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Oct 30 2012

Scalzi Writes a Letter to Anti-Choice Politicians

The brilliant John Scalzi writes an open letter to Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Paul Ryan and every other conservative politician who wants to force women to bear the child of the man who rapes them. The letter comes from the perspective of the rapist, so consider this a strong trigger warning. Here’s the start:

Hi! I’m a rapist. I’m one of those men who likes to force myself on women without their consent or desire and then batter them sexually. The details of how I do this are not particularly important at the moment — although I love when you try to make distinctions about “forcible rape” or “legitimate rape” because that gives me all sorts of wiggle room — but I will tell you one of the details about why I do it: I like to control women and, also and independently, I like to remind them how little control they have. There’s just something about making the point to a woman that her consent and her control of her own body is not relevant against the need for a man to possess that body and control it that just plain gets me off. A guy’s got needs, you know? And my need is for control. Sweet, sweet control.

So I want to take time out of my schedule to thank you for supporting my right to control a woman’s life, not just when I’m raping her, but for all the rest of her life as well.

Ah, I see by your surprised face that you at the very least claim to have no idea what I’m talking about. Well, here’s the thing. Every time you say “I oppose a woman’s right to abortion, even in cases of rape,” what you’re also saying is “I believe that a man who rapes a woman has more of a right to control a woman’s body and life than that woman does.”

Please read the whole thing.

21 comments

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  1. 1
    baal

    Yes, that about nailed it. When the rapists are very happy with your position, regardless of your reasons or those of the rapist, you need to change your position. Christian pro-lifers who agree with Mourdoch and Akin, I’m looking your way.

  2. 2
    howardhershey

    I would only add the following line to Scalzi’s satire: “But, of course, you do understand my position. You too want to control women’s bodies and force them to do what you want them to. Whatever they want is irrelevant.”

  3. 3
    D. C. Sessions

    Please read the whole thing.

    But not before or after meals, or at any other time when you’re not prepared for a very, very ugly read. Lots of comments to the “that was horrible, thank you for writing it” effect. From rape survivors.

  4. 4
    Abdul Alhazred

    So making rape jokes is OK if the cause is just?

  5. 5
    ArtK

    @ Abdul Alhazred

    So making rape jokes is OK if the cause is just?

    What rape joke would that be? What Scalzi wrote was satire, not a joke.

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    Scalzi rocks.

  7. 7
    D. C. Sessions

    Here’s a clue: if it’s a rape joke, the rape survivors are not happy. In Scalzi’s case, they were thanking him.

  8. 8
    Abdul Alhazred

    I see.

    So rape jokes *are* OK if the cause is just.

    Got it.

  9. 9
    nonsense

    It’s not a fucking joke, dickbag. It’s a serious take on a serious issue, from the point of view of someone else. It’s not even satire, really. The point of the piece is serious — that forcing a woman to carry a child from rape is taking control away from her, just as the act of rape was. No one is laughing. Eat shit.

  10. 10
    jakc

    I see.

    So rape jokes *are* OK if the cause is just.

    Got it.

    I really don’t think you do. Scalzi isn’t telling a joke. People can in fact talk about rape without making it a joke. Did you laugh when you read this piece?

    It’s like when I ask people who want to ban all abortions about what happens to an aborted fetus. I’m not making a joke. I’m quite serious. What happens? Does god send their souls to hell? Do they get to go right to heaven but have to live as a fetus for eternity? You might think I’m being flippant or looking for a laugh. I understand why a person who thinks an aborted fetus goes straight to hell might want to ban all abortions.

    Scalzi’s piece might make you squirm a little bit. But it’s not a joke.

  11. 11
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Its actually more sarcasm /irony than satire I think but I could be wrong.

    It also makes a serious point and case in a thought-provoking attention getting way.

    @4.Abdul Alhazred :

    So making rape jokes is OK if the cause is just?

    Maybe – if the jokes are at the expense of the rapist and the supporters of rape and rape culture instead of at the victims expense.

    Punching up not down IOW.

  12. 12
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @10.

    It’s like when I ask people who want to ban all abortions about what happens to an aborted fetus. I’m not making a joke. I’m quite serious. What happens? Does god send their souls to hell? Do they get to go right to heaven but have to live as a fetus for eternity? You might think I’m being flippant or looking for a laugh. I understand why a person who thinks an aborted fetus goes straight to hell might want to ban all abortions.

    Serious answer – albeit coming from a non-believer – I think there are a few possible / probable answers with many Catholics especially arguing that baptism /last rites can enable an aborted fetus’es (fetis?) “soul” to go to heaven but an unbaptised one goes to “hell” (not the lunar crater) or possibly to “limbo” which is neither heaven nor hell.

    In reality, I’m guessing the aborted fetus is cremated or provided to the woman for burial if she so chooses and requests. But I don’t really know.

    You’ve probably had these answers already and may well know much more than me here but just in case not.

  13. 13
    Gretchen

    So rape jokes *are* OK if the cause is just.

    No; they’re okay if they’re a) funny and b) mocking rapists, not rape victims or potential rape victims.

    But regardless, a) this isn’t a rape joke and b) you’re an idiot.

  14. 14
    jakc

    Honestly StevoR the answer I usually get is that the question is offensive and a refusal to answer. The best answer I’ve gotten is from a woman who called herself a “Buddhist Catholic”: the souls of the aborted just circulate back around and attach to some other conception. I don’t think it fits with Catholic/Fundamentalist dogma but it does solve the problem of hell, with a kind of no harm, no foul approach. Of course, if you believe that all abortion does is delay the birth of a “soul” it’s hard to see how you can get all worked up about it.

  15. 15
    valhar2000

    Abdul wrote:

    I see.

    So rape jokes *are* OK if the cause is just.

    Got it.

    Never mind what the others say: the important thing is that you get to feel superior.

  16. 16
    Abdul Alhazred

    Never mind what the others say: the important thing is that you get to feel superior.

    Hah!

    Irony!

  17. 17
    joe_k

    ^^ Can’t tell if honestly stupid or just trolling. Also can’t tell what your latest comment is meant to mean. At all.

    (If you were ever asking a serious question, which I highly doubt, the correct answer is ‘what Gretchen said’.)

    As usual, Scalzi makes good points. I realise that the way he makes them is difficult for some people to understand, though…
    #notapointedcomment.

  18. 18
    dingojack

    Stevo – ‘fetuses’ is OK in Engish*, or if you’re a Latin pedant ‘feti’ would your preferred choice.
    ‘Fetis’ (as a noun) would be the plural dative (to or for) or ablative (by, with, in or on) fruit, offspring or the like. As an adjective it would be the plural dative or ablative in all sexes and would indicate pregnancy, (of land) productive, being full of something, filled with young, fruitful, fecund, or even, brought forth or delivered.
    Hope that helps
    ;) Dingo
    —–
    * like ‘possum’ and ‘platypus’ they have been part of English for long enough to be regularised with ‘-s’ or ‘-es’ suffixes to form plurals.

  19. 19
    bjornakerblom

    What a painful read. Painful and important. There should be some way to make this mandatory reading for anti-women rightwingers.

  20. 20
    richardelguru

    Abdul, to see a brilliant earlier example, see Swift’s Modest Proposal

  21. 21
    Hershele Ostropoler

    So cannibalism jokes are OK if the cause is just?

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