The best responses to Todd Akin’s ‘legitimate rape’ bullshit

Don’t you just love when politicians say they “misspoke”? Like, wouldn’t it be better just to say they had a stroke or were drinking?

For example, take this “misspoken” gem: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down,” said current rep in the U.S. Effing House of Representatives Todd Akin as he tried to defend his stance on abortion to a TV station. If I were his PR rep I’d blame the booze.

Akin’s suffered a lot of political setbacks in his Senate race since then––namely huge financial setbacks as GOP funders run away screaming, but dude’s digging in his heels, refusing to quit and instead offering some lame apology to the people (but none to Science, Biology, or FACTS).

Here are some of the best, definitely not misspoken responses since then:

President Obama: “Rape is rape. 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… We shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, the majority of whom are men, making healthcare decisions on behalf of women.” (Washington Post)

Wall Street Journal Editorial: “Mr. Akin has sunk his own ship.” (

Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.: “As a husband and father of two young women, I found Todd Akin’s comments about women and rape outrageous, inappropriate and wrong. There is no place in our public discourse for this type of offensive thinking. Not only should he apologize, but I believe Rep. Akin’s statement was so far out of bounds that he should resign the nomination for U.S. Senate in Missouri.” (ABC)

A DOCTOR: “A further problem with proclamations like Akin’s, though, is what they sound like to women who have been raped. If you believe what he does, then anyone who did get pregnant wasn’t ‘legitimately’ raped. Moreover, it belies a willful ignorance of science. Rape has occurred in history time and time again. Women get pregnant from it. This is known. There is no debate to be had. (CNN)

Katie J.M. Baker: “For decades, conservatives have claimed that women can’t get pregnant from ‘legitimate’ rape thanks to their wise, all-knowing uteri, psychic ‘juices’ and Spidey Sense-like ‘secretions.’ (Hmm, if legislators can applaud our vaginas for being so omniscient, how come they can’t let us control them?)” (Jezebel’s “Official Guide to Legitimate Rape”)

“Akin” himself: “I am an evil, fucked-up man who should never have been elected to the United States Congress, and anyone who would vote for me is probably a pretty big fucking dumbshit, too.” (The Onion)


Happy Mother’s Day–to all my mothers

My mom, pretty on her wedding day, wearing a Victorian dress in a historic Victorian house in downtown Grand Rapids. I’m the little girl in front of her–no, I don’t know what’s wrong with my face.

A strange thing happens when you lose your mother at a young age: you try to find mothers the rest of your life.

And you do. However long-lasting or short-lived, you find female relatives, friends and coworkers and you take from them: wisdom, guidance, approval, hope.

I lost my mother when I was 11. In her absence, many have mothered me since then. And thanks to them, I’m doing pretty well. I went to college, I worked hard and I chose my friends carefully. I take today to offer my sincere gratitude to them, and I hope they’re proud of me.

I thank the great-aunt who took me in when I was miserable and 15. She gave me a place to live, guidance, confidence and a semblance of a normal teenage life.

I thank my youngest aunt, who, even at thirtysomething will always be 25 to me. I’m thankful for our long talks about life and love. And when she dishes out that wicked sense of humor, I’m reminded of my mom.

I thank my godmother, my aunt who was my mom’s best friend. She remains the closest portal to my mother and I know I can ask her anything about what my mom was like.

I thank my boyfriend’s mother for her support, her ceaseless sense of calm and her delightful humor. I think she and my mom would have been fast friends.

They say it takes a village to raise a child. A motherless daughter knows that all too well. Make sure to take the time to thank not just your mom today, but all those mom-like women in your life too.

Me with two aunts (and an ill-conceived nosering. We all did stupid things when we were 20, right?)

–By Tara Cavanaugh