Todd Akin

The Todd Akin Guide to Female Biology

Pseudoscience, sexism, and politics.

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Rep. Todd Akin Explains It All To You

In Missouri, Republican candidate Todd Akin is offering voters a chance to widen the range of pseudoscience represented in the Senate, opining that it is "really rare" for a rape to lead to pregnancy. In a "legitimate rape," he explained, "the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."

Sadly, the interviewer failed to ask any follow-up questions about what those ways might be. Retractable uterus? Vagina dentata? Just how does Todd Akin think the female body works? I'm not the best interviewer in the world, but I know that when someone says something like that, you work to nail down the crazy right away. Good luck getting him to discuss it now.

There are times when a politician says something jaw-droppingly stupid without unleashing any political consequences. This is not one of those times. The GOP is pretty much required to win this race if wants to retake the Senate this year, and you can safely anticipate that Democrats in other close races will try to tie Akin to their opponents. Mitt Romney condemned the comment this morning, and he isn't the only Republican on the ballot who has jumped to distance himself from the Missourian. Expect more.

Josh Kraushaar has posted an interesting rundown of the political takeaways here. You should read the whole thing, but his main claims are these:

  • Believe it or not, Akin could still win.
  • The Republicans sure have been nominating a lot of crappy Senate candidates lately.
  • The Tea Party movement is not to blame for most of those crappy candidates.
  • Akin isn't likely to drop out.
  • Obama's going to pounce on this.

Akin, meanwhile, says he "misspoke." Hey, it happens to all of us: You get tongue-tied and invent a new law of biology, insulting millions of women in the process. He probably meant to say "I love puppies" or "Missouri sure is swell." Or possibly "the Sun revolves around the Earth."

NEXT: Rahm Emanuel to Speak at Democratic Convention

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  1. Are per-incident rape-pregnancy rates higher than per-incident consensual pregnancy rates? Human Nature Volume 14, Number 1 (2003)

    Our analysis suggests that per-incident rape-pregnancy rates exceed per-incident consensual pregnancy rates by a sizable margin, even before adjusting for the use of relevant forms of birth control.

    1. I remember reading a socio-biological article that argued, with math, that spreading genes through rape was competitive with spreading genes through monogamous sex.

      IIRC they looked at rape incidents in existing stone age cultures and extrapolated.

      Certainly, throughout history, people have thought rape worked – I refer to things like Roman men making off with the Sabine women and incidents of systematic rape in Bosnia a decade ago.

      1. It goes back and forth. In medieval times there was a popular theory (traceable back to Galen IIRC) that a woman had to have an orgasm to conceive. Ergo, any pregnancy resulting from a rape must not have really been a rape.

        1. Women never reach orgasm during rape?
          You’re doing it wrong.

    2. If it doesn’t look like the Repubs are going to take the Senate, the whole gridlock thing gets a lot dicier, because there won’t be any gridlock on judicial appointments.

      Does Akins mean “misspoke” as in “I meant to say [this perfectly reasonable thing], but botched it”, or does he mean “I shouldn’t have opened my fucking mouth at all”?

      I’m thinking its the latter.

      1. It means “I feel uncomfortable saying that rape victims shouldn’t be allowed ot have abortions, so my brain has to come up with some bullshit reason why rape victims don’t get pregnent”.

        Cognitive dissonance alert!

        1. And Hazel nails it.

          1. Watch that metaphor…

        2. Exactly this. I wish the man just had the courage of his convictions and said, as others have in conservative states, “I don’t believe in punishing the child for the horror committed by it’s father.”

          Instead he just comes up with some assinine bullshit that makes republicans seem anti-woman. Un-fucking-believable.

          1. How is it anti-woman to state an old wives’ tale?

            1. …um, really…are you asking how it might seem anti-woman to imply that women can’t get pregnant from being raped?

              1. Yes. Does that mean he’s advocating that everyone should just Reaver out and rape everything that moves?

                If he is stating what he believes to be a biological fact, I want you to explain to me how that can be an anti-woman opinion.

                1. I don’t even know where to begin. If you can’t see how perpetuating stupid myths about women’s biology makes one look anti-woman to the masses at large, I’m not sure I can explain it to you.

                  1. How could it possibly be anti-woman to imply that any rape victim who gets pregnant must be a liar? I don’t understand it.

                    1. How could it possibly be anti-woman to imply that any rape victim who gets pregnant must be a liar? I don’t understand it.

                      That was never said and you know it.

                      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.

                    2. Ergo if she gets pregnant it wasn’t really rape and she is lying.

                      In otherwords a backwards belief from the middle ages when women were chattle and their only value came from their child birthing ability.

                      Yes, he was stating a mistaken belief he had and was probably not intending for it to be anti woman however, that any human, especially someone theoretically educated and knowledgable enough to be a candidate for national political office could hold such an idiotic belief shows that is is in effect anti woman because he is willing to allow his preconcieved notions trump all sense of reality.

                      Further his abysmal stupidity in not realizing just how idiotic actually enunciating such a belief in public would sound speaks VERY poorly for his having sufficient intellect or political accumen to actually hold any elected office higher than dog catcher.

                  2. Fair enough. I want to know how it is actually anti-woman, though, not some vague “it SEEMS” bullshit.

                    We covered “it seems” on the Maddow/Ayn Rand thread already.

                    1. 1) I wasn’t on that thread, so I don’t really care what you feel you covered or didn’t.

                      2) This is a political candidate. Politics is about how something appears to the voters. So what you call bullshit is actually the heart of the matter in the real world of political maneuvering.

                      3) “You wouldn’t be pregnant if it was a legitmate rape” is precisely what is being implied here. “…opining that it is “really rare” for a rape to lead to pregnancy.” How can you deny that the logic of that statement also means, “if you are pregnant, it is highly unlikely that you were raped.”? That’s exactly what that means.

                    2. Ok, maybe he didn’t fully think through the implications of what he was saying. However, if people on the right take this kind of shit at all seriously, that is the logical implication, and a fact that obviously has to occur to them if a pregant woman says she wants to have an abortion because she was rapes.

                      So whether he meant it or not, it has to be condemned so that rape victims everywhere don’t have to be subjected to “but you’re pregnant so obviously, you weren’t really raped, liar, slut” bullshit from idiots even stupider than Akins.

                    3. So whether he meant it or not, it has to be condemned so that rape victims everywhere don’t have to be subjected to “but you’re pregnant so obviously, you weren’t really raped, liar, slut” bullshit from idiots even stupider than Akins.

                      Oh yes, that’s a daily occurrence, I am sure.

                      Akin said something mildly foolish. What that has turned into is an all-out Victimology Fest.

                    4. I want to know how it is actually anti-woman, though, not some vague “it SEEMS” bullshit.

                      Just how many of the 330 million brilliant intellects that inhabit this great country do you think are going to take the time to parse out his exact language like you are intent on doing? To the majority of people who will vote, what he actually said is not important compared to what he seems to be saying.

                    5. I like to think the HRunners; are smarter than all that, Sparky.

                    6. I’m plenty smart to know what you’re saying, I just disagree with it entirely.

                      I don’t think it was “mildly foolish”, I think it was massively retarted. Neither of us are objectively right or wrong in that regard, since the foolishness of the statement is an opinion.

                      And I also believe he meant exactly what he said, or at least rationalized it to himself so that, as stated up above, he wouldn’t be point-blank telling rape victims to carry to term in the midst of an election. I have no idea why you’re acting just like democrats with the “didn’t build that” comment in trying so very hard to explain how he was really just misunderstood and meant something totally different, but used poor word choice or something.

                    7. Because people act like this guy was making a proclamation of moral desert, and he wasn’t.

                      It is abhorrent to say that someone is openly advocating rape, but that’s about 99% of what I have heard today.

                    8. It is abhorrent to say that someone is openly advocating rape, but that’s about 99% of what I have heard today.

                      Whatever. I can see that you’ve just been kidding all along. The devil’s advocate stuff wears thin, you know.

                    9. WE might be, but theres a lot of people on Akins side who will actually believe that shit and will come to the conclusions I have have outlined.

                      And I’m a libertarian, not a Republican, so why should I spend an instant defending the guy? There are many things that are much more libertarian, that actual libertarians have said that get misinterpreted by the media. I’ll save my energy for those.

                    10. It is abhorrent to say that someone is openly advocating rape, but that’s about 99% of what I have heard today.

                      Now it’s your turn to be the overzealous one, as nobody has said he’s advocating rape.

                      We’re just pointing out that the logical implicaiton of his comment is “If you’re pregnant, you weren’t raped, liar!”

                  3. The same way they claim perpetuating stupid myths about biology in general (e.g. Intelligent Design) doesn’t make them anti-science.

            2. Old Nan: Oh, my sweet summer child! What do you know about fear? Fear is for the winter, when the snows fall a hundred feet deep; fear is for the Long Night, when the sun hides for years and children are born and live and die all in darkness. That is the time for fear, my little Lord.

              1. By the way Old Nan dies.

                HA!

          2. “I don’t believe in punishing the child for the horror committed by it’s father.”

            He did say that, right after the rape and the fake science potion.

            1. I wonder why he couldn’t have just said that and left it. It wouldn’t have been controversial at all except in the mundane way that all abortion comments are controversial to the Other Side.

              1. Because Akin–like most of the GOP–recognizes (in this case, belatedly) that getting rid of the rape exception cuts back on the support for abortion bans.

