Todd Akin’s Grasp Of Female Reproduction, Or "The Council On Fertilization And Highly Motil Sperm"

Of course this is going to be graphic.  We’re talking about the thought processes of a man who, a week after suggesting that the Voting Rights Act of 1964 be repealed, has now weighed in on the likelihood of pregnancy after rape.

Akin, a congressman who is running for the Senate as a Republican, is convinced, having spoken to doctors and other experts, that when a woman is the victim of a “legitimate rape,” her body does some kind of trick to prevent a fertilized egg from implanting against the uterine wall.  Women, he says, don’t generally get pregnant after “legitimate rape” because of that, so all of the hysteria against his and the GOP’s national platform, which would criminalize rape even in the case of rape and incest, is unnecessary.  If it’s really rape, the Toddster avers, the woman likely wouldn’t get pregnant.

But if she does, then, well . . . it probably wasn’t a “legitimate” rape.  In the words of one boneheaded North Idaho state legislator, it probably was “normal marital relations” she had forgotten about, an incident that her kindly physician nudged her toward remembering.

So, yes, in my attempts to portray just how stupid and offensive and grotesquely ignorant and preternaturally insensitive Akin’s comments on something he’ll never experience, I will have to be graphic.  Worry not, though.  I promise not to call him names or make fun of him.  What I will do is set up what must be going through his little mind when he ponders the miracle of conception, although I imagine that the grown-up vocabulary would escape him, it being so woman-y and all.

Imagine a Council On Fertilization operating in the beautiful, powerful, nurturing body of every woman of childbearing age.  We’ll call the members Terus, Fallopia, Ovaria, Clita, and Cervica, whose meetings are called to order by Gina, the most public, most well-known, member of the Council, who acts as its public liaison, although she herself is  very discreet and naturally quite private.  Here they are, discussing the processing of a spermatazoa spilled onto Cervica’s walkway, knocking on the door, as it were, of Terus’ warm and cozy home.

GINA:  OK, ladies, thanks for gathering around.  We’ve all done this before, so let’s take up the case of Highly Motil Spermatazoa #486739571, which I alerted you to just a few seconds ago.  Fallopia and Ovaria, great job, by the way, of producing the egg.  You gals rock!

FALLOPIA: Well, you know, last month’s was wasted, since The Woman was gone on her women’s retreat during my busy season.

OVARIA:  Doesn’t she know that I only have a limited number of these things?  Honestly. I mean, each one’s a work of art, but I can only do so much.

GINA:  OK, OK, we’re getting off track.  So, considering HMS #486739571, currently making his way from Cervica’s to Teras’, whaddaya think?  Let him in as usual, or toss him?

OVARIA starts to hum the Clash’s “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?,” for which she is soundly rebuked by FALLOPIA.

GINA:  Ladies, please!  We’re on a timeline here.  Terus kinda needs to know if she’s gonna have a visitor or not.  Focus, please.

TERUS:  I mean, I’m totally up for company, but I’m picky.  Kinda need to know about this one.  How’d he get in?  You know, was it, like, good?  Like, normal?  I’m assuming so, right?

GINA:  Clita, I think you probably can best speak to that . . .

CLITA:  Yeah.  (sigh) Well, you know, I’m good at my job, if you don’t mind my saying so . . .

CERVICA:  You do remind us of that fairly often, dear.  No need to brag, for goodness’ sake.

CLITA:  OK, OK.  It’s just that . . . (she breaks off)

OVARIA:  CLITA, what’s wrong?

CLITA:  I . . . I . . . it’s just . . . something was different this time.  I’m, like, always up for a party, and when I’m happy, The Woman’s happy.

CERVICA:  Please, dear.  You’ve told us.  When you’re happy, She’s happy, and when She’s happy, you do your best work.  We’re all aware.  Would you just answer TERUS’ question?  We’re running out of time here.  For all I know, It’s coming up my driveway.

CLITA:  Yeah, yeah.  OK.  (coughs)  It’s hard to talk about, and I never thought it would be like this, but this time was different.  The Man was . . . so awful!  He was MEAN! It’s like he just TOOK Her, CONQUERED Her, almost, like She was just . . . a receptor or something, like nothing more than an object for Him to use.  Like He owned her, or She was just a . . . a thing, you know?  It wasn’t what I was used to.  I was . . . I was scared.  GINA, you tell them!  You’ve gotta know what I mean, right??!!

GINA:  Oh, CLITA, I’m so glad you’re being so honest.  I felt the same way.  Worse, even.  He opened me up and . . . and . . . he just broke in!  I heard The Woman saying “No, no, no!” and she was crying and then I felt this horrible, horrible thing . . . like a collision or a crash or something!  I hurt . . . it felt so bad, like I’d never felt before, and I’m . . . I’m sad and I’m scared and it hurts so much I can’t believe I’m, like, even still part of Her Body.  It wasn’t what I usually have.  It was like everything went dark and caught on fire and broke open and bruised me and tore me up and battered me and even though The Man’s gone, He left us this . . . this . . . this PIECE of him!   

