Home / Views & Opinion / Rape Nuts: The GOP's tacit approval of rape bodes no good for women
Rape Nuts:  The GOP's tacit approval of rape bodes no good for women

Rape Nuts: The GOP's tacit approval of rape bodes no good for women

I don't know what's going on with the Republican Party in their newfound dislike discrimination hatred antagonism towards victims of rape.   I am trying to understand why in the world Republican men have decided that their ticket into office is to demonize women who are forcibly penetrated by a stranger's penis.  They're certainly not blaming the rapist.     Suddenly, the attacker is transformed by the likes of Akin and Mourdock (backed up by the likes of John McCain and plenty more like them) into an emissary of God bestowing a "blessing" upon the woman who was given no choice.  Even so-called prolife groups are applauding these reprobates for dehumanizing women.

This party has even felt the need to redefine what rape means.    Since when is rape NEVER "forcible?"

And so far, the mouthpiece of the Republican party, FoxNews, has spent 2 minutes covering the GOP's latest –what are we calling it now?—misstep when it comes to rape.

WHY?

This is not a new meme.   Worldwide, rape has always been a woman's fault.  "If she were not dressed provocatively, this would never have happened," opines the male judge, the husband, the man on the street.  In Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, it is the responsibility of the woman to cover up so that men are not "tempted" by them.  Provocativeness is in the eye of the beholder. I've seen men who get a hard on from looking at a woman's face, or even thinking about a woman.   The problem is, rape isn't about sex.  It's about power.  It's about wanting to be powerful, to take what one wants, to dehumanize.   Despite Mourdock's protests that he does not condone rape, the very act of saying that any consequence of rape is a blessing should give the women of this country pause.  Elevating the attacker to the level of an emissary of God is unconscionable, reprehensible, and in our day and age, such thought should have been a thing of the past.

But then, men have always gotten off easy.  Even the Bible has no punishment for rape for men.  In Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NLT) the worst a man has to suffer is to lose 50 pieces of silver for a woman he has treated as less than a human being, who now gets to be treated like a piece of property:

    If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father.  Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her.

The punishment for women?  Arranged marriage to her rapist, and/or death if she's engaged.  (Oh yeah. Guys, if you rape a woman in the Bible, just make sure she isn't married first and then you get to live and you don't get punished at all, k?)

(Deuteronomy 22:23-24 NAB)

    If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.

She did not cry out for help.  She must have enjoyed it then.  These sound less like the voices of antiquity and more like the voices of Todd Akin, Paul Ryan and Mourdock, who seem to believe in the idea of "legitimate rape."    She didn't cry out.  She was dressed provocatively. She deserved it.  

These are the voices of the Republican Party that are never directly said.  These are the voices that lie behind the backtracking, behind the "distancing," behind the so-called "apologies" of men like these.

She didn't cry out.  She was dressed provocatively. She deserved it.  

These are the voices that should be warning all women (especially women married to these types of men) that are abusive.  If these voices were coming from the boyfriends of our female friends, we would all be counselling our friends to leave the relationship.

Woman must submit to men even when they don't want sex.   This one single idea rampant in many fundamentalist churches is to my mind, directly responsible for the attitudes of the Akins, Ryans and Mourdocks of this world.  Because the Bible (particularly in the Old Testament), is so anti-woman (the Bible gives pain in childbirth to the woman (even though Adam ate the forbidden fruit too–the worst he has to do is sweat when he plants veggies).  The Bible condones rape as the spoils of victory for the Israelites ( Judges 21:10-24, Numbers 31:7-18, Deut. 20:10-14).  The Bible condones the polygamy of King David, and when he lies with Bathsheeba and has her husband killed, his wives get to pay by being raped in broad daylight by his neighbor (2 Samuel 12:11-14 NAB) when "God" gives David's wives away to someone they have no choice but to live with.  The New Testament isn't much better. The only time a woman gets treated equally is in the Gospels, by Christ.  Do churches pay any attention to that example?  No. Instead, they listen to Paul, who says a woman can't speak in church, and who must "submit" in all things to her husband. I cannot begin to tell you how problematic that verse is and must be for every fundamentalist church in this country.  All around the Internet I find people asking "What does submit mean?"

Too often it means that women are beaten, raped, and blamed just as God decreed they be in the Old Testament.  The Bible doesn't say a word about the "blessings" born to these women in an age before birth control.

