Sen. Mitchell’s Advice For Todd Akin: Avoid “Explosive Boners”

A commenter brings this post to Colorado Sen. Shawn Mitchell’s Facebook page to our attention. Because the chances of Sen. Mitchell not offering something in response to Missouri GOP U.S. Senate candidate Todd Akin’s assertions this weekend about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy were always close to zero. On the upside, it appears that not even the (in)famously outspoken Sen. Mitchell is willing to stand by Akin’s statement that “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” With that in mind:

Perhaps a stab at a good point, Senator Mitchell, but a lot of people are going to stop cold well before they get to the end. It seems to us that delineating “actual” rapes in this way, not to mention the at least partial acknowledgement of Akin’s claim here, is kind of problematic. Many readers will stop somewhere between point “A” and point “B,” and if they survive reckoning the meaning of point “B” they’re going to run smack dab into point “C.”

Which, as you can see, is laden with “explosive boners.”

Bottom line: we think we get what he’s trying to say. But on balance, really not helping.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ClubTwitty says:

    that its the bullet about not using unfortunate language in comments…

  2. PeterFisk says:

    Sen. Mitchell reports that Vice President Biden is “a walking grenade, threatening small explosions at any moment.”

  3. BlueCat says:

    explosions, boners and especially with explosive boners. And he still apparently takes Aiken at his word about rape rarely resulting in pregnancy and why.

    Why is it that Republicans seem to be such a bunch of ignorant stunted adolescents? Were they all out having a smoke when this stuff was being covered in what used to be called “health class” back in the day?

    Meantime the petition signing/fund raising e-mails continue to pour in. I was  particularly struck by this nugget from a DCCC e-mail:

    Help us reach 100,000 signatures telling Speaker Boehner to remove Akin from the House Science Committee

    That’s right. This benighted ignoramus serves on the House Science Committee. Naturally.

    • Barron X says:

      NOTE: in what follows, I’m trying to make fun of Akin.  

      I don’t think there’s anything funny about rape.  It’s a horrific violation of the person that destroys many victims.  Few ever really “recover.”  Many die.  

      Worldwide, in less advanced societies, in some situations, rape is sometimes not considered a crime.  Sometimes the victim is blamed.  


      Nobody is examining the concept of “illegitimate rape,”  or what constitutes “legitimate rape.”  

      Is this like “she dressed provocatively, so she was asking for it ?  

      By this time, shouldn’t Akin be posting links to the “legitimate” medical studies on the likelihood of various types of rape resulting in pregnancy ?  

      Types of rape studied, besides legit and illegit, might include forcible, voluntary (by the victim,) involuntary (by the perpetrator,) and accidental.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      attended one of this country’s backwoods creationist madrasahs . . .

      If you had, you would know that once you are washed in the Sea of Galilee there’s no need for any further washings.  “Health class” is only for secular-humanists.  (I kinda thought you would have done better with “Holy Land Facts and Geography,” BC?  Did you sleep through that class?)

      Start with Ned Flanders; add the intellect and schooling of Jetro Bodine; toss in a heaping helping of Dick Cheney fuck-everyone-but-the-billionaires bitter nastiness, and you have the recipe for the modern conservative candidate.  

  4. BlueCat says:

    Still waiting for a helpful link to either some of those doctors allegedly claiming or a scientific study demonstrating this amazing biological anti-sperm mechanism that is either automatically triggered or which women can consciously trigger (Aiken is a little hazy on that point) in the event, and only in the event, of “legitimate” rape as opposed to just wanting to have consensual sex or to participate in illegitimate rape without getting pregnant.

    This would be especially enlightening to me as I happen to be a woman and never knew I had this amazing capacity. Never read about it or encountered it in any class dealing with human physiology.

    Also I’d like to hear their thoughts on how laying out an entire theory, complete with attribution to doctors as a group, meets the definition of “misspeaking”.

    • BlueCat says:

      Akin. Even though it’s been right there in front of me. That’s the typing version of misspeaking as opposed to claiming that I have proof he actually just recently arrived here in a time machine from the Dark Ages. I don’t even though it seems as plausible an explanation as I can come up with.

    • Barron X says:

      (I take 20 minutes to write, proof and re-read something that could make me look very bad, if poorly stated.)  

      I’m a rightie,

      and I can’t see any way to defend Akin’s remarks.  

      It doesn’t sound right to me, a woman’s body unconsciously preventing pregnancy under such circumstances.

      I assume that when he said “legit” rape he meant an unwanted and violently forcible attack.  Maybe he meant that, by fighting back and screaming, the woman could stop it ?  

      Seems to me, some women being raped fear for their lives, and don’t resist so as not to provoke their subsequent murder.  

      It’s not an exact comparison, but in a way it’s like being tortured by an instrument of the state.  

