Monday, August 20, 2012
Todd Atkins: The Man Who Believes in Legitimate Rape
Well you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question. First of all, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare. If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
But let's assume that maybe that didn't work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.
That's Todd Atkins and his very fucked up fantasy about rape. You know. The fantasy that rape can be legitimate or illegitimate. (I could write volumes about this terrifying notion). The fantasy that women's bodies "shut down" when they're being raped, so that they don't become pregnant if rape is "legitimate"..and thus the fucked up extension, which is, presumably, that you can work out whether a rape really occurred by seeing whether the victim gets pregnant. An attempt at sexist control that makes Rosemary's Baby look frothy.
Of course, this is all about control. It's such a giveaway that the final line of the above speech ends with the rapist and the child receiving mention, while the woman who was raped is kept invisible. ("Lack of empathy" is too soft a phrase). Atkins acknowledges that a rapist can be punished, and he constructs abortion as an attack on an infant. But he fails to give women any power here at all. He objectifies women's bodies as being able to "shut down" and then suggests that if the woman becomes pregnant because of the rape, that her "system" is faulty.
Well, there's bags more to say here, of course, and there are (thank god) repercussions for Atkins. It's like a devastating dystopia that this man is a Republican nominee for the Missouri Senate.
Let's hope this dystopia ends.
Thanks to my Angela for the link.