                What’s baffling is the number of people who can’t–or won’t–understand the political reality that a good portion of women are going to object to the suggestion that they have to carry their rapist’s child to term.

                1. it’s not just a political reality, it is also a moral one. I am not going to lord over some woman was raped or victimized by incest and demand that she carry a child to full term. Just seems like punishing the victim.

                  1. From the pro-life point of view, why should one person be murdered because of the bad acts of another? In this view, it isn’t about the woman, whose circumstances are tragic, but about the innocent third-party who deserves to live.

                    1. Why should the woman get further punished by the actions of another? Pregnancy is not easy to go through and has health implications.

                    2. Why should the woman get further punished by the actions of another?

                      Again, from that POV, it’s not about the woman. It’s about the fact that an innocent third party should not have to die because of his unfortunate origins.

                    3. The woman is not innocent in this case?

                    4. The woman is not innocent in this case?

                      She was walking around with a uterus just throbbing in the anticipation of getting pregnant, wasn’t she? She could have been on The Pill or wearing a female condom at all times.

                      And besides, if it was real rape, wouldn’t her bodies natural defense come into play?

                    5. She was walking around with a uterus just throbbing in the anticipation of getting pregnant, wasn’t she?

                      Whose shtick is it again that’s getting old?

                    6. I guess in Tulpa’s absence, you decided to fill his shoes.

                      Go ahead, have your mindless-contrarian fun.

                    7. This is part of his application to Slate.

                    8. The woman is not innocent in this case?

                      Of course she is. Her innocence does not give her permission to kill someone else, though.

                    9. Well lets look at the moral situation.

                      The Joker ties Vicky Vail up on track A and plants a bomb on track B then he shorts out the controls on the train.

                      You are in the control tower. Your only choices are to send the train down Tracks A or B.

                      However you are paralyzed in deciding why Vicki Vail or the passengers on the train have to suffer from the actions of the Joker.

                    10. Now back to the case at hand. If we assume that an instantly becomes a person with full human rights from the moment of conception a legitimate argument against rape can be made in normal cirucmstances because the woman agreed to assume the risk of child bearing by agreeing to have sex. With Rape however she made no such agreement, so now you have 2 individuals whose rights are in conflict through no fault of either. Trying to argue that the fetus’s right to life trumps the rape victims right to control her body and person is a very specious argument because it is in effect to deny the existance of all property rights in favor of an affirmative right to life. In otherwords if the fetus’s right to life trumped her right to her body in this case then it also means that a starving persons right to life trumps your right to your property so they can eat and ultimately your property is at the disposal of the rest of humanity if needed to prevent their deaths.

                      In fact even your own body is no longer sacrosanct, if a person needs a kidney and you are a donor match then it would be right to for society to take your kidney from you by force using the exact same logic that would compel a pregnant rape victim to carry the child to term.

                      In otherwords there is no morally consistant framework that would compel a pregnant rape victim to carry the child to term which does not essentially tear down all moral arguments for provate property and lead to socialism.

                    11. You are in the control tower. Your only choices are to send the train down Tracks A or B.

                      The train must be traveling down one of the tracks already. So which one is it traveling down without my interference?

                    12. Doesn’t matter. In this hypothetical someone will die and you get to choose who, choising to take no action is still making a choice.

                      The point of bringing it up is to show that sometimes making a positive choice that terminates someone’s life is necessary, especially when dealing with the aftermath of evil acts, and making that choice does not elivate your actions to the moral equivalent of murder.

                      In this hypothetical the murderer is the joker, not the person making the sadistic choice in the control tower, and in the case of a woman pregnant by a rapist who desires an abortion IF it is to be considered murder the guilty party is the rapist, not the woman or the doctor.

                    13. The point of bringing it up is to show that sometimes making a positive choice that terminates someone’s life is necessary, especially when dealing with the aftermath of evil acts, and making that choice does not elivate your actions to the moral equivalent of murder.

                      You haven’t demonstrated that an abortion is necessary.

                      Doesn’t matter. In this hypothetical someone will die and you get to choose who, choising to take no action is still making a choice.

                      It is not irrelevant to say “I would let that which would have happened were I not present happen anyway”. So if the train were on A, I think I would keep it on A.

                    14. Should the government force people to be organ donors?

                    15. Because the rights of a living, breathing human woman – with all of her past memories and future hopes- trumps the rights of a not yet born person -without the ability to think or survive on it’s own – that was forcibly inserted into her body.

                    16. Because the rights of a living, breathing human woman – with all of her past memories and future hopes- trumps the rights of a not yet born person -without the ability to think or survive on it’s own – that was forcibly inserted into her body.

                      We call that “begging the question”. All you said was that one trumps the other…because. That is not an argument – it’s a conclusion. For example, why does the unborn person lose out in this trumping race? You don’t say. Why does the woman win in this trumping race? You don’t say.

                    17. The woman wins because she is not the one reliant on another innocent party for life support and nourishment.

                    18. The woman wins because she is not the one reliant on another innocent party for life support and nourishment.

                      So can she smother her afterborn infant? He is reliant on her for life support and nourishment, and child rearing can be expensive.

                    19. So can she smother her afterborn infant? He is reliant on her for life support and nourishment, and child rearing can be expensive.

                      She can give it up for adoption. Someone else can care for the kid. You can’t give up an embryo for implantation in another uterus.

                    20. You can’t give up an embryo for implantation in another uterus.

                      And therefore murder follows?

                    21. And therefore murder follows?

                      and therein lies the rub. You say murder, others say medical procedure. And the debate remains as to life beginning at conception or at birth. Your opinion is not supported by any existing laws; seems most states have exceptions re: abortion.

                    22. Your opinion is not supported by any existing laws; seems most states have exceptions re: abortion.

                      As the pro-lifers were fond of saying, slavery was supported by most states and existing case law prior to 1861.

                      There is no support for my position that you should be able to sell heroin at the CVS either.

                    23. As opposed to being forced to be an incubator for 9 months? Yes.

                      Living fully developed human [greater than] undifferntiated cells

                    24. And therefore murder follows?

                      Better than slavery follows.

                    25. Better than slavery follows.

                      Slavery? One has a positive right to murder to avoid a medical condition?

                    26. One has the right not to be forced to pay and care for something that was imposed on them following an assault. If you want to equate a mass of undifferentiated cells to a living breathing person, you should start railing against every IVF clinic out there.

                      ZOMG, Mitt Romney’s grandkids are due to murder!

                    27. If you want to equate a mass of undifferentiated cells to a living breathing person, you should start railing against every IVF clinic out there.

                      That’s the nut of the argument. But, like all abortion arguments, it always will be.

                      The problem is that you are saying that EVEN IF you yourself accepted that said mass of cells was a person, you would STILL support its termination in the event of rape. Right?

                      That is your position, isn’t it? That even if I could prove that mass of cells was entitled to personhood, the woman’s interests “win” and she can terminate (murder) that person.

                      Right?

                    28. Yes. Even if. Because the woman wins in that she was the first victim of the crime. Carrying a baby has a physical and economic toll that the woman is not obligated to take.

                      So why do you call this murder, but are seemingly unconcerned about IVF clinics? Is wanting a baby a license to murder indescriminately?

                    29. I am arguing within these narrow constraints, and more specifically, I am arguing a viewpoint that is not mine. Logically speaking, if I were a pro-lifer who followed his own conclusions, I would have to be opposed to IVF clinics too. They are places where humans are routinely dumped down sinks.

                    30. I am arguing within these narrow constraints, and more specifically, I am arguing a viewpoint that is not mine trolling.

                      FTFY

                    31. That’s an ad hominem and not responsive, Mo. If you really feel like not having the discussion, you should have said so.

                      Exploring all of the features of different viewpoints is important for understanding. If you call it “trolling” you can go back to whatever you were doing before.

                    32. But calling an early term abortion murder (which it is clearly not) is productive.

                    33. But calling an early term abortion murder (which it is clearly not) is productive.

                      First of all, anytime someone says “clearly”, you know that they have a losing argument.

                      Second, I was expressing that point of view, which was helpful for getting to the essence of the discussion (which Fluffy and I are having at the end of the thread, if you are so inclined).

                      But carry on with your name calling, I guess.

                    34. Murder is defined as, “The unlawful killing of one human by another, especially with premeditated malice”. Seeing as it’s legal and there’s no malice, it ain’t murder.

                      You’re intentionally committing the fallacy of judgemental language and don’t like it when you’re called on it, but have no problem calling others out on it. You also avoid engaging any of the points that hurt your view (how is this not slavery? should peiople be forced to give up kidneys/be organ donors?). You’re not interested in actually engaging people, just by “winning” by restating the same, “should a baby be murdered” point in different ways.

                    35. You’re intentionally committing the fallacy of judgemental language and don’t like it when you’re called on it, but have no problem calling others out on it.

                      because pro-life people legitimately believe its murder. I was aping that viewpoint.

                      Seriously, are you this incapable of following a debate? Sorry for you. Lesson learned.

                    36. Yet pro-life people also don’t argue for the closing of IVF clinics. So you’re aping people who intentially make irrational, inconsistent arguments.

                    37. Yet pro-life people also don’t argue for the closing of IVF clinics.

                      Is it your turn to google? Because yes, some of them do so argue.

