This week started off with the loss of a true pioneer of the sexual revolution, Helen Gurly Brown, whose groundbreaking 1962 book Sex and the Single Girl taught women to seek financial independence and sexual satisfaction. While I was not necessarily a fan of her magazine, Cosmopolitan, because it consistently preached how to find, please and keep a man. I am a fan of her attitude that women should not be embarrassed about their sexuality and that women could be whatever they wanted to be.
This week also saw the announcement of a women only city in Saudi Arabia. The official reasoning for this city (along with four more like it in the works) is to allow more women to work and achieve greater financial independence while still maintaining gender segregation. I fear there is something far less progressive about to happen. I fear these women will be subjected to sub standard working conditions, sub standard pay and yet even more ostracism than they now must endure. I have a feeling this is being done in order to offset the need for foreign workers in the country and that these women will be seen as whores by their own countrymen, just as their Olympic counterparts were.
The Russian Punk Band, Pussy Riot
On Friday a group of three female musicians who call themselves Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years each in a Russian prison for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” because they dared to sing a song in which they criticized Vladimir Putin’s increasingly autocratic hold on power – and his regime’s increasing suppression of protest speech – from the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior cathedral in February of this year. I find it ironic that the Russian government has turned to religion to help them fulfill their agenda, but any port in a storm, I guess. I admire these women for their strength of character. Just today, these women announced that they will not be asking Putin to pardon them. Their actual quote was, “Let them go to hell with their pardon.” Even though the sentence is what I would call harsh, I am truly inspired by their willingness to fight for what they think is right.
Lastly, this week brought us a new term… legitimate rape. Republican Senate Nominee from Missouri Todd Akin when asked if he supported abortion in the case of rape was quoted as saying, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume maybe that didn’t work or something. I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist.” He claimed that he had heard this pack of lies from doctors. Doctors of what? Divinity? Certainly not medical doctors.
Really? What about the emotional and physical punishment the woman who is pregnant with her rapist’s baby would have to endure by being forced to give birth to that child? Spoken like a true American right winger, a clump of cells has more rights that the fully formed human being that they are growing in has. Apparently women are just a vessel for men’s seed and should have no say in what happens to their own body.
And what of the term legitimate rape? You should know that this came from the mind of a man who, in 1991 questioned an anti marital rape law over his concerns that it might be misused, “in a real messy divorce as a tool and a legal weapon to beat up on the husband”. (to his credit he did vote FOR the anti marital rape law) According to Akin the only “legitimate rape” is forcible rape. It just sickens me that the Republican right still claims they are not waging a war on women, then they have the nerve to come out with bombshells like this one.
Rep. Akin did ‘apologize’ for this. Here is the apology along with my commentary (in red).
“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. In reviewing my off-the-cuff remarks, it’s clear that I misspoke in this interview and it does not reflect the deep empathy I hold for the thousands of women who are raped and abused every year. Those who perpetrate these crimes are the lowest of the low in our society and their victims will have no stronger advocate in the Senate to help ensure they have the justice they deserve.
Misspoke?!! He might has well have said, My bad. When running for office, every word is carefully planned, scripted and put before a focus group. I have no doubt that he meant to say what he did say.
“I recognize that abortion, and particularly in the case of rape, is a very emotionally charged issue. But I believe deeply in the protection of all life and I do not believe that harming another innocent victim is the right course of action. I also recognize that there are those who, like my opponent, support abortion and I understand I may not have their support in this election.
No kidding he won’t have their support.
“But I also believe that this election is about a wide range of very important issues, starting with the economy and the type of country we will be leaving our children and grandchildren. We’ve had 42 straight months of unacceptably high unemployment, trillion-dollar deficits, and Democratic leaders in Washington who are focused on growing government, instead of jobs. That is my primary focus in this campaign and while there are those who want to distract from that, knowing they cannot defend the Democrats’ failed economic record of the last four years, that will continue to be my focus in the months ahead.”
And he’s right back on the Republican talking point after a half-assed apology.
I will leave you with the perfect visual representation of what I think must be done to this man.
Rep. Todd Akin (R. Mo.), so stupid he doesn’t realize this sign is about him.