‘Illegitimate Rape’

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TPM Reader PP on how Akin’s remarks were a double whammy of misogyny:

The Akin comment is obviously offensive, but I’m a bit surprised that what seems to be generating the most offense is the cartoonishly ignorant belief that a woman’s body can somehow differentiate between a rapist and a loving companion and choose to let itself get pregnant or not. It’s certainly bizarre and easy to report on, but personally the greater outrage should be at the casual, and seemingly commonly held belief that there are categories of rape.

It belies a deep belief and misogyny on his part, and others, that most women who claim rape weren’t, but rather are just regretting their decisions and decide to ruin the heroic male rather than own up to their decisions.

This isn’t an uncommonly expressed viewpoint from the right on issues towards rape, as they seem to want to (as Ryan in his support of a House Bill) define rape as only a violent assault from a stranger, rather than any unwelcome sexual assault. That’s a much more dangerous viewpoint to have than a stupid and clearly easily dismissible (as evidenced by how fast everyone tried to distance themselves from it) remark about how biology works.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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