I probably shouldn’t be surprised by the current crop of misogyny among the far right but I am. This isn’t simply a case of taking one step back for every three steps forward. These men are repeating ideas about woman which seem to date to the last century, before woman could vote, much less before abortion was legal and contraception widely available.
We’ve been talking about feminist backlash for nearly two decades now and it has reached a kind of off-hand casualness that is astonishing. I found a remarkable post that catalogs the wide variety of rapes so far identified by Republicans:
GIFT-FROM-GOD-RAPE: “When life begins with that horrible situation of rape, that is something that God intended to happen.” -Richard Mourdock (R), candidate for Senate in Indiana, on October 23, 2012
“The right approach is to accept this horribly created, in the sense of rape, but nevertheless…a gift of human life, and accept what God is giving to you.” -Rick Santorum (R), Senator and Presidential candidate, on January 20, 2012
“Richard and I, along with millions of Americans…believe that life is a gift from God.” -Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas voicing his support of Richard Mourdock’s statement about rape-induced abortions, on October 24, 2012
“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” -Republican Congressman & Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri on August 20, 2012
“If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen.” -Republican Congressman & Presidential candidate Ron Paul of Texas on February 3, 2012
“It was an issue about a Catholic church being forced to offer those pills if the person came in in an emergency rape.” -Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon of Connecticut (also confusing churches with hospitals) on October 15, 2012
“If you go down that road, some girls, they rape so easy.” -Republican State Representative Roger Rivard of Wisconsin, on December 21, 2011 and endorsed by VP Candidate Paul Ryan on August 9, 2012
Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin and 214 other Republicans co-sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act”, which would prohibit federal funding of abortions except in instances of “an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest.” -H.R. 3, 112th Congress, January 20, 2011
“GOP Misogyny: Republican Embrace of Rape Culture” Nancy a Heitzeg
It’s as if there were a secret linguistic underground out there that had long been discussing rape in this hateful fashion and, without anyone really noticing, developing an entire misogynistic lexicon.