It has happened to all of us and let me tell you something else. We hated it; we loathed every single second of it. We regretted it the instant it happened until the day that people stopped mentioning the fact that it occurred.
Some of you might be wondering what I’m referring to. I’m referring to a time when you and I allowed something stupid or rude to slip out of our mouths only to the shock and appall of those around us. I’m referring to the horrific comments senatorial candidate Todd Akin allowed to slither out of his muzzle. I completely understand that we all say something stupid from time to time, but how could words so ignorant and sexist come from the mouth of a man running for a position that requires one to be informed and representative of the people?
Mr. Akin stated, “First of all, from what I understand from doctors [pregnancy from rape] is really rare, if it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” The statement is so entirely ridiculous that it is difficult to know where to start analyzing it. Nonetheless, I figure we can begin with the absolutely ludicrous notion of “legitimate rape.” Legitimate rape seems like a justification for rape. Rape is such an unnatural and abhorrent action it is simply heinous to make a claim that any form of it is “genuine.” Additionally, if you break down his quote you begin to realize that he seems to propose that most of the time when a woman gets pregnant from rape, that it was not a “legitimate rape.” To really put this comment into perspective I must create a scenario in which his reasoning is put into action.
Imagine a woman who, after a few weeks of attempting to recover from being raped then realizes she is also pregnant. Although she had feared to come forth with the fact that she was raped, the newfound information spurs her to report it to the district attorney. After a miserable exchange of words with the D.A., she is told that because she is pregnant she cannot press charges against the culprit because she was not “legitimately raped.” Imagine the type of backwards world in which an incident such as this might occur.
This is the type of world that Todd Akin lives in. This is the type of world we will live in if people such as Todd Akin are elected. I am not calling out Republicans in this case; I am calling out representatives that are insensible, biased and just plain ignorant.
Mr. Akin’s comment has, of course, become a heated topic of debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign. President Obama has been fueling the issue, pointing out the fact that Romney’s fellow Republican made such obscene comments. Whereas Mitt Romney has been distancing himself from Akin even going so far as to ask him to exit the senate race “in the best interest of the country.” It saddens me how this has become an issue of whether or not democratic candidates are less ignorant than republican candidates. We need to realize that before these comments were made, a man who thought that women could not become pregnant from rape had a good chance of being elected as a senator.
This needs to be an issue of making sure that our elected representatives are more informed than their electorate. What is the point of voting for a candidate that is less informed than you? How can someone make good decisions that will affect your life if he does not know the information necessary to construct a valid argument for the issue?
The correct answer is that he cannot. With that in mind, we must put in place a system that vets out uninformed candidates. However, that has not become the issue so it is infeasible to believe that this will happen. President Obama should stated that after realizing that many candidates, and even current representatives, may be uninformed that he would strive to make sure that he and other Democrats would work to create a system that makes sure everyone is constantly informed on important issues.
Rather, President Obama chose to use his chance to make actual “change” to ridicule his opposing party. I believe that politicians in general need to do a better job of trying to improve the lives of their electorate. I believe even more strongly that Mr. Akin needs to do what is best for the country and exit the senatorial race; we do not need people like him in office, and Mr. Akin, trust me when I say it’s not me it’s you.
Deon Thomas is a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s Not Me, It’s You appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.