You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for most Tuesdays and the occasional fuckbotch. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. For a take on what a blog by me would be like, check out OLDNERD.
Memo to Todd Akin: WAY TO SET THE BAR, DUDE.
U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is only a candidate for Senate. He's not a senator, and odds are, come January, he won't be. But he is taking an interesting, yet apparently not unique, campaign strategy. Take the level of idiocy normally espoused by members of the House of Representatives - your Steve Kings, your Allen Wests, your, well, your Todd Fucking Akins - and bring it to the more hallowed halls of the Senate, where James Inhofe's reign as America's Dumbest Senator has largely gone unchallenged.
You've probably seen what I'm talking about, so let's get it right out there. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"It seems to me, 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 of the rapist, and not attacking the child.”
First of all, let's get the most egregious thing out of the way first. I don't know what doctors Todd Akin is talking to, possibly in his role as actual member of the actual House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, but no, the female does not actually have the capability to recognize when a "legitimate rape" is occurring, and shut down the reproductive systems accordingly to prevent pregnancy, thereby obviating the need for legal abortions for rape victims, which, by the way, was the context in which Akin made his statements.
Since Akin's policy beliefs are based on faulty information, he should be offered the three choices any enlightened democracy would offer a politician in his position. Adjust his policy beliefs to fit known fact, be set on fire, or preferably, both.
Don't get me wrong. The fire doesn't have to be a fatal one. I mean, no, we're not going to offer Akin a Nomex body suit beforehand, but that's OK. I hear from some doctor friends that the human body has a way of shutting itself down and protecting itself in the case of legitimate fire, so he should be fine.
Now let's really sink our teeth, if you'll pardon the expression, into the term "legitimate rape". You'll hear this idea expressed a lot by anti-choice Republican men. It takes the idea that there are different kinds of rape, which is true, and places an arbitrary line between some of those kinds of rape and other kinds, making those other kinds Not Rape.
There is really only one reason to do this if you are a man. And that reason is that, at some point in your life, you have engaged in, almost engaged in, or really, really wanted to engage in, some of the activities on the rape spectrum. And since you couldn't possibly be a rapist, because you're, and I use this name merely as an example of a fine upstanding member of society, United States Representative Paul Akin, then the thing that you did, almost did, or really wanted to do couldn't have been rape. QED.
And, of course, only victims of "legitimate rape" deserve our sympathy, and then only up to a certain point.
Pay real close attention to the last part of Akin's statement. The part about what we should do in case the magical natural pregnancy defense system God put into women in case of legitimate rape (which, you know, seems like an odd thing for God to do when God could also just prevent the rape from happening in the first place, but whatever) doesn't work and the legitimately raped woman gets pregnant anyway.
Todd Akin thinks we should punish the rapist. Todd Akin thinks we should not punish the baby.
Todd Akin doesn't mention the victim.
You know why Todd Akin doesn't mention the victim? Because Todd Akin doesn't care about the victim. The victim is just a vessel - first for the rapist, then for the baby. This is why, after a couple hours of getting yelled at and thinking about what people want to hear instead of what he believes, he issued a statement that said:
"In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve."
Here's the deal. If you think a rape victim should be forced, against her will, to bear, raise, and care for a child for her entire life if she gets raped, then you do not have deep empathy for women. You have no empathy for women. You're willing to let circumstances beyond their control change their entire lives because your misguided idea of what has a nonexistent "soul" leads you to take away their ability to regain control of their destinies.
You didn't misspeak. You just happen to be a shitty, shitty person, and even though I know it won't, because it never does, I hope this fuckup costs you your career.