Monday, August 20, 2012

Akin exposes the misogyny of anti-choice

I'm sure you've seen/heard it by now, but here is what Rep. Todd Akin said yesterday:
[F]rom what I understand from doctors, [pregnancy from rape] is 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.
I appears as though the only thing Akin is re-tracting is the nonsense about the female body being able to shut down a pregnancy that is the result of rape. The rest stands as far as he's concerned.

That last sentence is a real whopper though, isn't it? Where the misogyny is laid bare is the fact that nowhere - in his analysis of the situation - does the woman's point of view have any merit.

I have my own views about the significant question on when life begins. But regardless of where you stand on that one - that fact is that a woman who has just been raped is a human being. To understand that requires us to take her experience into consideration. Akin doesn't do that. He only sees the perpetrator and the "child." Making women invisible in a situation like that is simply misogynist.

The question of "legitimate" rape has reminded everyone that last year Akin teamed up with our current VP nominee to try to legislatively define rape for those who are seeking an abortion.

I'm going to go where most pro-choicers won't and suggest that if guys like Akin and Ryan are able to outlaw abortion with exceptions in the case of rape and incest, women who are desperate to have an abortion will claim that it is a result of rape (whether that's true or not). Doubt me? Just take a look at all the women from years gone by who were willing to risk coat hangers and back alleys. That should give you an idea of the lengths to which women are wiling to go.

Facing up to reality like that gets us to the heart and soul of this question...who gets to decide? Carrying a baby to term in your own body is something women WILL have a choice about because we are human beings. We have a stake in this decision. To deny that is to make us invisible in the equation. That is the crux of this argument...and its why anti-choice = misogyny.



    I'm assuming that this is an "Onion" site. But who really knows in this day and age?

  2. Excellent point. I've done a couple of posts analyzing what he said, but I missed the equally important misogynistic implications of what he omitted to say.

    who gets to decide?

    And that's exactly it. The morality of abortion isn't the issue. The issue is who gets to make the final decision. That can only be the pregnant woman. Usurping her right to decide by government fiat can only be called totalitarian.


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