The Honest Rape

On Friday night Ron Paul, the great Libertarian hype hope for America, told CNN’s Piers Morgan that a woman who is the victim of an “honest rape” should have access to certain services:

Piers Morgan: You have two daughters, you have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped — and I accept it’s a very unlikely thing to happen, but if they were — would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated.

Ron Paul: If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, and I would give them a shot of estrogen.

This is what passes for the “moderate” abortion position in your modern Republican Party. Pre-Susan G. Komen uproar this would have been taken as just another piece of stupid falling out of the mouth of just another anti-woman Republican. But yesterday my Twitter feed was filled with outrage, blog posts were furiously attacking Ron Paul, and right on cue the Ron-bots rushed to defend this idiot, claiming he didn’t say what we all heard him say and he didn’t mean what he obviously meant.

[Let me add: they do this all the time. Ron Paul’s not a racist, he had no idea what went into years and years worth of newsletters bearing his name! (except he did. Oh yeah, and then there’s this stuff.) You guys just have zero credibility. STFU.]

But back to the topic at hand. I’m trying to figure out what an “honest” rape is, and who gets to determine that. Should we convene a panel to decide if the rape was “honest,” something like the FISA court? Would women need to show a certain amount of bruises and broken bones for the rape to be sufficiently “honest?” Should we evaluate her clothing to see if she “asked for it”? What if the rapist was the woman’s husband, would that still count as “honest”? What if the woman is a prostitute?

Is it an “honest” rape if a black man rapes a white woman? But if a white man rapes a black woman, it’s not? Sorry, I have to ask.

And haven’t we decided this stuff already? Haven’t there been, like, fifty gazillion Lifetime movies aired about these topics? Don’t we already have that “shot of estrogen” available to women at any drug store, a pill called Plan B? Didn’t you people just fight tooth and nail to make sure women can’t access it over the counter?

This is the difference between the phony “pro-lifers” of the Republican Party and the pro-choice side. The phony “pro-lifers” — the people we call “forced birthers” — are trying to roll back the clock to that time pre-Gloria Steinem when men could still decide these issues for women, when modern medical advances hadn’t wrested that control from their hands. When women’s sexuality was still something to be afraid of. They’re fighting stuff that’s already been decided by the culture and trying to pretend that the solutions modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry have created don’t exist. This strikes me not just as delusional but pathological.

Ron Paul is 76 years old. He went to medical school in the late 1950s. He’s of a generation where it’s okay to question a woman about whether she was “honestly” raped, you know, as opposed to just “making it up” the way we ladies like to do in our hormone-induced hysteria. In his world a woman “honestly” raped needs to go to the emergency room for treatment, and all that implies, as opposed to picking up a pill at the corner Rite-Aid.

Meanwhile on the other side we have a generation of women (and men) raised with the mantra “no means no” and women have direct access to information and safe solutions that didn’t exist in the 1950s. Those bells won’t be unrung, much as the other side pretends they can be.

It’s over, we all know it. If the pro-choice movement heretofore looked sufficiently unmotivated during these repeated attacks on women’s healthcare — stuff like fetal ultrasound legislation and anti-coercion signage and such — it’s because no one is really interested in refighting a battle that we’ve already won. I think the Susan G. Komen flap woke a bunch of people up, though.

Here’s the reality: cultural change can’t be undone. You’re not going to undo civil rights and women’s rights and gay rights. You can’t undo the fact that we live in a post-Christian society.

These things were decided long ago. These are battles you either lost or weren’t part of when they happened a generation ago, and they won’t be re-litigated.


Filed under abortion, culture wars, Ron Paul, women's rights

17 responses to “The Honest Rape

  1. Your comment was so thorough, well written, correctly indignant and passionate that all I can think of is to say Bravo! and thank you.

  2. i still can’t understand, if abortion is evil and every fertilized egg is a human soul, why abortion is ok _sometimes_. Like if the baby is a product of an “honest rape”? Really? So it’s a baby, but it’s sometimes _ok_ to kill it?

