangelical Christian who believes God called on him to run…Republican officials also point out that Akin’s top advisers are his son and his wife, placing him in an insular environment where outside advice may not be heard.”

    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/22/sources-republicans-prepare-to-grind-it-out-as-akin-stays-in/

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