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Monday, August 20, 2012

204

HBO Yes, Todd Akin No

Ask, and ye shall go back in time to receive.

In appreciation, there will be no angry post about The Newsroom today. See, HBO, how we can help each other out? One shirtless pic of John Gallagher, Jr. with "Hey, Ladies of the Hairpin" in lipstick on his chest, and the posts could stop for good.

Instead, you may use this comment thread to discuss The Todd Akin Situation, which would be a great name for a queer punk band. See also: "That Whole Thing."

204 Comments / Post A Comment

NeverOddOrEven

Does anybody have words to form on this? I have no words. Just Feelings.

Katie Heaney

@NeverOddOrEven I keep wishing that in this day and age there was nothing LEFT to say to rape apologists (because they are exhausting, I am exhausted) except for like "Are you lost? What world were you trying to get to?" ... AND YET THEY ARE EVERYWHERE

Bebe

@NeverOddOrEven The only words I have belong to Melis: KILL IT WITH FIRE.

melis

Guys I'm ON IT, check the awl in like an hour

sceps yarx

@melis oh my gosh, thank you so much! I read your awl post before I read this thread, so I will be able to giggle hysterically about this situation instead of throwing my computer on the ground and jumping on it.

Scandyhoovian

Re: Todd Akin: FLAMES. FLAMES... ON THE SIDE... OF MY FACE.

jule_b_sorry

@Scandyhoovian GET OUT OF MY HEAD. Only Madeline Kahn can properly summarize my rage.

anachronistique

@Scandyhoovian I regret that I have only one thumbs-up to give to this comment.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Scandyhoovian I basically got so angry I gave myself a migraine.

stonefruit

@anachronistique AS DO I.

@Scandyhoovian HEAVING BREATHS.

jules

<---- She feels our pain. She is beyond words.

D.@twitter

@Scandyhoovian It doesn't help that so many people seem to AGREE w/ Akin. And not just on the fundie blogs, but on media vehicles like NPR. Commenters were saying things like, "WELL, he's RIGHT that most rapes don't result in pregnancy, it's just 'politically incorrect' to say so..."

It was only my sense of self-preservation kicking in that got me to look away before my brain exploded.

Would it be awesome that if people perpetuated enough falsehoods on the Internets, a vengeful spirit of justice emerged from their computer screens Candyman-style and ripped their hateful heads off?

Lustful Cockmonster

I want to laugh because it is so ridiculous, but I just can't because it is so terrifying...

Lustful Cockmonster

@Grumplestiltskin And Mitt and Paul? "We disagree with Akin's comments..." oh excellent news! BECAUSE THEY ARE INSANE. "...under the Romney-Ryan administration abortion would be permitted in cases of rape." Oh, gee, thanks. Would that just be "legitimate" rape though? And could you let me know how I prove that? Would it require at Notary? I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

NeverOddOrEven

@Grumplestiltskin
The past two days I posted the Jezebel article about the 16yo Dominican girl who just died of Leukemia because she couldn't get chemo or an abortion on my Facebook page to hopefully convince my conservative "friends" (I'm looking at you, Grandma) not to vote for Romney/Ryan. And I think I might for the next 77 days.
I have a disease that would make pregnancy fatal for me, and the treatments aren't exactly fetus-friendly either. This is my fight. And it fucking disgusts me to no end that anyone who knows that about me can support this fuckery. Family, no less.
I have to believe a lot of the conservative platform gets support because it's hypothetical to most people. "That horrible thing Liberals are trying to prevent is so rare and would never happen to me or someone I care about so clearly it's not a priority..."
Well, HELLO! Allow me to be that person for you. And if you still think my life is less important than a hypothetical one then GET THE FUCK OUT OF IT.

packedsuitcase

@NeverOddOrEven I think that's a core of a lot of the conservative platform. "Well, it could never happen to me, AND EVEN IF IT DID, I am smart/educated/lucky enough that everything would work out so all of your liberal whining is pointless because you're a terrible person, neener neener neener."

Apocalypstick

@packedsuitcase So it all comes back to "If bad things happen to you it's because you're a bad person". Amazing how being born wealthy, white, and male makes you morally superior to everyone else.

Lustful Cockmonster

@packedsuitcase The article Bridget Callahan posted just below is the crux of it, I think. There are plenty that believe that god only makes you suffer if you deserve it, therefore, if you are raped, you probably deserve it, and you have to deal with the consequences. It is just so twisted.

Idiots. All of them. They are completely unable to imagine themselves in another person's shoes. It won't happen to me, only people that deserve it. Suck it up sinners.

It made me remember that John McCain, back when he was a "moderate" and running against Dubs, said that he wanted to ban abortion except in the case of rape or incest. The interviewer then asked what would happen if his daughter was pregnant and wanted to have an abortion and his response was that it would be her decision to make. Johnny, I hate to break it to you, BUT THAT IS PRO-CHOICE. I guess that's what happens when things get personal.

packedsuitcase

@Grumplestiltskin Just about to read that. I seriously struggle to understand how people can think like this.

NeverOddOrEven

@Grumplestiltskin
Alternately, many religious folk have this idea that God only gives you as much as you can handle. If you're in a terrible situation you should thank him for thinking you're strong enough for it. (Seriously. A fucking nun told my mom this as she was denying her application to join the monestary because she has Parkinson's).
The fuck? So God has some quota of shittiness that he must distribute amoung the population? If I don't get it then someone else does? I don't think so. And I'm not thanking anyone for getting shit on.

baked bean

@packedsuitcase I think the reason most pro-lifers make the exception for rape is that they think that's the only way they could see their family ever needing an abortion.

