When Missouri Republican U. S. Senate nominee Todd Akin said that pregnancy from rape is "really rare," he was hammered from all sides, attracting the condemnation of the presidential nominees from both political parties. Part of the criticism was leveled at his reason for saying this, which was a cockamamie theory he probably got off the internet that a woman's body has some kind of defense mechanism against male sperm in such cases. However, a good part of it seemed to be that he was minimizing the changes of pregnancy resulting from rape.
But the congressman might just well have relied on what feminists have been saying for years about rape to bolster his position. As it turns out, feminists have been minimizing the chance of pregnancy from rape for years.
In my first week of college many years ago, we had (as students still do) to go through various forms of indoctrination about a number of things. One of the reeducation seminars we had to sit through was "rape awareness." It was conducted by a few of the grim feminist types who then only had partial control of colleges, but who, since then, have taken full control of them. In the case of this class, we had to learn why rape happens.
The first thing we were told--and we were told it again, and again, and again, and again--was that rape was more about power and dominance that it was about sex. This is part of feminist ideology. In fact, they not only believe that: many of them believe even voluntary sex during marriage constitutes rape. Anyhow, as evidence of this theory of rape as male dominance, we were told (this too was repeated multiple times, which is probably why I remember it now, some 35 years later), in most cases the rapist does not ejaculate during the crime.
They got the idea of rape as being about male control and dominance from books like Susan Brownmiller's 1975 Against our Will, in which Brownmiller stated that rape "is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear." "Rape is a crime not of lust," she asserts, "but of power." Her book is a systematic expression of contempt for the idea that rape is about gratification of sexual desire.
And just in case you think this is some marginal book, just consider that, in 1995, the New York Public Library listed it among the 100 most important books of the 20th century.
But they were just saying it then: They continue to say it--and they have now armed themselves with data.
In her 2003 book, Evolution, Gender, and Rape, Cheryl Brown Travis, the chair of "Women's Studies" at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, argues against a famous study done by Craig Thornhill and Randy Palmer in 2001 was flawed in its argument that rape has evolutionary origins. Travis thought it was, intentionally or unintentionally, a way to morally excuse male rapists.
One of Thornhill and Palmer's arguments was that rape was part of an evolutionary strategy to increase reproduction. Travis argued that if this were true, it "must result in pregnancies." But she calls this into question. Why?
Data indicate that rapists often do not have erections, fail to penetrate the vagina, or do not ejaculate. Medical studies report that these problems occur in 30 to 40 percent of cases (Bownes and O'Gorman 1991, Hook, Elliot, and Harbison 1992). During medical examination, traces of sperm may be found in only 50 percent of rape cases (Ferris and Sandercock 1998). Case reports note that rapists often have one or more of sexual dysfunctions and that these dysfunctions may precipitate additional violence, degradation, and brutalization of the victim (Groth and Burgess 1977). [p. 214]In other words, Travis, a feminist, is downplaying the changes of pregnancy from rape. Travis isn't the only one saying this:
- "...studies have long shown that many rapists do not ejaculate." Wendy Murphy, WeNews
- "Research states that some men do not ejaculate during rape," Feminist Issues
Where is the outrage? Where is the condemnation from the media? Where are the Tolerance Police to put these women in their place?
Oh, wait. They're feminists. We can't do that.