Rape is violence, never ‘legitimate’
Sometimes I’m completely in awe of the advancements we’ve made over the decades. Technology has grown in leaps and bounds and folks from even as little as 20 years ago would be amazed at the sights and sounds of today.
Despite advancements being made, mentally, we seem to be stuck in neutral at times. Rape isn’t a new notion, it’s not a fad and it’s definitely not a joke or something that should be up for debate.
In the last few days, the issue has been discussed ad nauseum. In the event that you’ve missed the barrage of news attention, Missouri Congressman Todd Akin recently felt the need to weigh in on the whole rape debate. Who knew it even required one? After all, isn’t rape, well, rape?
In the interview, Akin seemed to infer rape victims wouldn’t become pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” His comment was in response to a presenter’s question as to whether abortion should be allowed in the case of rape.
A lot of people are justifiably attacking his choice of words: “legitimate rape.” It’s so offensive, misogynistic, idiotic and a bunch of other adjectives that I don’t even know where to start on this particular gaffe. So, I won’t.
The proverbial poo hit the fan, and Akin’s head was requested on a platter. It wasn’t just that he had become a biologist and was explaining the way bodies work; but he actually implied, even if mistakenly, that some rapes aren’t legitimate.
Akin later apologized for his comments, and some even tried to defend his ill-advised words. I don’t really know why anybody would bother to defend them, but some people chose to do so. More power to them.
I frankly find the incident to be a new low in our society, especially on the heels of a recent initiative to redefine rape.
Back in December, I wrote about a decades-long move to update the definition of rape. In the late 1920s, rape had been defined as the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”
The new definition went far beyond that and would include rapes of an anal or oral nature, rapes of men (yes, it happens), rapes with an object and rapes in which the victim was unable to say no due to the effects of alcohol or drugs.
The new definition hits closer to the mark, but I honestly can’t believe that we’re having this debate about what constitutes rape. We can put men on the moon, but we can’t figure out what is rape. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.
Rape is rape. Plain and simple. It’s tough to think about. Many people don’t like to think about something as vile and disgusting as rape. In fact, it can be considered crude to talk about such things. Rape has always been a battle, in more ways than one. In many cases, the victims are attacked as much as the men they accuse.
Why are we still talking about this? Why is this horrible act up for debate and discussion? Why is our society so confused and bewildered by something so violent? Is it really that difficult to grasp?
Amanda Greever is assistant managing editor at The Daily Times. She can be reached at 981-1161 or (email@example.com)