There was a girl I went to high school with who was a product of rape. Her mother was very conservative and religious and so was she. I never met her mother, but I wonder how that worked out? Like, did she smile and pretend during her pregnancy and raising of the young child that she was ok with it because it was "God's Will"? Or did her parents have a big influence on her going through with that? Idk, but it always creeped me out.

Anyway, one thing that SUPER pissed me off was kids (mostly dudes) cracking jokes at the girl about her mother's rape. :( I really, really, regret not stomping their asses at the time, but I was too shy.

Beatrix Kiddo

@Grumplestiltskin The very concept of an exception for rape or incest makes me want to punch someone, because it's basically an admission that we don't actually believe a fetus is a person with rights, but we just want to punish women who had sex. How can that be the explicit platform of anybody at all? I mean, if you didn't believe abortion should ever be permitted in any case, I'd completely disagree but at least you'd be intellectually and morally consistent.

Cat named Virtute

@NeverOddOrEven Yes, I also had that argument last week. In my case it's my eyesight that's at risk, not my life, but when some 50 year old whose line of thinking appeared to be she didn't want children as a young adult, but now she's old and didn't and can't have them and maybe she should have had a baby when she was 20 after all therefore young women don't know what's best for them because they can't see the future (RAGEFLAMES) started responding to an article on a friend's facebook (hey Canadians, do we all know about the Tory MP who wants to redefine personhood?), I told her, look lady, my vision is not worth this, therefore no babies, whether created in consensual sex or rape, are coming out of this body, because my meds could really mess up a fetus and a baby is not worth my eye sight. She then responded that she was very sorry for me, but thought that we needed to return to more natural ways and that women who have had abortions "seem somewhat schizophrenic" which oh my god lady, don't even start.

Lustful Cockmonster

@Beatrix Kiddo THIS. I have little (no) tolerance for an anti-choice position, HOWEVER, if that is the position you are going to take, I am much more able to understand you if you draw the line completely.

Blushingflwr

@Grumplestiltskin My argument to "if you make a mistake, you have to live with the consequences" is "yes, but should the consequences have to live with YOU?"

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@baked bean
"cracking jokes at the girl about her mother's rape"

WHAT!? words fail me

baked bean

@josiahg I know. It churns my stomach to this day.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@Cat named Virtute
"seem somewhat schizophrenic"

oh great now let's also use a congenital mental illness as a slur, great job

Cat named Virtute

@josiahg Yep. Like I said, not enough fire in the world.

Lustful Cockmonster

@everyone So at least there's this...I <3 you Barry! (I sort of love that these right-wingers are being such assholes these days that he's pretty much given up pussy footing around them and is starting to tell it like it is. At least that's a plus...)

Obama's response to a question about Akin's comments today: "Well, let me first of all say the views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape. And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people, and certainly doesn’t make sense to me. So what I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women. And so although these particular comments have led Governor Romney and other Republicans to distance themselves, I think the underlying notion that we should be making decisions on behalf of women for their health care decisions or qualifying ‘forcible rape’ versus nonforcible rape — I think those are broader issues and that is a significant difference in approach between me and the other party."

NeverOddOrEven

@Grumplestiltskin
Timing and age has a lot to do with it I'm sure, but GOD DAMN I love him so hard and have never been so excited and hopeful about a politician.
Even still. Quit whining other liberals. He couldn't just walk into the Oval Office and wave a magic wand and circumvent the entire legislature.

Lustful Cockmonster

@NeverOddOrEven I know, I spent my time being frustrated with him, but the more the rest of these dopes open their mouths, the more I realize what he has spent the last three and a half years battling, and how excited I am about what he might do in the next four when he has nothing to lose...

Also, I just think he is dreamy.

Xanthophyllippa

@Cat named Virtute "More natural ways?" Okay. Next time that woman has an infection or a health-related emergency, she should return to more natural ways and forego modern Western medicine. Pray hard, lady, but if God doesn't save you, it's because he never gives people more than they can handle.

Cat named Virtute

@Xanthophyllippa Actually I misquoted. She said that she is a "very natural person" and that she believes the world is "overly constructed." I told her I would happily take any construction that allows me to vote, survive chickenpox, not go blind from glaucoma, and be protected in law at least from rape, forced marriage, and being beaten. I guess she doesn't find that "inline with the Holy Spirit" which is just too damn bad.

laurel

@Cat named Virtute: C'mon, it's great that she's able to communication with you via her faith-based computer and all-natural Facebook!

Bridget Callahan@facebook

The best thing I read in response to it was this http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/08/19/rep-todd-akin-exposes-the-horrific-immorality-of-moralism/

My favorite quote in there was "If she drowned, then she was a legitimate witch."

Apocalypstick

@Bridget Callahan@facebook Fantastic article! It really is horrifying.

Ophelia

(just realized I read the article wrong. Poor witches, never drowning, always being burned at the stake. Too bad their uteruses couldn't get them out of THAT!)

Marzipan

@Bridget Callahan@facebook

That article said it might come from Rep. Freind in 1988: “The reason, Freind said, is that the traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to “secrete a certain secretion” that tends to kill sperm.” Haha, is there anything more guaranteed to be not scientific and not true than “secrete a certain secretion”? “Yes sir, that sounds plausible. No, yeah, very scientific, I bet they mistake you for a doctor.”

32,000 pregnancies a year, they estimate! Oh my god, this thing – this person, this idea - makes me nauseous. I would die if I got pregnant from rape and had to carry it to term; I could not do it, what an awful burden to insist anyone take on.

