Thursday, October 25, 2012

Why isn't rape called an abomination?

This week yet another Republican politician stepped into it--and by that I mean expressed their honest, deep seated views about rape and women's reproductive choices that are actually fairly mainstream within the leadership of the GOP. It truly sucks when you're caught on camera saying what you mean. (I'm looking at you Mitt Romney and what you think of the "47 percent.")

This time it's GOP senate hopeful Richard Mourdock who was caught saying, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God. And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."

Obviously by invoking God, this raises all kinds of interesting theological questions. If God approves of the end result--the pregnancy--does that mean He also approved of the "method of conception" as Paul Ryan elegantly put it? (For the record, I'm using male pronouns for the Deity because Mourdock's God can only be male if He were to approve of forcing a woman who got pregnant as a result of rape to carry a baby to term.) And if the crime was preordained and part of "God's plan" then why can't a medical procedure such as an abortion also be part of that plan?

All of this talk of babies and rape got me wondering--the same conservatives that debate what is rape and try to classify some forms as "legitimate" or "forcible" are also often the same folks who refer to homosexuality an "abomination," as somehow unnatural and something that should be stopped at all costs. (I mean, these folks hope to pass a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. Thankfully, that is unlikely.) And one of arguments made against homosexual relationships is that it's not natural since gay/lesbian sex can't lead to procreation. As if the majority of sexual activity that heterosexuals engage in is procreative in purpose. (As of this writing, I have yet to engage in any sort of procreative heterosexual sex. Thank God.)

Which got me thinking about rape and the Republican weak ass, reprehensible response to it. No one calls this violent act--the violation of another person's body--a perversion, unnatural or an abomination. Is it because rape can potentially result in a baby (despite Todd Akin's protestations to the contrary)? After all, the vice presidential nominee, an opponent to gay marriage, has signified that rape, while an unfortunate occurrence, is another "method of conception." This sort of thinking allows the ends to justify the means. Even if it doesn't go that far, the fact that rape can result in a child softens some Bible thumpers' perception of it. It can't be that awful. Cause look-a baby!

And let us not forget--things like marital rape weren't considered crimes until recently and this classification still meets resistance. After all, if we're operating from a strictly biblical framework, this wasn't considered a crime. A wife was a man's property and by virtue of the contract and ceremony, her consent was considered constant. When you think about, this sort of arrangement and thinking can make rape seem "natural." As in the "natural rights" of a husband. But sex between two consenting adults of the same gender is somehow considered "unnatural." And as we know from Republican bogeyman--science--and from visits to the zoo, same sex attraction and orientation occur naturally in nature.

So in short: baby = natural. No baby = unnatural.

If only the Bible hadn't gotten it so terribly wrong, terming homosexual acts "to'eivah" instead of placing this label on something that is actually unnatural and abominable act--rape.

1 comment:

Shmendrick said...

It's times like this I'm glad I don't live in the US, that said the UK's sliding that way. It's people in power just not thinking about the consequences of what they say. And as if a baby can make up for a rape.