OVARIA:  GINA!  Sweetheart, we had no idea!

FALLOPIA:  Oh, honey, we’re so sorry!  To think something I brought Terus in love . . .

OVARIA:  . . . And I made in love! In LOVE! 

FALLOPIA:  To think The Man’s Piece wants to be part of our gift — I, I just can’t bear it! We’ve just got to do something!  She needs us . . .

CERVICA:  I feel sick that It’s here, in us!  Girls, we don’t have much time!  It’s on its way to Terus’ place now!  We can’t let her bring him in!  We’ve got to DO something!

GINA:  I know this isn’t what we want.  I know we’ve never done this — we’ve never kicked out an HMS before!  But if we don’t act now, he’s gonna reach Terus’ place!  Ladies!  It’s time to invoke the Emergency Sweep Of Violent Ejaculate!  It’s our only hope!

CLITA:  Yes!  We have to!  We’ve identified the enemy, and It’s in us!

FALLOPIA and OVARIA:  Sweep It away!  Kick it out!

CERVICA, CLITA, TERUS and GINA:  Sweep It away!  Kick it out!

GINA:  It’s time, then . . . are you all ready?  I’m hitting the Sweep Out button now . . .


GINA:  (quietly)  It’s gone.  It’s out.  I felt it leave, and it won’t come back.  It’s over.  If only we could tell The Woman it’s over . . . there’s no more of Him in Her.  It’s over.  Good work, sisters.  Thank God we knew It for what It was . . . can you imagine what it would be like if we couldn’t recognize Enemy HMS?

CERVICA:  I know.  It’s so scary.  But we can tell if it’s an Enemy, even if we’ve never seen one before.  You just know.  Right?  We just know.

OVARIA:  Yeah.  Thank God we KNOW.

Basic fact of biology:  Sperm is sperm, and it doesn’t announce itself to organs unable to grasp its identity even if it could.  Perhaps Akin thinks that “rape sperm” is like the urine secreted after eating asparagus — obvious, easily recognized.  I think that speaks volumes about his fear of and contempt for women’s bodies. 

As Eve Ensler, the author of the Vagina Monologues, wrote today, a woman’s body is unable to differentiate between love sperm and violence sperm, and to suggest somehow that it can — that it will recognize “rape sperm” and flush it out, thus preventing pregnancy — is not only ignorant to a degree unrealized by anyone other than Republican men of the last quarter-century or so, but also manages to put the burden on women to make use of this extraordinary “gift.”  Ensler is right in contending that Akin monstrously forces rape survivors to re-live their experience when he contends that some rapes are, somehow, “illegitimate;” any time a woman has to re-examine the details of her assault to reassure herself that she wasn’t at fault, she’s made to submit to another harrowing visit down a Memory Lane that’s terrifying in its degree of evil and viciously degrading in its re-examined reality.

Here’s a fun exercise in philosophy:  Is Todd Akin more stupid than he is bad, or more bad than he is stupid?  Now, extend that to the prevailing voices of the Republican Party.

That the political party that’s become more of a failing parachurch organization than a reasonable, responsible platform for political ideas and governing philosophy would attract men like Akin tells us a lot about its values.  But the fact that American evangelicalism and the GOP have become virtually synonymous in mission and in makeup is even more frightening.  After all, reasonable people presume that faithful worshipers will make every effort to conform their behavior and character to that of the One they’re devoted to. The Religious Right that Akin aligns himself with is leaving a world full of people wondering why they ought to consider the claims of Jesus Christ if he’s anything at all like the bigots and bullies on the Right who claim him.  If Jesus were truly the model and inspiration for today’s GOP, why would anyone want to seek him?

Would the poor, or the rejected, or the immigrant, or the sexually victimized, or the hungry, or the disenfranchised look to a GOP Jesus?  No. 

The millstones around their hypocritical necks are weighty; the axe of judgment is poised at the tangled roots of their willful ignorance and unchecked avarice, and only a great move of the Holy Spirit will rescue the GOP and other Gospel-mocking powerbrokers from the wrath of the One whose patience is generous, but whose nature is not only Holy, but wholly unlike that of the ignorant, greedy, abusive, and hard-hearted demagogues who claim him. 

One Response to “Todd Akin’s Grasp Of Female Reproduction, Or "The Council On Fertilization And Highly Motil Sperm"”

  1. Digger gold says:

    Akin is a total caveman. There is a cause to remove him spreading across the Web –

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