We are entering a phase in which women in this country have the power to send all women back 50 to 100 years depending upon the way they vote.  Women, only you know what happens in your personal life. Do you want to toy with the idea of rape laws in this country being relaxed because of the example of attitudes of the men in the Republican party?   Do you want to toy with the idea of not being able to get birth control because the men of the Republican party feel you should be a baby machine?    In other words, do you want to give up control of yourself to these types of men, just because they're men, just because they're the current leaders?

And where is the national GOP on this issue?

Silent.

Yeah, ok they pulled funding from Akin, but that's all the punishment he got.  Losing would not be enough punishment for this monster who advocated using force at abortion clinic "protests."   He should have been ostracized immediately for his comments.  So should have Mourdock.  Just a few years ago both of these men would have been, and the example would have been set.  When the worst Akin got was to have his funding pulled, other Republican senators took that as a signal that it was okay, even permissible to air their views concerning rape.  Suddenly rape is being seen as the ideal way to preserve life.     This sort of thinking is not helping societal attitudes where already the majority of men and boys think it's okay to rape a woman if they spend a lot of money on her:

Societal Attitudes Supporting Rape

- A survey of 6,159 college students enrolled at 32 institutions in the U.S. found the following: (ref 4)

· 54% of the women surveyed had been the victims of some form of sexual abuse; more than one in four college-aged women had been the victim of rape or attempted rape;

· 57% of the assaults occurred on dates;

· 73% of the assailants and 55% of the victims had used alcohol or other drugs prior to the assault;

· 25% of the men surveyed admitted some degree of sexually aggressive behavior;

· 42% of the victims told no one.

- In a survey of high school students, 56% of the girls and 76% of the boys believed forced sex was acceptable under some circumstances. (ref 5)

- A survey of 11-to-14 year-olds found:(ref 5)

· 51% of the boys and 41% of the girls said forced sex was acceptable if the boy, "spent a lot of money" on the girl;

· 31% of the boys and 32% of the girls said it was acceptable for a man to rape a woman with past sexual experience;

· 87% of boys and 79% of girls said sexual assault was acceptable if the man and the woman were married;

· 65% of the boys and 47% of the girls said it was acceptable for a boy to rape a girl if they had been dating for more than six months.

- In a survey of male college students:

· 35% anonymously admitted that, under certain circumstances, they would commit rape if they believed they could get away with it (ref 6,7).

· One in 12 admitted to committing acts that met the legal definitions of rape, and 84% of men who committed rape did not label it as rape.(ref 6,7)

- In another survey of college males: (ref 8)

· 43% of college-aged men admitted to using coercive behavior to have sex, including ignoring a woman's protest, using physical aggression, and forcing intercourse.

· 15% acknowledged they had committed acquaintance rape; 11% acknowledged using physical restraints to force a woman to have sex.

- Women with a history of rape or attempted rape during adolescence were almost twice as likely to experience a sexual assault during college, and were three times as likely to be victimized by a husband. (ref 9)

- Sexual assault is reported by 33% to 46% of women who are being physically assaulted by their husbands.(ref 10)

 

Ladies, is this REALLY the party that represents you?    If a Republican gets in, and you get raped, you will have no choice but to have the child--a child that in many states, the rapist retains parental rights to.

For those conservative ladies who see nothing wrong with this scenario, think about what will happen to you if a fellow church member ever rapes you.

Did you call for help loudly? (If you were held down, threatened, you say you didn't?)

Were you dressed provocatively?

The judgment rests on the men who were not there. If, in their eyes, you were dressed provocatively, if, in their eyes, they found it just a little odd you didn't cry for help–

Then in the eyes of these politicians, these so-called Christian men, it wasn't forcible rape and you either liked it, or you deserved it.

And clearly, God doesn't mind.

(Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

Lo, a day shall come for the Lord when the spoils shall be divided in your midst.  And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: the city shall be taken, houses plundered, women ravished; half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be removed from the city.   (Zechariah 14:1-2 NAB)

 

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • queequeg

    I didn't know about the rapist retaining parental rights in some states. I am unable to comprehend that. I am simply not equipped to comprehend that. I can't stop shaking my head……

    • http://www.goddiscussion.com Dakota O'Leary

      That was shocking to me too. 31 states allow the rapist to retain visitation and parental rights. This article has all the details (Christian Post)

    • http://www.facebook.com/diane.yoder.16 Diane Yoder

      31 states allow the rapist to retain parental and visitation rights to a child who is the product of that rape. The victim risks losing custody of the child should the judge side with the rapist/father. (http://global.christianpost.com/news/rapists-can-claim-custody-visitation-rights-for-victims-babies-80656/).

