Biology 101 Anyone?

Biology 101 Anyone? August 20, 2012

by Calulu

When I first read the headline this weekend I was incredulous. I sat there dumb founded just staring at the screen, not believing what I was reading, this newest cannon volley that is the  war on women and women’s reproductive rights. Sadly it wasn’t a joke.

This is what I saw – Republican Senate Nominee: Victims of ‘Legitimate Rape’ Don’t Get Pregnant

Surely even the most scantily educated people in this country wouldn’t fall for such an obvious falsehood. Or at least anyone that’s taken basic biology at the high school level would know this was simply not true. Our bodies are no different than other mammals in that respect. Conception happens if the conditions are right irregardless of  if the sex is consensual or forced.

Apparently someone failed to explain at some point exactly how the female reproductive system actually functions to Rep. Todd Akin. He thinks we women have a choice in who’s sperm we accept or not to create life. I know vaginas are mysterious and magical to the men who know nothing about them but someone needs to tell Mr. Akin that his thoughts are akin to believing in the Tooth Fairy and fairy dust, wishful thinking.

As these last few years have gone on many politicians like Todd Akin have attempted to strip away the rights of women to decide if and when they become mothers, which, if you think about it, is one of the major themes here at No Longer Quivering. If those trying to send us back to the dark ages have their way then every women of child bearing age will be Quiverfull, no matter if they want to be or not.  Don’t believe me? Look at some of the proposed legislation that wants to make it a crime if you miscarry and it is shown you didn’t do something right, they want to make that a type of murder.

Now we’re having more of that language that reduces women to slut or mothers. The unspoken obvious content of his words are to shout out that some women had a coming, were not ‘truly’ raped. I thought we’d finally gotten rid of that thinking once it became frowned upon to paint rape survivors as sluts or loose based upon what they were wearing and the circumstances of the sexual assault.

As a survivor of rape that occurred when I was in high school I have to say that nothing infuriates me more than some politician wanting to decide who was truly raped. I had an acquaintance pull a knife on me as I got off the school bus before he raped me in my own living room. I cried during the rape, begging the man to stop, to have mercy. But that only earned me a severe beating. What followed with the police, the hospital and the court systems I would not wish on my worse enemy. Thankfully I did not conceive, but it could have easily been the other way too. It took years and therapy before I got a good grip on what was done to me. I’m guessing that Rep. Todd Akins has no idea, not even the slightest idea, of what it’s like to be treated like less than human, to be forced into something so private against your will.

Rape is a crime that is not even about sex as it is some much about control. To utterly control and terrorize another human being. Control, not too different than the  fundamentalist patriarchal type of control.

Let’s reduce the rape survivor (not a victim!) to something less than human, which seems to be the aim of some of the law makers out there. Turn everyone into a walking uterus with no recourse or rights and treat them as lessor beings than those wonderful patriarchal men.

Don’t mistake my words. I am not advocating for or against abortion. That is a decision every woman must make for herself. But I am not willing to sit back and allow a very ignorant man to spread falsehoods about sexual assault and the needs of the rape survivor.

How far will they go to strip away all rights if you happen to have been born female? Frightens me.

Even more frightening to me is that Rep. Todd Akin serves on the Science, Space and Technology Committees on Capital Hill.  The only good news out of all of this is that today he dropped out of the race to be a Senator for Missouri. May the people of the great state of Missouri vote this ignoramus out of office the next time his seat comes up for reelection. Do we really want someone with such a limited grasp of biology to serve on a Congressional Committee dealing with Science? He’ll decide the world is flat or made out of marshmallows.

Others have much more to stay on this topic:

Response to Todd Akin by Incongruous Circumspection

Missouri Republican Todd Akin on Rape and Abortion by Bruce Gerencser

Comments open below

Read everything by Calulu!

Calulu lives near Washington DC , was raised Catholic in South Louisiana before falling in with a bunch of fallen Catholics whom had formed their own part Fundamentalist, part Evangelical church. After fifteen uncomfortable years drinking that Koolaid she left nearly 6 years ago. Her blog is Calulu – Roadkill on the Internet Superhighway

The Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce



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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Susie que

    Based on your comments about ONE Congressman who said something really dumb, but also happens to be Republican, it sounds like you are a not a Republican, which is fine. I just found this website thinking it might be interesting since I would be someone who would relate to the topic of spiritual abuse, but if it’s going to be a Republican, political witch hunt, no thanks. Our country needs to get rid of the current occupant in the White House, end of discussion. One ignorant Republican man doesn’t mean that all Republicans think like this or anywhere near it. I am not a pro-life activist, but Obama voted against a law that would save an infant from a botched abortion, disallowing a nurse or doctor to be able to legally save the infants life and therefore have to let it die a painful death, not to mention he is in support of late-term abortions period, which is sick beyond measure. Maybe your focus should be on Obama and Democrats in Congress and how they are destroying the very foundations of this country, a country where we are still free to leave religiously abusive cults!!? I’m hoping I misread your opinions, but has your life IMPROVED since Obama got elected??

