Worthwhile Reads: The Republican Party and Women

I know you’re all tired of hearing about Todd Akin, and it’s a bit of an old story by now. I think though that what sometimes got lost was that Akin’s views were not, well, atypical for pro-lifers. While the Republican party sought to distance itself from Akin, this was in many ways simply an attempt to sacrifice a scapegoat rather than deal with its own problems – it’s like when a herd of gazelles leaves one of its own behind to the hyenas, thus allowing the rest of the herd to escape. The first article highlighted here points out that Akin’s statement about women’s sperm-killing rape detector is actually something that has been passed around in pro-life circles for decades. The second discusses the ties between Akin’s views and the views of the Republican party itself, pointing out that the two aren’t actually that different, like, at all. Finally, the third looks at a rather appalling article in the National Review, that publication so cherished by those on the Right, an article that appears to argue that sons are more important than daughters.

Rep. Todd Akin’s Views Typical in Anti-Abortion Religious Right, on The Slacktivist

Like many people who receive and then excitedly pass on such myths, Akin added his own little flourishes. He prefaced his restatement of this urban legend by saying, “from what I understand from doctors” — the kind of vaguely authoritative attribution often used to suggest that an incredible assertion should be treated credibly.

But the rest of what Akin said was standard boilerplate for this particular urban legend. It’s something he repeated because he had heard it repeated, over and over, in his evangelical, GOP and anti-abortion circles.

Anyone who’s spent any time in those circles recognizes this. Some people are tactically claiming now that they’d never heard such a thing before — that this was some novel, innovative new claim being made by Todd Akin.


Romney, the GOP Platform, and Why This Isn’t about Todd Akin, on Feministing

This is not about Todd Akin. This is about a presidential candidate who touted the endorsement of the same doctor who told Akin the bunk science he parroted this weekend. It’s about a VP pick who worked closely with Akin and so many other senators on bills that would put women’s health in direct danger. But mostly, it’s about an entire political party that is hell bet on taking away all of your reproductive rights.

Yes, the Republican Party Does Hate Women, on Religion Dispatches

Yes, you are reading those words correctly:  The National Review, one of the chief propaganda publications for the Republican party, is citing Romney having sons over daughters vis-à-vis Obama as proof of him being “boss.”

This is what the Republican Party has sunk down to, touting the virtues of sons over daughters.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • mary

    I would be careful associating Akin’s stupid, ridiculous, misogynist comments with pro-lifers and republicans. There are a lot of republicans who identify with the party door fiscal reasons and who aren’t that socially conservative. There all also people, like myself and pretty much all my pro-life friends, who, while they believe abortion for convenience’ sake is murder and therefore wrong, would never in a million years countenance Akin’s idiocy, or deny an abortion to a woman whose health depended on it, or attempt to limit access to contraception. Ummmm….contraception is one of the best ways to prevent a host of ills, from unwanted pregnancies to worn-out married women. I love my kids, but I would never want to be without birth control. :) while I don’t think it’s fair that the child of a rape should pay for the sperm donor’s evil, I can also see a woman being distraught at the thought of carrying her rapists child. Abortion in the case of rape is a sensitive, personal issue that I think the government should stay out of- a woman should be able to decide what she wants to handle.

  • Minnie

    What republicans, conservatives, christians, catholics, and pro-forced-birthers think of women and little girls. They are always pro-rape.
    ~~ The GOP has refused to renew the Violence Against Women Act.
    ~~ Every GOP Senator voted AGAINST The Equal Pay for Women Act.
    ~~ Every GOP Senator voted AGAINST Al Franken’s Anti-Rape Amendment.
    ~~ Every GOP member voted FOR Anti-Safe Abortion Legislation.
    ~~ Every GOP member voted FOR the Blunt/Rubio Anti-Women’s Equal Health Coverage Amendment. While the Blunt/Rubio Amendment does not allow employers to deny male employees health coverage for a Vasectomy, the Blunt/Rubio Amendment allows an employer to deny female employees & female dependents: contraception, tubal ligations, and hysterectomies.
    ~~ GOP wants to Redefine Rape to “forceable” rape.
    ~~ GOP wrote legislation to probe metal prongs up a woman’s vagina.
    ~~ GOP changed the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser”.
    ~~ GOP wrote legislation that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (South Dakota GOP)
    ~~ GOP wrote legislation to cut nearly a billion dollars of aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.
    ~~ GOP wrote legislation that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.
    ~~ GOP wrote a law cutting ALL funding for low-income kids saying “Women should really be home with the kids, not out working (Maryland).
    ~~ GOP Cut Funding for Head Start, by $1 Billion.
    ~~ GOP wrote a Bill to CUT funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens. (Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women)
    ~~ GOP Candidates for President vow and pledge to Cut Funding for Planned Parenthood.
    ~~ GOP voted for an Amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers.
    ~~ GOP wrote a Bill to eliminate all funds for Federal Family Planning Program.
    ~~ GOP wrote a Bill to Provide Contraception for wild horses but ENDS all Federal Funding for Family Planning, including contraception coverage. (Dan Burton (R-Indiana).
    ~~ GOP has also written “Personhood” laws that force women and girls to bear their rapist’s progeny.
    ~~ GOP has passed laws that allow doctors to lie to a woman about the health of the fetus if the doctor thinks she might have an abortion.
    ~~ GOP Jan Brewer (R- AZ) recently signed one of the most controversial and restrictive abortion bans in the country, which experts say effectively bans abortions after 18 weeks and declares that a woman could be pregnant 2 weeks before she even had sex.