                    38. The fringe ones do, but even the majority of hardcore pro-lifers deny that. Look at the outrage by commenters like Ramesh Ponnuru that the Sanctity of Life bill would potentially ban IVF.

                    39. Surgical abortions are not performed on a mass of undifferentiated cells. You are making an ignorant argument from a true lack of knowledge or because you think it sounds better.

                    40. Yes.

                      If a rape victom can be forced to carry the child of her attacker to term because of the childs rights then it means that the childs right to life and therefore use of her body exceeds her own right to ownership of her person.

                      By virtue of this logic if you have 2 functional kidneys and are a donor match for anyone who needs a kidney then they have a right to forcibly extract one of your kidneys becuase their right to life trumps your right to ownership of your person.

                      In the case of rape the fetus was not welcome and is an invader placed there by the rapist and if the victim does not wish to allow it use of her body then yes she does have the right to remove it from her body. That this results in the death of the fetus is a tragedy and if you really must consider it murder then the guilty party is the rapist who should have a murder charge added to his trial.

                    41. I tried to say. Because the woman has a life full of experience and value. She has plans, hopes and expectations. She is a totally independent human being. The fetus has none of those qualities. It would not exist without the mother and it doesn’t even know it exists yet. How can you say that the two are equal in any way?

                    42. I tried to say. Because the woman has a life full of experience and value. She has plans, hopes and expectations. She is a totally independent human being. The fetus has none of those qualities. It would not exist without the mother and it doesn’t even know it exists yet. How can you say that the two are equal in any way?

                      Again, from the pro-life POV (not mine, by the way), are you going to weigh all life like this? The retarded fellow down the hall does not have much in the way of plans, hopes, or expectations. Neither do people who are 100 years old, probably. You are going to explicitly say “well, yes, this would be murder, but it’s ok because that fetus has no hopes or expectations and you do, so murder away?”

                    43. I am not self-righteous enough to tell a rape victim “tough shit, deal with it” in order to satisfy some political stance. Compounding the tragedy of the victim is not sound policy.

                    44. I am not self-righteous enough to tell a rape victim “tough shit, deal with it” in order to satisfy some political stance. Compounding the tragedy of the victim is not sound policy.

                      It isn’t about self-righteousness.

                      Again, not everything is a political pissing match.

                    45. political or not, this still comes down to a pissing match over whether abortion is justified in cases of rape or not. It is what it is. I’m not going to insist that a rape victim carry to term. You are welcome to disagree.

                    46. In this view, it isn’t about the woman,

                      if this constitutes the bulk of the pro-life view – that the woman is secondary to the fetus resulting from a rape – then that view deserves all the ridicule it gets. I can’t see forcing a woman who was raped to carry the child to term. But, that’s just me.

                    47. I can’t see forcing a woman who was raped to carry the child to term.

                      Arguing about the woman’s consent means that you are OK with murder so long as the woman did not consent to the person being placed there.

                      I fail to see the logic in that.

                    48. the woman was the victim of a genuine crime. Your correlating abortion to murder is an opinion. You are welcome to that opinion but there is no requirement that others agree with it.

        3. What is so hard about saying:

          “Look, this is a highly contentious issue, and I think a reasonable place to draw the line on abortion is at consensual sex. If you have consensual sex, you assume the risk of getting pregnant even if you use birth control.

          Since you’ve assumed that risk, its reasonable to say that we as a society are going to say that you exercised your right to choose when you decided to have sex, and that we aren’t going to let you choose again because of the uncertainty over whether abortion ends the life of a human being.”

          1. Thats my take on it.

        4. The messed up thing is that his belief, while not mainstream, has a surprisingly large following (where surprisingly large is 10 idiots). Apparently, Physicians for Life has been peddling this same b.s.

  2. Love stories like this that enforce the truth that politicians are generally monosynaptic cretins who should not be trusted with managing the economy, war and our lives.

  3. But anybody who even hints that politicians are too fucking stupid to be trusted with power is regarded as a dangerous radical in this country!

  4. Just so the rest of you know? This is why we can’t get out from under the boot of the Democrats in California.

    In California, all politics is national.

    Swing voters in California don’t vote for Democrats because they adore incompetent government and fiscal insanity; swing voters in California stay home rather than vote for Republicans–because GOP candidates can’t scrape the stink off themselves when some GOP candidate elsewhere in the country says something stupid like this.

    You think that’s irrational? It’s not as irrational as assuming that swing voters are rational.

  5. So then rape jokes aren’t funny?

    1. not legitimately funny.

    2. What about a rape joke that ends with the snap of a bear trap?

      I’m sure that Sam Kinnison could have made it work.

      1. OOOOOOOOH! OOOOOOOOH!

      2. Sam was already way ahead of that.

        He made necrophiliac rape jokes funny!

        1. Is necrophilia rape?

          I corpse can’t give consent, but it can’t deny it either. 😉

          1. “Sex” implies intercourse with a human being. Necrophilia is just jerking off with decomposing tissue.

      3. Woody Allen thought they were:

        In his act, Allen said that Rosen sued him because of a joke he made in an interview. Rosen had been sexually assaulted outside her apartment and according to Allen, the newspapers reported that she “had been violated.” In the interview, Allen said, “Knowing my ex-wife, it probably wasn’t a moving violation.

    3. I think it would be pretty funny if you got raped right after saying that.

  6. Retractable uterus?

    Detachable penis?

    1. That one’s a classic.

  7. Are we going to have to read Randian explaining how he’s actually right for some reason that only makes sense to Randian again?

    1. I didn’t say he was right. He’s flat wrong, actually.

      I am sorry that mommy never taught you how to read properly.

      1. “Most of the controversy around this quote is an exercise in deliberate misunderstanding.

        Try differentiating in a conversation between “rape” and “rape-rape”. I believe that we give Ms. Goldberg hell for that one on a regular basis, but it is known what she meant, and it similarly is known what Akin meant.”

        Dude, you went to the mat defending this shit. Unless that was another Randian?

        1. Saying that we should know what Akin meant and that much of the heat in this case is related to deliberate misunderstanding is not the same as defending him.

          Again, I am sorry you don’t know how to read. Read the words in front of you, not the implications you want to draw because it suits your purposes.

          1. My purposes? I had never heard of this dipshit before this morning’s links. What would my purposes be? Are you denying he said this?

            ” In a “legitimate rape,” he explained, “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.””

            Those are the words in front of me. Saying that someone being pissed about the GLARINGLY OBVIOUS implications of those words is “deliberately misunderstanding” is just Obama-esque obfuscation.

            1. I am not denying he said it. I am denying that your choice of selective outrage is coherent.

              GLARINGLY OBVIOUS implications

              They probably weren’t glaringly obvious to him. That’s my point.

  8. I heard that Todd Akin drew his theories from his practice on female sheep. Since he reportedly failed to re-create the Eraserhead baby, it was admittedly a logical scientific conclusion.

  9. Akin should pull out now, no pun intended. What an asshole.

    1. Akin should pull out now,

      Is it too late for the Repubs to put up another candidate?

      1. I hear Christine O’Donnell’s available. For the lulz.

      2. He has until tomorrow at 5 to withdraw. State GOP has two weeks after that to name a replacement.

        If they are smart — and they are not — the NRSC should say they’ll refuse to fund him or deal with him in any way.

        http://www.stltoday.com/news/l…..f6878.html

  10. I already knew that politicians are mostly fucking retards. What I didn’t know is that some of them held beliefs this utterly retarded.

    1. Come on, Epi!

      Last year we had that congressman quizzing Adm Willard about whether the island of Guam would capsize if too many marines landed on it.

      1. But it will capsize, right? Didn’t it flip over when Godzilla stepped on it?

        1. I think that was Gamera. Or maybe Mothra.

          Godzirra tipped over the Phirripines. ‘member?

          1. That’s malicious slander!

            1. Stop tipping over islands, JJ!

              1. I’m astonished your pedantic ass didn’t correct me in that since it was in print, it’s technically libel, and not slander.

                1. YOU’re a libel and slander to MANKIND, Jim, you fucking MONSTER!!!

  11. What exactly is a “legitimate rape”, exactly? The kind where the girl really wasn’t asking for it?

    Also, isn’t he kind of implying that if the girl DOES get pregnant, then, therefore, it wasn’t REALLY a “legitimate rape” (cause otherwise she wouldn’t have gotten knocked up) and she must have actually wanted it.

    If you get pregnant, that means you really liked it, I guess.

    1. Oh yeah, this also reminds me of a really stupid urban legend I got from the trashy neighbor girl when I was 13: She said that you don’t get prenant unless you have an orgasm.

      I’m pretty sure this is the stupid thing that gets invented by people misunderstanding that it’s the MAN who has to have an orgasm, dummy.

      1. I’m thinking if an orgasm went along with fertilization, the population would be in severe decline.

        Just a guess. Ladies – your thoughts?

      2. It was a relatively common medieval belief that a female orgasm was required for fertilization.

        1. Those were the days, eh?

          1. There was a show on the Discovery channel about sexual reproduction. They showed a woman’s cervix contracting during orgasm from inside. It literally dipped into the pool of sperm as it contracted. (one assumes she was on her back) So it certainly can help!

          2. Women should start the opposite rumor, that they prevent pregnancy.

        2. Citation needed.

          1. Citation needed.

            We’re in the middle of an adolescent bashing session here, Christina. No one has time for your lousy “facts” or “citations”

            1. Or it actually is the case and your knee jerk defense is off base. If it appears in the first page of Google results for the most logical search, “Citation needed” = “I’m fucking lazy”.

