Re: “Akin’s rape comments stir outcry” (TNT, 8-20).
Rape is a political act, not just a sexual act.
As President Obama said, “Rape is rape.” Republicans who parse rape as “legitimate” or not, who minimize rape’s horror by imagining that no pregnancy ensues, who would criminalize abortion even in cases of rape, perpetuate the psychology of the imperial conquistador.
Throughout history, invaders have used rape not only to intimidate conquered populations, but also to de-legitimize ethnic minorities, denying their children a right to claim the land and its resources. This form of oppression is only possible because raped mothers do conceive, and children of rape are born.
In recent history, ethic genocide through rape has been used in Bosnia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Darfur and now in Syria. In North America, Europeans habitually raped their black slaves.
Paul Ryan would deny raped girls a legal right to abortion. Such intimidation of women, and of organizations like Planned Parenthood, is part of a long, ugly history of male aggression that minimizes the horror of rape and the rights of the powerless. God forbid that his ideas should find their way onto the Republican Party platform. We can do better than this.