Sure, there was a lot to get upset about when Todd Akin, a Republican congressman, senate candidate, member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and grown-ass man living in the 21st century said the following words in response to the question of whether abortion should be legal in the case of rape:
"It seems to me, 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."
Yes, when one confronts the handful of staggering assumptions and attitudes contained in that brief statement, and the realization that those words don’t just speak of one man’s ignorance, but are symptomatic of a wider cultural blight, it’s hard to know what to do, beyond gnash one’s teeth in impotent (legitimate) rage.
For some women, the boner was cause for a creative response. We present a recap of legitimate rape creativity here.This Funny or Die mock pharma ad positions "Legitimate Rape" as a handy, inexpensive method of birth control and comes complete with requisite side effects warnings (and animated fallopian tubes channeling Clint Eastwood). Songwriter and satirist Taylor Ferrera penned and performed this ear-wormy song explaining to ladies how to know if you’ve got a legitimate rape on your… er, hands. Sample lyrics: I let him take me out. illegitimate rape! I said I was 18. illegitimate rape! He didn’t have consent. I’m sure your eyes were saying yes. I’m pregnant from the rape. Clearly not legitimate! Proving that legitimate rape is an issue that cuts across demographics, the Raging Grannies salute the issue and offer some choice words for Akin.
If making light of the situation isn’t to your taste, read Lissa Harris’ piece in The Nation.