‘Shut that Whole Thing Down:’ This Month’s Five Most Controversial Rape Comments

by Diana Denza

Remember when Todd Akin, the Republican representative currently vying for a seat on the Missouri Senate, made his now-infamous rape gaffe earlier this month? Well, it looks like angry white men across the country just can’t stop committing political suicide by drowning in Akin’s word vomit.

From “legitimate rape” to “forcible rape” and everything in between, here are five of the worst rape-related comments lawmakers made this month. Oh, P.S. Not one of them has a uterus.    

1. Missouri Rep. Todd Akin: “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. Let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work, or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”

Methinks Mr. Akin should repeat that in front of the 32,101 women who become impregnated by their rapists every single year. While we’re at it, let me point out his opposition to the National School Lunch program. In Akin’s world, a woman should be forced to bear her rapist’s baby, but when it comes to actually feeding the child, she’s on her own. Not that her rape was legitimate, anyway.

2. Iowa Rep. Steve King on pregnancies resulting from statutory rape or incest: “Well, I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way, and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

I’m guessing he’s never actually read the Bible. Or heard of this funny little thing called the Internet. It happens to be filled with a wealth of information, including 10 years of statistics from Iowa’s Rape Victim Advocacy Program. Maybe you should get on that, Steve?

3. Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Smith responding to a reporter’s question on whether he was trying to compare his daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy to rape: “No, no, no. Put yourself in a father’s position, yes, I mean it is similar…A life is a life and it needs protecting. Who’s going to protect it? We have to. I believe life begins at conception. I’m not going to argue about the method of that conception. It’s life. And I’m pro-life. It’s that simple.”

Just be thankful you’re not Tom’s daughter. 

4. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan (and Romney’s pick for VP) calls rape: “method of conception”

And when a 45-year-old man buys a 12-year-old girl in India, it’s just another form of marriage.

5. Rep. Paul Ryan on the term “forcible rape:” “This is language that was stock language used for lots of different bills, bills I didn’t author, and that language was removed to be very clear and I agree with that. Removing that language so we are very clear. Rape is rape, period, end of story.”

As opposed to a rape where the victim’s skirt was too short, so she was asking for it anyway? I’m really happy that we can use “stock language” to address traumatic violations of women’s bodies. Maybe we could even throw in stock photos of women screaming, paid for by survivors of illegitimate rape (those little harlots). 

Images: Via Toxichominid, Daily Kos, Raw Story, and The New York Times

You may also like

Get the print magazine.

The best of BUST in your inbox!

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

About Us

Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

©2023 Street Media LLC.  All Right Reserved.