Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pussy Riot


Today's column for the Daily Banter takes a look at the less incendiary thing Todd Akin said on Sunday, but the more thoroughly insane -- and how it's just the latest example of the right's ongoing anti-intellectualism and its willingness to gleefully wallow in absolute know-nothingness.

Here's the opening shot:

"I’d really like to be surprised by Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s breathtakingly contemptible comments about “legitimate rape” and the inner-workings of the female reproductive system, but doing so would mean that I haven’t allowed myself to be completely overcome by cynicism and disgust at the state of American politics in general and the Republican party in particular — and believe me, I have. By now you all know what Akin said, you’ve heard his half-assed non-apology for it and you’ve felt the seismic backlash it’s unleashed; it’s rare that the mainstream GOP attempts to behave like a sane political entity anymore, so when even the normally tea-bagger-beholden mouthpieces of the party release the Outrage Kraken on you and demand that you submit or else, you know you’ve done something indefensible."

Read the Rest Here

5 comments:

Steven D Skelton said...

" ...imply that we can parse rape into various categories..."

Not to defend Akin's stupidity in any way...but why should rape be different than any other crime? The president said nearly the same thing yesterday, that it "didn't make any sense" to differentiate between different types of rape.

We categorize murder, assault, larceny, burglary..etc, should we take this one crime and just throw out all circumstance as irrelevant? Is consensual sex between a 19 and 15 year old the same thing as abducting a woman at random off the streets, beating her within an inch of her life and forcefully penetrating her? Is the aforementioned scenario the same as a two drunken college students coming out of the dorm with differing stories about how far she said he can go? Did all three in these examples commit the same crime?

My point isn't to justify any sexual assault, de-legitimize any rape or defend Akin in any context. My point is simply that it seems absurd to me that the POTUS, left wing activists, well respected journalists and pundits, and even you seem to think that with this crime (and only this crime) that all context, circumstances and details are irrelevant.

Chez said...

No one's saying that there aren't various criminal circumstances to consider when you're talking about rape -- you're right when you say that while it's not exactly like any other crime, the justice system has no choice but to treat it as it does most other crimes and apply different charges where they're needed. But that's not the point that Akin was making. He truly believes that some rapes are "forcible" while others are, well, they're kind of up for debate and might not be that big a deal anyway. Yes, there's a difference between a group of guys grabbing a girl by knifepoint into an alley and attacking her and some asshole getting drunk with a girl and going way too far. But in the end here's the thing: they're both RAPE. And they're both forcible. They're both very, very legitimate.

Sheriff Bart said...

When I read what he said, I immediately focused on the idiotic science he was trying to state as fact. Then it dawned on me that he was trying to divide rape into different categories. Then it dawned on me that using his logic, if a woman actually did get pregnant from a rape, she must have secretly wanted it to happen. Then my brain attempted to escape out my left ear and all I could hear was the moderator in the debate scene from "Billy Madison" saying "We are all dumber for having heard that. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."

Claude Weaver said...

@Skelton:

Here's the thing about your comparison of rape to those other crimes: you can't make a good moral defense for rape.

Burglary and larceny? You have the Robin Hood mentality, the "stealing a loaf of bread" defense, the "taking back what's mine" defense (the one OJ failed to make) and so on. When a person steals something, it can either be recovered or replaced. The loss is not permanent.

For murder/manslaughter/any kind of violence with or without the intent of death, you can mount a self-defense case, a accidental case, and so forth. When a person kills, the loss is permanent, but it can be argued that a victim either gave up their rights by engaging in deadly combat with another, or that the killer was not aware of their actions.

You simply cannot do that with rape. The very concept of rape is that one party could not and/or did not consent. It is a complete violation of their rights as a human being. The loss is permanent, and the designation requires that one party is aware that their actions are not welcome on some level.

Getting a person drunk and then having your way with them is nebulous because the case must be made that the alcohol did not prevent the person from saying no. Same with age/authority in the case of statutory rape. It is a extreme shift in power, and trying to delineate it into lesser grades cheapens the whole effort of punishment for it.

Plus, as Chez said, Akin and the like-minded don't want grades, they want a black and white dichotomy that does nothing but victimizes more people.

bafreeman said...

Thank you for making this point. Chez. Akin STILL has not backed away from the "magic snatch" part of his comments, and the media hasn't picked up on it. He apologized for saying "legitimate" instead of "forcible." That's it. That part just makes him an asshole, albeit an asshole with dangerous ideas. But the claim about pregnancy via rape makes him either an idiot or a psychopath--or both. And the trolls are already running with it. I listened to NPR for less than an hour yesterday yet heard two different callers talking about "doctors" they've heard making the claim that pregnancy rates from rape are surprisingly low. It's intentional idiocy. (And by the way, pregnancy rates from sex in general are surprisingly low. A typical woman is fertile for about 3 days a month--10 percent of the time. Even if you assume a 50 percent conception rate each time she has sex during those three days--which is unrealistically high--then a random fuck will only result in pregnancy 5 percent of the time.)