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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Gender gap

Of all the many discouraging aspects of the election this year (the blatant flip flops, the endless pandering), the one that is by far the most discouraging to me is the way that the very sizable gender gap began to narrow just as down ticket Republican candidates starting making news for their bizarre comments about rape and pregnancy.  The narrowing of the gender gap had to do with many things, not least of which was Romney's strong showing in the first debate, but the upshot is that many women voters just do not care about these "women's issues" to the degree that they influence their candidate choice.  And that's a terrible shame, IMO.

Let's review:

Missouri Senate Candidate Todd Akin said that when a women is the victim of "legitimate rape," she doesn't get pregnant because her body has a way of "shutting that whole thing down." This rather bizarre and entirely false claim has been perpetuated by an actual MD - Dr John C. Willke, former president of the National Right to Life Committee, though he did not invent the misinformation - it's been accepted medical doctrine for literally a couple hundred years.

Indiana Senate Candidate Richard Moudock said that a pregnancy that results from rape is still a baby that "God intended" to create (sort of implying that the rape was also God's intention).

A few months earlier, Idaho Senator Chuck Winder got into marital rape: "I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage, or was it truly caused by a rape."

Wisconsin State Rep Roger Rivard publicly tells a charming story about his dad's advice on premarital sex: "If you go down that road, some girls rape so easy." (Meaning some girls cry rape after consensual sex, which is only slightly better than his rather mangled original statement.)

Wasington Congressional candidate John Koster said that "the rape thing" is not a justification for abortion.



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