Ok. Akin. Rape. The soul shattering ridiculousness of his statement. Shock. Disbelief. Action. Articles.
I don’t even know how to react. I really don’t. Honestly, my first reaction was to just pick up the new kitten and pour a glass of wine and retreat to the couch, but that’s really not the answer. Then again, it appears that raging fiercely, in protest, with articles, with rallies, with voting, with Legislative visits, with University Classes, with online magazine activism and real life advocacy, doesn’t really seem to change things either. Answers are what I want.
Answers for the ignorance: There is no magic vagina power that repels bad sperm and lets in good sperm.
Answers for the casual cruelty: I guess there should be some sort of rape tribunal to determine legitimacy.
Answers for the refusal to change: This isn’t the first time people have used this particular argument about women, our bodies, rape, and pregnancy.
I find no answers other than there are people who want what they want and they don’t care about what you want and that means someone will get hurt.
I don’t have much new to say about any of it. I wanted to be able to find something new and brilliant in my head, but really, there are so, so many amazing conversations already happening.
As the force from the internet has been overwhelming, here are some of those conversations.
The Nation on the dangers of laughing at this situation.
The Prospect and Akin’s unmasking the prolife movement.
Jezebel’s Guide to Legitimate Rape.
More from Jez on sex ed and the idea of rape and pregnancy.
Gawker’s Response to Huckabee.
Shakesville on the Republican Ticket and Ryan.
Manboobz takes some time out to mock misogyny, though mostly it’s not so much mocking but anger.
The Awl shares some Uterus Facts.
A very, very important article on the body’s response to sexual assault.
And Eve Ensler shares some thoughts with HuffPo.
Here’s the only answer I can come up with, and it’s so seemingly simple (and something we teach our children in kindergarten), but clearly so hard to accept.
My. Body. Belongs. To. Me.
Your. Body. Belongs. To. You.
I don’t get to hurt your body. You don’t get to hurt mine. It doesn’t matter who we are, what gender we are, what race, or orientation, or age, or religion. We must be kind and gentle with each other, consensual and communicative and compassionate.
We must show courage in the defense of each other and believe each other and seek pleasure and health and ethics and education and knowledge, facts and truth. Justice and mercy both.
And rape is none of those things, not at all, not in any universe.
And what Akin has said about pregnancy and rape is not true at all, not anywhere on this earth.
We don’t get to harm each other. We are all we have, each other. Imperfect as we all are, fallible and messed up, we need to absorb this and look to each other for care, not ill.
Nothing original there. Nothing brilliant. And no answers, really. If there were, I suppose we’d have figured it out already. I guess the simplest answer is the hardest one of all.
Faced with that, and since we still have much to do, those of us who believe in bodily autonomy, in facts and science and yes even belief, in humane behaviors, and that rape is not a feature but a bug, from each side of the aisle, had best get to work. And get ready to work hard. Social media aside, and as brilliant as it is and taking into account it’s immediate power, we also need to look each other in the eyes and have hard conversations, we need to be connected even in our conflict.
Online. Offline. We need to work on these answers.
But for tonight, I’m going to sit with the kitten, drink a glass of wine and rest.
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