              1. You said it was “common”. That isn’t incumbent on me to prove.

                1. Citation needed.

          2. http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=medieval+orgasm+pregnant

            See link 7:
            books.google.com/books?isbn=0816624267

            1. Thanks Mo. Very interesting.

      3. There is at least some legitimacy to this as a female orgasm does increase the odds of conception. As long as it occurs within about 2 minutes (iirc) on either side of the mans orgasm that is.

        Obviously it is not necessary but it does increase the odds.

        Of course cheating on a monogamous has an even bigger impact on your odds of concieving (and I would assume that rape would count here as it is a physiological reaction and not a psychological one)

    2. Also, isn’t he kind of implying that if the girl DOES get pregnant, then, therefore, it wasn’t REALLY a “legitimate rape”

      No. Well, if you want to be part of the High Horsed and in the Tribe of the Outraged, then yes.

      Sorry.

      1. Ah, snide derision. What a reasonable, substantive defense of Akin’s speech. He said something horrible, and it is horrible regardless of how you spin it. He’s a politician; it happens.

    3. In context, I think he was differentiating between rape and “I-regret-sleeping-with-him-how-do-I-convince-my- BF/Parents-that-I’m-not-a-whore” rape.

      I was tangentially involved in two rape investigations (as an investigator, not as a participant) in the Navy. Both were clear cases of a girl who had sex and decided 2-3 days later that she regretted it.

      1. In context, I think he was differentiating between rape and “I-regret-sleeping-with-him-how-do-I-convince-my- BF/Parents-that-I’m-not-a-whore” rape.

        You’re interrupting the Two Minutes Hate here, tarran.

      2. BTW, the outcomes were about what one would expect:

        One refusal to prosecute by the local prosecutor (and me explaining to an irate mother that I couldn’t throw a sailor in jail when he wasn’t actually charged with anything – even if when he talks with her daughter she can hear other sailors using unspeakably rude swear words in the back-ground showing them to be utterly criminal since when her daddy was a General in the Vietnam War nobody spoke like that in the Army).

        The other brought to our CO’s attention a huge orgy that had taken place in Hong Kong involving almost all the work centers in the depot level aviation maintenance department. IIRC about 15 people had reductions in rank over it, including the girl who made the initial complaint.

      3. But be serious really. He’s saying that the “i-regret-sleeping-with” victims will get pregnent and that “legitimate rape” victims won’t.

        Ergo, by application of logic, if you get pregnant, you are likely to be the former kind of category. Or in some minds, if you get knocked up, you’re a slut.

        I’m really not trying to engage in a two minute hate here. I’m pointing out that his words really do have these unsavory implications.

        I’m making a decision not to forgive this level of stupidity just because he’s coming from “my” half of the political spectrum.

        1. We could be charitable, and assume that he merely is trying to weasel out of the implication that rape victims should be forced to endure the rigors of pregnancy for a child they don’t want.

          It;s quite probable the man is not very smart and lacks the capacity to understand the implications of what he is saying.

          Or you could be right, and he thinks if you got pregnant it’s your fault for leaving your eggs unlocked and in the open.

          1. The right way is to look at what was actually said and the intent thereof.

            Or, as I said, if one wants to get ones Hate On, one can ignore all that and just let shit fall from one’s mouth as fast as possible.

          2. If the comment below about him tryin to add the term “forcible” to rape laws was correct, then he seems to believe that many women who claim rape are lying in some way.

    4. What exactly is a “legitimate rape”, exactly?

      Pretty sure it means – which is to say, absolutely positive that what he meant – is a real rape and not just a falsely accused rape, the latter being legion. Which is not to say the guy isn’t stupid.

      1. So if you accuse someone a rape, and you turn out to be pregnant, you must be a liar. Cause if it was a “legitimate” rape you wouldn’t have gotten pregnant, right?

          1. Its close enough that anyone who actually believes the shit he said would have to think it at some point.

            Rape victims don’t get pregnant, therefore, if you’re pregnant, you weren’t raped.

            Even a slack jawed yokel can follw that logic.

            1. Rape victims don’t get pregnant, therefore, if you’re pregnant, you weren’t raped.

              I guess I’ll have to persist in pointing out that he did not say “don’t get pregnant”.

              It is utterly fascinating to me that you are just dying to pound your chest on this issue. Is it not enough to say “no, here is the science, and you were honestly mistaken in this respect?” Or is that High Horse just too tempting of a climb?

              “argle Bargle Representative Akin wants me to be TEH RAPED”

              Grow up.

              1. It’s utterly fascinating to me that someone whose screen name is “Randian” feels the need to defend a bible-thumping southerner peddling medieval wives tales about female biology in order to justify denying abortions to rape victims.

                The TEAM RED is strong with this one.

                1. It’s utterly fascinating to me that someone whose screen name is “Randian” feels the need to defend a bible-thumping southerner peddling medieval wives tales about female biology in order to justify denying abortions to rape victims.

                  The TEAM RED is strong with this one.

                  It’s not a defense.

                  Again, the fact that people don’t know how to read is getting disappointing.

                  You manufactured something to be outraged about in the middle of Silly Season. This tells me that you are part of the Problem.

                  Is it not enough to say “no, here is the science, and you were honestly mistaken in this respect?

                  1. You manufactured something to be outraged about

                    Seriously? The guy said what he said. Even if he doesn’t understand the implications of his own words, other people on his side will arrive at them anyway.

                    I fail to see any benefit to defending this guy, whatsoever. How on earth does it help the libertarian cause to attempt to minimize borderline-mysogynistic comments by a bible-thumping evangelical pro-lifer?

                    We need to be raking this guy over the coals just so that sane Americans know unequivocally that we have nothing in common with him.

            2. Its close enough that anyone who actually believes the shit he said would have to think it at some point.

              It’s not remotely close to what I said. It seems to be rather a tangent that you have taken off on.

            3. If we take everyone’s comments to their logical conclusion, every politician says something offensive every day.

              Its the logic behind “Fuck off, slaver” after all.

              Most of these turds cant think that far down the road.

              You are absolutely right about the logical conclusion of his statement (although he did say “rare”, and you seem to be making it into an absolute). But do you think he was smart enough to have thought that far ahead?

              1. You are absolutely right about the logical conclusion of his statement (although he did say “rare”, and you seem to be making it into an absolute). But do you think he was smart enough to have thought that far ahead?

                Absolutely this.

                This is why I said the level of offense that is appropriate is related to what was intended and actually said, not the logical conclusions one can draw.

                Most political commentary reminds me of that scene in Duck Soup where Groucho Marx gets all exercised about something that could happen and starts a war over it.

            4. Its close enough that anyone who actually believes the shit he said would have to think it at some point.

              Rape victims don’t get pregnant, therefore, if you’re pregnant, you weren’t raped.

              Even a slack jawed yokel can follw that logic.

              I’m one of the most pro-choice people around here, but I don’t think this was his logic.

              I think his logic was, “Rape rarely leads to pregancy, so if we’re worried that making abortion illegal will harm rape victims, it won’t actually come up that often.”

              Now that logic is based on a scientific statement with no apparent basis, but I don’t think it’s transitive both ways. The statement, “Rape rarely leads to pregnancy” doesn’t actually translate to “If you’re pregnant and say you were raped, you’re lying.” That’s not how set theory works.

              1. Actually I think it translates exactly.

                If you start with Premise 1: rape rarely leads to pregnancy.

                And then add condition 1: Woman is pregnant and states she was raped.

                Then what is the logical conclusion from those two things? Unless you’re going to sieze upon the “rarely” to allow that every woman who claims to have been raped and is now pregnant is part of the slim minority where it can happen, in which case, you’re believing them that they were raped anyway, so why even make the comment?

                1. He never made it to condition 1 in his thought process.

                2. If you start with Premise 1: rape rarely leads to pregnancy.

                  And then add condition 1: Woman is pregnant and states she was raped.

                  Then what is the logical conclusion from those two things?

                  You can’t draw a logical conclusion from it.

                  Come on, this is really, REALLY basic set theory.

                  1. 3 out of 4 of the objects in the set are applies.

                  2. The object in my hand is one of the object in the set.

                  3. Can you logically conclude that the object in my hand is an apple?

                  Nope.

                  1. Not for certain, but you can infer that it is likely to be an apple. We’re talking probability.

                    So as SF pointed out, you can logically infer that if a woman is pregnant and claims to have been raped, using his logic, she is *probably* lying (since the occurance is supposed to be very rare).

              2. The statement, “Rape rarely leads to pregnancy” doesn’t actually translate to “If you’re pregnant and say you were raped, you’re lying.” That’s not how set theory works.

                I might accept this except for the “pretty rare” comment. It is a strawman to say he said “If you’re pregnant and say you were raped, you’re lying.” when he really implied “If you’re pregnant and say you were raped, you’re probably lying (because it’s pretty rare for it to happen because [insert fake science]).”

                You either accept his implication or you don’t, but those accepting it are not wild-eyed lunatics making shit up about this poor man.

                And the po-faced reluctance to understand why some people are outraged at this statement is ludicrous.

                1. You either accept his implication or you don’t, but those accepting it are not wild-eyed lunatics making shit up about this poor man.

                  Do you think he intended to imply that?

