“Legitimate Rape” Now A Thing

According to Representative Akin of Missouri,

“First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare,” Akin told KTVI-TV in an interview posted Sunday. “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

He’s quite clearly wrong, of course (see here for the history behind his claim) — RAINN estimates 3,204 pregnancies resulting from rape in 2004-2005 alone (a rate of 5%.)

But I think there’s one pressing question here for Akin and those who agree with him: if the female body is so good at knowing when a rape is occurring, why do we, as a culture, not axiomatically trust women when they say they’ve been raped? And if Akin’s answer, or your answer (for those of you who agree with him on abortion and rape), is that sometimes women lie and that false rape accusations, despite being truly extremely rare, should nonetheless be taken seriously, well, I think you’ve kind of answered your own goddamn question.

Update #1: What is unsurprising but nonetheless depressing is that Todd “the female body prevents pregnancy in cases of rape” Akin is on the House Science and Technology Committee. Here’s a petition to call for his removal from that committee.


One thought on ““Legitimate Rape” Now A Thing

  1. I suspect there’s an element of a body/mind distinction, where someone like Akin would claim that the woman’s body (unknowable to her and only knowable to an expert or professional, probably male) “knows” and prevents the pregnancy but in the case of false rape claims it is that her mind misinterprets or misunderstands the context (perhaps it was “really her fault” or “she was asking for it” etc.). Her mind can’t even understand what has happened to her body, but the body (aided perhaps by God?) can make an accurate distinction between rape and “fornication.”

    Ugh. I agree with your point, I just suspect that someone like Akin would try to rationalize why he trusts the woman’s body but not the woman along lines like these…

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