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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Rape: the GOP's favorite four-letter word

Posted By on Thu, Aug 30, 2012 at 3:18 PM

The rhetoric about rape coming from the GOP is terrifying, and Ann Romney's plea to women this week only makes things worse.

Ann Romney
  • Ann Romney

Last week, Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan referred to rape as a “method of conception” in an interview with a Roanoke, Va., television station. Days earlier, Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., made a ridiculous statement about reproductive abilities essentially shutting down during rape.

From Akin’s notorious remarks about “legitimate” rapes, to Senate candidate Tom Smith likening it to having a baby out of wedlock, to this more subtle trivialization from the vice presidential candidate, it appears all attempts are being made to categorize rape somewhere between an unfortunate incident and a figment of womens’ imaginations.

It’s not, of course. Rape is a brutal, unconscionable act that traumatizes the body, destroys the psyche and forever alters the life of its victim. It must be spoken of in the same manner as mutilation, murder and child molestation. It has the same effects.

This is all, no doubt, so that their “no abortions under any circumstances” platform can seem less extreme. If you have to downplay something as horrific as rape in order to make your law seem logical, it probably isn’t. If you utter "socialism" or the president's last name with more distaste and condemnation than one of the worst violations a human can experience, you have no business running for political office.

I wasn’t going to write another “GOP War on Women” blog. Republican candidates seem to be gifting such articles to political journalists on a daily basis.

But this week, I watched Ann Romney give a speech at the Republican National Convention aimed squarely at women that disturbed me to the core. Cameras panned between her and the crowd as she told the females in the audience and across America, “We’re the mothers. We're the wives. We're the grandmothers. We're the big sisters. We're the little sisters, and we are the daughters.”

How can any mother, grandmother, daughter or big sister support a party that's against them? How can we rally behind politicians who shrug off a dangerous and painful experience that could happen to anyone?

Has partisan politics secured such a strong hold on them that they are now Republican first and women second?

Conservative ladies, the man asking you to vote him a heartbeat away from leader of the free world just referred to rape as if it were an alternative to in-vitro fertilization or something. You have nothing to say about this?

How will your daughters, granddaughters and little sisters learn to stand up for themselves if you will not lead by example? If they are raped, will they consider it important enough to their family to even report it? Or if they become pregnant, will you look them in their tear-stained eyes and tell them not to worry, that this is just another method of conception?

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