    It’s such an inconsistent view. I don’t know how they can live with saying it’s perfectly fine to kill _some_ babies, but only they get to decide when.

    On the other hand, if every fertilized egg is _not_ a baby who gets full legal protection, then it’s none of their business. i wish they weren’t so deeply interested in other people’s sex lives.

  3. chrome agnomen

    i appreciate and agree with your anger with ron paul, but, honestly, you just have to treat whatever comes out of his mouth as if you were hearing it on the porch of some shack up hootin’ holler in bugfuck masondixonland. you just can’t give much weight to ignorance on this level; he and his advocates are on a jonestown level of redneckery. sad that he has so many adherents, but we are a country with serious moral and ethical issues which at least 27% of the populace will never address. you can’t unring their bells either, cracked as they may be. all we can hope for is that their ilk die out.

  4. greennotGreen

    “a woman “honestly” raped needs to go to the emergency room for treatment, and all that implies,”

    But I really hope she will go the emergency room for documentation so the bastard can be convicted in court.

  5. ThresherK

    I’m trying to figure out what an “honest” rape is, and who gets to determine that.

    Who gets to determine that? Easy! Luck of the draw depending on which ambulance you get, what hospital you drive to, or the deity your pharmacist prays to.

    Gotta shout out my h/t to Joe “Midnight Cab Ride” Lieberman, besmiching my fair state for decades now.

    PS Ron Paul says he isn’t an ordinary politician. But he’s too dumb to hide in the vast darkness, the shade that Holy(er Than Thou) Joe has provided to douches in the non-medical-based community on the “womens’ issue” of rape/consent/medical agency/emergency contraception. Paul can’t bring himself to agree with all those Republicans and Our Librul Media everywhere whose safe word is “But Joe Lieberman…”.

    There’s contrarian, and then there’s cutting off liberating your nose to spite your face.

  6. Thresher, that really is the heart of the matter. All the determining will be done at a local level, and wo be the poor black woman raped in a small Mississippi town.

    • Or the Hispanic woman (or child) raped in Arizona. I mean, jesus. We’ve already seen how the Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s of the country respond when crimes are committed against certain people they don’t like.

  7. Old racist bastard. We, the women voters of this country, got our power to fight these old pompus asses last week. NO MAN has the right to tell us what to do when we are abused, attacked, tortured or raped, NO ONE. These fake religious creeps want to go back to before “Roe” and deny us ALL forms of preventing pregnancy, birth control, truth in sex education, the morning after pill and of course, abortion for any reason. I say each and every one of these hippo-crites who vote against women, teens and even little girls who become pregnant from criminals should be put on a national list that would deny them access to ANY ED drug. That list just might stop ‘creating all these lives they want to save and force US to carry, birth and raise. Ron Paul is a racist dog…and now it is clear he hates females, even his wife and daughters!

  8. Min

    He’s just too old–in oh, so many ways–to be president. Fortunately, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell that he will ever be so elected.

  9. Thanks for this forum. I guess I bring a couple of points as a retired “old white guy” and assert that being pro-choice does not make me anti-life and I despise the term pro-life. Still, I am pro-personal responsibility and I see less and less of that rhetoric now amid this insane Komen fiasco.

    The decisions regarding Planned Parenthood are being miscast by both sides of this debate. PP has established itself as a platform for educating people about social issues. So far all I hear is that they give breast exams and provide abortions. I didn’t know about the breast exams until last week.

    As for Ron Paul’s comment, I generally “get it” about what he means — but it’s sad when a candidate for the top job in the Western World thinks he can make value judgments based on some form of generic definition.

    But if Paul did mean pro-personal responsibility, I’d agree with that. However, I am not running for president and I had no trouble saying what I meant.

    • John Updike? I thought you were dead.

