Ryan, Paul & Akin & the Various Kinds of Rape.

Via elephant journal
on Sep 5, 2012
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Rape is rape.

The original image is gone. It featured images of Ron Paul (“Honest Rape”), Todd Akin (“Legitimate Rape”) and Paul Ryan (“Forcible Rape”) with brief quotes about parsing rape…with an image of President Obama (“Rape is Rape.”) Something like that.


Edit: er, it’s back:

For more.



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52 Responses to “Ryan, Paul & Akin & the Various Kinds of Rape.”

  1. There are degrees of murder. 1st degree, 2nd degree, etc. Different punishments based on the degree of murder. Likewise, there are degrees of rape.

  2. Ron Paul full quote for the dishonest EJ partisan smear campaign…

    “If it’s an honest rape,” Paul replied, “that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen.” He claimed, however, that if a woman is “seven months pregnant” and says that she was raped, “It’s a little bit of a different story.”
    Raw Story (http://s.tt/1d8l8)

  3. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Excellent point by Y for L.

    If you were in the mood you could get super righteous and declare, "Murder is murder. There are no degrees to it and no parsing of it!" But, as Y points out, there are degrees to murder and also to rape.

    There is also lying. I just came here from reading a heartbreaking article over in the Controversial section of EJ. It's the story of a mother whose son has been charged with rape. The article includes statistics on incidents of false rape charges and testimonies by Ele moms in the comments section with similar stories.

    I'm afraid that both men and women can be vicious and dishonest when it serves what they imagine to be their interest. Ditto for both liberals and conservatives.

    Actually, TWO excellent points by Y for L. 1) there are degrees to almost everything that humans do, including rape. 2) When one group gets really self-righteous about the actions of an enemy cultural group, you should keep in mind the possibility of self-deception about your own group's moral superiority (a universal human trait I think!) and ulterior motives wrapped in moralism.

  4. Well stated Mr. Ledbetter…

    "2) When one group gets really self-righteous about the actions of an enemy cultural group, you should keep in mind the possibility of self-deception about your own group's moral superiority (a universal human trait I think!) and ulterior motives wrapped in moralism."

  5. bobcat says:

    Honestly, I don't trust men to give me advices when it comes to my body. Especially if I were raped and impregnated by one!

  6. kridati says:

    just curious, are either of you rape victims?

  7. Colin says:

    There are degrees of murder because there are many circumstances in which you can kill someone – drunk driving, by accident, premeditated, being asked to help in a suicide bid, etc.

    At no point in this existence can you say you accidentally raped someone.
    At no point can you say it's a lesser rape because you were drunk.
    At no point is it rape if you are asked to have sex with someone.

    If you rape someone, you rape them. End of story. It's wrong.

    YogaForLiberty please change your name as you do not follow yoga or liberty in any form. You are just a messed up brainwashed person, that needs to open their eyes to release you are just regurgitating the shite from politicians mouths.

  8. tatumann says:

    You're comparing apples to oranges. The "degrees of murder" vary based on intent. (Pre-meditated, Accidental, Self Defense). There is no such thing as "self defense" or "accidental" rape. Furthermore, the current issue is not addressing punishment of the criminal, but the rights of the victim.

  9. EJSucks says:

    Read the last chapter of the yoga sutras… Kaivalya Pada.

    There a degrees to murder because the punishments are based on the degree of the crime. These are legal, not moral terms. Rape is no different. Because the punishment for a gang rape is not the same as a date rape, I don't think you can get away with saying rape is rape.

    With your logic, the boy in the story Mr. Ledbetter points to should be charged the same as any rapist, because rape is rape.

    You say I'm brainwashed and need to open my eyes because I regurgitate the shite from politicians, yet you regurgitate the shit from Obama, a skilled politician, who says rape is rape. Do you think for yourself of just repeat what your told from the party you most IDENTIFY with. Remember what the yoga sutras say about IDENTIFICATION?

