So a political shitstorm’s a-brewin over Missouri congressman and senate candidate Todd Akin who, on a talk show yesterday, parroted a blatantly false pseudo-science belief that turns out to be somewhat common in the pro-life crowd. He said, and here I quote for accuracy:
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
That is to say, he’s claiming that in cases where a woman is raped, the hormonal reaction in a woman’s body will prevent a pregnancy (which any OB/GYN can tell you… and several have stood up to point out after this incident… is utter bullshit). He also had an extra jab in there with the use of the term “legitimate rape”, suggesting that rapes that DO result in pregnancy were in fact consensual.
Oh boy. The result of this is that overnight the whole of the GOP has geared up to backpedal on his behalf or disavow him outright. Several of the bigger names have called for him to step aside in the race. He’s walked it back entirely himself, though only over Twitter, while Romney/Ryan have released lukewarm refuting of it. And although he had about a ten point lead over his Democratic opponent, pollsters are saying that historical precedence may cost him the race. And it’s quite a bit more severe than previous examples.
You know what? I love this. This is awesome. Because above all else, his statements about this achieve something beyond any possible political goals. It exposes to the whole of the world that there’s a significant number of people out there that actually believe crazy shit like this. One at a time, with the rise of the internet and its ability to spread information, little (or sometimes very large) bullshit beliefs like this are being dragged into the sunlight so that all the world can stare in disgust as it festers.
I honestly wonder how many elected officials, at the federal level, we could get to state that the moon landings were fake. I imagine the rate of it would be higher than the US national average (about 9% of Americans believe it was fake, I understand. In the UK, oddly, it’s 25%). Or that aliens built the pyramid. Or that the Illuminati controls the government… I mean, we DO, but most people are in a helpful denial about it.