By now most of us have heard about the interview with Congressman Todd Akin (R-Missouri) in which he was asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape. He said "if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Now he is being castigated for his remarks, which is deeply unfair. Settle down, people! In this country we are free to express our beliefs, and we should not discriminate against people just because they live a different reality-style. That is simply factsist.
Besides, Mr. Akin has plenty of company. State Rep. Stephen Freind (R-Penn) is on record as saying that the odds of a rape victim getting pregnant are one in "millions and millions and millions." As he elucidates, the "traumatic experience of rape causes a woman to secrete a certain secretion" that kills sperm. It's a secret secreted secretion, you see. Brian Fischer of the American Family Association agrees. "When you have a real, genuine rape...there's a very delicate and complex mix of hormones that take place that are released in a woman's body and if that gets interfered with it may make it impossible for her...to conceive a child."
I admit that this last statement gets me pretty fired up. Where is the subject-verb agreement? But the position itself is really very empowering for women. Previously, raped women were seen as victims, and now, according to all these gentlemen, they are anything but. They are magical sperm deflectors in control of their own destinies, able to decide on a cellular level whose sperm lives and whose dies, which is still legal in most states. We are strong. We are wily. We are Vulvarine! I for one am thrilled that our womanly power is being acknowledged in public circles at last. In particular, I like the description of my complex mix of hormones as "very delicate." I've been known to disparage my own hormones as cranky manufacturers of mayhem, at best. Now I realize they are just misunderstood.
A legitimate rape, or a real or genuine or "forcible" rape, is the kind that is bad, as opposed to the kind that you didn't really want but after it happened it turned out it was just what you needed all along. Unfortunately sometimes things go wrong. As Rep. Akin says, "let's assume that [the "way to shut that whole thing down"] didn't work or something." It's possible a woman could in fact conceive a child from a rape, even if she did not have an orgasm. It's a one in a millions and millions and millions chance, to be sure, and most of the pregnancies that did occur have been shown to result from contact with public toilet seats, but it could happen. Fortunately, Mike Huckabee is here to remind us that in that unlikely event, sometimes a truly extraordinary person is created, such as Ethel Waters. Scientifically speaking, the process by which this occurs is that the really good-person sperms are the ones most likely to try to put some distance between themselves and the legitimate-rapist guy. And in such a circumstance, it is only natural and proper that a woman's own powerful maternal instinct take over and she offer up her womb for the better part of a year to see that blastocyst to completion. In case it's Ethel Waters.