Pundits are trying to figure out what Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin meant, what he could possibly have been thinking, when he discussed so-called “legitimate rape” in a television interview. The comment was so outrageous, the first thing that actually crossed my mind was that Todd Akin must be related to Kevin D. Akin, thinking back to when Kevin explained his support for the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. In a way, Czechoslovakia got raped by Russia and there’s Kevin justifying what happened and applauding it.
That said, this whole issue of why male chauvinist pigs (MCPs) split hairs about what is and is not “real” or “legitimate” rape is not new. Case on point from a leaflet that has been distributed at the last couple of Los Angeles Slutwalks and other events by the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition:
In 2006 Los Angeles Sheriff Detective Jeff Spelatz told students at Los Angeles City College that“70-80% of rape reports are illegitimate” and that most women who report rape have a “morning after slight.” He also said reports were from women “who drank too much and regretted what they did the night before.”
In spite of what Detective Spelatz said, he didn’t get disciplined. Instead, the students who protested his outrageous statement were suspended by the Los Angeles Community College District. In spite of demands from the Same Page/Misma Pagina Coalition to the LACCD Board of Trustees, the district has failed to cancel its contract with the Sheriffs Department or seek removal of Detective Spelatz from their campuses.
Let’s turn the page back to 1990. Republican Representative Carlos Moorhead, one of the congressmen so stupid that he backed Richard Nixon till the end on the House committee considering impeachment resolutions over the Watergate scandals, had voted against then Representative (now Senator) Barbara Boxer’s legislation to fund abortion for poor women impregnated by rape or incest. San Fernando Valley/Northeast Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization for Women, led by then President Barri Falk (now active with NOW in New York, one of the best feminists I’ve ever had the privilege of serving with) announced that we would picket Moorhead’s community forum at Glendale High School. We were quickly joined in the picket by the Glendale chapters of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Business & Professional Women (BPW), and the League of Women Voters (LWV).
After we went into the community forum, Barri and I were both able to get questions in to Moorhead about his position on women’s right to choose. When it was my turn, I told Moorhead something along the lines of ‘as a long time supporter of the victims bill of rights, how can you justify voting against Barbara Boxer’s bill to fund abortion for victims of rape and incest, when that effectively means that a woman might have to exercise her right to confront her rapist at a sentencing hearing when she’s nine months pregnant and showing?’ I didn’t mince words.
Moorhead goes on this long, rambling, hesitant and majorly idiotic explanation of his views that frankly made him sound semi-senile. This was the clincher: “well, that bill even included funding for spousal rape, and that’s just when a husband gets a little too aggressive with his wife.”
Are you fucking kidding me? Unfortunately no, he wasn’t kidding, but in spite of our having hundreds of witnesses to the statement, his staff tried to deny to the press that he made it, even though his staff refused the press access to him to answer personally.
I was so furious I ran against Moorhead on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket. I spread that statement all around the district. Proving once again, as the founding president of the Newspaper Guild (AFL-CIO, CLC, CWA) Heywood Campbell Broun once said, that “a liberal is one who leaves the room when the fight begins,” Democratic Party nominee David Bayer refused to use this issue against Moorhead.
Addition 8/21/12: Now it comes out that sure as shit, Todd Akin also opposed criminalizing marital rape, saying about legislation to do just that, criminalizing marital rape gives women “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” during a divorce.