From what the definition of "rape" is to how victims should respond in the act, Republicans have quite the track record of failing to understand how women's physiology and psychology work. Here is a list comprising some of the most offensive words to come out of the mouths of politicians and pundits from the Right since Roe v. Wade.
What are some of the worst things Republicans have said about rape? There are quite a few to choose from, unfortunately, so these nine are just a barometer of how bad and insensitive the comments are. From the most horrible rape cases to offensive Republican quotes on the topic, these statements caused quite a stir.Check out more lists like the most controversial comments of the 2012 presidential election, absurd positions in the republic, and the best choices for president in the 2016 election.
"I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape." — Chuck Winder, Republican Senator from Idaho
As you may have guessed (or will soon learn) Republicans are obsessed with abortion. A lot of time and energy is spent each campaign season distracting the public on whether or not it should even be legal, and under what exact circumstances. They are afraid to give any leeway to cases of rape and incest, because they believe someone, somewhere, should the law ever change from what it currently is, will lie and say she was raped to get rid of her unwanted pregnancy. Or, if she were raped, she'd terminate the pregnancy she may have planned for with her husband out of uncertainty of the parentage.
Clearly the parentage of the child is the biggest concern here, and not the stability of the potential mother (physically, mentally, or fiscally). Even if the potential child would have been fathered by the husband and was originally planned, sudden cases of trauma like being raped are more than legitimate reason to rethink ones plans or ability to bring and raise a child into this world.
But who cares about the quality of life (be it of the father, mother, or child) anyway?
As you can see, given how Republicans feel about the "right to life", their opinions on rape are very much tied up in the abortion issue. But how about some comments where pregnancy has nothing to do with the act or the outcome? Enter Fox News pundit, Liz Trotta.
In 2006, the Pentagon released a new report revealing that sexual assaults have increased 64% in the US military since women have been allowed to participate in combat. Rather than be shocked and appalled, Fox News pundit Liz Trotta had the following to say about it:
"The sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact, the whole airing of this issue has never been done by Congress, it's strictly been a question of pressure from the feminists."
What should the female soldiers expect? It could not possibly be that they want to be treated with equality and respect. No, that would be asking way too much. Rather, they should expect to be raped by their fellow soldiers and deal with it. Trotta goes on to berate the women—these "feminists"—for their need to seek counseling after the event, as it isn't the mission of the military to protect the soldiers, but to ensure the safety of the nation's citizens.
When host Eric Shawn suggests that we should want to protect all military personnel from illegal activity, all Trotta can do is scoff and say, "Nice try."I must say my favorite part about her little diatribe, however, is the statement that some women are "being raped too much" as if women can be raped "too little" or "just the right amount.
Furthermore, the question of "legitimacy" is one that women in this country have been battling for quite some time. When is rape ever legitimate? The answer is: never. When is rape a real thing and a crime? Whenever a woman says "No." It's quite clear, and the levels of grey that politicians and assholes like Akin try to give to the crime are mind numbing. Date rape, "forcible" rape, etc., are all forms of rape, and they are all illegal. It shouldn't matter if the victim stopped struggling half way through. Resigning one's self to pain and suffering is not consent.
As you may have heard by now, Todd Akin is a US Representative currently running for the Senate in Missouri who had a few choice words to say about rape when asked about whether or not abortion should be legal in the cases of rape. Rather than say "yea" or "nay", he cites nameless doctors as evidence that women cannot become pregnant when raped—at least, not if it is a "legitimate rape"—or if the could be, it would be quite rare. There are multiple issues to be had with this statement, including the words "legitimate" and Akin's misunderstanding of how the female anatomy works. After all, if women released magical spermicidal secretions during rape, wouldn't we all know about it by now? Oh, because it's not true. In fact, over 32,000 pregnancies are caused by rape each year. That's not exactly rare.
And this guy is running on the presidential ticket, meaning if Romney wins, he'll be second-in-command. How absurd is that?
In this interview, Paul Ryan—currently running as vice president on GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s ticket—says he is very proud of his pro-life track record and that while he will back Romney's choices, he personally believes how a woman conceived should affect a woman's ability to get an abortion (which I agree, it shouldn't, a woman's ability to terminate a pregnancy should be up to her). And why is that? Because rape is just an alternative "method of conception." It's just like in vitro and sperm donation, only without the ability to choose your partner or enjoy yourself.