Rape Is Rape No Matter What You Call It

Rape is rape no matter what you call it.

I say that even after the term “legitimate rape” became the Urban Dictionary’s word of the day earlier this week after U.S. Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate candidate from Missouri, erroneously claimed that in cases of “legitimate rape” women don’t get pregnant.

20120820_ap_senatecandidateapologizesbutwontabandonrace_0f067a88-f5ca-4623-be0d-c3ab39f51d69.jpg
Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., talks with reporters recently.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” the six-term congressman said outraging Republicans and Democrats alike.

Akin has since backed as far as he could away from the cockamamie notion, but not before the term became part of the lexicon.

The Urban Dictionary, a website that uses reader submissions to explain slang, says of legitimate rape - “Most women are running around hoping some Neanderthal will force his will on them. The very few who don’t really want it are the legitimate rape victims.”

There’s also this: “Rape between one man and one woman who are not married or even acquainted; the only rape sanctioned by the Republican Party.”

Yes, sarcasm is huge on the site.

Here’s another Republican-inspired term that Urban Dictionary may soon add - “forcible rape.” We’ve been hearing a lot of that lately, too.

The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” co-sponsored by Akin and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan among others, would block the use of tax-payer money for abortions except in instances of “an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest.”

Asked in a radio interview to explain just what "forcible rape" means, Ryan pushed back, saying “Rape is rape period, end of story.”

That’s what most rational folks think.

But given how politically-loaded these terms have become,  the question certainly bears asking, don't you think?

Continue Reading