      If the perpetrator(s,) in either case, feel they can get away with their crimes, what’s to stop them from killing the victim when the rape or torture is done ?  

      In neither case is the passive victim agreeing to being victimized.  

      • Barron X says:

        And those women and girls conceived children from those attacks, IIRC.  

        Seems to me that there are lots of Sicilian blue-eyed blondes, resulting from rapes by marauding Vikings hundreds of years ago.  

        Maybe Akin is right, but I’m skeptical.  

      • BlueCat says:

        Here’s a little info on the science:

        But while Akin is wrong in his assertion about rape and pregnancy, he certainly isn’t alone. His remarks tapped into a strain of thinking that dates back to at least the 1980s, with anti-abortion politicians from Pennsylvania to Arkansas making the case that the trauma of rape can often prevent pregnancy. The argument does not come up frequently, but when it does, it nearly always leads to political controversy.

        Pennsylvania state Rep. Stephen Friend (R) was an ardent abortion opponent. He authored legislation that included one of the the nation’s first abortion waiting periods, and the case went all the way to the Supreme Court.

        He also looks to be the first legislator to make the argument that rape prevents pregnancy,  arguing in the late 1980s that the odds of a pregnancy resulting from rape were “one in millions and millions and millions.”

        His explanation? The trauma of rape causes women to “secrete a certain secretion which has the tendency to kill sperm.” Reproductive health experts immediately denounced those remarks. One told the Philadelphia Inquirer, “Boy, if I could find out what that [secretion] was, I’d use it as a contraceptive.”

        For more:

        I have read stats that between 5 and over 6 percent of rapes result in pregnancy. If that seems low, though much higher than “one in millions and millions and millions”, it isn’t.

        Bear in mind, for various reasons, on average, each random single copulation has a similarly low chance of resulting in pregnancy since we are not a species that is only receptive to sex during the short ovulation window or during our fertile years when conception is possible and even during times when we can get pregnant, pregnancy very often fails to result.  

  5. Half Glass Full says:

    Nice try, Shawn “Explosive Boner” Mitchell… but Akin’s comment wasn’t just about supposedly confusing the word “legitimate” with “actual.” It was about his bizarre claim that he’d “heard from doctors” that somehow women are able to prevent themselves from getting pregnant when they’re inseminated against their will. I would love to hear the medical, scientific proof behind that interesting claim. I’d love to hear Akin provide the name of even one doctor who told him such information.

    If there is no proof behind the claim, then it seems to be just another of a string of Republican “blame the victim” type comments: “You’re pregnant after being raped? Well then, chances are you must have kinda liked it…”

    Disgusting and unforgivable.

  6. MADCO says:

    1) WHen is a rape not a rape?

    Ie, what’s the difference between legitimate rape and some other kind of rape?

    2) Isn’t incest always rape?  Why does it get it’s own special category- like it might or might not be illegal sexual contact?

    3) 64,000 rapes reported  last year.  3200 pregnancies. About 5%.

    But the takeaway is somehow that most women don’t get pregnant, not 64,000 rapes reported in one year!!!!!? WTF_ that’s like 175 per day. WHich is like  7.3 per hour. Or about 1 every 7 minutes.

    OMG! And that’s just the ones that are reported?

    If even one rape occurred per year, it would be wayy too many. If even one rape results in pregnancy – that’s wayyy too many.

    To claim that  the right policy must then be “to punish the rapist, not the child”  clearly IGNORES THE WOMAN. And destroys all semblance of real concern aobut punishing the rapist.

    Sure- mr rapist – you committed a felony, but we’ll make sure your child is born, and cared for because otherwise, what would be the point of that whole rape thing, which was bad. Very bad.

    I hate the politicians in this country sometimes.

    • BlueCat says:

      has list of the 6 craziest things people have said about pregnancy and rape. Included are several which I would guess are Akin’s likely sources. None, of course, have the slightest basis in any published science.

      Still waiting to hear from Arap, nock, ‘tad, registeredR and co and understand that Akin is being pressured by his own party to bow out but has to do so by 5PM. Clearly they don’t think his lead is big enough to survive this so I hope he refuses.

      I bet a little more digging could produce a long list of R congressmen in other races who have said the same thing? Hope busy Dem aides are on it.

    • parsingreality says:

      Of course not.

      In fact, I’ll bet brother-sister sex is a lot more common than we think.

      Even outside of Arkansas.

      (What’s Arkansas foreplay?  Pssst…..Sis, you awake?)

  7. ProgressiveCowgirl says:

    I don’t see it on his page now.

    Regardless, I’d like to hear Shawn clarify which rapes aren’t “actual.” There are a few false reports of rape in the world, but those are not rapes, not rapes that are not “actual.” If a rape occurs, it is, indeed, an actual rape.

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