                  1. Yes, considering it was an answer to a question asking him why he supports banning abortion even in the case of rape.

                    He was asked a question to justify himself, stated pregnancy from rape is “pretty rare” and that is why it is OK to ban the rape exception. He was presenting his own rationale for his preferences.

                    It is not a huge leap of logic to see that when he mentions the “pretty rare” thing to justify banning raped women from getting abortions–because it doesn’t happen that often–he’s implying that most of the women who are pregnant and say they are raped (“most” being the opposite of “pretty rare”) must be lying about being raped.

        1. And if you weigh less than a duck you are a witch.

          1. The same as a duck, duh!

        2. No, not right. I’m pretty sure he is specifying real rape as the requisite condition for his weird physiologic theory to pertain. Unnecessarily specifying that, to be sure but he was editorializing it seems. Did I mention that the guy is stupid?

    5. if I remember right, the concept of “legitimate” rape was covered in Jezebel or Dear Prudence when a drunken couple started to have sex but the wife abruptly backed out and accused the husband of taking advantage of her in a weakened state. He damn near turned himself in for rape.

      1. Both of those people need to be rounded up and executed, immediately.

    6. What exactly is a “legitimate rape”, exactly?

      My understnding is that he meant it as opposed to sex a woman has consensually and then decides later that it wasn’t consensual.

  12. Also, has Whoopie Goldberg weighed in on this? And has anyone compared and contrasted “rape rape” versus “legitimate rape”, or either of them versus “prison rape”?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. DSK can moderate the debate.

      1. Nice reset, Hazel!

  13. If you get pregnant, that means you really liked it, I guess.

    And were secretly wishing for it. Because Why else would you sashay around dressed like that?

    1. Reading this made me think of “Well if he didn’t want it, he shouldn’t have worn that fancy braid…” hahaha what a great skit

      http://www.comedycentral.com/v…..ex-scandal

  14. “Akin, meanwhile, says he “misspoke.””

    You mean he wasn’t “taken out of context?” like Obama?

    1. “If you legitimately raped her, you didn’t build that baby.”

  15. In case you missed in the ML, Akin sponsored a bill to add the word “forcible” to the Missouri rape statute.

    Do you think he has the nuanced definition of force most libertarians do?

    1. I assume he only thinks rape is rape when it’s a complete stranger in a dark alley at night rather than a date drugging a woman or forcing himself on her in a way that doesn’t leave obvious medical trauma.

      1. Or Warty. I’d like to sponsor a bill adding the word “Warty” to the Missouri rape statute.

        1. Sadly, much like with the Rancor, only a Jedi can avoid Warty-rape.

    2. What are you, sugarfree, some kind of expert on rape?

      1. When all you have is a hammer…

      2. Rape is a great example to make issues of consent very clear. All self-professed libertarians should care about what constitutes consent in our society. Assumption of consent leads to most of the abuses perpetrated by the state.

        1. I agree; to protect yourself, you really need to ask. Kinda kills the mood, but whatever… I’ve done enough kinky crap with various women that made me worried I might actually have been “forcing” myself on them, so being clear up front is best for my own conscience at least.

        2. Right on, SF. There is nothing that exposes the myth of the “consent of the governed” like comparing that consent to the type feminists expect (and mostly rightly) for sex.

  16. So, a GOP candidate is as superstitious and medieval in his understanding of female biology as the typical democratic candidate is concerning economics. There will always be tradeoffs.

    1. In your daily life do you find it the case that people are often compartmental in their stupidity, or that people are either generally stupid or generally educated?

      My take is that if you’re a slack-jawed Bible thumper, what you have to say on a topic as complex as economics is not even worth listening to. But the libertarian position, as I understand, is that idiot creationist yokels who lack a belief in empirical facts happened upon roughly the correct economics, somehow. (That this school of economics also rejects empirical tests is just a coincidence, and in no way reflective of its correctness.)

      1. (That this school of economics also rejects empirical tests is just a coincidence, and in no way reflective of its correctness.)

        For somone who probably frowns on intelligent design and global warming skepticism, I’m surprised you’re so supportive of designating econ as science when it is unfalsifiable and untestable in a controlled environment, which the scientific method dictates.

        1. Don’t. Fucking. Respond. To. It. Starve it; that is the worst thing you can do to it.

        2. I’m not saying it’s a hard science, but we do have decades of data that contradict the central claims of Austrian and supply-side economics.

          1. Because the stimulus worked and the war brought us out of the depression 2001 recession?

      2. Education does not confer intelligence.

        Being taught and learning are not the same thing.

        Not that you would understand this, being that distinctions are not exactly your forte.

        1. All those words, with their different meanings, and concepts… how do they work?

          1. Thinking is like all complicated and stuff, you know?
            It’s much easier to just go with what you feel.

            I mean, if it feels right, then it must be right.
            No matter what anyone else thinks.

            And anyone who thinks differently than you feel is a bad person.
            Evil to the core.

            1. I think you just accurately summarized the “thought” process of the OWS rapists.

              1. Tony is an OWS rapist?

                1. Well, I heard it on the internet, and Tony hasn’t offered any proof to the contrary, so yes.

      3. In your daily life do you find it the case that people are often compartmental in their stupidity, or that people are either generally stupid or generally educated?

        when those people are liberals, then yes, they are compartmental-squared, to the point that people who disagree with them are not simply wrong or misguided on the issue, they are slack-jawed, not worth listening to, and idiot yokels.

        I am the farthest thing from a bible thumper but your incessant desire to always go the personal route on political matters does not make you look smarter, it just makes you look like an ass.

      4. That this school of economics also rejects empirical tests is just a coincidence

        You mean like the empirical tests that show that the application of Keynesian methods to the business cycle has made recessions and periods of low growth last longer? Those empirical tests?

        idiot creationist yokels who lack a belief in empirical facts happened upon roughly the correct economics, somehow.

        The “somehow” isn’t mysterious at all. The US economy had less of a statist element in the past. That means that people who are reactionary in general will oppose statism in particular, not from any consideration of the theories in question or the evidence, but just because of stubborn attachment to the past.

        But that means that their attachment to liberal economics doesn’t inform us about anything, one way or the other. It exists utterly outside of the terms of rational argument.

        I’m pretty sure that we would find, if we did a survey, that fucking morons who believe crystals have magical powers will tend to subscribe to progressive politics.

        1. that fucking morons who believe crystals have magical powers will tend to subscribe to progressive politics

          I once had a roommate who was into polarity and crystals and such.
          There were enough other believers around that he actually made a bit of money on the side doing polarity therapy and chakra balancing.
          I can tell you that without exception all his customers were total progressive douche bags.

        2. Recall the movie ‘Go’ when the girl sold placebos and claim it was ecstasy? She told her customers that it was really good shit, but you had to smoke ALOT of pot to get the right effect.

          Keynesianism is exactly like that applied to economics. It’s a really good theory, but you have to apply ALOT of wealth accumulated elsewhere to get the right effect.

      5. In your case, T o n y, I’ll go with “generally stupid”.

      6. “In your daily life do you find it the case that people are often compartmental in their stupidity,”

        Depends, are we talking about unintentional stupidity, or deliberate ignorance in service of ideology?

      7. Actually, yes I do find this. I have known a great many people who were very smart and knowledgable about one or more subjects and yet were absolute morons about others. In fact this kind of describes the vast majority of people I encounter.

  17. So when does this science get incorporated into the Abstinence Only sex ed in Missouri?

    I’m giggling now about the film, “Boys, if you really love little Suzie you won’t defile her. Just go down to the park, jump out of some bushes and then you won’t have to worry about unwanted pregnancies!”

    Also, why no references yet to the Old Number 6?

    1. I always wondered why these types didn’t just promote anal instead. It’s what the catholic schoolgirls did to preserve their virginity.

    2. Who knew that STEVE SMITH was a character in Blazing Saddles?

      Hedley Lamarr: Qualifications?
      Applicant: Rape, murder, arson, and rape.
      Hedley Lamarr: You said rape twice.
      Applicant: I like rape.

    3. You have to admit “If you rape her, she won’t get pregnant, but if you take her out to dinner and a movie, you could be looking at child support” creates a perverse incentive.

  18. So, if a woman gets pregnant from rape, who actually made the baby? Government?

  19. Where’s STEVE SMITH when you need him?

    1. Out doing the real work in situations like this, rather than idly whining on a website like you.

      1. Probably at his lawyer’s office offering Akin’s comments as a hook to get out of child support.

      2. STEVE SMITH DO RAPE AMERICANS NOT WILLING TO DO!

  20. Almost all Koala procreation is from rape. Look it up.

    1. Nobody rapes like ducks, dude.

      1. Seriously. Duck mating is a brutal gang rape where the female ends up with a bloody neck from all of the bites. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if they were occasionally drowned.

        1. This explains why duck is such a popular dish in Japan…

    2. STEVE SMITH is a koala trapped in a man’s body?

    3. Almost all Koala procreation is from rape.

      I’m sure having 4 thumbs only facilitates violent koala rapes.

  21. This must be a piece of folk science or something — I remember my high school science teacher telling us violent rape victims had a lower chance of pregnancy than otherwise similarly situated participants in consensual sex.

    Now, I’m basically pro-choice, but if you had asked me two days ago, I would have told you that as far as I know, it was true. (Similarly, I learned the Steven J Gould story about Samuel George Morton supposedly mis-measuring cranial capacity in high school, and believed that to be true until a couple years ago.)

