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Should Todd Akin get fired for his 'legitimate rape' comment?


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Yes, the Republicans have done it again, and their timing couldn’t be more perfect after the dust under the Mitt the Twit debacle finally started to settle. The next Republican to take the role as political jester is Missouri congressman Todd Akin.

Until a couple of days ago, no one apart from political experts and dedicated supporters of the Republican Party knew who Akin was, that was until he was asked about his stance on abortion in relation to rape. His response:

“... it seems to me first of all from what I understand from doctors, that is really rare [pregnancy from abortion]. If it’s a legitimate rape the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

First of all, what doctors has he been seeing? What “legitimate” doctor told this clearly impressionable man that the female body has the power to pick and choose the sperm that its eggs fertilise with? For a man who clearly has little sympathy for women, he has a lot of fictitious faith in their abilities as a sex.

Secondly, what the hell is a “legitimate rape”? It seems to me like Akin and MP George Galloway may have had the same sex education teacher.

The question now on everyone’s lips (especially the Republican Party who obviously do not want to be associated with Akin) is: should Akin withdraw his candidacy for Missouri's Senate seat. My answer: why is this even a question?

After this comment, Akin comes across as the sort of person who believes that Aids and HIV are the same thing and both can be contracted by touching the hand of someone who is affected by the disease. In other words his views on the world are too backwards, misinformed and discriminatory to be any sort of leader in this contemporary world.

But perhaps I am letting my own distaste for the father of two girls cloud my judgement, perhaps he isn’t so stupid after all: he did release a swift apology after seeing the backlash that his idiotic comments caused.

In this 30 second video Akin apologised by stating the obvious. He said “rape is an evil act” and then using a double negative he said he used the “wrong words in the wrong way”, because of course there is a right way of using the wrong word. Still Akin failed to clarify what he meant by “legitimate rape”.

Seeing as he has now coined this stupid term, I pre-empt that many foolish individuals will surely quote it in their own defence of sexual assault. He might as well let the world know its definition so that rape victims who weren’t “legitimately” raped can finally move on with their lives and forget the whole ordeal because as horrific as it was, at least it wasn’t “legitimate”.

Seriously what gives him the right to categorize rape? The last I checked, rape is sexual assault involving sexual intercourse or contact from one or more parties against a person without their consent. There is no room for manoeuvring, there is no need to make “legitimate” its prefix; rape is absolute. To quote President Barack Obama in response of Akin’s “legitimate rape” comment, “rape is rape.”

Akin is a politician; he has been for quite some time. Like a lot of republicans, he is very much anti-abortion. He was planning on running for a seat in the state Senate, he knows just how much scrutiny candidates who are running for any kind of political office face; he and his campaign of advisors should have anticipated the question and responded in a formulaic rebottle that although wouldn’t have won him much of the pro-choice undecided voters, wouldn’t have turned him into the laughing stock of not only his country but the world.

If he is incapable of doing the simple task of answering a pretty clichéd question without offending a huge population of the world, how then is this man to be trusted with the responsibility of his constituents?

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