Can you read that? It’s from Representative Akin’s senate race site. The first sentence in the second section needs a semi-colon or other editing, but let’s not get into that. At the beginning, it says, in reference to his comment about “legitimate” rape, that he made a mistake. That’s fine. Then, it says “…working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities,” seemingly still in reference to his rape comment. So let me get this straight…people, especially women who can get pregnant, who get raped are the most vulnerable in society? I’m sorry, but, most of the time, rape isn’t about being weak or the most vulnerable (unless women in general are just considered vulnerable, which is a problem in itself). Rape is about power, the power the rapist wants to exert. What, exactly, makes someone “the most vulnerable,” in need of Akin’s protection?
In looking for someone else’s response to this comment, I first came across this statement by Akin, in which he again refers to the most vulnerable in society. Some excerpts:
- “As a member of Congress, I believe that working to protect the most vulnerable in our society is one of my most important responsibilities, and that includes protecting both the unborn and victims of sexual assault.”
- “the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year”
- “Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government”
Let’s first make it clear that I don’t really have anything against this man. He simply provides good starting points for conversation, and I’m not going to let these comments go without my comment.
Oh, from another interview (here): “even as a pro-lifer, I’ve always stood up for people that were the most vulnerable.”
Okay, so let’s take a brief look at some of these comments. I’m not even sure where to start. Well, I guess, lets start with the “thousands” of women who are raped and abused every year…more like hundreds of thousands, millions if you go global. Approximately 2/3 sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim (for lack of a better word)…predators can be anyone. Anyone can be abused. Abuse is NOT a sign of weakness, and his comments (and those made by lots of other people) implying that it is really bother me. Also, the democrats trying to grow government…at least they’re not trying to force the growth of unwanted babies in wombs they don’t own. Yes, I realize that’s a bit of a polarizing and arguable statement, but I don’t really care. There are undeniable facts that are being denied, and that bothers me. If you would like some statistics, check out rainn.org
About the “vulnerable”: that seems to put some of the blame on the victim…it’s like saying it’s the rabbit’s fault the eagle ate it because it’s vulnerable to the predator. Again, rape is NOT the fault of the victim. There is nothing someone does to make them vulnerable, or even worse, deserving. Rape is most often committed in the victim’s home by someone who is not a stranger. It’s not like most rapes are young women being stupid and walking alone down dark alleys in crappy neighborhoods at 3 am. It’s date rape, it’s incest, it’s abusive relationships, it’s general predatory behavior and has nothing to do with the victim being “vulnerable.” What does vulnerable mean? It’s a state of being, a capability or susceptibility to being wounded, hurt, abused, etc. How does one determine the “most vulnerable” people when it comes to matters like rape? We are all capable of being harmed, and I find it offensive to imply that some people are innately more susceptible than others, weaker than others by some fault. I’m sure this isn’t what these comments were meant to illicit or represent, but it’s worth thinking about because it is a far to common attitude in our society.