50 facts

Soraya Chemaly presents 50 facts about rape.

Republican Representative Richard Mourdock’s recen “misspeaking”  is unexceptional. Despite what he may have meant when he said “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape that… is something God intended to happen,” he is unexceptional.  He’s not an outlier. Not a radical. In no substantive way different from his conservative peers in this regard (see below if you disagree).  Indeed, he and others, like Todd Akin and Paul Ryan, are part of an age-old tradition of men with power defining when women are raped.

Yes I see a lot of that, also men with or without power defining when women are threatened, when women are harassed, when women are cyberstalked…I see that a lot.

The 50 facts are interesting.

Some people are offended by frank conversation about violence, especially sexualized violence.  I’m offended by tolerance for these assaults, scientific denialism, entertainment at the expense of people’s safety and bodily integrity, and shame-infused legislation that hurts children and women and is based on the belief that all men are animals at heart.


  1. says

    Holy fuck! I read through the 50 facts about rape. It’s a chilling collection. Are you sure we’re living in 2012 and not 1012? Reading the stats for the American military, it’s a surprise that women enlist. And as for the rape and abortion stats, such as the doctor in Kansas who is in danger of losing license to practice because she aborted a 10 year old rape victim! The heart weeps! What is the matter with people? One of the things that troubled me the most over the last few days was the article that basically excused Mourdock because it wasn’t about rape, it was really just the implication of his religious beliefs! (Can’t remember, it was in The Nation or The National Review I think, though why that excuses someone is beyond me. It wasn’t about controlling women, we are to understand; it was a religious view about the gift of life, or some such nonsense. As if religious views couldn’t be about controlling women.) As things in Canada are more and more influenced by the US, I fear for justice to women here. Harper is a Bush clone, and has some relationship, as I understand it to “The Family” in the US. Up to the present there was scarcely a peep out of the fundamentalists here. The complaint used to be that the West was never represented in Ottawa. Well, it wasn’t about the West, it was about the fundamentalism that is so representative of the West. This is truly appalling stuff!

  2. jb says

    *trigger warning, great comment on the site about the rape culture we live in, and the rape culture that pricks like mourdock akin and ryan are promoting:

    Hi! I’m a rapist. But I don’t even know that I am. I have no clue that what I do is rape. What I do doesn’t seem to be forcible. Nobody is kicking, nobody is screaming. In fact, they tend not to say much at all. Certainly not the word “yes,” but I always forget to notice that part. They lay there, and let me do my thing.

    I’ve been told I’m entitled to any woman I want, so long as she isn’t doing everything in her power to fight me off. I learned this from your invention of “legitimate rape.” I have no understanding that she might not be able to fight me, too weak from drinking too much, or too scared to try. Maybe she’s seen how much stronger I am, how I could break in her half if she fights back. Maybe it’s happened before, and she’s learned to shut down her psyche when it happens. Whatever the reason, it just doesn’t feel “forcible” without the fight back. So I can feel good about what I’m doing. I sleep easy beside her as she tries not to wake me when she tries to leave.

    Thank you for the culture that keeps her silent, keeps her from bothering me about it afterward. Thank you for punishing her whether she speaks up or stays silent, by calling her a slut, by saying I was okay to do what I did.

    I always wanted to be a dad. When I find out one of my victims is pregnant, I’d be very upset to find out they’re planning to take that golden opportunity away from me by aborting. Thank you for setting up a system where I can rest easy knowing that, like the sex, she’s been bullied into motherhood as well. Maybe I can even bully her into marriage. Let’s keep this thing rolling. But it’s not forcible marriage unless I drag her kicking and screaming down the aisle. She’ll look at her growing belly that she can’t do anything about and know I’m as good as she’ll get now that she’s been damaged. After all, you’ve shamed her for thinking of being a single mom. You’ve shamed her for everything she’s done since the minute I wormed my way into her life.

    The two of us, we make a great team. I couldn’t have done it without you.


    Yet Another Rapist

    (Sorry if this is stepping on your toes. I know not everyone likes to have their metaphors added onto. But dang, so many rapists aren’t considered rapists because of the same culture backed up by everything these conservatives say, by the invention of concepts like all these different types of rape that are seen as less rapey or not as bad or not rape at all. They’re not all hulking monsters in dark alleys preying on strangers.)

  3. hypatiasdaughter says

    jb, that was chilling. Reality is so much uglier than than those abstract opinions expressed by people on podiums, all dressed up in their Sunday best.

  4. DutchA says

    50 soul-wrenching facts. I followed a link in Sorayas article and ended at: http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_rap_vic-crime-rape-victims.

    Sincerely, I had no idea that my country would be ranked 7th. Somehow I had the idea that a liberal stance on abortion (like ours) would coincide with significant lower rape statistics. Rude awakening.

    The article gave me an idea: next time someone tries a sexist remark in my surroundings I’ll answer with a castration remark.

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