Yet Another Rape Apologist in a Position of Power

It’s been a banner year for rape in the media, and apparently December just felt left out. Joining the likes of:

  • Todd “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down” Akin (outgoing Rep, R-Missouri);1
  • Paul “forcible rape” Ryan (2012 GOP VP candidate);2
  • Chuck “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 rape” Winder (Senator, R-Idado);3
  • Whoopi “I know it wasn’t rape-rape” Golberg;4
  • Richard “I think that even with life begins in the horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen” Mourdock (Senate candidate, R-Indiana);5
  • Tom, I’ll just clarify to reporters that having a baby out of wedlock is a situation similar to becoming pregnant from rape, Smith (Senate candidate, R-PA);6
  • Steve, the 11-year-old gang rape victim was “like the spider and the fly. Wasn’t she saying ‘come in to my parolor, said the spider to the fly,” Taylor, arguing the girl was “the reason that 20 teenagers and adult men raped a child on videotape;7
  • Rogar “some girls rape so easy” Rivard (Rep, R-Wisconsin);8

is Orange County Superior Court judge Derek Johnson, who said that the following litany of amazing things when refusing a heavier sentence for a man convicted of rape by a jury of his peers:

I spent my last year and a half in the D.A.’s office in the sexual assault unit. I know something about sexual assault. I’ve seen women who have been ravaged and savaged whose vagina was shredded by the rape. I’m not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case. That tells me that the victim in this case, although she wasn’t necessarily willing, she didn’t put up a fight. And to treat this case like the rape cases that we all hear about is an insult to victims of rape. I think it’s an insult. I think it trivializes rape.9

Of course, in some ways it’s unfair to lump Johnson in with the above quotes, because his ruling actually happened in 2008. That’s okay, though – there’s an awful lot of horrible that’s been spouted off in the past, too, and he’s just clearly gravitating towards his own:

  • Stephen “rape causes women to ‘secrete a certain secretion’” Freind (1988 Rep, R-PA);10
  • Henry “the facts show that people who are raped–who are truly raped–the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree this is a rarity, if ever” Aldridge (1995 Rep, R-NC);11
  • Clayton “if ‘[rape] is inevitable, just relax and enjoy it” Williams (1990 Texas Republican gubernatorial nominee);12
  • James Leon “concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami” Holms (Federal Judge, 1997);13
  • John C. Willke, a physician who was once president of the National Right to Life Committee, whose statement is astonishing and bears repeating in full:

    Finally, factor in what is is certainly one of the most important reasons why a rape victim rarely gets pregnant, and that’s physical trauma. Every woman is aware that stress and emotional factors can alter her menstrual cycle. To get and stay pregnant a woman’s body must produce a very sophisticated mix of hormones. Hormone production is controlled by a part of the brain that is easily influenced by emotions. There’s no greater emotional trauma that can be experienced by a woman than an assault rape. This can radically upset her possibility of ovulation, fertilization, implantation and even nurturing of a pregnancy. So what further percentage reduction in pregnancy will this cause? No one knows, but this factor certainly cuts this last figure by at least 50 percent and probably more.14

People being horrible about rape, since forever.

With thanks to Katie J.M. Baker for her Jezebel post Fuck You, Rape Culture, which served as a comprehensive list of spoken justifications for rape that made the news this year.

  1. It’s Not Shocking That Republican Senate Nominee Thinks Women Can’t Get Pregnant From ‘Legitimate Rape’ []
  2. The Truth About “Redefining” Rape []
  3. Chuck Winder, Idaho Lawmaker, Suggests Women Use Rape As Excuse For Abortions []
  4. Whoopi On Roman Polanski: It Wasn’t ‘Rape-Rape’ []
  5. Richard Mourdock: Rape, pregnancy and God’s plan []
  6. Having a Baby Out of Wedlock is Kind of Like Getting Pregnant from Rape, Says Senate Candidate []
  7. Lawyer likens gang-rape victim to a spider luring men to web []
  8. Rep. Roger Rivard criticized for ‘some girls rape easy’ remark []
  9. State of California, Commission on Judicial Performance []
  10. Freind’s Rape-pregnancy Theory Refuted []
  11. Lawmaker Says Rape Can’t Cause Pregnancy []
  12. Texas Candidate’s Comment About Rape Causes a Furor []
  13. In Judicial Twist, Republicans Seen Stalling Bush Pick []
  14. Rape Pregnancies Are Rare []

One thought on “Yet Another Rape Apologist in a Position of Power

  1. and Arizona Judge Jacqueline Hatch Apologizes For Chiding Sex Abuse …

    Articles & NewsArizona Judge Jacqueline Hatch Apologizes For Chiding Sex Abuse Victim. By Claire Gordon; Posted Sep 10th 2012 @ 12:15PM;

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