    Don't talk to me about yoga and liberty until you start practicing them?

  10. Jess says:

    I'm a rape victim. I had never had sex when it happened at age 18. It was completely out of the blue with a person I had just met. It happened so quickly in the dark as he came into a bathroom while I was changing from my bathing suit, pushed me down and did his business as I emphatically said "NO". He was simply stronger than me. I was completely naive and didn't report it. I went to school and sat in my car crying all day due to my complete confusion, utter disgust and absolute surprise. If I would have never met the person it would have been just the same and if I would have known the person it would also have ended up just the same. Rape is rape. We can talk about different groups of people raping a person at the same time. That is something each one of them should be charged for, but it doesn't change the fact that each one of them raped someone. We can talk about false reports and there are those across the board for all kinds of crimes, but that goes into another topic. Our justice system is here to determine if someone committed a crime or not. (I've sat on a jury for murder) The taking away of someone's body, someone's dignity, someone's voice all to fulfill a desire when the other person clearly says "NO" or forcibly shows that they are not interested is RAPE. If any of the above, including the politicians, had been raped then I believe they can have a fair say on what constitutes rape. Otherwise, believe me (and countless others who have been subjected) that rape is rape. It changes your life, alters your trust perceptions and can try to kill your joy. And what Todd Akin says in reference to the human body having ways to "shut that whole thing" down is ludicrous. I've also gone through miscarriages and infant loss with my loving partner. Any Reproductive Endocrinologist or Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist would tell you the same thing. It doesn't matter who impregnates a woman if her body is going to lose a pregnancy. Why are we going backwards trying to alter these definitions and take women back to another age? Most of these men are scared of the fierce power of women (the feminine).

  11. Chen Dogg says:

    @ All for different degrees of rape:

    Different circumstances, sure, and the punishment towards the RAPIST could PERHAPS follow accordingly. But deny some rape VICTIMS the right to abortion based on circumstances? Jesus Christ in a tube of toothpaste, YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I think you should all have a sex change, go back to college for a couple of years, and then return to this thread and tell us how you feel.

    And are you really comparing Murder and Rape? We may as well compare rape to carjacking, or hacking crimes 🙂

    For the record, in my country a woman is raped every 16 seconds. Thats a lot of unplanned kids.

  12. Murder is murder. Theft is theft. Lies are lies. Assault is assault. Hate is Hate. Abuse is Abuse.

  13. Chen Dogg says:

    Rape is rape. No?

  14. Thanks & amen to that!

  15. Kudos for your classy and original anonymous screen name!

    The point, to me, of saying "Rape is rape" is that one is not less of a rape victim if you weren't beaten. This photo gives a great analogy of what victims of rape (both male and female) often go through when explaining their situation to the police: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=219864458

    Thankfully, I believe laws have improved to make it better. What most people object to in the recent Republican statements regarding rape, is the idea that unless a woman somehow allowed it, she couldn't possibly get pregnant. In addition, the idea that rape isn't rape unless the victim has been beaten should be long behind us. I'm sad to see that it isn't.

  16. kridati says:

    have you been raped?

  17. Well said, and I am so sorry. We are going backwards and it's frightening.

  18. cathy says:

    Rape is Rape and has nothing to do with Sex. It has to do with doing something to someone without their consent . Period all rape victims are victims! Rapist are Criminals. What the victim does after the rape does not change the crime. Denying an Abortion ( a valid safe medical operation) to stop the growth of a embryo that is unwanted is just another criminal act.

  19. annmarie says:

    Rape is rape and if it happened to you, your stomach is a sick as mine is that this is even an issue for debate. Every time Mr. Ryan, Mr. Paul and Mr. Akin speak of it I want to throw up. Please do not even try to debate this with me unless you have been a victim of some asshole not understanding that no means no. And I pray for their daughters that they will never be victims of such a crime.

