August 27th, 2012
By Stephanie Devereaux -- The net results of the Republican position on "rape", as written in the 2012 Republican Party platform -- is that
there should be no abortions for any reason, including rape, incest, or in cases in which the mother's life in jeopardized -- and the net effect of the 38 bills that Paul Ryan and Todd Akin have co-sponsored in the House of Representatives, in one form or other -- is to weaken rape laws and fray and tatter the fabric of what is now pretty clear cut distinctions in law with regard to what constitutes prosecutable rape -- to the point in which any instance of "alleged rape" is viewed, officially, with skepticism and forced into a position in the context of the law in which the rape victim is required to "prove it", by deflecting and minimizing the alleging -- with the newly substituted uber-present assumption that anytime a woman is raped it was because she "wanted it" or "was asking for it", or was dressed in a way that "provoked it, or deliberately went to a part of town where only wanton women traffic.
In short -- these laws read like laws written for -- and by -- serial rapists in charge of the law -- changing laws so that it would be unlikely
they would ever be outright accused of "forcible" rape -- and virtually impossible to get a convicted of, if and when charges actually were filed. But the main effect -- and I believe it was the deliberate and the ultimate intent of the proposed bills -- was to devalue women, turn rape allegations into a "she said, he said", kind of an argument -- and quite naturally and ultimately result in more women suffering in silence because they are afraid, fearful, or not hopeful enough that anything other than embarrassment and humiliation to the victim would result if they pressed the issue -- so they just don't file charges -- and they don't -- in many cases -- even tell anyone.
I think the Republican and evangelical right wing obsession with these women's health, family planning, and women's contraception and
sexuality issues is indicative of a serious, unresolved and untreated emotional, psychiatric, and sexuality aberration in the collective personalities -- and a stubborn rejection of the idea of the equality of a woman who is in control of her own life and destiny -- and has moved, generationally, in recent years -- ever-progressively more out from under the thumb of the men in there lives. I think it has left men, and Republican and evangelical men in particularly with a sense of losing control and a sense of increasing powerlessness to control the events and circumstances of their personal, sexual, and family lives -- and they are striking back -- and trying to reassert a balance and a norm that is more to their benefit -- and therefore more comfortable to them. True, perhaps -- but sad. Yes, very sad indeed.