It’s been an abysmal few months for women, thanks to the many, many members of the Republican party insisting on allowing comments about rape to pour out of their faceholes. Every other day during election season, there’d be some guy from Missouri or Indiana or Pennsylvania (that’s Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, and Rick Santorum, to be clear) trying to explain why a woman who was physically and emotionally violated wasn’t as important as the unborn child she might be carrying. There was Iowa Representative Steve King, who said that he had never “personally” heard of a woman getting pregnant from rape or incest. And Washington Representative Steve Koster, who famously said:
“Incest is so rare, I mean, it’s so rare…But the rape thing– you know, I know a woman who was raped and kept the child, gave it up for adoption, and she doesn’t regret it. On the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s a consequence of this crime—how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”
It appears that yes, the Republican party has a rape problem, and can’t even follow Mitt Romney’s campaign directive: “If you’re about to talk about rape as anything other than a brutal and horrible crime, stop.” So, they’ve brought in an organization to give them rape sensitivity training!
The good news? They’re getting their training from women! The bad news? Those women are members of the Susan B. Anthony List, a quaint-sounding organization that lobbies to get pro-life candidates into Congress. After watching the Repubs fuck it up so badly last election, the gals over at Susan B. are going to ”make sure that in future elections, a candidate can never with a straight face say, ‘I never thought about that or I got caught flat-footed.’”
This rape training, of course, obscures the underlying issue — which is that these men actually believe the crap they’re spewing. Thankfully — for women, anyway — nearly every rape apologist candidate lost their respective election. But the underlying issue — that there are people who actually think there is such a thing as legitimate vs. not-legitimate rape — still exists.
Then again, it’s been sort of nice having the bad guys so out in the open.
Because really? This situation is pretty black and white. As Feministing notes, “As a legislator, the only concern you should have about sexual assault is what you can do, with your power, to end rape and the culture that allows it to happen. Anything short of that and you are part of the problem and shitty at your job.”
Yet, we all know that being shitty at their jobs has never really been an obstacle for members of Congress striving to get reelected. So with that in mind, we present a few suggestions of Things GOP Politicians Should Do The Next Time They Feel Inclined To Make A Fucked Up Comment About Rape:
- Count to 10. Ask yourself, “Do I have a vagina? Do I know what I’m talking about?”
- Bite a bar of soap and write about it in your Livejournal instead.
- Interview a woman you know who has been raped. Listen to her experience in detail.
- Ask yourself, “Is this the crap I’d want my daughter, wife or mother to hear if they’d been raped?”
- Talk about the defense budget, education, health care, foreign policy, or literally ANY other topic instead.
- Filibuster on, say, whether pencils are suggestively phallic and are appropriate for our school children to use.
- Read Our Bodies, Our Selves to better understand that women’s bodies do not possess a mechanism that shuts down the ability to get pregnant during rape.
- Volunteer as an escort at an abortion clinic to see what abortion is really like for women.
- Consider, in the case of not allowing a woman to have an abortion in the case of rape, would you be willing to personally take responsibility for the baby once born?
Have any other suggestions for our confused and befuddled GOP friends? Share them in the comments.