|Posted by Tsach Gilboa on August 21, 2012 at 8:10 PM|
Rape is RAPE!
Rape in specifically and legally defined as “the commission of unlawful sexual intercourse or unlawful sexual intrusion without consent” (important to note here that gender or marital status is no longer a controlling factor. While in the past a husband could not be charged or convicted of raping his wife now he can. In addition people of the same gender can rape each other, men raping men or women raping women, as well as women raping men). Consent is the key here. Although historically the issue was force and violence which negated consent, putting a burden on the victim to resist which usually results in more violence and injury as well as higher risk of death (Rape after all is a crime of violence and domination), consent was redefined starting in the 1970’s. Lack of consent is viewed from the point of view of the victim. Lack of consent can either result from forcible compulsion by the perpetrator of the threat of such or incapacity to consent on the part of the victim. This can be either due to age (sex with a minor is deemed statutory rape since a minor is deemed not capable of consent to sex) or due to a chemical or drug whether ingested voluntarily (the victim got drug of her/his own accord or was slipped a drug or forced to take to drugs or drink). The bottom line is No means No and not being able to say No (age of under the influence) also means NO!
Seems pretty reasonable and fair, does it not? Not so fast. Just when you think it is safe to get in the water, or just as you are relieved we are out of the dark Middle Ages, here come the scraped knuckled Neanderthals with their women, surprisingly not far behind, launching a several decade campaign to redefine Rape for the purpose of outlawing abortion under any and all circumstances. The firestorm was reignited this week by congressman Todd Akin, a congressman from Missouri. Akin, who inexplicably and disturbingly, sits on the Congress Science and Technology committee, juts won the Republican nomination for Senate race in Missouri, trying to unseat Claire McCaskill, an actual moderate Democrat. Akin, in a TV interview Sunday indicated, in reply to a question about Abortion in the case of rape, that pregnancy from Rape is “really rare” because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down”. He went on the say that “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child.”
Naturally these misguided, idiotic and ignorant statements generated a firestorm of objections from the left and from the right. We all thought that these issues had been resolved and put to rest in the past. Now we have US congress members parsing Rape into “legitimate” or “illegitimate.” What is even substantially more troubling is that Congressman Akin co-sponsored two bills with Congressman Ryan, yes the one running as Mitt Romney’s running mate for the highest office in the land. One was a bill to eliminate federal funding for abortion (currently federal funding is not available for abortion except for incest and rape) for rape, unless it is “Forcible rape?” (2011 No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act). Ryan and Akin also co- sponsored a personhood bill that defines life as a fertilized egg, giving it exact same rights as a human being, which of course means that no abortion is available under any circumstances (rape, incest, health/life of the mother or any other reason). It also means that in addition to banning abortion it also turns many forms of birth control into murder. Specifically all those methods, like birth control pills, that prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in a woman’s uterus. In addition infertile women or couples would not have the benefit of science, like in-vitro fertilization, since not all embryos are used. This Sanctity of Human Life Act of 2009, is clearly unconstitutional. Congress does not have the power to overrule Roe V. Wade except by a constitutional amendment. This raises some very interesting issues like separation of church and state, big v. small government, freedom and civil rights. The right is arguing for small government but want government big enough to control women and their reproduction buy forcing them to have invasive non-doctor recommended vaginal ultrasounds and carry their babies to terms with no exceptions.
So what does this all means? Sadly it means that we are slipping backwards and that when times get tough or whenever we make progress as a species, a meaningful number of us take refuge in a religious and narrow-minded fools paradise. It means that our freedoms and protections are being threatened and curtailed by an ignorant group of radical fanatics who do not believe in science and progress but instead lead their lives based on some misguided beliefs with total disregard of facts. What it also means is that all the talk about “small government” is code for only “my kind of government and as large as I want it”. The talk about freedom is code for “ as long as you follow my beliefs however misguided and unsubstantiated they might be.” It’s also about replacing our own judgment with that of others who held positions of power and created books, documents and systems to perpetuate their influence and power and those, today, who claim to speak for them and carry on their mission.
Life sure was “so much better” when Women and African Americans and others were chattel with no rights or power, don’t you think?. For those of us who believe in humanity, in the entire amazing plethora and splendor of its diversity, in addition to loving and appreciating the mostly delightful and delicious females of the species, the battle is on and victory will be achieved. If history is any indication of the future, darkness never ends up winning. We are currently under attack by those living in a state of fear and ignorant bliss. But rest assured that reason and enlightenment will win in the end. Sadly, that will have to do until we find a way to make stupidity painful.
The bottom line here has not changed. Pregnancy termination is an agonizing life changing decision and should remain one that is private and made by the woman with her man, family and doctor. Government has no place here.
Categories: Conversations with a Mad Man