This weekend, a Missouri Congressman and Senate candidate, Todd Akin, infuriated people everywhere when he claimed that victims of “legitimate rape” do not become pregnant. He was explaining his belief that abortion should be outlawed even in cases of rape. Apparently, Akin believes that the female body has ways to “shut that whole thing down,” if the woman involved didn’t really want to have sex. Nevermind that according to a 1996 study by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, approximately 32,101 pregnancies occur due to rape every year in this country.
The response to Akin’s disgusting remarks has been fast. After the initial wave of outrage, the Congressman released a statement saying that he “misspoke” but continuing to defend his extreme views on abortion. Akin clarified, “I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action.” Keep reading »
Amelia is still down on the floor of her bathroom with her hand mirror, trying to find that anti-pregnancy rape mechanism thingamajig [APRMT] inside that will keep her from getting pregnant if she’s raped. I keep telling her that no such body part actually exists in a woman’s body and Missouri Rep. Todd Akin is just a dumbass, but she is all, like, “No, Jessica! Our elected officials would not lie to us. I will find this thing!” Hmm. I don’t think she’ll get much editing done today.
The good news is that a lot of people have come out to say Rep. Akin’s comments were medically inaccurate — a 1996 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that approximately 32,000 pregnancies each year are the result of rape— and that casting doubt on whether rape is “legitimate” or not is horrible. The bad news is that other people have come out to defend him. Keep reading »
Exhale. Just give me a moment, would you? I’m trying to relax, get centered, you know? I’ve got a hand mirror and I’m ready to spend some quality time with my vagina and its mysterious, miraculous abilities. See, this weekend, a politician named Todd Akin, a representative for the state of Missouri, said that according to some doctors he’d spoken to, “pregnancy from rape is really rare” and that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” (If you’re illegitimately raped — you’ll know when you DON’T receive a piece of paper in the mail to file along with your birth certificate and social security card — you’re on your own, I guess.) Keep reading »
Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, each year, 207,754 men and women are victims of sexual assault and 54 percent of the instances were not reported to the police. With occurrences of rape this high, filmmaker and author Jennifer Baumgardner needs your help to end the silence through her forthcoming documentary film, “It Was Rape.” Keep reading »
Three months ago, the Justice Department launched an investigation into the potential mishandling of sexual assaults at the University of Montana at Missoula. The college, in conjunction with local police, was fingered by the DOJ for not following proper procedures with over 80 sexual assaults — at least two of which included the University of Montana Grizzlies football team. The underlying theory was that the school was perhaps treating its athletes with kid gloves when a sexual assault accusation arose.
Yesterday, a promising advancement was made: the Missoula County District Attorney’s office announced it was charging University of Montana quarterback Jordan Johnson (pictured above), 20, with rape. Keep reading »
Wouldn’t it be funny if the boys that photographed themselves assaulting Savannah Dietrich got raped right now? Also, that priest, Monsignor Lynn, who is going to serve three to six years for failing to investigate sex abuse claims against priests — wouldn’t it be hilarious if he were raped in prison? And Jerry Sandusky? Just picture him in the showers with a bunch of bigger guys! Are you laughing? No? Well, that’s because imagining someone getting raped is about as humorous as imagining someone stepping on a landmine or getting car-jacked. It’s terrifying and no one deserves it.
But using rape in a joke is another story. A couple of years ago, I taught a writing course at The New School called Humor and Controversy. The premise was that humor artists like Margaret Cho, Chris Rock, and Sarah Silverman speak with more insight and honesty about race, sexuality, reproductive rights, gender, religion, and class than most politicians, which is why comedy is important. Students were encouraged to use wit and self-deprecation to shed light on thorny issues. One prompt was to write an essay entitled “My Rape Fantasy.” Keep reading »
Despite endless work by anti-sexual violence activists trying to change the narrative, the myth persists that rapists —at least so-called “date rapists” — are men who got a little out of control with lust one night and accidentally went too far. It doesn’t help that this is the story that we usually hear on those very rare occasions when rapists tell their side of the story, usually to escape social consequences or even jail.
But recently a self-identified rapist went on Reddit and, for whatever reason, told a story that social research shows is much closer to the truth: Rapists rape because they like to rape. They aren’t confused about consent, nor are they overcome by lust. The pleasure is from the act of overpowering a woman and making her submit against her will. Keep reading »
Meet Savannah Dietrich, 17, a sexual assault victim, who now faces possible jail time for daring to speak out about her assault and naming her attackers.
Dietrich, who’s from Louisville, KY, was sexually assaulted, when she had fallen unconscious at a party, by two teen boys at a party in August 2011. She found out about the assault months later, when photographs taken during the assault were shared with others. The two teens who assaulted her pled guilty to first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and misdemeanor voyeurism, but Dietrich and her parents did not find out what plea agreement had been made between them and prosecutors until moments before it was announced in court. (The boys have not yet been sentenced and ultimately the judge decides whether to go with the recommended sentence under the plea agreement.) Dietrich was not pleased with the recommended sentence — which she described as “a very, very light deal” — and upset that the terms of the agreement also disallowed her to discuss what occurred in court.
“I was crying as she [the judge] was reading that,” Dietrich told the Courier-Journal. “They got off very easy … and they tell me to be quiet, just silencing me at the end.” But, in fact, Dietrich refused to be silent and took to Twitter to vent her frustrations and also named her two attackers. Keep reading »
It’s a story so sick and twisted, it’s difficult to even comprehend, but fortunately it didn’t end as badly as it could have. Ryan Firoved of Kirkland, Washington, is a registered sex offender, who had arranged to meet and rape his girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter. Thankfully, the brave mother was able to work with police to thwart his attempts, but the actions of this man and what could have happened to this girl are horrifying.
According to the Kirkland Reporter, Firoved, who is also married, told his girlfriend that he wanted to have sex with her daughter. He was blatant about his previous exploits, and according to police documents, he told her, “I guess you could say I am a pedophile, but at least I am not a predator. People come to me and I make it consensual.” Read more …