  • As with so many things, this appears to be a case of the patriarchs getting a hold on a crumb of truth and trying to sell it as an entire loaf. In this case, I suspect that someone in the family of one of these anti-choicers was getting treated for infertility, and they were told to avoid emotional stress in the part of their hormonal cycles just prior to ovulation, as that can cause ovulation to be delayed in some women, making timing intercourse for successful conception more difficult. The anti-choicer jumped on that and said, “Ah-ha! If emotional stress causes you to not ovulate, then obviously if you ovulated and got pregnant, it wasn’t stressful for you, ergo not a rape!”, having missed the ‘can cause’ (not ‘will cause’) and ‘some women’ (not ‘all women’) parts. And then there followed a game of Telephone that caused that now blown-out-of-proportion crumb to morph into something unrecognizable involving Magic Rape Spermicide.

  • Annie

    Okay, I’ll bite. Yes, actually, my life has improved since Obama got elected. My husband and I have done remarkably well for ourselves under his policies. Namely, we’ve been able to buy a house, which allowed us to be active, voting, tax-paying, economy-stimulating members of our community, which is something very few graduate students can say. With the money from the first time homebuyers tax credit, we were able to purchase a (American made) car. We’ve had excellent health care through our state and federally-funded university employer. I’ve been able to fulfill prerequisite requirements for my next graduate degree at my local community college and have seen countless lower income and second chance students do the same. I’ve been able to get to and from work with our county bus system, which just got a new headquarters and support from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, allowing hundreds of people who can’t afford a car transit in a relatively rural county. I am able to pay back my student loans from my undergraduate degree at my own pace because I have federal, low interest loans, and this enables me to continue my education. And, as a pregnant woman who conceived through IVF, I shudder to think that, thanks to bozos like Todd Akin, my few-celled embryos hanging out in a liquid nitrogen tank might be granted more rights than I have. That makes me sick beyond measure.

  • Saraquill

    Too bad it’s not legal to slap the man until he gets more intelligent or passes out, whichever comes first.

  • Susie que

    Oh-my-gosh—really? Omorka, are you smokin’ crack?? And, Annie, the Koolaid must be deelicious. Seriously, though, I’ll be praying for you both.
    Ya’ll need to watch a very important movie that is in theaters now. Maybe (meaning, because there is a God), there is hope for you. Here’s the link:

  • Annie

    Grape, actually, delish! 😛

  • Sunny

    Yes, my life is better since Obama became president. And I’ll vote for him again. The thought of Paul Ryan being a heartbeat away from the presidency terrifies me. He wants to reduce women to vessels, put into law that person-hood begins at conception. And he’s a social Darwinist. On top of that, he favors repealing the 17th Amendment. Koolaid? I think those who believe this regressive and repressive batch of Republicans are a good thing for our nation are the ones who’ve been drinking the spiked Koolaid.

  • Susie, it’s pretty plain to me that you can’t just shut off other people’s points of view by saying “end of discussion.” And stating that everyone who disagrees with you must be on drugs or crazy doesn’t actually make any logical points to support your position. No, it is simply not true that the only sane or reasonable position is to be against Obama. These kinds of strong-arm argument techniques are part and parcel of the kind of coercion that women who leave Quiverfull are fleeing. Consequently, they aren’t going to convince anyone here of anything.

  • Susie que

    Wow, KR, ‘strong-arm argument’ on my part?? Wow. Okay, I’ll say good riddance to you folk, and please, see the movie at least…unless you are afraid of anything outside of your sphere of thought and are too close-minded.

  • Silver

    Actually, I don’t think Akin has dropped out yet- but I hope he does soon. His comments sicken me, as does his underlying attitude which is behind them.

  • Kathy

    Interestingly, the only time the word “republican” even appears in Calulus post is in the headline of the quoted article. So, wow, way to go on the reading comprehension front, Susie! If “republican bashing” is what you got out of this post, you must be seeing things.
    Calulu, I applaud your strength in overcoming what was done to you and in standing up for your convictions. Thank you for this well-worded and honest post.

  • lucrezaborgia

    Wow…talk about reading comprehension fail.

  • lucrezaborgia

    That’s it, I’m pulling your Poe card…

  • Oh wow! I didn’t know he hadn’t dropped out as I saw a news article that said that the local party withdrew all their support of him and he was no longer a candidate.

    Susie Que – I tried to be sensitive to readers that might have differing views by purposely not mentioning political party names. The point of the article isn’t politics, it’s the right to determine if you will have children or not. Many patriarchal fundamentalist in politicians clothing seem determined to make every woman in the US that possesses a working uterus Quiverfull, so it is a NLQ issue.