  20. Susi says:

    This is something that is so culturally imbedded and some of that depends on your age. (I’m 57….things were very different 30, 40 or more years ago.) When I was 17, someone had sex with me when I was completely unconscious. For almost 20 years, I said “Well, at least it wasn’t “rape-rape.” Okay so I know better now.
    Even more confusing to me is that I first had sex at 15 with an adult. I never called it rape…I never felt unfairly persuaded even. But a lot of people tell me that was also rape and don’t believe my perspective even counts.

  21. cathy says:

    You have my sympathies for being a victim and then having to put up with these asshats who have no Idea what they are talking about.

  22. How about taking the Ron Paul quote out-of-context to associate him with Akin and trying to marry all GOP to Akin's extreme views?

  23. cathy says:

    Susi – I do believe the sex at 15 with an adult is considered statutory rape and the adult should have controlled themselves and acted as an adult even if they where only 18. That is part of the responsibility that society puts on people for the right to be considered an adult.

  24. Susi says:

    Yeah, see? That's what most people say… (And yeah, yeah, sure….if we were talking about MY child, I'd probably be ready to kill…but I don't know, I'm just not feeling it for myself….)

  25. elephantjournal says:

    Via elephantjournal on Facebook: " If you are an American and you are a woman or value the women in your life, it's time to get serious about the upcoming election." ~ Kate

    Tiffany S I couldn't agree more!

    Claire Peters Maybe it's just me, but it feels like a deal breaker. No matter who I am supporting, the idea of "legitimate rape" is not OK. It feels like a joke it is so ridiculous, but the sad thing is that it isn't.
    36 minutes ago · Like · 1
    Charlann Gruber It boggles my mind. Why they aren't being challenged by their own is equally boggling. These can't be majority opinions.
    33 minutes ago · Like · 1
    Renee Johnson As a woman, nothing the Republican party has said deserves my verbal response. My statement is made when I send them home to talk about "legitimate rape" in their own neighborhood bar. I can't believe that there is a question in the mind of any American about who is actually looking out for our country as a whole.
    32 minutes ago · Like · 1
    Kathryn Mitchell Baumgardner I agree with Pres. Obama!
    It doesn't feel right to "like" a post that includes quotes I don't like in it, even when they are used to make a point against them – it's just too much room for mis-interpretation.
    31 minutes ago via mobile · Unlike · 1
    Donna Betts Thanks for keeping it out there, it is an embarrassment to hear such total ignorance. …and frightening that it's spoken sincerely.
    31 minutes ago · Like · 2
    elephantjournal.com ‎Kathryn Mitchell Baumgardner I heart you about the "like" but it's definitely a good one to share. ~ Kate
    29 minutes ago · Like
    Joe Sage rape is rape anything else is crazy talk….
    27 minutes ago · Like
    Wendy Burrill Marshall What was the rest of the conversation surrounding the 10 words quoted? I imagine you can quote everybody saying something stupid for 10 words. I'd like to hear the whole story before I say deal breaker, or anything else. One sided quotes are how elections pull uneducated voters into voting, both sides do it. Please know more than 10 words before you make a decision in November.
    20 minutes ago via mobile · Like
    Priya Subramaniam They fail to acknowledge that many (maybe most?) rapes are perpetrated by someone who is trusted by the victim and who has the same social and family circle- this makes it difficult if not impossible for the victim to report the rape let alone get any semblance of justice. Obama is the only one who got it right
    18 minutes ago via mobile · Like · 2
    Jamie Woodside Rape is rape, 100%. Dr. Paul did not argue that at all, and I feel that he was SEVERELY misrepresented in this graphic. Anyone's words can be misrepresented to fit an agenda.
    16 minutes ago · Like
    Annie Wheatley RAPE IS RAPE!
    2 minutes ago · Like
    elephantjournal.com Please remember to comment on the post, Jamie Woodside et al. Otherwise your comments vanish as this FB posts slides down the Page.
    a few seconds ago · Like

  26. Colin says:

    Love it. Fires my argument back at me like a skilled politician. I am glad I live in the UK. Am glad I can quite happily say I have not heard very much about the American presidential race, and even less speeches by any of your politicians. My statement of rape is rape IS PURELY BASED ON THE BLATANTLY OBVIOUS.