First of all, he clearly believes most rapes are not legitimate, women who secretly like it, women who are trying to get revenge, that they deserve it, every awful, damaging stereotype that hurts society and allows us to ignore real problems. Then he says something that is utterly, 1000% false (doctors! He “talked” to “doctors”! well then it MUST be true), that makes no sense and that is, honestly, not even remotely the problem much less a solution! It’s only happening rarely, so we should…ignore it entirely? That it should happen to one person is too many, and to say they shouldn’t be allowed to terminate because it’s rare is like saying you shouldn’t get treatment if you get attacked by an albino shark.

just every fucking word of what he said is offensive. fuck yooooooooou.

barefoot cuntessa

@Marzipan THIS!!!! It makes me ill! "Legitimate rape"?!? What the fuck does that mean? Today is a day that I have to not watch the news because every time I hear that term I get the urge smash and throw things. This is not hyperbole. I need to go take a walk now.

Queen of Pickles

@Bridget Callahan@facebook Just sent this to my friend. That is a wonderful, wonderful article that sums up something I've been so rageful at for so long, without being able to precisely articulate why.

Thank you for posting this!

Apocalypstick

I feel it actually makes it worse that he "recanted", because it shows he honestly believes that what he said was factually accurate! Even after all the "are you fucking kidding" backlash he still thinks he's in the right and just didn't make it clear enough that he disapproves of "legitimate" rapists. How are people even able to be this ignorant?

Aeroplane

@Apocalypstick Exactly! Whenever a politician "recants" something, it is basically saying "Well, yeah, I still believe it, but now I know better than to talk about it."

Mira

@Aeroplane "Oops, I have accidentally told you what I really think."

jule_b_sorry

Missouri, get rid of your senate candidate, seriously, he is disgusting.

anachronistique

@jule_b_sorry He's a current representative! He is currently elected to Congress! Voting on laws! I CAN'T COPE WITH THIS NONSENSE

baked bean

@jule_b_sorry I am from Missouri :(

McCaskill is an awesome, awesome person. I will be very pissed if he wins over her. Surely that cannot happen.

I also realize that my parents (Conservative, always vote Republican no matter what) will probably vote for him still. That is the most horrifying thing, I think.

D.@twitter

@anachronistique No, he isn't. I'm a MO resident; he's currently RUNNING against the incumbent Claire McCaskill. The fact that he even made it onto the ballot is reprehensible. Even more so that he stands a chance at winning. My boyfriend sent me an article last night about it, and I was sputtering w/ rage:

"D.: All of me is screaming. I'd like to "legitimately murder" this asshole.

D: This...pusillanimous putrescence, this anencephalic ambomination, this flayed goat, THIS FUCKTARD actually stands a chance of getting elected by Missourians in order to represent the state in the Senate. I guess we are just hellbent on proving to the rest of the United States that we're just a bunch of ignorant asshole yokels whose brains are so clotted from our high-fat diets that we can't even vote straight."

Lustful Cockmonster

@D.@twitter Actually he is already elected...he is a congressman and he is now running for Senate.

D.@twitter

@Grumplestiltskin; @anachronistique: You guys are right; I had totally overlooked that. Mea culpa. I think I didn't want to believe that such a horrifying this was possible; surely he hadn't already been elected to office. SURELY.

But no.

Lustful Cockmonster

@D.@twitter It boggles the mind, doesn't it?

lil_bobbytables

Oh what the sam hell is this nonsense? Todd Akin, you need to stop running for government and start going back to school. Or living in a cave far away from humans. Either one works, really.

nyikint

"Legitimate rape" is one of the most infuriating terms out there.

Yankee Peach

I read all the newspaper accounts of this this morning and I was amazed to discover that everybody -- even the Times of New York called this idiotic remark "controversial" and noted that it "irked" some people. NO! It is not "controversial" it is flat out wrong and "some people" are "irked" because people running for the US Senate are just flat out ignorant and are allowed to spew any amount of sexist nonsense and get a pass in the media.

I need a glass of wine and it's only 10am here.

Clare

Todd Akin's combover is "legitimately raping" my eyes, but my "female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

/brandishes Wahl clippers

crango

@Clare Oh my god, that line was what broke me and now I am hastily trying to find my pitchfork. Seriously dude?! Can we just ban people who don't have a uterus from making any sort of legislation on abortion?

Jaya

Wow, you learn something new about your body every day!

City_Dater

@Jaya

I know! Someone tell Rush Limbaugh, from whom I learned hormonal birth control is apparently like Viagra, that all those girls taking tons and tons of pills to prevent pregnancy from all the sex they are having can just get to work on "shutting it all down."

Yankee Peach

@Jaya You sure do! I am going to have to go back and check my owner's manual to see how to activate this pregnancy shut down thing. I was specifically told (by my mother, no less) that my model did not come with this particular feature.

Jaya

@Yankee Peach I think it's time we all upgrade.

NeverOddOrEven

@City_Dater
And my sister will be thrilled to know that she's not getting pregnant because she just doesn't want it hard enough!
Because we have complete control over our fertility, right? Awesome news! Someone should alert the scientific community!

Queen of Pickles

@Jaya We can reabsorb our fetuses during periods of stress - just like rabbits!

(No but seriously, rabbits can do this. Thank you, Watership Down.)

