I’m going to start us off with a potentially embarrassing picture this morning.
I admit, silly or not, I am proud of the fact that post-yoga class I hoisted myself into crow to show JW that I had finally (sort of!) done it.
I’m married to a 12-year-old boy, he sighed.
Teenage boys probably hate yoga though.
In any case, the subject of my post today is, unfortunately, not about yoga.
I just needed to calm.it.down before I let out some of my energy into the world.
This post is about this subject, which I’ll summarize below, in case clicking the link doesn’t interest you.
It’s a Tuesday morning, so it might not interest you.
Essentially, in case you haven’t heard, an elected representative of our nation, Todd Akin, a Republican from Missouri, said the following on Sunday morning:
“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
He was talking about pregnancy when a woman is raped.
And it’s taken me a couple of days to decide if I wanted to use my tiny, generally happy-go-lucky soapbox to tell everyone how this statement made me feel.
This blog is usually a place to chat about what makes me happy, to tell you guys what makes me laugh, and to share with you what I find interesting.
I try to keep it light, because I think we could all use a little lightness in this fast-moving, occasionally-scary, sometimes-dark world.
However, I’ve been literally chock full of are you fucking kidding me rage since I heard about this, and I just don’t think it’s good to keep that kind of anger inside.
So this is me, climbing onto that tiny soapbox.
Can everyone hear me?
It makes me feel angry. It makes me feel how I did when I read the book Lucky by Alice Seabold (of The Lovely Bones fame) in which she tells her story of being raped, in which she somehow, somehow, managed to be turned into the criminal.
Which was this instinctive kind of horror that someone could be violated like that and made to feel like it was her fault.
What makes me, I think, the most angry about all of this, is that he used the word legitimate to describe rape.
The word rape is defined in the following way:
The crime of forcing another person to have sexual intercourse with him, esp. by the threat or use of violence.
The word doesn’t call for the word legitimate or illegitimate. It doesn’t need the word violent or threatening placed in front of it, it can stand alone.
The word rape doesn’t need any other adjectives to make it more terrible than it already is by its textbook definition.
There is no such thing then, as an illegitimate rape.
If a woman isn’t raped, and she says she is (which I choose to believe is a rare occurrence, rarer at least than rape), that’s not “illegitimate rape.”
And that’s different.
And the very idea that somehow, this kind of “legitimate rape” will keep women from getting pregnant, and thus, why on earth would you worry about abortion in these impossible cases, makes me want to put my head in my hands and really think hard about humanity.
Eventually, I suspect that I’d lift it up and realize that the public response to him, in general, has been one of fiery outrage, of calls for remorse, retraction, and resignation, and in that, I feel much better.
But I still think it’s better that I let it all out.
And I think it’s important that we all do the same. Because really, it will make us all feel better to talk about what is outrageous, what is wrong, and to promise each other that we.will.not.let.it.be.a.thing.we.accept.
You know, because we have sisters and mothers and cousins and nieces and grandmothers and grandchildren and best friends who are all women.
And if God forbid one of them came to us and told us that they’d been raped, I doubt we’d raise our eyebrows and wonder but was it legitimate?
Because we’re smarter than that, chickens.
And that’s why I love you.
Thanks for making the landing to my jump down soft, everyone.