Monday, August 20, 2012

My Akin Heart

As almost all of you know, during an interview on a St. Louis TV station, Rep. Todd Akin said that during a “legitimate rape” woman’s bodies somehow compensate for the attack and protect the woman from getting pregnant. The implication is that woman who do get pregnant and claim rape are lying about being legitimately raped.

Rep. Akin is grievously wrong on this, make no mistake about that. But he is not ignorant as so many TV pundits are claiming, nor did he “misspeak” as the Representative himself is claiming. He spoke the truth as he knew it; the “truth” that is being taught our children in many abstinence only sex ed programs.

I have heard on numerous occasions from women who have been educated in abstinence only programs that they were taught exactly what Rep. Akin affirmed: woman cannot get pregnant if raped.

It isn’t that Rep. Akin is ignorant, it is that the education he received in this regard is patently false. This is greater than one Tea Party backed politician spewing ignorance, this is about a well funded, politically backed, and quite popular educational program in our schools (and our home schooling movements) promoting blatant falsehoods.

If all we do is focus on Rep. Akin and ignore the greater tragedy that is sex education in this country, we are doing our children and ourselves a grave disservice.

To find our how insidious this kind of thinking is, please read Ezra Klein's excellent article in the Washington Post:


Erick Reynolds said...

I agree that Rep. Todd Akin is not one loose cannon on the conservative deck, but a window into the inner thoughts of people who want to justify their beliefs so badly they are willing to listen to made-up "science" theories and pseudo-"experts" that support their existing view of reality. It is their belief reality and that is a very difficult defense to puncture, especially with facts and logic.

I find it fascinating to see persons anthropomorphize something and project a concern for its pain or unhappiness. I think if you are going to makeup feelings for something that you can never know actually has feelings; why not assume it is always happy or feels wonderful?

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