No one should be all that shocked that Todd Akin believes that women’s bodies are biologically equipped to repel the sperm of rapists.
The Missouri GOP congressman does, after all, belong to a party in which ideology has been easing out intelligence for a long time. It’s the party that has, for example, long fought sex education in favor of teaching abstinence, even though numerous studies have shown that it doesn’t work and that many of the courses are rife with errors.
Big errors – like teaching that humans have 24 pairs of chromosomes instead of 23, and that a girl can get pregnant by touching a guy’s genitals.
So when Akin, who is campaigning to replace Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill told a St. Louis television host that,” If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” he didn’t just reveal his own ignorance and insensitivity toward women.
What he revealed was the ignorance that Republicans have been exploiting over the years to attract people who believe that the future of this country lies in bringing back a Puritanical past; a past in which women were almost always blamed for the bad things that happened to them sexually.
Like Akin and the abstinence pushers, they subscribe to outright lies, stereotypes and twisted logic; logic which says that a woman who becomes pregnant after being raped must be lying, because why else would she be pregnant?
Her body would have shut down the entire rapist-to-victim sperm transfer process, for cripes sake!
It’s scary that Akin, a man whose level of understanding about how the female reproductive system works rates alongside that of teenagers who believe that douching with lemon juice after sex can prevent pregnancy, is in a position to make laws that will impact people’s lives.
But what’s even scarier is that if Mitt Romney wins the presidency, Akin will have the ear of his vice-president, Paul Ryan – who sponsored a bill with him last year that reflected their insensitivity toward rape victims.
Their original bill would have only permitted Medicaid funds to be used for abortions in cases of what they called “forcible rape.” By inserting that term, it meant that poor victims of statutory rape – like a 15-year-old girl who was impregnated by her mother’s 40-year-old boyfriend – or a poor woman who was drugged and raped, would be out of luck.
In other words, unless it was a violent attack, most poor women would not be able to obtain an abortion under that law.
But even though Romney and Ryan have condemned Akin’s remarks and distanced themselves from him, the fact remains that his comments, as well as that odious proposal, show that the GOP doesn’t care about science or fairness when it comes to women.
All it cares about is making them pay for their sins.
All women – especially black women – should be wary of this. According to Justice Department estimates, for every white woman who reports her rape, five do not. Yet for every black woman who reports a rape, 15 do not.
And self-blame, like whether their clothes were too revealing or whether they shouldn’t have taken that shortcut home or let a certain guy drive them home, is one of the reasons why many rapes go unreported.
Yet Akin adds to that anguish by saying, in essence, that a woman’s bodily reaction to being raped is the ultimate test as to whether she was really raped. And if her body didn’t emit some sort of rapist sperm repellent, then pregnancy is her punishment for lying – and she should just deal with it.
It ought to worry everyone that people like Akin are in positions of power. Because if nothing else, a lawmaker like him ought to give victimized women hope that if they report being raped, they’ll get justice. Not judgment.
Especially judgment that eschews science for the sake of ideology.
Tonyaa Weathersbee is an award-winning columnist based in Jacksonville, Fla. Follow her at tonyaajw@twitter.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30