Judith Slutler

Return to South Mouth Kingdom: How to "Shut That Whole Thing Down"

Scandyhoovian

UGH YOU GUYS HE'S ON THE HOUSE COMMITTEE FOR SCIENCE, SPACE, AND TECHNOLOGY

SCIENCE

WHEN HE DOESN'T SEEM TO CLEARLY DOESN'T UNDERSTAND BASIC HUMAN BIOLOGY

I CANNOT STOP CAPSLOCKING, I HAVE SO MANY FLAMES ON MY FACE

City_Dater

@Scandyhoovian

In space, no one can hear you scream.

garli

@Scandyhoovian Dude! I was just coming here to post that!

http://science.house.gov/about/membership

noodge

@Scandyhoovian

made the effort to sign in just to add my thumbs up. my mind is slow clapping the fuck out of this dude right now.

TheBourneApproximation

@Scandyhoovian D: D: D:

dale

@Scandyhoovian There's a petition to have him removed from the committee, if that helps at all.

Inkling

@dale
Mine says "You should only be able to pass legislation on something you genuinely understand on a scientific basis. You fucking dillhole."

Ophelia

@Inkling I read your post as if it was Dar Williams singing.

Inkling

@Ophelia
Does she sing like that?
(I didn't know who she was until I looked her up just now.)

Ophelia

@Inkling There's a line in one of her older songs about when she dated a pothead in college, and part of it goes, "..and I said, 'No, our dreams went up in dreams. You stupid pothead'."

I just substituted in "You fucking dillhole."

laurel

@dale: Signed, tumblrd, tweeted!

Bebe

@dale Just signed with added suggestion that everyone on this committee should have to pass a basic science test aimed at high school seniors. I'd hope that an elected representative on this committee has at least as much understanding of science as your average 17 year old.

Xanthophyllippa

@Scandyhoovian WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK.

I hate everyone. Except Hairpinners.

@Ophelia I read it in Dar's voice too!

stuffisthings

I'd be a little more concerned about the doctors who allegedly told him this, if I thought for a second he had actually talked to actual doctors about this subject.

Bittersweet

@stuffisthings "doctors"

Genghis Khat

@Bittersweet Doctorates in crazypants theology, I guess.

HereKitty

@stuffisthings Seriously, how is every reporter in Washington and St. Louis AND EVERYWHERE ELSE THAT PEOPLE HAVE BRAINS FOR THINKING not on this like a dog with a juicy bone?

all the bacon and eggs

@Genghis Khat I was thinking faith healers. There might be snakes involved.

Oopsensdasies!

@stuffisthings The doctor in question is Ron Paul. Not even kidding.

stonefruit

@TheRobyn OH G-D RON PAUL.

Bittersweet

@TheRobyn "doctor"

m. marie

@TheRobyn Wow, do you have a link to where you read that?

Danzig!

@m. marie I don't know if he has the same lack of grasp on anatomy (that would be awesome given his trade) but he has delineated between "legitimate" and "illegitimate" rape in the past.

EpWs

@TheRobyn WHAT

I CANNOT EVEN WITH THIS

packedsuitcase

Can't discuss through the rage. Sorry.

fata morgana

@packedsuitcase Me neither. How do these people sleep at night?

cpo
cpo

time again to make a donation to planned parenthood, where they use and distribute Legitimate information and knowledge to help Women (first time posting here, this issue is too important not to talk about solutions)

baked bean

@cpo Yeah they should send out another round of emails to the subscribers, "Disagree with Todd Akin? Want to educate people about what's real? DONATE NOW TO GET YOUR RAGE OUT!"

Ophelia

@baked bean NARAL and Debbie Wasserman Schulz already did :)

nyikint

@cpo Or to Emily's List so we can get some more sane women into office!

stuffisthings

Also, in case your rage reservoirs need a little refilling, TPM has a rundown of past claims that pregnancy rarely results from rape. You won't be surprised to learn the party affiliations of those making the claims!

stuffisthings

'Freind said that women possess a “certain secretion” that kills sperm.' Well there you go. Calm down now, ladies.

garli

@stuffisthings I can't click on that and not just punch some one in the face.

Ophelia

@garli I read it earlier, but I'm alone in the house, and I can't punch the dog, so now I'm just simmering with rage.

garli

@Ophelia I feel like petting a dog might make me feel better, but there are no dogs in my office. Also it might be a bad career move to punch a coworker? Jury's out on that one.

Ophelia

@garli Depends on the co-worker, I suppose. The dog is quite happy with any additional belly rubs that come his way :)

frigwiggin

@stuffisthings Like poison dart frogs!

frigwiggin

@frigwiggin "The juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant."

Thank god for those non-flowing juices and those non-working body functions.

stuffisthings

@frigwiggin I think it has something to with the proportion of black and yellow bile. If she's phlegmatic, you know she was secretly enjoying it!

MilesofMountains

@stuffisthings They're impressively vague with their "juices" and "certain secretions" and "the whole thing". They sounds like first year undergrads trying to bullshit their way through an exam they didn't study for.

Springtime for Voldemort

I appreciate the number of people who've prefaced their Facebook post on this with "no, no - that's what he actually said; this isn't just an article from The Onion!".

I feel like maybe something good could come out of this. Like maybe we could make little buttons that had various stances on the whole thing, like "kill it with fire", "ok, but in his defense...", and "well, women do have that ability, you know, when it's legit". And then people would wear them about town, and you would know immediately who to talk to and who not to talk to. Similarly, all my first dates from now on will drop Akin's name to see if the date takes the bait, as an easy way to weed out undesirables.

ixchel

@papayalily I prefaced my Facebook post about it with "Next from Fox News: only witches can float!". And now, I am getting crap from relatives who point out that Akin did apologize, after all. (is there an emoticon for rageflames? insert it here, please)

Springtime for Voldemort

@ixchel UUURRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!! Yes, "I misspoke, but in no way retract or correct any of my actual statements" is an apology!

ixchel

@papayalily I know! And I'm like, "YOU! Female relative! Defending this idiot! You are Vichy France!"

ixchel

@ixchel Also, I think I might have just Godwined this thread in a really roundabout and obscure way.