    My assumption is that Akin got told this someplace and never had reason to doubt it, so “I misspoke” is code for “I don’t know as much as I thought I did.”

    1. I remember my high school science teacher telling us violent rape victims had a lower chance of pregnancy than otherwise similarly situated participants in consensual sex.

      It’s hard to get pregnant when you’re fucking dead.

      1. Granted. At the time, though, it seemed intuitively plausible that arousal contributed to fertility over and above encouraging the deed itself, and you don’t ask your science teacher for sources, or at least I didn’t.

        Five years ago, if I had thought about it, I would have questioned it, since rape doesn’t seem to have been maladaptive throughout human history, but now that Sex at Dawn is out, I’d have to concede that recorded human history doesn’t count for much, so I’d be confused again.

    2. Now, I’m basically pro-choice, but if you had asked me two days ago, I would have told you that as far as I know, it was true. (Similarly, I learned the Steven J Gould story about Samuel George Morton supposedly mis-measuring cranial capacity in high school, and believed that to be true until a couple years ago.)

      My assumption is that Akin got told this someplace and never had reason to doubt it, so “I misspoke” is code for “I don’t know as much as I thought I did.”

      I am right here with you. I thought that rape was maladaptive so it would make sense that pleasure must have some evolutionary purpose, and therefore consent would be more successful than rape.

      *shrug* it’s just one of those things.

      1. Shorter Randian: I had the same ignorant belief, so leave Todd Akin alone because you’re making fun of me.

        1. Irrelevant personal attack is irrelevant.

          And I never said I had the same belief. I thought rape was maladaptive and that it therefore would make sense (if the preceding assumption/fact were correct) that pleasure was more successful at reproduction.

          I never even thought it through, to be honest.

        2. I think you kids don’t know what it’s like to be middle aged. If you learned your science prior to 1996, then the studies apparently backed up Akin.

          I don’t have a lot of confidence in the stuff I learned in high school, but it’s not like I subscribe to a newsletter that informs me of stuff I learned that has subsequently been contradicted.

          (C.f. the Gould-Morton mustard seed story, which everyone of my generation assumed was true because Stephen Jay Gould told us it was, and our teachers agreed).

        3. THIS 😛

  22. This is like the worst chat room ever.

  23. So whether he meant it or not, it has to be condemned so that rape victims everywhere don’t have to be subjected to “but you’re pregnant so obviously, you weren’t really raped, liar, slut” bullshit from idiots even stupider than Akins.

    I think the question Randian was discussing was, “If you actually believe that the uterus has an anti-rape protection mechanism, because you heard it somewhere and didn’t realize it’s not true, if you repeat that statement, are you anti-woman?”

    1. Yes, that is what I was asking.

      The entire feminist cadre and their hangers-on on Facebook and Twitter just blew up when this came out as “obviously” anti-woman. I am not seeing any intent here to belittle or degrade women.

      Just a mistake.

      1. The real question is, should a woman be able to park a hot dog cart in front of Planned Parenthood or not?

        1. Hot dogs made with stem cells, even.

        2. The real question is, should a woman be able to park a hot dog cart in front of Planned Parenthood or not?

          That depends. Is she wearing a thong?

          1. You SF’d the link.

            1. Curse the broken preview feature.

              http://youtu.be/EpVm9NRx4io

      2. you act as if the sisterhood needs a genuine reason in order to get offended. Manufactured outrage works just fine.

      3. I am not seeing any intent here to belittle or degrade women.

        That’s my take on it. I really think it’s just as simple as “he’s a bonehead”.

      4. I am not seeing any intent here to belittle or degrade women.

        “Anti-woman” is too loaded a term for me to use very often, but I do think it’s degrading to women that this guy is so absurdly uninformed about female reproductive biology–the one type of female biology a man is most likely to be involved in and should probably know something about regardless. And it’s belittling that he thinks he’s qualified to make laws about something that he’s so uneducated about.

        Now, for the folks who are saying this was actually a “common” belief a while ago, I don’t know. Would it be degrading to women for a politician to suggest that douching with Coke was a good contraceptive? That was a popular folk belief. I would call that degrading to women as well.

        1. I can’t understand being degraded by someone not knowing every precious fact about your inner workings.

          I have had some women ask me some drop-dead stupid things about my “bits” and I didn’t feel the need to manufacture any outrage.

          1. Well, “rape rarely leads to pregnancy” != “every precious fact.”

            I mean, what if I said that guys shouldn’t worry about prison rape, because I heard from some doctors that rape doesn’t transfer STDs–you have to be into it to get HIV or syphilis or whatever. The juices aren’t flowing otherwise.

            That’s not even a little bit degrading to male prisoners and the very real health concerns they have about prison rape?

            1. Again, Akin didn’t say “don’t worry about rape”, did he?

              1. He said “Don’t worry about one of the foreseeable health consequences of rape because I hear it only happens once in a blue moon.”

                1. He said “Don’t worry about one of the foreseeable health consequences of rape because I hear it only happens once in a blue moon.”

                  Not even close.

                  1. He said “we shouldn’t worry about women getting pregnant from rape, because that, like, hardly ever happens, at least not if it’s a legitimate rape”.

                    Alternatively, “we don’t need to worry about men getting HIV from being raped in prison, because I hear that a guy has to be into it to transmit the virus. And by the way, you, ex-con with AIDS, just admit that your a homo and you liked it. have a nice day.”

                    1. And by the way, you, ex-con with AIDS, just admit that your a homo and you liked it. have a nice day.”

                      I am sure that’s what he meant, Hazel.

                      I bet that if you looked into Akin’s mind he would be evilly chuckling to himself that he wants women to be raped because they are into it.

                      And people thought I was overreacting when i said that others were implying or outright stating that Akin supported rape.

                      You have problems.

                  2. Actually, it’s incredibly close. Asked why there shouldn’t be a legal exception to anti-abortion laws to deal with a foreseeable consequence of rape, he said, “from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare.” The implication that you don’t really need to worry about it is much less of a leap than anything you’ve criticized anyone else for saying is implied by these comments.

                    1. He did not say “don’t worry”. He said, basically, “I don’t think we need an exception here”.

                      One is inflammatory and the other is fact-and-philosophy based, even if so flawed.

                    2. I have to head out, but it strikes me as a little odd that even you cast this intepretation as “inflammatory” when the only reason for him mention it at all was because he knew it would in fact be more inflammatory to not mitigate his philosophy by indicating people didn’t really need to worry about these circumstances that much, because they’re rare.

        2. In their defense they just wanted to slurp on Coke soaked pussy to change the pace. Personally, Vagina + Key West Lime pie = yummy.

    2. “If you actually believe that the uterus has an anti-rape protection mechanism, because you heard it somewhere and didn’t realize it’s not true, if you repeat that statement, are you anti-woman?”

      IMPO, I would say yes, it makes you anti-woman to reach that age and still believe something so patently absurd that it’s sheer stupidity boggles the mind.

      1. MPO, I would say yes

        Because……?

      2. It’s stupid, but I’m not sure it’s patently absurd. It seems more like the kind of old wives’ tale that sticks around because it has rough plausibility to people who don’t know a lot about biology.

        1. this guy’s old enough to have learned the difference between old wives’ tales and reality. There is also a simple rule in communication: when in doubt, say less. No one ever got in trouble by saying too little.

          1. People obviously aren’t reading J Mann below.

            1. Thanks – just for the record, I’m qualifying, though. It’s not clear if there were any studies supporting Akin back in the 80s or not. I’ll gladly defer to anyone who can run a scholarship search.

          2. Exactly. He’s past the age and (I’m assuming) education level to be given a pass for believing old wives tales.

            Besides, I think it’s so stupid, that no highly educated person actually believes it outside of trying to justify a political position (not having a rape exception to bans on abortion). Again, that’s just my opinion.

      3. Patently absurd =/= anti-woman, Goj.

        1. If the absurdity is being used to justify legislation which directly affects women in a way most of them would oppose, then yes, I believe it is anti-woman.

          1. That’s an expansion of the original discussion.

            1. How? The statement was made in the context of his explaining why rape victims should be allowed to have abortions.

              In other words: “That never happens. Rape victims don’t get pregnant. Almost never. So it’s no big deal. Stop asking me these disturbing questions. My brain hurts! Go away!!!!”

              1. Er should NOT.

                1. Are you going to say something coherent?

                  The mere fact that he was mistaken about a biological fact is not in and of itself “anti-woman” (whatever the hell that means).

                  1. He didn’t JUST say “rape victims don’t get pregnant”. He used the word “legitimate” to qualify the rape. In other words “if you were REALLY raped, you wouldn’t get pregnant”.

                    Qualifying rapes as “legitimate” implies that some people are calling things rape that arent really rape. Which either means he thinks women are liars or that non-violent rape isn’t real rape. Both are anti-women.

    3. If you actually believe that women who get raped are often “asking for it”, because you heard it somewhere and didn’t realize it was bullshit, and you repeat the statement, when someone asks you your opinion of a rape trial, are you anti-woman?

      1. Those are definitely the same things, Hazel.

    4. His stating is mistaken belief is not what makes him anti woman, well partly it is but I’ll get into that in a minute.

      What is anti woman is even holding such a mistaken belief in this day and age. I suppose it could be considered if you were an uneducated yokel who simply has never had any reason to think about the issue, but this guy is a sitting Congressman on the science comittee and therefore must have at some point come across data which refutes this belief and yet he still never bothered to question it or even develop doubts about it.

