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The 8 Worst Things Republicans Have Said About Rape, Sex and Women's Bodies

It's not just GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin. It's practically a party tradition.

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7. When women sign up for the military to hang out with aggressive dudes, they are asking to be raped. Notoriously anti-woman  Fox News talking-head Liz Trotta wondered of enlisted women who were assaulted, “What did they expect?” She also blasted feminist calls for infrastructure and support to help the increasing number of women in this position. And refused to apologize.

8. Santorum and Huckabee are all about rape victims taking one for team "Life." Let's not forget our Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, respectively, think rape victims should  "make the best" of it and see the unwanted child as a gift and  sometimes cool people are conceived in rape

Some rape victims unsurprisingly see this idea as  torture.

Okay, so these are all pretty heinous things to say. But let’s take a deep breath and remember that rape culture doesn’t just live on the extreme right wing. From left-wing pundits who are convinced that the rape allegations against Julian Assange must be trumped up, or that sex with a sleeping woman doesn’t constitute rape, to the mainstream pop culture writers who have long sought to minimize or dismiss acquaintance rape as “grey rape” or not real rape, to local and national law enforcement that don't know how to handle victims properly, there’s a long continuum of thought that creates rape culture. Rape culture posits sex as a transaction with women’s sexuality as a passive object either given or taken, rather than a consensual exchange. Most importantly, rape culture puts the onus on victims to prevent rape rather than on potential perpetrators not to do it. Rape culture produces comments like Todd Akin's, and then seeks to sweep them under the rug once the news cycle is over.

 

 

 

(This post has been updated)

Sarah Seltzer is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her work has been published at the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jezebel and the Washington Post. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahmseltzer and find her work at sarahmseltzer.com.

Lauren Kelley is the activism and gender editor at AlterNet and a freelance journalist based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Salon, Time Out New York, the L Magazine, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter.
 
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