Springtime for Voldemort

@ixchel The only thing that would make this more absurd is if Akin dressed up like Hitler (complete with mustache, obvs) while issuing his second non-apology in a couple days.

Springtime for Voldemort

@ixchel Sort of, but in that kind of history geek way that makes me love my fellow Pinners more, not less.

nyikint

@ixchel You totally did, but it's hilarious anyway!

Lucienne

@ixchel Now I'm wishing Claude Rains were here, smoking a cigarette and drinking pastis with me and lifting ironic eyebrows. That would make this whole situation better.

Oh, squiggles

It is gratifying to see so many fellow 'Pinners express the same rage I have been feeling over this, and many similar issues.

The thing is, I am starting to feel like it is an impotent rage. I get all worked up about shit like this, and then I don't really know what to do to make it better, turn that rage into energy to try and change things. Anyone have any suggestions?

Beatrix Kiddo

@Awesomely Nonfunctional The only ideas I can think of are donate money to his opponent or to Planned Parenthood. But if we did that every time a conservative candidate said something horrific and ignorant, we'd probably all be broke.

Ophelia

@Beatrix Kiddo Yeah, PP already gets all of my dollars this year. But I do like McCaskill, so maybe I'll write her a check, too.

laurel

@Awesomely Nonfunctional: Do you know any voters in Missouri? You could talk to them about why you think Akin doesn't deserve their vote.

cpo
cpo

@Awesomely Nonfunctional

Keep the conversation going in a positive direction by asking this very question to friends and family - especially include younger people in the dialogue; arm yourself with FACTS about Women's Health to bring forth in conversations - or social network/media posts; donate to Planned Parenthood; actively support and vote for local representatives and judges who are similarly minded....

thanks for asking! i too am curious to hear what other people suggest

Ophelia

@cpo I think a big one - with a very long time horizon, but still - is to teach kids critical thinking. Whether it's in science class learning the scientific method, or while watching TV/otherwise absorbing pop culture, asking kids, "Huh. Why do you think X did Y? What would you do in that situation?" or "That's a strange commercial. Why do you think that lady is wearing so much makeup?" etc.

baked bean

@laurel Me me! I'm a voter in Missouri! But I don't really need any convincing, you can just... remind me to go vote?

Springtime for Voldemort

@Awesomely Nonfunctional Volunteer? Maybe for a local rape crisis center, or Planned Parenthood or NARAL. Or maybe there are some campaigns in your area organizing for repro rights that could use volunteers or part-time help? Or a local abortion fund, etc. If you feel comfortable telling us where you live, we might be able to help find some local stuff you could help out with.

Also, knowledge. I have an Evernote folder that just has tons and tons of scholarly articles on things like abortion, rape, domestic violence, etc so that whenever someone's like "uh-huh" I can be all "science, bitch" with citations and stuff, which can sometimes change the minds of the "marshmallow middle". (There's probably a nicer term than marshmallow middle, but I can't think of it.)

laurel

@baked bean: GO VOTE, @baked bean!

Do y'all have early voting or absentee voting in MO? Get your vote in early and let your candidate know you voted for her.

Also, do you know any other voters you could speak with? Could you volunteer for or donate to McCaskill? I just gave her a little $.

baked bean

@laurel I will be getting an absentee ballot becuase I am a college student and would like to vote in my home district.
I know many college students don't vote because they are registered in their hometowns, and are too lazy/don't think of in time to get absentee ballots. Perhaps I could print off a bunch of forms and hand them out and encourage people to mail them in before the deadline, and to vote for McCaskill.

She really, really is an awesome lady. She's been backing Planned Parenthood, which has had to fight a few battles in Missouri. I had the pleasure of signing a big thank-you banner for her.
http://www.womenarewatching.org/candidate/claire-mccaskill

I'm sort of glad all of this happened, because hopefully that means she will probably win now. From what I understand, she didn't have much chance against him before.

cpo
cpo

@baked bean YAY baked bean! You are giving me Hope. (can you hear me applauding you+your printed forms - all the way from the big apple?!!)

Blushingflwr

@Awesomely Nonfunctional If you have cash to spare, donate it to McCaskill's campaign, Planned Parenthood, the National Network of Abortion Funds, other pro-choice, pro-women's health organizations. Or, you know, places that fund science education.

If you are short on cash but have time to spare - volunteer with a political campaign, volunteer with Planned Parenthood, work a rape crisis line, help remind people to vote (and help get them to the polls). Find a group of girl scouts or other kids who need mentors, help them learn to respect themselves and think critically, to question authority, understand the scientific process, and know how their bodies work.

"If the world were perfect, you'd have to do an awful lot to make a difference. But in a world that sucks, like this one, you don't have to do very much at all." - Arlo Guthrie

laurel

@baked bean: You are awesome, thank you for being active in such an important election. It may seem like elections in one state don't impact those of us in other states, but they do. You, for example, are helping to keep this idiot out of the Senate and a seat on the Committee for Science, Space, and Technology for all of us. Yay.

D.@twitter

@laurel Don't worry, Akin's not getting my vote!

Of course, our state legislature has a tendency to simply overturn results they don't like (see: Prop B re: puppy mills)...

tessamae

@baked bean I AM ALSO A MISSOURI VOTER! YYYEEEEAAAAAAH.

