Politicians out of touch with the matter of rape

How often do we hear about the female body in the media? Quite a lot, if you pay attention – when you hear a rap song on the radio, in which the singer crudely describes the curvature of a woman’s behind or hips. Maybe when you scan a gossip site with photos of a Marilyn Monroe look-a-like and scroll down to the drooling comments.

Perhaps you heard about United States Congressman, Todd Akin, and his remarks on rape and the possibility of pregnancy. Or “legitimate rape”, in his own words.

I’m afraid that is beyond my comprehensive capacity to understand Akin’s use of the term “legitimate” and how he knows when a sexual assault is so. Is it legitimate when someone is forced against his or her will to have sex? Or is that not enough?

According to Akin’s hilariously ignorant views, a woman’s body has ways of shutting down when a “legitimate” rape is committed, and pregnancy is rare. I’m not sure, exactly, of the definition of rape, but I believe it is something along the lines of “unwanted sexual assault in which a person is forced against their will”. In fact, that might be it!

I don’t see much wriggle room for that one, do you? How much more “legitimate” could you get?

How I reacted upon hearing Todd Akin's "legitimate" rape remarks

Is it acceptable for a man to attempt to rape a woman? Because it’s clearly not as traumatic as a “legitimate” rape, in which there is a possibility a pregnancy could happen. Since the cork didn’t pop, obviously it isn’t as real to the victim as if it had. That’s what I’m inferring from Congressman Akin, anyway.

It is baffling that this man, or any man at all, feels as if they have the right to tell a woman what constitutes rape, and what she should do if that rape resulted in a pregnancy. What gives you the right to control my body?

Unless you have been in a similar traumatic situation, like that of a sexual assault victim, you have no idea of the toll it takes, on a woman’s body or her mind. You don’t have to live with the results, mentally or physically. Your body doesn’t have to carry and nurture another human being for 9 months. You don’t have to live with the pain and anger that comes with being a rape victim.

Regarding the abortion aspect of his comments, I have to ask – what makes the unborn child of a rapist any different from an unborn child of a one-night stand, where one or neither parent wants to have the child?

Some politicians, such as Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, hold the supportive stance of abortion in cases of rape, incest, or danger for the life of the mother.

Ultimately, why are the lives of unborn children who are products of rape or incest not considered to be equal? They were created in the same biological manner as the others; they will be grown inside of a womb for 9 months – what makes them not as worthy of life in the eyes of a powerful political figure?

I’m questioning his entire stance on the issue because he discriminates against the unborn children whose mothers were victims of rape or incest. The only thing that separates those children is the manner in which they were conceived.

The woman who will bear the child is the only one who can decide. No one else can do it for her – it is hers to carry. The man is obviously an essential part of the process, but his role physically does not involve pregnancy or labor. The father created the child in part, and so the father should have a part in determining what to do, if abortion is in question. But ultimately, a woman’s body is hers alone – and she should have the option to do what she feels is best for it.

Frankly, I’m tired of being told what to do with my body.

We only get one body in this lifetime, and it is unfathomable that another human being feels that they have the proper right to tell us what we can or cannot do with it. Short of lighting ourselves on fire and endangering the lives of others, why does one person or a group of people get to decide for us? My body is not your body, and unless my body is infringing on the rights of your body, I’m going to have to ask you to step back.

To Congressman Akin, I request that you learn to empathize with others, whose plights and troubles you may never understand.

Their issues may not be “legitimate” in your eyes, but they are “legitimate” to someone.

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