    And I practice yoga each day – yoga isn't just asana remember, it's about everything you do.

  27. From a Scandinavian perspective, this is asthonishing. In Norway, these kind of extreme views on rape could never have been uttered in public. Of course, it is disturbingly common to think that rape is not real rape if the victim was asleep, drunk etc, but no politician would say such a thing, and NEVER hold such outlandish views on female biology. How in the world can ANY voters put up with this? Are Scandinavia and America that far apart?

  28. Ben_Ralston says:

    Well said Jess.
    Your last sentence sums up the whole issue pretty succinctly.

  29. Ben_Ralston says:

    "Are Scandinavia and America that far apart?"
    Heard of George W Bush? Would he have been elected mayor, let alone president, in Norway? No, didn't think so…
    (let alone twice…)

  30. Ben_Ralston says:

    That's just another example of why politicians should never give their personal opinions about such matters (give them a shot of estrogen? excuse me?! That's as far off the mark scientifically and morally as what Akin said. So if you were trying to defend Paul, try again).

  31. Ben_Ralston says:

    Mr Ledbetter (and @Yoga – this goes out to you too): had you ever been raped (let's define it simply as 'non-consensual sex' shall we?)… had you ever been fucked without having given your consent, you would not be trying to intellectually argue the case for 'degrees' of rape.
    That, I guarantee you.

  32. guest says:

    Waylon, If you re to be consistent then you should ban colin for making a personal attack. This is more clearly a personal attack than the one that you banned mike g for about a week ago. "a messed up and brainwashed person" ad hominem, no basis in any provable fact. Put your money where your mouth is sir, or does he get a pass because you agree with his politics?

  33. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Ben, there are degrees of everything though personal experience can certainly make us wary of saying that. I know of an extremely scary non-physical hour-long attempt by a threatening intimidating man to have sex with a woman. He didn’t succeed. There was no physical contact. But the experience was mentally terrifying for the woman. Is that not rape “of a sort”? I would say it was. But if you stick to the position that “rape is rape” and there are no gradations, then you would be forced to underplay the implicit violence of that situation by leaving out any implication that it was rape. For me? It was rape, a violent and horrible violation of another.

  34. Ben_Ralston says:

    Mark, that's not rape. That is indeed a violation – it is an abuse. But it's not rape is it?
    There are countless forms of abuse. If you google 'abuse' you'll find a wiki page that lists 97 different kinds. Let's not confuse them.
    And I see now where we differ in this: you define rape as "a violent and horrible violation of another."
    Under that definition rape would be also a physical beating.

  35. Mark Ledbetter says:

    “Mr Ledbetter… and @Yoga: had you ever been raped… fucked without having given your consent, you would not be trying to intellectually argue the case for 'degrees' of rape.”
    “just curious, are either of you rape victims?”

    B and K, there are degrees of everything though personal experience can certainly make us wary of saying that. I know of an extremely scary non-physical hour-long attempt by a threatening intimidating man to have sex with a woman. He didn’t succeed. There was no physical contact. But the experience was mentally terrifying for the woman. Is that not rape “of a sort”? I would say it was. But if you stick to the position that “rape is rape” and there are no gradations, then you would be forced to underplay the implicit violence of that situation by leaving out any implication that it was rape. For me? It was rape, a violent and horrible violation of another.

    I have not experienced rape but neither have I experienced fire-bombing or atomic bombing. Hope you can see the connection if I throw that back at you. Few Americans, even here at a place like Ele get too worked up about wars on civilians perpetrated by the American war machine. One of the few is one of the men pictured above.