      • http://www.facebook.com/diane.yoder.16 Diane Yoder

        not to mention risking being raped again by the attacker.

      • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

        You know, I'd one up your comment, but the thing is, that seems like support of such asinine laws, but to one down it seems bad too.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      Probably because the sicko appears sane while the victim is being denied help by the Religious Reich.

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    You know, I have no clue why they even feel the need to talk about rape nor can I comprehend how they can even talk about it as a good thing when it is the most horrendous thing on earth. As I mentioned in the chat room of the show, IMHO the 14 y.o. who killed her baby was a victim of incest and lost her mind over it. She needed help, not the treatment she's been getting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.gerard.900 Anthony Gerard

    Republicans are obsessed with Rape. How can any Woman vote for these people
    ?

    Rep. Steve King, R-IA: I Never Heard of Anyone Getting Pregnant From
    Statutory Rape or Incest

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/rep-steve-king-r-moron-i-never-heard

    Tea Party Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh One-Ups Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’

    The Tea Partier, fighting a challenge from Democrat Tammy Duckworth for his
    Illinois congressional seat, said Thursday that abortion could never save a
    pregnant woman’s life.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/10/19/tea-party-illinois-rep-joe-walsh-one-ups-akin-s-legitimate-rape.html

    Paul Ryan: Rape Is Just Another 'Method Of Conception'

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cat5SyMBSpk

    New Todd Akin Videos Reveal His Dystopian Nightmare Vision of America

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2012/10/02/todd_akin_videos_cspan_clips_reveal_the_missouri_candiate_s_paranoia_about_abortion_and_stem_cell_research_.html

    Republican Pennsylvania Bill Includes Provision Requiring Women To Prove
    They Were Raped

    A GOP bill in the Pennsylvania House proposing the reduction of welfare
    benefits for low-income women contains a provision requiring a woman who became
    pregnant from rape to prove that she reported her assault.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/pennsylvania-welfare-benefits-rape_n_2012417.html#comments

    Richard Mourdock On Abortion: Pregnancy From Rape Is 'Something God
    Intended'

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/23/richard-mourdock-abortion_n_2007482.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001177288276 Rusty Korhonen

    Parts of this need to be distributed widely, but I can neither like nor share it.

    • http://www.goddiscussion.com Dakota O'Leary

      It's your prerogative. Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1546749407 Maureen Hart

    Excellent article…unbelievable that any woman would vote Republican and surrender her dignity to the arrogance and ignorance of misogynist politicians

  • StopTheCaricatures

    To say that Republicans are obsessed with rape is comparable to saying that Democrats are obsessed with child sacrifice. It does nothing to promote any kind of dialog. I dare you to search on youtube for Whoopie Goldberg discussing Roman Polanski, where she says that what he did was not "rape-rape."
    Consider this: a young man and a young woman meet at a party. They drink. They flirt. They spend the night together. In the morning she does not remember the events of the night before very clearly, and decides that she was raped. That's a very different situation than what most of us think of when we hear the word rape.

    • http://www.facebook.com/diane.yoder.16 Diane Yoder

      You are ignorant. Worse, you are willfully ignorant and the end result of what propaganda does.

    • queequeg

      Really? Child sacrifice. Really?

      Do you know how much alcohol you need to consume before you reach the "I don't remember last night" point. That's more than a few social drinks. How about not having sex with a girl who is so drunk she won't remember it tomorrow(?) Why not compromise. You have two hands, if you're that desperate.

    • Spuddie

      Hey, liberals didn't bring the subject up. If not for a bunch of right-wing extremists bringing it up in public, we would not be having this conversation. (Its odd that you are defending Roman Polanski here as well)

      All it shows is that the anti-abortion crowd is beyond any kind of reasonable accommodation. Nobody should bother with finding middle ground with them because obviously they have taken such ideas to their most extreme conclusion.

      "Slut shaming" is about the most loathsome form of defense for the anti-abortion crowd. Its not about abortion its about punishing women for "their lifestyle". If they are not married, they are to be punished for carrying out their lives. A child is not just "a precious life" but a bizarre form of divine retribution.

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