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Rape is rape.  Rape is not sex. 

I just to make it very clear.  These days Republicans can’t seem to grasp this very simple concept. 

The GOP’s discourse on what is really rape is extremely problematic.  When Todd Akin uses the term “legitimate rape”, it is not that different from other adjectives and words used to describe the kind of rape, e.g., “forcible”.  As Amanda Marcotte mentions in her podcast, RealityCast, people are using these terms “because they’re working from a belief, which is consistent with anti-choice beliefs, that women’s bodies are not their own.” They believe women should be forced to carry their pregnancies to term because they are meant to have babies. Anti-choicers think women are just Easy-Bake Ovens or baby factories that make people.

Although many people shook their head in disbelief to Akin’s comments on rape, it is being used to consider other Republican anti-choice dogma “moderate”.  Instead, their stance on rape and women’s reproductive rights should be seen for what it really is – a misogynistic view on women’s sexuality and a means of dehumanizing us.  “To Republicans, women exist parenthetically,” says Jessica Valenti in The Nation, and they only acknowledge our existence “when they’re reasserting our status as second-class citizens.”

The take-home message is this, as said by President Obama:

The views expressed were offensive. Rape is rape…And the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people. And certainly doesn’t make sense to me…What I think these comments do underscore is why we shouldn’t have a bunch of politicians, a majority of whom are men, making health care decisions on behalf of women.

Amen.

Further Reading
Rape is not sex [Feministing]
Men Defining Rape: A History [Mother Jones]
Mitt Romney’s Views on Abortion Are Just as Extreme as He Says They’re Not [Jezebel]
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