      PP has established itself as a platform for educating people about social issues. So far all I hear is that they give breast exams and provide abortions. I didn’t know about the breast exams until last week.

      That is not how I view PP — as a platform for educating people about social issues. Perhaps that’s because the so-called “pro-life” crowd has been so adept at shouting down anyone from the other side of this issue and completely hogging the microphone. Planned Parenthood is now and always has been an organization providing healthcare for women, specifically poor women who couldn’t afford it otherwise. They began doing cancer screenings back in 1963. They started providing contraception services back pre-Griswold, when it was still illegal in many states and still considered controversial.

      The other side has done a masterful job of framing PP as some kind of “abortion mill” but that’s because their standard-bearers openly lie on camera and our lazy media does not correct them.

      As for Ron Paul, I’m really not sure where “personal responsibility” comes in when it comes to rape. That is, after all, what the question was about: rape.

      Ron Paul is trying to give himself some ethical wiggle room by saying there’s about a 24 hour period after fertilization but before implantation when he thinks it’s morally acceptable to use “a shot of estrogen” to prevent a fertilized egg from implantation in the uterus. I’m not entirely clear if Ron Paul’s morality says this is OK just in the case of rape, or if it’s OK if the condom broke too. Not sure what the difference would be in that case. And at its crux he’s telling everyone he thinks life doesn’t begin at fertilization, it begins at implantation. That’s a pretty weighty conclusion to make: when life begins. Really, I’m not sure these questions are best left to some 76 year old racist crackpot who peddles in tinfoil hat conspiracies about fluoridated water and the gold standard.

      Obviously he’s entitled to his opinion but he is absolutely not entitled to legislating that opinion for all women.

      • As I wrote, I “get it” about what Paul was saying. I don’t have to agree with what people say. Even Osama bin Laden had a point of view.

        My point on this is that if he meant something, his choice of words was rather poor. (IOW, rape is one thing … just getting “knocked up” because you were careless, still another. As a male, I can only relate to one side of this conversation.)

        But “honest rape” would suggest a level of insensitivity or at least, not many practical conversations about the topic. And why should he? At his age, sex is a three-letter word. (Comparison: People who live in the 1 percent get angry when they *hear* that folks on welfare are buying candy for their kids! It pisses them off that poor people abuse the system and don’t pay taxes.)

        Then again, the truth that comes from sound-bite journalism can make anybody look like Rocky Balboa.

        I just tend to not leap to one side of an issue.

        But thank you for asking me if I am dead. Sorry, but my mother didn’t name me Mike Smith or Joe Jones. The Updike family decided “John” was a good enough name for me.

  10. I do need to add that while many are saying it’s fortunate that people like Ron Paul won’t be elected, the scary part is that people like Ron Paul still have enough support to get past the “I wanna be president” comment.

    • the scary part is that people like Ron Paul still have enough support to get past the “I wanna be president” comment.

      But America has always had its wackadoodle wing, they just were easier to hide. About 25% of the American electorate is batshit insane, always has been, always will be.

      • And about 16 percent of all Russians still admire Joe Stalin. And even more wish the czar would return. (Not intended to be a factual statement!)

        Fringe politics, yeah, it’s been around since the days of E.B. Debs, who wasn’t all that stupid. Some folks wanted a king in this country and I have no idea what the Confederates wanted.

        But I’d argue that your estimate on the batshit insane is slightly low!

      • Did you know Google has given your blog an “adult content” warning? I didn’t see anything in appropriate on there.

        Most of us who follow the discourse have noticed that every survey contains about 25-27% of people who believe something crazy. Like, Obama isn’t an American citizen, or he’s a Muslim. Or, Saddam Hussein was connected to 9/11. Or, Iraq had WMD. Or, self-identify as Tea Party. Or gave Bush high approval ratings when he left office.

  11. The only thing about it is the language and my piss-ass attitude. But I do have a link off a website that I hope teenagers will look at for historical value. That runs partially through the library in my old hometown.

    That website is