Todd Akin had a point, says man entrusted with drawing up the laws of this country

Were you hoping that the end of 2012 would bring with it the end of Republicans saying ridiculous shit about rape? Oh my god, me too! Unfortunately, today’s not our day.

Phil Gingrey, a Republican Congressman from Georgia, thinks that Todd Akin had a point. And he is willing to say so. Out loud, and on the record.

Here’s how that went down, in an interview with the Marietta Daily Journal:

And in Missouri, Todd Akin … was asked by a local news source about rape and he said, ‘Look, in a legitimate rape situation’ — and what he meant by legitimate rape was just look, someone can say I was raped: a scared-to-death 15-year-old that becomes impregnated by her boyfriend and then has to tell her parents, that’s pretty tough and might on some occasion say, ‘Hey, I was raped.’ That’s what he meant when he said legitimate rape versus non-legitimate rape. I don’t find anything so horrible about that. But then he went on and said that in a situation of rape, of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has a way of shutting down so the pregnancy would not occur. He’s partly right on that…

I’ve delivered lots of babies, and I know about these things. It is true. We tell infertile couples all the time that are having trouble conceiving because of the woman not ovulating, ‘Just relax. Drink a glass of wine. And don’t be so tense and uptight because all that adrenaline can cause you not to ovulate.’ So he was partially right wasn’t he?

Peggy Olson Headdesk gif

So, basically, Gingrey thinks, what Akin was saying is that there’s legitimate rape, and then there’s the rape that women invent so they can get Super Fun For Shits and Giggles Abortions. And Gingrey doesn’t find anything so horrible about that.

Here’s the thing. Let’s imagine for a moment that a 15-year-old DID lie about being raped so she can obtain an abortion. Why would she do such a thing? Probably because she lives in a place where sex is stigmatized and demonized so much that if you have consensual sex, lawmakers think you should be punished by being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. A place where abortion access has become so restricted that the only way you can get an abortion is by pretending that something awful happened to you. A place like the state of Georgia, or the United States of America. A place where politicians accuse women of being manipulative and dishonest and then enact laws that leave them no option but to be just that in order to obtain healthcare.

The bad news is that, as many of us said at the time, Akin isn’t the only one who thinks the way he thinks. He has lots of people willing to defend his misogynistic views about sex and assault, and his fact-free ideas about female biology. Gingrey is one of those people, and that means that even though Akin lost his race and even though we want 2012 to be the final word in Dumb Shit GOP Politicians Say About Women, it won’t be.

The great news is that those 15-year-old girls who Gingrey thinks will cry wolf about getting raped so they can get abortions? They’ll be able to vote in three years. My guess is they’re not going to vote for the guy who called them lying sluts.

via ThinkProgress.

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Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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