I was planning on writing about some new research which suggests that while married men drink less than their single counterparts, married women drink more!
Unfortunately, I realised this whole “legitimate rape” thing was weighing too heavily on my mind to ignore.
For those of you who missed this latest display of right-wing America’s unfounded hatred of women, this is what happened:
An American congressman, Todd Akin, when speaking on the subject of whether rape survivors who fall pregnant should be allowed to have abortions, said:
“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
First, what the hell is “legitimate rape”? And more importantly, what would this person classify as an illegitimate rape? Date rape? Marital rape? Incest? The rape of sex workers? The rape of drunk women? I shudder to think.
Second, since when do women have superpowers that can “shut down” unwanted pregnancy? Surely, if we had this ability, the whole abortion debate would be moot!
I’m not going to go on about this, but I suggest you read this column which basically says it all.
I have realised though, that we all have dark misconceptions at the back of our minds. This politician did not make a gaffe. He really believed what he said. And all of us have some stupid beliefs. We need to shine a light on them and eradicate these ridiculous thoughts.
So ask yourself: What is your kneejerk reaction?
Do you believe that women who dress provocatively are “asking for it”?
Do you believe that women who go out late and drink alcohol and take drugs shouldn’t be surprised when they get raped?
Do you think young girls who get raped by uncles or stepfathers could somehow have avoided it?
Think hard, and challenge your thoughts. Because kneejerk reactions are mostly wrong. We have brains. It’s time we started using them.