FUCK YO SHIT, TODD AKIN.

He represents a lot of St. Louis County which just makes me sick, as I loathe just being that close to him. I'm in the city, thank jeebus, so am under Russ Carnahan. I've been voting for my girl Claire since she ran for the first time in '06, and am sure as hell voting for her again this year.

LADY RIGHTS 2012.

aubrey!

@baked bean I am also a Missouri voter and I really hope this works in McCaskill's favor. I mean, how can people not see how heinously stupid Todd Akin is? But then I remember my family lives here.

baked bean

@aubrey! Yeah, like I said above somewhere, what makes me cringe the most is that my parents are still probably going to vote for him.

Ophelia

In hindsight, I'm surprised Todd Akin's mother didn't just shut that whole thing down 60 years ago.

Mira

Did y'all see Todd Akin's parody Twitter account? ("All the male doctors I've talked to said they have teeth down there so how does rape even happen? Let's just be real.")

Other than that, it's all Fire, all the time.

HereKitty

@Mira Thanks for linking to this. The fact that the location is "Up my own ass" just gave me the first laugh of the day.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Mira YES! "I was going to keep my avatar as an egg but Legitimate Rape never fertilized one."

Mira

@papayalily "Legitimate Rape should not be confused with Asking For It Rape and Had It Coming Rape. Consult a misogynist for details."

timesnewroman

@Mira "Legitimate Rape should not be confused with Asking For It Rape and Had It Coming Rape. Consult a misogynist for details."

m. marie

@Mira This link isn't working for me?

Mira

@m. marie It doesn't seem to be working right now? Knowing Twitter, maybe check back later. I promise it was working earlier!

Pseudo Pseudonym

@Mira I was wondering when the vagina dentata jokes would appear . . .

NeverOddOrEven

Also, by "ways to shut that whole thing down" he clearly mean miscarriage, right? And if you're a supporter of personhood isn't that just as terrible?
This assumes a level of critical thinking and logic that escapes him, but for fucks sake.

Ophelia

@NeverOddOrEven I think it goes back to the idea that some (white, male, extremist) people have that women can either:
- Not get pregnant when they are traumatized; or
- Secrete some chemical when raped to prevent pregnancy.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Ophelia Ah, yes, our magical rape-sperm-killing vagina venom. Steve Irwin died while trying to bottle some.

NeverOddOrEven

@Ophelia
And if that fails, we can always just do it standing up and then douche with some coke and lysol afterwards!

Ophelia

@papayalily If he'd only taken the time to beware of all those teeth we have down there.

Springtime for Voldemort

@Ophelia If at all possible, I'd like my vagina dentata to look like the Great Pit of Carkoon.

anachronistique

@papayalily If only, homes. IF ONLY.

Bridget Callahan@facebook

The fact that this monster is on the Committee for Science, Space, and Technology is, I think, giving me an aneurysm. I taste pennies. And if I think it's an aneurysm, then obviously, that's what it is you fucking commie.

Excuse me while I go shed one of my vaginas, and send it on an assassin mission.

Ophelia

@Bridget Callahan@facebook Let's face it, you're probably better able to diagnose an aneurysm than he is, since you believe in Science. He'd probably just think you have a demon in your skull.

City_Dater

@Bridget Callahan@facebook

Send the one with the teeth and the venom!

Bridget Callahan@facebook

@City_Dater http://www.bridgetcallahan.com/2012/08/let-me-tell-you-all-things-my-vagina.html

VDRE

When I was talking about this with friends yesterday it just made me feel so helpless. I don't feel like anything I can do can keep idiots like this out of office- my vote for president won't count because I don't live in a swing state and any amount of money that I donate to any candidate would be so low that it would be meaningless.

Mira

@VDRE Donate to Planned Parenthood - they can do something with any amount of money. <3 u Plannie!

laurel

@VDRE: McCaskill is trailing Akin. I'm sure she could make use of any small donation. I just gave her a little $.

cpo
cpo

@VDRE YOUR VOTE COUNTS!! do not let anyone tell you it doesn't!!! it DOES! People follow the numbers a lot of times, so if a non-swing state gets big #'s in one direction people (and mdeia) make mental note. Also, VOTE in non-primary elections. You know it's fun - right? That little thrill of pulling the lever? And it does lots of good to know that the people in your district do not turn into Akins because you have voted against them before they get to make a difference.

Gracefully and Grandly

@VDRE I felt the same way about the amount of money I'm donating being insignificant. I donated (for the first time ever) through Emily's List and when I saw how much I was giving each candidate I did think, "What's the point? This is nothing! How will this even be significant?" but it's not what just my small contribution will do but the cumulative effect of everyone's small contributions. I don't know if that will help you think about it, but it helped me feel less powerless/helpless about my donation.

VDRE

@Mira I have been donating to Planned Parenthood which make me feel a little better- I feel like they can actually do something with my money as opposed to a politician who could maybe buy a fraction of a second of airtime with it.

and @cpo I'm still going to vote but the electoral college gets me down. My parents live in KY and have bumper stickers that say 'a blue dot in a red state' which is cute but also kind of fills me with dispair. Since they've lived there they've voted in every presidential election (and non presidential, they're into voting) and it's gone Republican every time.

anachronistique

@cpo This, precisely. Your vote for president may not count for much - I live in Massachusetts, so duh - but your representative and senators and state-level reps make a difference.

Springtime for Voldemort

@VDRE You could volunteer for the local chapter of a larger organization that does fight this crap, like NARAL or Planned Parenthood. That way, it's like, they don't have to spend as much money in your state, and can spend more fighting this juicebox.

