Todd Akin

Yay! Obama won big last night. So, how’d all those GOP rape apologist candidates do?

We know Obama won big last night, and that the election just may have come down to female voters (who somehow seem to have a way of shutting that whole thing down). So how did all those GOP rape apologist candidates do? A summary below.

Todd “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down” Akin

Background: Todd Akin is a [white male] Republican Rep. who was running for Senate against the incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in Missouri.

Offenses: Oh, where to begin. This summer, Rep. Akin expressed his belief that a woman cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape” because “the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.” Then, just when it seemed unlikely that anyone could top such a stunning display of ignorance about how women, their bodies, and pregnancy works, a video back from 2008 was uncovered in which he displays mind-numbing ignorance on how an abortion works too. Perhaps most importantly, it’s not just his words, but his actions, that show how really anti-woman he is.

So how’d he do? Akin earned himself a Big Fat Loss last night, one that can only be described as “legitimate” if you go by the snarky headlines this morning. Many are already explicitly blaming his anti-woman rhetoric for the loss.

Richard “it’s something God intended” Mourdock

Background: Richard Mourdock is a [white male] Republican and Tea Party favorite who was running for an Indiana Senate seat against Representative Joe Donnelly, a three-term Democrat.

Offenses: Mourdock made a big splash last Tuesday when the Romney-backed candidate was asked whether abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. His reply? When a woman is impregnated during a rape “it’s something God intended”. (It’s worth noting that as infuriating as this is, it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.) After unsuccessfully trying to backpeddle , he forced Mitt Romney to clarify that he ‘disagrees’ with Mourdock’s comments, but would still stand by him as a candidate and would not pull his endorsement ads

So how’d he do? Mourdock lost (starting to see a pattern here?). The NY Times has the chairman of the state Democratic Party quoted as saying “The rape comment was the confirmation in the race, not the game changer,” but that it confirmed how out-of-step Mourdock was.

Roger “some girls rape easy” Rivard

Background: [White male] Wisconsin state Rep. Roger Rivard was elected in 2010 to the 75th Assembly District seat in Wisconsin. He was running for re-election against Democrat Steven Smith, a businessman from Shell Lake, and had earned the endorsement of Paul Ryan among others.

Offense: Last year, Rivard told a newspaper, in the context of discussing the case of a teenager charged with sexual assault after having sex with an underage girl, that his father always used to tell him that “some girls rape easy.” While horribly offensive as a standalone, he then chose to elaborate on his views in an interview with the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. While he attempted to make the case that his comments were take out of context, Maya broke down the countless and infuriating ways he dug himself into an even deeper hole just weeks before the election.

So how’d he do? Capping off the losing streak of these candidates, Rivard didn’t find winning re-election quite as easy as he finds how easily “girls rape”. Smith defeated Rivard 14,361 to 13,799 to capture the seat.

Bryce Covert has more at the Nation on just how hard misogyny went down in defeat last night. Check it out!



Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

Read more about Lori

Join the Conversation

  • Smiley

    Hmm. I don’t know what to think about the bracketed terms [White male].

    Should it be considered offensive? Is it any less offensive that saying that ‘Obame [Black male] was reelected yesterday’?

    Is it relevant? Is it racist? Is it otherising? Is it racist by implication? Does it mean that someone should be judged on the colour of his skin and on his sex?

    Would this site consider outrageous if Republican publications in the future refer to [Lesbian] Tammy Baldwin?

  • John

    Sorry, snarky comment was supposed to be here.

    So does anybody know if contraception or condom use constitutes legitimate abortion?

  • Lauren

    You forgot to add another rape apologist up for election this year — John Koster, congressional candidate from Washington state who made the “the rape thing” comments recently. He lost the election to Democrat Suzan DelBene, former Microsoft executive.

    So, four out of four misogynist rape apologist disgusting white man douchebags lost their elections. I can’t possibly express how satisfying that is.

  • Robert

    I see that Obama got reelected and all these rape apologists got defeated, but how are republicans still in control of Congress? I’ve never voted so I don’t know what the forms look like. I thought all candidates for all positions are voted for at the same time. Did people vote for Obama and also vote for republicans for Congress positions? If that’s the case I find that weird. How do they expect bills to get passed if Congress will always reject them? I thought about this because I read an article that said republicans control the house 240 to 190, which is pretty significant. Obama will face the same challenges he faced the last 4 years in getting bills passed. From my research the democrats haven’t controlled Congress since Bill Clinton was president. A huge reason why Bush was able to do what he did was because the republican-controlled Congress allowed him to, that includes the Iraq war.

    • Robert

      I think I was looking at wrong data regarding when the last time democrats controlled Congress. Either way, the republicans maintained control and they are clearly at odds with the Obama administration. We’ll see how well they are willing to work together.

    • natasha

      Republicans retained control of the house, and Democrats retained control of the Senate. That has generally been considered a big win for the Democrats because a few months ago, it didn’t seem possible for them to do so in part because many more Democrat Senate seats were up for grabs than Republican seats. Not only did every Democrat incumbent win re-election, they actually gained more seats.

      • natasha

        Forgot to add this: a big part of why the Democrats were so successful retaining the Senate was because of the offensive things so many Republicans had been saying about rape and abortion.