Saturday, August 25, 2012

Was He Giggling and Turning Red?

Rep. Todd Akin got in a heap of trouble last weekend over comments about pregnancy and rape. Or rather the apparent ability of women's bodies to prevent pregnancy when it really is ("legitimate") rape.

I sat in stunned, mouth-open silence that any educated person of the 21st Century could truly believe that. It sounded like some kind of pre-scientific mythology. It was downright idiotic.

Fortunately, seeing defeat being snatched from somewhere even Akin's Republican colleagues sought to distance themselves from him. Quickly and greatly distance themselves.

So I sat and pondered how that could happen? Where was Akin when his high school PE teacher was doing the standard lesson on sex. Then it struck me and I looked up his age and found some keys to his problem.

He's from my era, about 13 months older than I am. Back in those days, as far as I can remember, sex-education was an odd animal in a school curriculum. He probably sat in a room with only other similar teenage boys and giggled while turning red every time the teacher used a sex word, you know, like "penis" or "vagina." (I even turn red all these years later just sitting in that classroom in my memory.)

How can you pay attention when you are giggling? How can you be serious when you know your face is as red as your buddy's across the room? These were the dark ages of sex education. Men were in charge and women were to simply obey. Rape? You know, they were probably asking for it. (Ugh! It pains me to write that. Yet, it was probably a very common thought. Unspoken. Or giggled about.)

I really don't know for sure what kind of sex education Todd Akin got, of course. I can only extrapolate from my own classes lo, those 50 years ago. But unless he was in a very unique school, I doubt it was a lot different.

But that is, of course, absolutely NO EXCUSE for being so narrow and sexist. Even to think that such a thing is even remotely possible that pregnancy is prevented by whatever in the world legitimate rape could be automatically disqualifies this guy from public office. Even on the remotest chance that he really thought that this was reality questions his ability to make informed and intelligent decisions.

What scares me most is that if he is out there, how many others might believe the same or worse?

Actually, we have discovered through this week's news on this issue that this opinion has even been proposed as real by a doctor! It is one of those anti-abortion talking points that supposedly intelligent people DO believe.

Yes, it is REALLY scary.

God protect us.

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