Blushingflwr

@VDRE Your vote counts. Maybe not for president, but for your local and state officials, absolutely. It makes a difference. If everyone who thought "my vote doesn't matter" actually went ahead and voted, where might we be?

nyikint

@VDRE I just gave 100 bucks to Emily's List. I live in DC so my vote actually doesn't matter (lack of voting rights + President Obama won 93% of the vote in 2008), but at least it helps elsewhere.

I feel like if these awful comments galvanize female voters and act as a fundraising campaign, at least there's a silver lining, like when PP raised ridiculous amounts of money after the Komen debacle.

NeverOddOrEven

@Mira
And in this case you can donate specifically to their 501(c)4, which is the side of Planned Parenthood that does direct support and endorsement of candidates, has a PAC, and lobbies.

alannaofdoom

Personally, I'm comforted when people who have opinions about my reproductive system refer to it as "that whole thing." Words with more than one syllable are SCARY.

RK Fire

@alannaofdoom: I really like it when they just vaguely wave their hand towards the midsection of my body! "You know, that whole thing over there."

dale

@alannaofdoom In a lighter vein...I think it'd be awesome if some pop culture parody singer/band made a song out of it - like the style of "That Thing You Do", but "That Whole Thing" instead.

EpWs

@alannaofdoom Are we sure he said "that whole thing" and not "that hole thing"?

(terrible puns to keep from weeping openly, apologies)

Lemonnier

Guuuyyysss

What if I get "honestly" raped, like Ron Paul talked about? Am I also "legitimately" raped? Golly, I wish these old white guys would get together and straighten this out so I could be told whether a rape is "real," or whether the woman was just being a Slutty McSlutterson!

NeverOddOrEven

@Lemonnier
I think if your "honestly" raped, then it's "Rape rape", but in order to be "legitimately" raped it must be "forcible" rape.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

@NeverOddOrEven
Wasn't 'rape rape' Whoopi Goldberg, though?

:(

alannaofdoom

@Lemonnier - And is there a difference between "legitimate rape" and "rape-rape"? I'm trying to plan my weekend and I want to make sure all my bases are covered.

barefoot cuntessa

@alannaofdoom Well first, you should really cover up. That is the best way to only get legitimately raped. If you dress like a common whore, its likely you deserved it.

alannaofdoom

@barefoot cuntessa - What if I am wearing jeans, but they are old and they have a hole kind of near the crotch? I wish there were an easy-to-understand diagram for this.

Ophelia

@alannaofdoom Clearly, you should be wearing an ankle-length dress. Didn't you get the instruction manual?

NeverOddOrEven

@josiahg
Yep. Qualifiers coming from all sides.

Bebe

@Ophelia Ironically, the same people who believe in "rape-rape," "legitimate rape," and "you're just asking for it in that skimpy outfit you whore rape," and think we should all be modestly dressed would be APPALLED to learn that theirs is the exact same thinking that leads to burqas.

Blushingflwr

@Bebe I don't know, I think some of them are just mad they didn't think of burqas first.

NeverOddOrEven

@Blushingflwr
Yea, if anything I imagine that would be the one concession.
"Well, you know I hate them towel heads, but that bed sheet thing aint such a bad idea.."

Bebe

@Blushingflwr Oh god, you may be right. I'll be under the covers for the rest of the day.

PistolPackinMama

@Bebe Well, you've saved Todd Aiken from having to buy you a burqa! You're such a good citizen!

Ialdagorth

Little known medical fact: in the case of "legitmate rape" (ie all the correct rape paperwork is filed, in triplicate) a tiny Gandalf appears in the birth canal and waves his tiny wand and yells "YOU SHALL NOT PAAAASSS" to the sperm or "Balrog" in this equation.

I kid because I don't want to cry at work.

FoxyRoxy

This story just... hurts. Not only does it anger me, it hurts. I cannot believe in 2012, people are so dismissive of rape, that the phrase "legitimate rape" exists and that a public official uses bullshit pseudo science to conjure up a magical uterus. When people say things like, "get over it," I just want to scream, stop fucking up so I CAN. Gah. I can't even bring myself to write about this. It's just insanity.

alannaofdoom

@FoxyRoxy - My above snarkiness aside, I totally agree. When I heard this story I thought, "Do we really have to have this discussion AGAIN?" It is mind-boggling and disheartening.

Bebe

@alannaofdoom This discussion has been going on since the Middle Ages, actually, when it was believed that women could only get pregnant if they orgasmed. This was brought to you by the same people who believed that bleeding and praying would cure the plague, but that bathing would kill you. So you know, doctors.

Blushingflwr

This is why we need comprehensive science education and sex ed.

The female body does actually have secretions that are harmful to sperm. We talked about this last week on the Hairpin - the pH of the vagina is, generally speaking, not hospitable to sperm. One of the many changes that occurs with ovulation is that cervical fluids change and become more hospitable to semen and more conducive to conception. This happens every month (assuming absence of hormonal birth control), regardless of whether the vagina in question is in the control of a celibate woman or a promiscuous one, whether she is in a relationship where sex is consensual or she is being routinely sexually assaulted. It's what bodies do. So, yes, if a woman is raped outside of that window, her vagina will "secrete secretions" that are hostile to the rapist's sperm. But it has nothing to do with the rape. It would do the same thing if she'd sent a man an engraved invitation to her vagina.

And yes, frequently, women's bodies do not respond to rape with the usual "juices" of arousal. That doesn't mean that when a vagina responds to penetration with lubrication (which might, I don't know, be a defense mechanism to protect against damage. or a trained physical response based on previous sexual encounters) the woman is necessarily enjoying it or isn't being raped.

