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It was also important. About 15 seconds into the video, I used my magic mommy skills left over from when my son was a toddler to mentally turn off Ann Coulter, and I listened very carefully to Sean Hannity. Mr. Hannity was in rare form, ranting and raving about the “campaign of hate” being waged by President Obama and the left, and how we (normal people) were using Todd Akin’s remarks to distract from the real problems in America. He accused the left of lying and dishonestly attempting to tie Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to Akin’s remarks.
Hannity called liberals desperate and pathetic for correctly pointing out that both Romney and Ryan do in fact agree with Todd Akin. Remember HR 3? The bill that attempted to redefine rape as “forcible rape?” Paul Ryan and Todd Akin did that together. Hand in hand, so to speak. And the 1999 article Akin bases his beliefs on? Well, the author of that article met with Mitt Romney, this year. From The Telegraph:
“He told me ‘thank you for your support – we agree on almost everything, and if I am elected President I will make some major pro-life pronouncements’,” Dr Willke said in a telephone interview on Tuesday.
Now, let’s chat a minute about the lying liars in the wrong wing. (Hat tip to Senator Al Franken.) Sean Hannity calls liberals desperate, while every fucking person in the GOP has been backpedaling so quickly over Akin’s comments, they’re leaving scorch marks on the carpet. Well, almost everyone. We have Mike Huckabee backing Akin and telling America some pretty nifty people were the result of rape, we have a Missouri GOP representative telling America that God is blessing a rape victim if she gets pregnant, and then we have good old Bryan Fischer, official hate speech spew meister for the AFA, saying Akin is RIGHT. He’s not, by the way. Just because the Nazis experimented on concentration camp prisoners doesn’t make it so, Bry-Bry.
The lovely and delightful Mr. Hannity then shows his rabid audience a still of a new ad from the DNC that links Akin, Romney and Ryan. Sean says it’s a ploy to raise money, since every conservative leader condemned Akin’s remarks. No, SEAN, what they are condemning is Akin’s audacity to say out loud what they, and you, believe. And that’s why they are attempting to throw him under the GOP bus as it careens off a cliff.
I’d like to get serious for the last part of this article. When Todd Akin made his statement, he was the latest poster child for this shit, not the first, and not the last. The far right has been making these incendiary and dishonest claims since the 1970’s, and sometimes people pay attention, but more often than not, those comments go unchecked or even unnoticed. This time was different. I’ve heard from hundreds of sexual assault survivors, and they, along with myself, were shaken to the core. What Todd Akin did, what Mike Huckabee and Bryan Fischer and all the rest did was use “trigger language” and thanks to the 24-hour media and the Internet, it reached millions of survivors and victims in seconds.
And there we sat, paralyzed. Memories we had dealt with and compartmentalized came flooding back, dark, frightening, violent memories no one should have lived through, much less revisit. Some cried, some drank, some smoked, some screamed, some couldn’t sleep or eat. But in this moment, this moment of absolute, raw pain, a strength was born. Survivors are writing and talking and connecting and sharing their stories and their pain and the power is palatable. We were raped once, some twice, some every day for years and years, and we will not allow anyone to rape us again. That’s what they’re trying to do, you see.
Rape is about power, control and dominion over another human being. The new GOP wants that power, that control and they want dominion over us. They are trying to rape us with their words, their bills and legislation, and they think we are weak and timid. They think…no they hope…that the same fear that reared its head when we were “legitimately” raped will keep us from fighting back this time. They are wrong.
Mr. Hannity, the next time you decide to call me a liar or desperate or pathetic, grab a mirror and take a good, long look at yourself. I was already raped. You don’t get to do it again.
Thanks to Huffington Post and The Telegraph for contributions to this article.