      Now how is even stating the belief slightly anti woman? Well, that has got to do with the reality of media. Again, if this were some every day Joe who made this sort of statement then their lack of media savy can be forgiven, however this guy is a sitting politician and he had to know how that sort of statement would be interpreted, yet he didn’t care enough about the outrage that would be generated to have a practiced nuanced answer to a problematic question meaning he just does not give a fuck about what the majority of women think on this issue, he believes he is right conseuqences be damned.

  24. This man serves on the Science Committee for Christ’s sake!

  25. The problem is that you are saying that EVEN IF you yourself accepted that said mass of cells was a person, you would STILL support its termination in the event of rape. Right?

    That is your position, isn’t it? That even if I could prove that mass of cells was entitled to personhood, the woman’s interests “win” and she can terminate (murder) that person.

    Right?

    Well, yes.

    I often offer the “property rights” argument for abortion: that the woman owns her uterus and is entitled to evict unwanted tenants.

    In response, people have pointed out that the fetus is in the uterus by no choice of its own, but rather due to conduct for which the woman is responsible (the sex part).

    I don’t accept that counterargument, but even if I did, rape would be an obvious exception to it. In the case of rape, the woman is completely blameless for the predicament the fetus finds itself in, and her self-ownership should unambiguously control.

    1. This gets sticky for libertarians, Fluffy. For example, can I evict someone from my home at 2 AM in the middle of a furious snowstorm?

      1. Is the snowstorm going to last 9 months?

        1. Well, what if it does?

          1. Is your guest going to mutilate your genitals sometime in the future? Are you obligated to let him drink your blood in your 9 month winter?

            1. Are you saying that if I invite a guest into my home with full knowledge that he may have to stay there for 9 months to survive, I can kick him out anyway?

              The guest wouldn’t be in existence but-for your conduct. In other words, you created the guest (setting rape aside in this subthread, mind), and now you want to uncreate the guest.

              1. I didn’t create the guest. This is your analogy, not mine.

                The assertion that consent to have sex equals consent to carry a pregnancy for 9 months is specious. It is a locution to get around the slavery aspect of forced pregnancy without acknowledged that you are advocating slavery.

                I believe consent should be informed, clear and continuous.

      2. I don’t think it should be illegal, no. You are not responsible for the well-being of anyone except yourself, or those you have signed a contract with to care for. And invitation onto property can be revoked at any time, for any reason by the property owner.

        1. Except as RC Dean pointed out below, even in libertopia you have to give the trespasser notice and reasonable time to comply. You can’t just say “OK, you have five seconds to get your shit and then I’ll shoot you in the face”.

            1. It is reasonable to think that if someone invites you into their home that it’s OK to take off your coat and shoes without having to worry later “what if this guy only gives me two seconds to leave his house? Can I get my coat and shoes?”

              1. It may be reasonable, but I’m talking strict legal liability.

                I realize it’s impractical and will never happen so I’m not really arguing for it, but in the pure libertarian fantasy land I imagine, I can’t see the legal impediment to such a thing. If you step foot onto my property, I reserve the right to revoke that invitation at any time of my choosing, and if you are unable to comply (for example I don’t give you enough time), then I can kill you.

                Like I said, I fully realize that would be lala crazy town, but I can’t think of a legal argument against it. Either I control my property (and can determine who stays and who goes) or I don’t.

        2. You are not responsible for the well-being of anyone except yourself, or those you have signed a contract with to care for.

          Contracts can be based on something other than a signed document. If someone reasonably relies on something you said (or did), then they may be beneficiary of an implied contract.

          1. There’s a debate for another time, certainly.

            I personally don’t believe in the validity of “implied” contracts, but I realize there is common law precedent for it, so as I said, a fun debate for another time perhaps.

      3. you may want to but I doubt the court would go along with you. A judge would take the conditions into account and, at the very least, wait till the storm has passed.

    2. I don’t accept that counterargument,

      Why not? Another part of libertarian thought is acceptance of personal responsibility.

      Why isn’t the woman responsible for the foreseeable consequences of her decision to have sex?

      Its hard to map property rights over onto the abortion debate too tightly. To take a fairly strict view of the analogy, you have an invited guest (assuming consensual sex). Before you can evict an invitee for trespassing, you generally have to give notice of some kind, and an opportunity to comply.

      And, of course, there’s the problem that you generally aren’t allowed to kill somebody for trespassing.

      1. I would ask why one has to give notice before eviction. If it’s my property, I don’t see why in a strictly libertarian society I can’t show up and demand you leave at any time of my choosing.

        It might not be polite, but I fail to see how it should be illegal.

        1. because even if it’s your property, it is very likely that you have a contract with the tenant. You can’t evict “because I said so” anywhere that I know of, and even with all the proper docs it’s a tough process.

          1. I’m talking about without a contract, wareagle. Sure if I’m renting to somebody I probably have a clause in there about giving proper notice, but if it’s just a dude I invited over, I can tell him to GTFO anytime I please.

            And when you say that few if any places allow rapid eviction, that’s just a result of laws which are very (IMO) unlibertarian. If someone wants to contract with me for a room, and they sign it, and it stipulates that I only have to give them 5 minutes notice, then that should be enforcable.

            1. I think I am with RC. I thought that the guest/property thing was helpful, but in a circumstance where you create the guest out of nothingness, essentially, it seems to be incongruous.

              1. I do think it’s less cut-and-dried than the advocates make it out to be, certainly.

        2. I can’t show up and demand you leave at any time of my choosing.

          Sure. That would be the notice.

          And if I refuse, then you can have me removed and/or collect damages.

          Still not allowed to kill me.

          Here, you have an invitee that you cannot give notice to, could not comply even if you did, and can be evicted only with lethal force. I just don’t think the property analogy helps much, that’s all.

      2. First off, the rape fetus wasn’t invited over. Second, are people like vampires, once you invite them in they are there forever if they want to be? I’m going to reconsider a lot of my invitations to dinner parties, if that’s the case.

        And this unwelcome visitor is–at the very least–going to cause you grievous bodily hard within the year.

        1. In the original discussion, Fluffy said he didn’t “buy into” the “personal responsibility” counterargument. Rape was not in the discussion subthread.

          1. OK, so that takes care of my first sentence.

            We agree to have a formal boxing match. We punch each other a few times, then you cry uncle. I continue to beat you bloody. Have I assaulted you? Does your initial consent to a friendly boxing match include all violence I choose to do to you for the near future?

            1. You have gone beyond the limits of consent, but again, you had notice of those limits. The fetus has no such notice of the limits of your consent.

              1. You imbue the fetus with all these rights, but with no responsibilities. If it hasn’t been informed of the limits of consent, you are assuming that it can be informed. You argue it is a moral agent in one breathe and then deny it moral agency when it’s convenient.

                1. You argue it is a moral agent in one breathe and then deny it moral agency when it’s convenient.

                  Where did I say it was a moral agent?

                  Should you be able to abandon your own children? Kill them? Starve them to death?

                  1. If you agree to feed a homeless person for one night, do you have to feed them for the rest of their life? They might die without you, after all.

                  2. Should you be able to abandon your own children? Kill them? Starve them to death?

                    I think so, yes. Provided you mean starve them by refusing to serve them, not actively deny them food if they can get it themselves, which would be murder.

                    You can’t actively harm them, but I don’t think you’re obligated to serve them, either. If you want to kick them off your property, and they’re too young to do anything about it, well…tough shit kid.

            2. The analogy to abortion would appear to be that, partway through the boxing match, you decide you’ve had enough, so you shoot me down without notice or warning.

              1. No, RCD, I’m arguing that consent is continuous. The woman consents to sex, not the pregnancy. If you consent to all the consequences of every action that you propose to pregnancy, I consented to to be run over at 3pm because I willing left my house at 8am.

                1. The woman consents to sex, not the pregnancy

                  Fact 1: I have a peanut allergy
                  Fact 2: I invite you to throw peanuts in my mouth

                  Would you then say I did not effectively consent to my hives breakout?

                  1. You will always have a peanut allergy, sex doesn’t always result in pregnancy. Especially if a good faith effort at birth control is made.

                    1. You will always have a peanut allergy, sex doesn’t always result in pregnancy. Especially if a good faith effort at birth control is made.

                      I am on allergy shots, so you could say I am making a good faith effort at controlling my hives.

                      So are you responsible for my hives because you threw peanuts in my mouth?

                    2. So are you responsible for my hives because you threw peanuts in my mouth?

                      Fact 2: I invite you to throw peanuts in my mouth

                      One has nothing to do with the other.

                2. [sigh]

                  If you applied the level of consent to all the consequences of every action that you propose to apply to pregnancy

                  I ear hurts and I’m fucking dizzy, OK? Jeez.

                3. The woman consents to sex, not the pregnancy.

                  Isn’t there an argument that she’s responsible for the foreseeable consequences of her actions? If I start shooting randomly out my car window and hit you, I didn’t mean for you to catch a bullet, but I’m still responsible, no?

                  If you consent to go skydiving, and your chute doesn’t open (because of, say, a random wind gust), do your heirs have the right to say, well, you didn’t consent to hit the ground going that fast, so the skydive owner has to pay up?