The majority of consensual sexual encounters don't result in pregnancy either.

And yes, spontaneous miscarriages happen as a response to trauma* (or when fetuses don't form properly, hormones aren't at the right levels, lots of other things). Yes, a trauma right before ovulation might delay it and thus prevent a woman from being pregnant as a result of her rape. But if the timing's such that a woman is raped during a fertile window, and there are no other factors that would cause the body to scrap it and start again, there's not some magic kill switch in the uterus that she can flip because the she was raped.

My theory (when the compassionate voices in my head that want to understand where people are coming from drown out the voices that say "fuck you, asshole") is that Akin and others like him know bits and pieces of these facts and come to a hugely erroneously conclusion, because they are scientifically illiterate (or have just enough knowledge to be dangerous) and lack critical thinking skills.

Also, you know, I don't need anyone to mansplain the female reproductive system to me. I have a doctor (and insurance, no thanks to morons like this guy), thanks. And he actually went to medical school.

*I actually considered "falling" down the stairs in my house before I got an abortion. Then I decided that the stairs might break my leg instead, and I called Planned Parenthood and got a professional, because I live in the 21st century and don't have to risk my life to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

NeverOddOrEven

@Blushingflwr
See also: Abortion increases breast cancer risk.

I love bringing this one up when I'm training Planned Parenthood volunteers. It's not wrong, just horribly misconstrued.
Not ever being pregnant puts you at a higher risk. Regardless of the methods or reason.

Cat named Virtute

@NeverOddOrEven Can you elaborate on that? I'm not familiar with the misinformation or the truth, and I'm curious.

NeverOddOrEven

@Cat named Virtute
I'm not super well versed in the exact mechanisms, but I just found this:
"Women who have had more menstrual cycles because they started menstruating at an early age (before age 12) and/or went through menopause at a later age (after age 55) have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. The increase in risk may be due to a longer lifetime exposure to the hormones estrogen and progesterone."

"Women who have had no children or who had their first child after age 30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk. Having many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at a young age reduce breast cancer risk. Pregnancy reduces a woman's total number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which may be the reason for this effect."

So it seems it's not that pregnancy hormones reduce the risk, but that prolonged exposure to typical hormones for a woman of child bearing age increases it.

Cat named Virtute

@NeverOddOrEven Thanks! Here's hoping not hitting puberty til almost 14 is on my side.

NeverOddOrEven

"In the vast majority of states, a rapist has the same custody and visitation rights to a child born through his crime as other fathers enjoy."

Well fuck me.

http://www.xojane.com/it-happened-to-me/dear-representative-todd-akin-i-got-pregnant-from-rape

PistolPackinMama

@NeverOddOrEven Oh my god.

Ophelia

@NeverOddOrEven ho-leee shit.

baked bean

@NeverOddOrEven :( @ the custody and visitation rights. That's beyond inhumane.

PistolPackinMama

The BBC Newshour is ripping him a new one.

Rock and Roll Ken Doll

Dude boss just spent 10 minutes complaining to me in the copy room about this whole thing. Thanks, J., for making me feel slightly less horrified by the entire world.

J. did refer to the representative from Missouri as "Clay Aiken," but I knew what he meant.

Xanthophyllippa

Perhaps he thinks human vaginas work the same way duck vaginas do, and we can somehow re-form ourselves into a corkscrew tunnel to keep unwanted dick out?

baked bean

@Xanthophyllippa DUDE, my friend was just explaining duck vaginas to me the other day! They are amazing!

Xanthophyllippa

@baked bean Seriously! There's video from one of the more recent studies on YouTube.

baked bean

@Xanthophyllippa I wish I had a duck vagina!

Lisa Ring

I am interested in hearing what he thinks the difference is between Emergency Contraception (which he is also against), and these magical "certain secretions".

sovereignann@twitter

The stabbing line just keeps getting longer and longer...

sovereignann@twitter

Ok. So. I am completely a person who gets all worked up about things like this and then internalized it and doesn't really wind up doing anything about it. I really want to do something this time though. I am wildly upset about all of this and as women we are so bad about coming together fully about anything which then
makes me feel even worse and I then burrow deeper into the covers and my stomach hurts more and I feel even more alone. Is there not some way to do some YouTube Dear Jerkface this is what the truth about rape is and this is how women's bodies work. Too bad we cant set facts to some catchy tune. Only kinda joking about that last bit.

Chrestomanci

So how does he explain all the women throughout history who were raped during war and got pregnant? Because as I understand it, some of the psychology behind war time rape is that is another way of strengthening the victors hold over the conquered territory - they kill all the men and then add their own genes to the population. Their intention was to cause pregnancy, and judging by the amount of descendents Ghengis Khan has, this strategy was quite successful.

EpWs

@Chrestomanci Shhhhhhhhh, Todd Akin is allergic to facts and evidence. His body hears them and then just shuts them down.

Danzig!

The Onion nails it, per usual: http://www.theonion.com/articles/i-misspokewhat-i-meant-to-say-is-i-am-dumb-as-dog,29256/?ref=auto

Fitzsimmons

I live in Missouri. I was actually campaignning for Akin's opponent when I heard about his comments. There are no words. I am actually, honestly AFRAID that this man will be elected. Because I don't think he is an idiot who misunderstands science - obviously the uterus doesn't shut off when a woman is raped. It seems like he, instead, thinks that a rape is only "legitimate" when the victim is so badly beaten that she has enough internal organ damage that she literally cannot become pregnant. And that is even more disgusting/

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