Republican men need to shut up about rape forever

Via Talking Points Memo

As a rape survivor, I’m having a really hard time this election cycle.  The constant talk about rape by Republican men in a way that is misogynistic, stupid, and insensitive is triggering.  I’m sick and tired of all this triggering talk about rape and I really wish they would just shut up!

The latest in the long list of Republican rape apologists to speak about rape and abortion is John Koster, the Republican nominee for Washington’s 1st district.  When asked about his opposition to abortion in the cases of rape and incest, Koster first noted that incest is extremely rare because forcing only a couple of 12 year olds to bare their father’s baby is no big deal and everyone should just calm down about it already.

Koster then when on to call rape a “thing” more than once:

“But the rape thing…you know I know a woman who was raped and kept her child but gave it up for adoption, she doesn’t regret it.  In fact, she’s a big pro-life proponent…But on the rape thing, it’s like, how does putting more violence onto a woman’s body and taking the life of an innocent child that’s the consequence of this crime, how does that make it better? You know what I mean?”

I don’t have any interest in hearing the opinion of a man who has never been the victim of sexual assault.  And I don’t have any interest in hearing what he thinks about my choices.  None.  I don’t even know why these anti-choice Republicans think they are entitled to speak about the topic.  This is about the power of women as independent actors to make choices about their own bodies.  A rape survivor has already lost power and control over her bodily autonomy and now Republican men want to let us know what they think we should be allowed to do after the rape?

No, Mr. Koster you do not get to have say.

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/decius/ Dan

    So, men who are victims of sexual assault can have opinions, but nobody who hasn’t been such a victim can? Is that what is right and fair?

  • http://feministing.com/members/lilysavage/ Lily Savage

    I think rape victims should come out tell their stories on behalf of the politicians they support, and not allow politicians, whom have never experienced such trauma, masquerade and morph their stories into their own political agenda.

  • http://feministing.com/members/robbieloveslife/ Robert

    It’s way too easy to piss off pro-choice women. I am pro-choice as well but I don’t get angry when republicans make comments against abortions. It’s quite entertaining actually.

    • http://feministing.com/members/maya/ Maya

      Weird, Robert. So strange that you don’t get quite as angry as some pro-choice women when you hear Republicans make anti-choice comments. It’s almost like this issue doesn’t quite affect you on the same incredibly personal level or something. Wonder why that could possibly be. But cool that you find it “entertaining” when a survivor of rape talks about how pissed she is. You seem like a really great feminist ally.

      • http://feministing.com/members/robbieloveslife/ Robert

        Ok. I should’ve worded it better. I just find entertainment in how ridiculous these comments are. Like the one where someone said a woman’s body would have evolved to reject a sperm if raped so as not to get pregnant. This wasn’t as ridiculous as that but when he questions “how does that make this better” he clearly hasn’t looked at all sides. It’s naive to an extreme.

    • http://feministing.com/members/ritafantastic/ Rita Carlin

      Robert–humor is a combination of taboo breaking and perceived harmlessness. For instance, it is taboo breaking to say something incredibly sexist, like “some girls rape easy.” If you perceive this ludicrous statement to be harmless, and therefore find it humorous, it is likely because your dignity/body is not directly threatened, the way a woman’s dignity/body is threatened by this sort of thinking.

      Women get accused of having less of a sense of humor, or of being less funny than men a lot. Typically this accusation gets made by men. Maybe men have less to fear in this misogynistic world. And maybe women sometimes make jokes that men don’t find funny, because men end up as the butt of them.

  • http://feministing.com/members/doug34/ doug

    I completely agree with the sentiment of this article. What amazes me is how men will discuss abortion as if the women does not exist (expect as a vessel.) I have recently come to the conclusion (that you advocate) that men should not be in the business of making policy decisions about abortion. We cannot become pregnant, therefore, we cannot understand. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I think my opinion on the subject is as irrelevant as you think it is.

  • http://feministing.com/members/mollie89/ Mollie

    Well said Zerlina. I had to share this. The video gave me CHILLS. Horrible- can’t believe it.

screenshot of ship from Vessel

Watch the new doc on one doctor’s quest to offer safe abortion where it’s illegal

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is outlawed. Her project eventually morphed into Women on Web, which does great, life-saving work by sending abortion pills by mail to people lacking legal access. The film has opened in NYC, and is now available for streaming on iTunes.

Also, be sure to check out this interview with director/producer Diana Whitten on the Community site. As she notes, the story, unfortunately, holds particular relevance in the US today. “Due to recent legislative attacks on reproductive healthcare, the situation for U.S. women in many ...

The new documentary Vessel tells the story of Women on Waves, founded by Dutch doctor Rebecca Gomperts who sailed the world in an “abortion ship,” offering off-shore medical abortions in the international waters surrounding countries where abortion is ...

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Last month, I had an abortion.

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Over at Ebony, Tasha Fierce writes about her experience getting an abortion last month as a Black woman. 

Last month, I had an abortion.

I’ve been a strident advocate for a woman’s right to choose since I was ...