Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I know I'm not the first person to say this...

But the incredulity and shock with which liberal, democratic, and radical folks have been talking about this whole Akin/Paul Ryan "legitimate rape" and "rape as a form of conception" is too much. And actually HELPS those within the republican party who are looking to distance themselves from such bad press.

It IS important and I am glad that this is getting coverage. These views are totally illogical and oppressive but they are not abnormal. 

I am kind of annoyed that folks keeping saying that these sorts of views are "extreme" (Rachel Maddow's words). A lot of conservative republicans, and probably a couple of people you know do hold these dehumanizing medically incorrect views. They are widely disseminated by Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

The problem is that most visible politicians who hold these and similar beliefs use coded language (like Newt Gingrich did last December with the "poor urban youths" whose parents can't teach them the "dignity of work" and need to obviously work as janitors). This excess of coded language is conservatives' tactical response to 90's PC awareness. They are so good at this semantic derailing tactic that they can believably eschew Akin-esque honesty when it comes out. 

This deception is not new (campaigning on jobs/the economy and then pushing abortion restrictions). Reactions to Akin or Ryan's rhetoric surrounding rape can and has been easily characterized as overreaction to a single or few words. This minimizes the critique and doesn't allow for a larger examination of misogyny and rape culture as overarching tools oppression used by politicians.

Rape culture (and racism coincidentally) affects everyone & is especially alive and well in the minds and (mostly) coded language of republican politicians. Calling Akin & Ryan's words "extreme" makes other conservative politicians who do believe and push policy about on the same stuff but know not to say it seem normal and acceptable. Screw that. It's not a fringe belief, it is the status quo. It's just learned to hide in more confusing language and repeated politispeak.

No comments:

Post a Comment