In the same world where there exists a Justice Arijit Pasayat who said “While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless victim.", there also exists a complete blockheaded Todd Akin, who said “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
I never agreed with the Republicans’ parochialism, but my disagreement never went anything beyond an ideology. I am neither an American citizen nor one to have a say in American affairs, and consequently my denouncement of the Republicans’ ideas don’t really count for action. But this past week, Missouri Congressman, an absolutely ridiculous thinker at that, Todd Akin, belted out a Magnum Opus of the Republican brand of thought. Running against Democrat candidate Claire McCaskill for Senate, he was asked whether he supported abortion in the case of women who have been raped. And his brilliant response was, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”
What in the world is Legitimate Rape? Is there anything legitimate at all, about Rape? Rape is Rape, and nothing in the world can legitimize it. It is a heinous crime, and is easily the product of the most depraved mentalities ever. It is a filthy weapon in war, a horrible tactic in peace, and a disgusting thing to indulge in whatsoever. How can there ever be such an epithet as legitimate, to something that is so terribly wrong? Between actually committing rape, to supporting it in rhetoric like Akin did, there is no difference. What kind of insensibility propels his thinking, to let him say that a woman’s body has ways to shut an “illegitimate” rape down? What kind of a stupid, inept understanding of something as basic as science colours this immature head of his into saying such rot?
Rape is easily the most nefarious of all possible crimes. To top the fact that a woman has to suffer under the brunt of the crime and its violation of her very sanctity and modesty, she has to bear the stigma that society attributes to HER, and not to the man who did it to her; she has to bear the consequent pregnancy, the upbringing of the child who she invariably comes to love if not already, but has so much anger for the manner of his conception; she has to bear the brunt of idiotic ideas like Akin’s. And as long as attitudes like this prevail, more like her will come and go, suffering in silence. Rape is rarely treated as the felony it ought to be construed as, and until it is, women will always suffer in the hands of a vile social attitude.
And it doesn’t stop with the woman. For children of today to make a niche in life as people tomorrow, their mother must be literate, and treated well. If women are subjected to sexual violence, the institution of the family is broken, and society is crippled and forced on its knees. That the entire institution that “society” is comes to a grinding halt when women are targeted is not a baseless contention because women are the adhesive for the cohesive subsistence of a family or a society to exist. And until this realization dawns on the world, it will always be at war against women.
Why is it so easy to wage war against a woman? Why is it so easily the weapon of choice? Where is the beginning, where is the end? Or is there an end, at all?
By Kirthi Gita Jayakumar