    On a personal level I was triggered pretty hard, just like I am every time a politician tries to come up with a legal definition as to what constitutes ‘rape’. Rape is being forced to submit sexually to that you do not want.

    To answer your question, yes, my family has done much better under the Obama administration. My husband is a government worker, one of the editors on the oldest federal publication still being published monthly and during the last administration because of budget cuts and silly political wrangling his office did not have money for office supplies. Many times I went out to Staples to get pencils, post it notes and other things just so he could do his job. That hasn’t happened under the new administration. Add in that we were able to add our son back to our health insurance while he was in college. Under the old admin the insurance companies were not required to cover full time students in family coverage. The day they turned 18 or 21 the insurance company would drop them. Since the Heath Care plan the insurance company has had to add him back in, which turns out to be a good thing. He tore his ACL playing sports 18 months ago and now he’s retorn it so he’ll have to have knee reconstruction surgery this Thursday. This would not have been covered and we would have been 100% out of pocket, money that we had saved to finish his education and put his sister through college as well.

  • Nancy B

    Our income puts us in the 1% of household incomes. And we support Obama. Will he eventually raise our taxes? Maybe. But we can afford it. And this election is not about us. It is about families, jobs, health care, safety nets that help those whom Jesus spoke about. It is about making sure our country NEVER returns to what it was before the bills brought forth by FDR and LBJ.

    We can parse everything a politician stands for in either party and reduce it to how he or she votes on issues surrounding the fetus. But most fetuses are born and then need food, clothing, education, medical and dental care. They need their moms and dads to be able to work in jobs that aren’t shipped overseas. They need to live in places that are safe and free from dangerous things like mold and infestation and even more dangerous things like violence and gangs.

    It is sad that some women feel the need to terminate a pregnancy. But that decision has been made by women since the earliest recorded times. Our constitution recognized that a whole industry had grown up around the abortion procedure and unlicensed predators were performing them on poor women who were left injured and sometimes dead.

    If abortion is outlawed the women of means will have them safely, poor women will not. It is a fact of life we don’t have to like and no amount of legislation will change.

    But back to Todd Akin’s stupid, vulgar remarks: Pretend he’s a Democrat Susie, if that makes you feel better. Pretend he is a gay, minority, atheist Democrat. Can you understand what he said? If you or your mom or your daughter is raped, and like in over 32,000 REPORTED cases (out of many thousand rapes) in the US every damn year, a pregnancy results, Akin wants you to believe that you became impregnated because you chose to. That the animal who plucked you from your jogging route or your apartment parking lot or your bed, violated your body and soul because of his evil and you “allowed” him to fertilize your egg.

    Hopefully you will never know the terror of rape. But I can assure you that a woman undergoes months, years, decades of mental torment after being violently assaulted. She may live with injury from the beating, nerve or reproductive damage, herpes, AIDS or other STD’s. Akin’s ideas are meant to do NOTHING but pile onto that agony. And no matter his thoughts on other issues, he needs to be condemned outright for trying to make a rape victim culpable in her attack or its aftermath.

    I loved what our president had to say about Akin’s ridiculous and brutal remarks. And I don’t agree on EVERYTHING Obama says. But I do believe he supports women and children, the poor and disenfranchised, although he hasn’t done as much as I would like. As a person of means I have a huge number of choices and opportunities. What I want in a president is the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats. A strong economy and a safety net is the very best thing we can do for children. I think that’s what one would call right to life.

  • pedantic anon

    The content of this essay is good. This is not a comment on that. But “irregardless” is not a word. “Regardless” is the word you’re looking for. Sorry, that mistake annoys the crap out of me and can serve to make you sound less educated or intelligent, and given how vital taking down misogynistic and inaccurate crap like Akin’s is…


  • Susie, yes– “If you disagree with me, you’re either on drugs or crazy” and “no sane person could possibly believe what you believe” are strong-arm arguments. Should I say “end of discussion” here? No– I’ll refrain from using your techniques.

  • Null problemo. I forget that one as you can see..

  • Carmalee W


  • Carmalee W

    Oh, I want to do a WHOLE LOT MORE than just slap his idiotic self.

  • Bugg

    Susie Que, this blog post was about the rape of a 15 year old, and how the recent comments made by Akin have affected her this week, as a grown up.

    I am truly sorry that you cannot get past your political vitriol long enough to think about anything other than the temper tantrum you seem to enjoy throwing because someone you don’t like was elected to president 4 years ago. Part of being a grown up means you have to accept that things don’t always go your way.

    This site require empathy, intelligence and class to navigate successfully. Since your first (and I sincerely hope last) post has indicated so clearly that you possess none of these attributes, perhaps it is best if you don’t return.

    Undoubtedly, should you choose to stop trolling blogs and message boards looking for chances to get on your political soap box (regardless of the actual subject at hand), you will probably have some extra time on your hands. I might suggest seeing a psychiatrist for some meds, thinking of ways to reduce your caffeine intake, or a nap.