A brief roundup in response to some unscientific claims about sexual assault

August 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

Trigger Warning.  Discussion about rape and rape apologists. Links direct to images of violence against women.

Unless you’ve been completely disconnected from the internet, TV, newspapers,  and the radio over the last few days then you have probably heard a lot of responses to Todd Akin’s bogus and unscientific claims about women’s bodies and rape. Loads of people have weighed in on what he has said, so I won’t add any more here, but I wanted to link to some really smart and important responses to him.

“[Todd Akin] used the expression “legitimate” rape as if to imply there were such a thing as “illegitimate” rape. Let me try to explain to you what that does to the minds, hearts and souls of the millions of women on this planet who experience rape. It is a form of re-rape….It delegitimizes and undermines and belittles the horror, invasion, desecration they experienced. It makes them feel as alone and powerless as they did at the moment of rape.”  Eve Ensler

Our colleague at Emory, who wants you to know: All rapes are legit.

Dianne Anderson, of the blog Faith and Feminism, “If you think rape needs an adjective in front of it, if you think rape requires a qualifier, you need to stop talking about rape.

On a related note, photographer, Walter Astrada, has done a series of photos that have captured the daily lives of women who are survivors or victims of sexual violence. The images are incredibly haunting and painful to view, but I think that they are extremely honest about the reality of violence against women. There’s certainly no airbrushing done here.

To see op-ed coverage of Astrada’s work:



Last, but certainly not least, if all of these conversations about rape have left you feeling uneasy, concerned, frustrated, scared, or have triggered you, please know our doors are always open at the WRC. If you don’t want to talk to us, but need to talk to someone, RAINN, has an online hotline or you can call 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).


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