    I did not make this list, I got it from a woman’s post named Sandy off of raw story.

    • Liberated Liberal

      I love this list. I’ve been trying to find it on the site – can you link to it?

  • smrnda

    My advice to ‘moderate Republicans’ or fiscal conservatives who want to distance themselves from people like Akin – leave the party, it’s not *your* party any more, and the warm bodies you supply give people like Akin a lot of power.

    • Liberated Liberal


      You always write what I want to say – but a lot more intelligently and coherently :D.

  • Minnie

    Ode To Pro-Rape Republicans
    Thirty Senate Republicans voted to keep rape victims who work for defense contractors from having their day in court. How? By voting against an Al Franken-proposed amendment to the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill that would withhold defense contracts from companies (like Dick Cheney’s KBR) “if they restrict their employees from taking workplace sexual assault, battery and discrimination cases to court.”

    Franken was inspired to sponsor this amendment by the ordeal of Jamie Leigh Jones, who was gang-raped by her co-workers while working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad. A clause in Jones’ KBR employment contract made employer-friendly private arbitration her only recourse, precluding Jones from seeking justice in court.

    I hope all those pro-rape Republicans (listed below my limerick) are proud of themselves:

    Ode To Pro-Rape Republicans (Limerick)
    By Madeleine Begun Kane

    Though Republicans yearn for support
    From females, they’re bound to fall short:
    Their position on rape
    Is in criminal shape
    Cuz they treat it like less than a tort.

    Here’s the list of the thirty pro-rape Republican Senators:
    Lamar Alexander (R-TN) John Barrasso (R-WY) Christopher Bond (R-MO) Sam Brownback (R-KS) Jim Bunning (R-KY) Richard Burr (R-NC) Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) Tom Coburn (R-OK) Thad Cochran (R-MS) Bob Corker (R-TN) John Cornyn (R-TX) Mike Crapo (R-ID) Jim DeMint (R-SC) John Ensign (R-NV) Michael Enzi (R-WY) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Judd Gregg (R-NH) James Inhofe (R-OK) Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Mike Johanns (R-NE) Jon Kyl (R-AZ) John McCain (R-AZ) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) James Risch (R-ID) Pat Roberts (R-KS) Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Richard Shelby (R-AL) John Thune (R-SD) David Vitter (R-LA) Roger Wicker (R-MS)


  • AWdeV

    The first point reminded me of something. As you may not know, the Dutch have just had an election and shortly after Akin’s stupid comment an interview on TV with the top candidate for the most hardline confessional part was broadcast. Because of the recent comment, the question what this candidate thought about that was asked.

    Basically, he agreed with it. Eep. He IIRC said he was glad women didn’t get pregnant more often from rape but that he also believed there was a mechanism in place to protect against pregnancy-by-rape.

    Not very relevant, but just what the article reminded me of. The party he’s part of is still tiny but somehow actually had a meager increase of importance rather than a decrease. One of the other confessional parties remained stagnant and the third, biggest and last had shrunk severely though.

  • Heather2

    Sadly, I wasn’t even remotely shocked that people could believe something like this. The most LIBERAL teacher at my school (ostracized by other teachers for being so crazy far to the left) taught us that because of the emotional and physical trauma of rape, women who are raped almost never get pregnant. Now, that idea seems mind-numbingly stupid. Back then, when I was eating up all of the other crazy, it seemed to make perfect sense.