                  Generally speaking, the idea is that if you “assume the risk” of something happening, you don’t get to impose the losses/damages on somebody else. So, yeah, consent can be continuous. Its not always, and is generally cut off if somebody else acts wrongfully (as in your example of getting run over), but it can be.

                  1. Those are immediate consequences and still rely on accepting pregnancy as a reliably foreseeable consequence of any sexual encounter.

                    I don’t know about you, but I’ve had sex thousands of times and never got anyone pregnant.

                    1. On the other hand, 99.9% of pregnancies do occur as a result of sex. I think it’s a pretty foreseeable and known risk.

                    2. So the punishment for sex is 9 months of slavery? This is a libertarian position?

                    3. Punishment?

                      I suppose in the same way that lung cancer is “punishment” for smoking.

                    4. Or how children having positive rights, like to food, shelter, and clothing, is a “punishment”.

                    5. Or how children having positive rights, like to food, shelter, and clothing, is a “punishment”.

                      Forced pregnancy is the punishment.

                      Since when do these “children”–who you argue have full personhood rights–suddenly have rights beyond the negative rights of self-ownership?

                    6. Is slavery not a punishment? Let’s shove something ever-expanding up you and then forcible prevent you from removing it until it comes out itself.

                      Keeping a woman pregnant against her expressed wishes is slavery. Temporary slavery–even if it was just to one person–is recognizable as a punishment.

                      And you don’t want to go down the cancer road, because keeping someone from treating their cancer is the rest of that analogy.

                    7. And you don’t want to go down the cancer road, because keeping someone from treating their cancer is the rest of that analogy.

                      Yeah, we are just walking straight into that one.

                      But, but, SF, are you saying that pregnancy is a medical condition like cancer that should be “treated”?!?

                    8. Keeping a woman pregnant against her expressed wishes is slavery. Temporary slavery–even if it was just to one person–is recognizable as a punishment.

                      So when does the woman cease having the right to kill her fetus? Never?

                    9. Cases like this are where libertarian theory (and most moral theories) break down because there is no universality to them. If you could come up with a universal morality that existed independent of human cultures or opinions you might be able to approach an answer to this, if not, then ultimately the answer is pure personal (or possibly cultural opinion).

                      First you must demonstrait the qualities that qualifies someone for human rights and deal with all of the inherent contradictions in whatever definition you come up with.

                      Second you need to define a hierarchy of rights that resolves rights conflicts such as this.

                      Or you could go with the easy answer and deal with practical reality and not bother too much about the moral complexities allowing each individual to resolve those for themselves in whatever way works best for them.

                      The practical solution to this is Abortion should be available on demand for any reason up to the point where the fetus is viable outside of the womb (~22 weeks) but heavily restricted to cases of medical necessity with allowances for those who have been physically prevented from recieving an abortion earlier past that.

        2. First off, the rape fetus wasn’t invited over.

          Which is why I said, and I quote “(assuming consensual sex)”.

        3. Second, are people like vampires, once you invite them in they are there forever if they want to be?

          Nobody said that. As you may recall, we were talking about how to evict an invitee, whether you can use lethal force to do so, and generally the ways in which the property analogy breaks down.

  26. Somebody should do a history of science article about this. I don’t have access to the databases, but it looks like prior to 1996 or so, Akin’s belief was the conventional wisdom.

    As Ezra Klein points out, one of the key studies refuting Akin’s belief concedes that prior to their work, other studies showed reduced fertility in rape victims.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..her-women/

    (“The Gottschalls do acknowledge that their study was at odds with previous research, which showed a lower rate of pregnancy among rape victims.”)

    He should be more current on the science, I agree, but it seems unlikely that he made it up or read it in the bible or something.

    1. Whoops – I might be over-reading. It’s possible that the Gottshalls merely meant that prior studies found less than a doubling of fertility as a result of rape, not that the studies found an actual reduction.

      Here’s some more on recent history of Akin’s theory. Not surprisingly, the theory is popular among the right to life crowd, who find its implications congenial.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/…..not-alone/

    2. “lower rate of pregnancy” =/= “very rare”

      It seems as if Akins, in some sort of haze of cognitive dissonance was seizing upon some tenuous theory, and inflating it into a near-certainty in his mind, in order to back up his need to have some reason why rape victims should not be allowed to have abortions.

      1. Yes, kind of like someone justifying abortion by claiming a fetus is an undifferentiated mass of cells.

  27. Based on that picture, I have to say that if you were to call Central Casting for a clueless douchebag middle-aged WASP, Akins is who they’d send.

  28. I think he’s going to pack it in.

    Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has released a statement suggesting Rep. Todd Akin should think hard about what to do about his rape remarks. “Congressman Akin’s statements were wrong, offensive, and indefensible. I recognize that this is a difficult time for him, but over the next twenty-four hours, Congressman Akin should carefully consider what is best for him, his family, the Republican Party, and the values that he cares about and has fought for throughout his career in public service,” Cornyn said.

    1. Drudge indicates he’s withdrawing.

  29. If a woman’s receptiveness snapped shut during rape I’m pretty sure mankind never would have made it out of the stone age.

  30. In 1995, a state legislator from NC made a similar comment about “if a women is really raped, the juices don’t flow and she can’t get pregnant.” This was in a discussion of cutting funding for the state fund for poor women to get abortions.

    He was a rural Democrat, about 75 years old, and a dentist.

    1. the other 4 dentists said he was full of shit.

  31. Randian:

    I think your finally overlooking another aspect of what he said. he didn’t just say “rape rarely leads to pregnancy”, he said “legitimate rape”.

    He qualified the word rape with the word “legitimate”. Which of course implies that there is such a thing as a rape that’s not really a “legitimate rape”. And he distinguished it from the kind of rape (real rape) that supposedly hardly ever causes pregnancies.

    Why the hell would be bother to distinguish “legitimate” rape from other kinds if not to imply that if you’re pregnant you probably aren’t the victim of a “legitimate rape”?

    1. Why the hell would be bother to distinguish “legitimate” rape from other kinds if not to imply that if you’re pregnant you probably aren’t the victim of a “legitimate rape”?

      To distinguish it from statutory rape or non-forcible rape.

      Please keep in mind that this man thought that the body had a biological response to force, be it hormonal or physical in nature.

      This has been explained repeatedly. It is your own choice to pretend like he said “ha ha, you weren’t really raped!” and then get your panties super-twisted about it.

      1. To distinguish it from statutory rape or non-forcible rape.

        The word “legitimate” distinguishes violent rape from statutory or non-violent rape? Really?

        What non-violent rape isn’t really rape then?

        1. What non-violent rape isn’t really rape then?

          When the check to the hooker bounces?

        2. The word “legitimate” distinguishes violent rape from statutory or non-violent rape? Really?

          Yes, really. Because Akin was saying that the female’s body biologically responds to force, Hazel. You did read what he said, right?

          What non-violent rape isn’t really rape then?

          What? no one said anything approaching “not really rape”. You’re being dense.

          1. You do understand what the dictionary definition of “legitimate” is, right?

          2. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/legitimate

            Adjectivelegitimate (comparative more legitimate, superlative most legitimate)

            1.In accordance with the law or established legal forms and requirements; lawful.
            2.Conforming to known principles, or established or accepted rules or standards; valid.
            3.Authentic, real, genuine.
            4.Lawfully begotten, i.e., born to a legally married couple.
            5.Relating to hereditary rights.

            The only things on that list that make any sense are 2 and 3. Unless you think he thinks that whether something is “legally” rape makes a biological difference, he’s trying to distinguish “real authentic rape” from “fake” rape.

            In other words he claiming that some thing women call rape anre “real rape”.
            Which either means he thinks it’s not rape if it’s not violent, or that women lie about rape a lot.

            1. Would you consider consensual statutory to be the same as violent or even non-violent rape?

              No matter what, it was a pretty fucking idiotic statement.

              1. Do you think Akins meant to say the victim wouldn’t get pregnant unless she was underage?

                1. No. I think he was alluding to the idea of a woman regretting the sex she had with a troglodyte like Warty and then saying she was raped.

                  Again, it was a pretty stupid thing to say and highly misinformed. He definitely shouldn’t be running for any kind of higher office.

  32. Much of the argument here seems to be that a single study showed that rape produced more conceptions than consensual sex. Since I am to lazy to bother reading it, are apples actually compared to apples?

    Since consensual sex is often not for the purpose of procreation, wouldn’t an exact comparison have to include consensual and no or limited contraception? How many consenting males wear a condom? I would guess that very few rapist do. It seems almost self evident that non contraception using rapists would conceive more, but that doesn’t directly imply anything about the potential for increased, or decreased, contraception due to female pleasure.

    Since sperm act against other sperm the inclusion of a relatively recent previous encounter can reduce the chances of contraception at the time of rape or consensual sex, also.

    So I am rather surprised that the “science is settled”. It seems anything but.

  33. In the final analysis, Akin is out of order because a human being’s right to life doesn’t depend on how (s)he was conceived. If you want to kill someone, kill the rapist, not his innocent child.

    If we say it’s OK to have a rape exception to otherwise-applicable laws against killing, then when does the exception come to an end? When the kid is born? When he’s 5? Or can you kill him at 15, when he pisses you off and you conclude that on second thought, he doesn’t deserve to live?

    1. Regardless of motive, I propose the development of fetal pain receptors as a legal cutoff point. Alas, it’s an unsatisfactory but reasonable compromise in a debate where neither side will budge.

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