    I can assure you, being fire-bombed or atomic-bombed is worse than being raped but Americans are quite willing to find gradations about what we have intentionally done to civilians in wars. Most people who visit this site, even if they claim they are against war on civilians, are lukewarm at best in their opposition. Any person truly against making war on civilians never would accept such as travesty as putting Ron Paul in a picture gallery with people who are pro-war. The fact that Ele grouped these men together is fairly strong evidence that Ele, and most here, only get really passionate about some acts of violent aggression, not all.

    A few out-of-context words by Ron Paul intimating there are degrees to rape is a “deal-breaker” for many here when it comes to choosing who to vote for. Supporting the American war machine, though, is not. The Peons of Praise sung to “Those protecting our freedom in faraway lands” at the Democratic convention doesn’t seem to faze anyone.

  36. Mark Ledbetter says:

    Ok, how about something between a "legitimate" rape and the situation I described? At what level of physical violence do you draw the line? And once you decide where the line is, everything beyond that line is the same, with no gradations, no matter how little or how far they have gone beyond the violence level that defines the line?

    I'm just theorizing, Ben. I don't know much about this. But I suspect there is a heavy dose of the culture wars going on here, which is why I have reacted. The Great American Culture War, waged heaviy here at Ele, is something I am very interested in but interested in as a non-participant. When the one side in the war says something, the other side jumps with tons of righteous passion. But when someone on the same side says something similar, it's ok. Case in point, checck out the Ele article I sited above. The author knows a lot more than I do, and she points out false rape charges are very common recently. We saw one in the news recently in the Duke lacrosse case. Wasn't that a charge of rape? In the context of the reality of false rape charges, the phrases "legitimate rape" and "honest rape" make some sense, don't they?

  37. Guest says:

    Yet Y4L is the one that gets banned.

  38. Guest says:

    Ben Ralston the scientist!

    Paul earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Duke University's School of Medicine in 1961, and completed his medical internship at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh.[11] Paul served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force from 1963 to 1965 and then in the United States Air National Guard from 1965 to 1968.

  39. Guest says:

    I like you Colin! If Waylon Lewis didn't ban people, like me Y4L, who make him feel that unpleasant feeling of cognitive dissonance, then I think we would have a lot of good dialogue.

    Please don't ban Colin for that ad hominem attack, he's the only one on here with any intelligence. It should be Colin @elephantjournal.com

  40. Ben_Ralston says:

    You'd think he'd know better than to make such flippant comments with absolutely no medical or scientific basis then wouldn't you?

  41. Mark Ledbetter says:

    I really need an editor! That's Paeans of praise, not peons.

  42. Guest says:

    Ben Ralston exposed! Everyone, quick show of hands…. who's been raped?

  43. Guest says:

    Ben Ralston probably thinks Julian Assange is a rapist.

  44. Guest says:

    Prove it with links.

    So sending a women to the emergency room after a rape and giving her a shot to ensure she doesn't get pregnant is immoral?

  45. mzr says:

    Good on ya, Obama. But, I personally would word it a little stronger than "doesn't make sense." Try "fking retarded" "insanely inhumane" or just good old fashioned "you guys are all complete a-holes."

  46. Squills says:

    How in the world should that matter, and why i the world should any woman reveal, especially on line, whether or not she has been a victim of rape? I might well ask if you have ever raped someone.

  47. Colin says:

    I will apologise for the slight rudeness of my comment above, but I stand by the fact that rape is rape and in no way can or should be pussyfooted around with classifying it. If you commit rape there should be 1 outcome – jail. To be full open, I personally believe a lot of the types of murders should be removed – all these culpable homicides and murder in the first degree and blah blah blah. If you kill someone through your own predimetated actions, you should face the full force of the law – bring on the Dredd. And this whole admitting it crap to get you a lesser sentence, piss off. If you admit it, you should be locked up and the key thrown away.

  48. I know. It was kind of a rhetorical question. But it is hard to grasp.

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