There is nothing like a good ol’ fashion legitimate rape.
You know, the type of rapes that are well, legitimate. (Not like those other rapes that just try to imitate rapes.)
Not too long ago, Missouri Representative Todd Akin, made a statement about rape that qualified legitimate rapes from other types of rape. Defending his views that women women rarely get pregnant from rape, he stated, “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
So if it’s not a legitimate rape, the woman’s chances of getting pregnant is much higher because her super power hormones don’t kick in and fight off the non-legitimate rape sperm.
After backlash for his completely insensitive comments, Akin then stated that by “legitimate” rapes he meant forcible rapes. Oh okay, thanks for clearing up the non-forcible rapes from the forced ones.
Rape, according to RAINN is "forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object."
To clarify: "Rape victims may be forced through threats or physical means. In about 8 out of 10 rapes, no weapon is used other than physical force. Anyone may be a victim of rape: women, men or children, straight or gay."
Legally, rape has been categorized in different sects: statutory rape, gang rape, date rape, spousal rape, prison rape, war rape, and corrective rape. While all these different types of rape happen under different circumstances, they all require force.
Sometimes the force is non-physical and through deception. Sometimes the rape involves a young woman getting drugged at a party, only to find herself awake in a stranger’s bed. Sometimes it’s a child who fears his or her own life because an adult tells that child he or she will get hurt if they choose to not comply with the adult’s demands.
When did it become the norm, however, to try to define rape as anything other than forcible? Since when did rape become a grey area of, “Well, it’s not legitimately a rape because you know he didn’t put a gun to her, push her to the ground, pull up her dress and force her to have sex.”
Just recently in 2011, the F.B.I. changed its definition of rape removing the word “forcible” from its definition. Their definition only applied to women and excluded men. This in essence made it appear that “forcible” rapes only happen to women.
Here is the problem with defining rape as “forcible” or “legitimate”: Whenever politicians say that one person’s rape is more valid than another person who was raped, they are belittling that horrific experience the survivor of the rape went through.
And in case there was any doubt, women do in fact get pregnant from rape. In fact, about 31,000 women become pregnant from rape in America every year.
So for women who do get pregnant from rape, does that make their rape non-legitimate? More importantly, does it mean that these women might have enjoyed the rape if they do get pregnant? Does this mean women were asking for it if they didn’t get pregnant?
Politicians also have to think about rape survivors who contract a sexually transmitted disease. 1 in 15 rape survivors contract an STD as a result of being raped. Sure, they didn’t pregnant. But perhaps they contracted an STD that could leave a woman infertile or an STD that such as herpes that will be a constant reminder of the assault that took place. Are those rapes considered legitimate?
The H.R. 3 Bill, also known as the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Act,” (which was supported by Akin and our Republican Vice President nominee, Paul Ryan) would prohibit taxpayer abortions, except in the cases of “forcible” rape and incest. The term "forcible rape" insinuated that women would only be able to get help to obtain an abortion if they were violently raped.
When I was 16-years-old I was raped by a man who was 31-year-old. I did not have a voice in what took place. I told him “no” several times, but I was scared. He had guns in his house. He was much stronger and bigger than me, and if I tried to kick him off me I had to question, “Would he hurt me physically even more?”
I was put in a situation that while he left no bruises or scars, I had the emotional wound of my body being used for someone else’s pleasure. I had the shame that came from the assault. I had the trust issues that came from the assault. I had the fear that it would happen again. No, I didn’t get pregnant. However, that doesn’t mean I enjoyed any second of it. That doesn’t make my rape non-legitimate or non-forcible.
New Mexico recently removed the term “forcible” from its description of rape. "Rape is rape, and there can be no qualifiers attached to it," said Carol McFall, executive director of the Albuquerque rape crisis center. "This is old language that needs to be removed from our discussions of rape. It is a slippery slope in which individuals who are assaulted are re-victimized by the law if they didn't fight back, protest loud enough, or say no.’’
I can legitimately say that no woman or man should ever experience a forcible, legitimate, non-legit, totally legit, whatever you want to call it rape. Rape hurts and is painful under any circumstance. It doesn’t matter if someone gets pregnant. It doesn’t matter if a gun was involved. Rape happens and every experience is different for each individual, but none less horrific.
I can say this, if I ever hear another politician try to classify rape as non-legitimate, I will forcibly kick his or her ass.
And for your viewing pleasure...there is an interesting video circulating on the web that really cuts to the heart of the “legitimate rape” issue. Check it out:
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