By Allie Reynolds, ’15
Over the summer, I was pissed. I wasn’t mad about the fact that I couldn’t find a summer job, or even the fact that NBC didn’t air the Olympics live from London. My anger radiated from the bigoted, uneducated comments about rape and women’s bodies made by Missouri Senator, Todd Akin.
When I read Akin’s comments about “legitimate rape” I was absolutely disgusted. Akin was quoted as saying, “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.” Seriously? Rape as a form of conception is rare? The female body can “shut the whole thing down”? This man was elected senator? How could an elected official be so uninformed about such a controversial topic that affects so many women in our country and around the world? Politicians are supposed to represent and stand up for all sorts of people. Not just the white middle-aged men who will never experience pregnancy and childbirth.
Akin is telling the American public that the female reproductive system has “ways to shut the whole thing down”, meaning that if a woman is “legitimately” raped, the body would realize this and somehow terminate the chance of becoming pregnant. This, of course, is not true. Women can still become pregnant after being raped, as many women are well aware from first hand experiences. Senators like Akin are spreading false information about women’s bodies and controversial subjects like rape that misconstrues the need for services that focus on women’s health, such as, Planned Parenthood locations around the United States. Obviously, we have a great need for sex education programs and services if some politicians do not understand simple biology young students learn in middle school years.
In order for middle-aged men to emphasize completely with women about rape and pregnancy, I think these male politicians should have to takea class before starting their term as a politician. This class would educate the middle-aged men about women’s reproductive systems, sex, and rape. It would go through the process of conception, ovulation, and the menstrual cycle. Obviously, Akin needs this class, but what about the other state representatives and governors who are in office? Are they just smart enough to not say anything they don’t honestly know much about, or is it only a matter of time until they say something?
Even after these new senators and politicians take their class about sex education, they’re still going to need a handbook to remind them of what they learned. This handbook would resemble a glossary, filled with terms and basic knowledge of the female reproductive system, rape, and sex. You think this would now be common knowledge nowadays, but apparently certain politicians need a little refresher.
This 2012 election season, Akin was up for reelection. Based on the comments that he stated about rape during the summer, Akin didn’t win his senate seat again. A woman, Claire McCaskill, replaced him. Revenge at its best.
The results of the 2012 election showed that America is ready for change. The American population has had enough of misogynistic, uneducated men running the political system, and they’re ready for something new. So, now for the first time ever, twenty women have been elected to the Senate. These women will be more in tune to the power of the rape culture and obviously the female reproductive system. These women are the sparks that will light the fire. They’re here to change what the male politicians couldn’t.