Rape Republicans Lose

[Update Nov 7th, 2012.  The election is over and Ryan/Romney and many other rape republicans have lost.  Specifically:

Todd Akin 42% Claire MacCaskill 51% – Missouri Senate seat

Richard Mourdock 44% Joe Donnelly 50% – Indiana Senate seat

Incumbent Rogar Rivard is current down by a mere 100 votes in a state representative election in Wisconsin.  In a race which is still too close to call.

So it appears clear that being stupid on rape is bad for your chances as a candidate, even in very conservative states.]

If Mitt Romney loses this election, it will likely be because women who have even the most modest sense of self interest came out and voted against him and the other “Rape Republicans”

When Steven Colbert did his piece on Republicans saying incredible misogynistic, stupid and presumable vote loosing things about rape the final quote (not listed above) was so over the top, i needed to fact check it myself. Apparently, Roger Riverd a state legislator in Wisconsin said last December that “some girls rape easy.” Riverd decided that he would clarify his nearly year old remarks shortly before his election with the following statement:

“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,'” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’

“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’

“So it’s been kind of taken out of context.”

If this feels like a compelling case to you, a useful clarification of a misunderstood remark, and that Roger is just pointing out that some girls will just conveniently change their mind and blame a guy the next day for the sex they happily had the previous eventing and call it rape, then this is not the post you want to be reading.

What is true, is that their are a tiny fraction of reported rapes which are actually the false accusations that Mr. Riverd is worried about (the largest study shows this about 3%).  What is actually the case is because the police and court systems are so unbelieving and abusive towards rape survivors that the real problem with rape is under reporting (54% of rapes go unreported by the largest study).  But this is not really the problem with Mr Riverd’s thinking.

The problem is Mr Riverd and the culture in general’s assumption that men are in danger of being surprised by rape allegations, that these come from out of nowhere, when you were just having a good time.   The presumption here is that consent is a fickle thing, and that women are even fickler.  But the real problem is that often men are not working hard enough to make sure they even have it.

It is part of the over arching cultural narrative that women need to do more to stop rape: they need to say “no” more clearly, they need to not wear short skirts, or go home with buddies, or not go the places where women get raped.  It is part of the intellectual dodge in which men do not have to be inconvenienced by the thought that they are creating and supporting rape culture.  That if women are better they can solve the “rape problem” which is after all a women’s issue.

Actually, Rape is a patriarchy issue, which is in some ways obvious and in many ways insidious.  Rape is not something you can relax and enjoy, as suggested above.  It is not part of gods mysterious plan to bring some children into the world.   The Romney campaign and the other rape republicans have been trying get voters to focus on the economy but what could turn this election (and country) around, is if instead of voting for their dollars, voters instead focused on their daughters.

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Another rape republican, Rick Berg who is running for the US Senate from North Dakota, has been advancing legislation seeking life sentences for raped women who seek abortion.  This brings up the frightening prospect that rapists can mostly walk free (only 2% of rapists are convicted).  While women who seek remedies to this crime go to prison for life. [Adopted from this excellent and disturbing letter to the Huffington Post about the words of Richard Mourlock.]

Thanks to Abigail for editing and references.

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

6 responses to “Rape Republicans Lose”

  1. Sara Tansey says :

    it’s nice that you can name a couple of women who have made false accusations; i have an endless list of women and men in my life who have been raped–myself included. i think the overwhelming majority of rape accusations are real and to drag out a couple of women who have falsely accused is besides the fucking point. it is not incumbent upon the person making an accusation to fit your bill of what is “credible.” it is incumbent upon all of us to recognize that we live in a patriarchal society and that rape is rampant. that most accusations are real and we need to trust someone who is making them. because not being trusted is a violence on top of a violence. stop being a rape apologist by making it sound like more women make false accusations than we think.

  2. anissa says :

    There is something terribly wrong about societies where rape is still so common, yet remains taboo and outcry about rape is misguidedly kept for the rare cases of false accusation. In the end, rape is more widespread that we will ever know. Rape as an epidemic is much bigger than the few false accusations.
    In the end, rape is hell to heal from. In the end, all of society pays an enormous price for rape. There is no end in sight to all of that. No thanks to doofus comments like yours. If rape were not so taboo, more survivors might feel they could come forward and hope for prosecution against their attackers or have their communities support and trust in a most terrifying time. If we had a clear idea of the statistics of people who are raped, if people healing from rape could feel safe enough to be open about their attacks and their bravery in healing, then the friends, colleagues, cousins, and people like you, would see the devastating effects of rape on individuals, families and communities. More people who rape repeatedly would be stopped, even more might be put off from offending if they saw people they knew and respected in pain from the results of being sexually attacked. I see comments like yours supporting the continuation of the old patterns where survivors (and they are mostly women) do not feel safe enough to speak out. I suggest you imagine someone you loved very much had been raped. Likelihood is, that someone you love HAS been raped. Now, imagine them reading your comment. Yup. Feel free to post a re-write.

    • paxus says :

      Dearest Anissa:

      Thanks for your comment. The person who you are responding to at the end is a troll, someone who gets joy out of saying outrageous and stupid things to see what peoples reactions are. He responded to Sara’s comment and i deemed it unworthy to let stand and so unapproved it. If he responds to your comment (which is fairly unlikely having been blocked once already) i will send it to you if you like and you can determine whether you want to engage.

      i agree that public education around rape prevention and the prevalence of it are critical. And there are some people who come to the conversation with twisted motives, for whom there is no chance of compassion or recognition of this problem. They want a fight, they can go to Reddit if they like.

      Paxus in Prague
      10 Rape Republicans Lose 2012 – love this month name

  3. anissa says :

    thanks for the update pax. i am up for a fight, but for better reasons than reasoning with inflammatory trolls. x

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