Skepchick Quickies 8.21


Amanda works in healthcare, is a loudmouthed feminist, and proud supporter of the Oxford comma.

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  1. If someone were to ram a dead rotting porcupine up Akin’s ass, I wonder if he would consider it legitimate or illegitimate. Could this be a Schrodinger’s box type experiment? Hmmm, only one way to find out . . .

    1. People have a hard time getting it through their heads that women don’t actually WANT to be raped. Generally they think the victim somehow enjoyed it or welcomed it.

      The best analogy I’ve heard of for this is
      “Oh you don’t understand how rape is so bad?”
      “Do you like icecream?”
      “Would you like it when someone slapped you, forced your mouth open, and jammed a gallon of it down your throat in 2 minutes?”

      1. The other insidious thing Akin is implying is that rape victims who became pregnant from their rape are lying about being raped (because of their rape defense shields and countermeasures should have worked or something).

        Like prosecutor and former senatorial candidate Ken Buck who wouldn’t pursue a rape case because he felt like the victim was having “buyer’s remorse”.

        1. Yeah exactly, many right wingers (and probably some in our own community) are insinuating that a lot of women are lying about their rape and that it’s not legitimate.

          You know how hard it is though to actually stand up & try to get a rape case prosecuted? VERY HARD. One time while working for an acting company JPM Productions, one of their actors was offering a ride to our halloween after-party in his hearse. I and several people (including a several women) jumped in the car. Instead of taking us to the after party he took us to a strange house and started threatening the women and egging me on to take part. When I refused they tied me up and then tied up the rest of the women and made a bunch of threats to us all.

          Eventually they went home and left us all in there. I managed to convince a few of the women to come with and leave the car (not all would :( ).

          So when I went to talk to JPM and the cops the next day (with duct tape marks and missing skin all over my arms), both JPM PRoductions staff & the cops said “well it sound like they were pulling a prank” “are you sure you weren’t involved yourself? sounds like a supsicious story”

          They blamed me, one of the victims, and that’s what I imagine many authorities to because of this idea of “illegitimate rape”. And that’s why so many victims are afraid to seek justice, because they often have the authorities and society pointing back at them as the one who did wrong.

          And we’re going to elect a US fucking senator with these views? Fucking OUTRAGEOUS?? No doubt the republican party wants to put a burn notice out for him because his case calls out the massive sexism and rape denying that goes on in the republican party.

          And you know, it’s really no surprise that a horribly misogynistic story pops up from the right every few months. It’s because when you hold such views, it’s hard to conceal them.

          1. First, that’s a horrible story, and the sad thing is I’m not surprised by it.

            Secondly, his implication is clarified:

            ‘There isn’t any legitimate rapist…. [I was] making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those that basically created Roe v. Wade.’


            So, bitches be lyin’, yo, is what he REALLY meant to say.

          2. “You know how hard it is though to actually stand up & try to get a rape case prosecuted? VERY HARD.”

            Tell me about it!

            Maybe one or two of you may remember, about a year ago I was talking with Weatherwax about vigilante justice and somebody dear to me whom I referred to as Her?

            Jeez this is hard without going into CAPSLOCK INCANDESCENT RAGE.

            Anyway, I was told sternly by a skeptical male lawyer that it was a VERY SERIOUS ACCUSATION. The conversation basically taught me a great deal about privilege, patriarchy, victim blaming and many of the other topics we discuss here.

            Sure, the circumstances were bizarre and the perpetrator was a powerful member of the establishment, but you might think people would keep an open mind.


            TL;DR I’m right with you all. This Akin character is a freaking disgrace.

    1. Absolutely, it’s an idea whose time has come. Atheism does not exonerate douchebaggery in any of its forms.

  2. Amanda,

    I never hear do “Humanist Paganism.” I’m not really surprised that it exists through.

  3. Amanda

    The Onion is hilarious!

    By the way, I sent you that same BoingBoing Story about Todd Akin and “magic, rape-proof vaginas,” the other day.

  4. I noticed that among the plus categories for A+ is “neurotypicalism”. Can someone educate me on this term. From what I can gather it is discrimination based on deviation from what is “normal neural development” as applied to autism and other developmental disorders. And this IMO falls into a large grey zone for anything beyond an anencephalic fetus. Would a woman therefore be accused of discrimination on grounds of “neurotypicalism” because she had an abortion of a fetus that would have ended up developmentally delayed?

    Will and all other social scientists, can you help me on this. In med school we are taught “normal neurologic development”. Are we therefore being taught to discriminate? Is it wrong to state that alobar holoprosencephaly with cyclopia due to trisomy 13 is “abnormal neural development”? Or is “neurotypicalism” reserved for discriminating against those who are afflicted by the milder end of the spectrum of developmental disorders but otherwise are well functioning individuals eg. a person who suffers from ADHD but able to function as a Neurosurgeon.

    1. Would a woman therefore be accused of discrimination on grounds of “neurotypicalism” because she had an abortion of a fetus that would have ended up developmentally delayed?

      Uh, no. Well, at least I wouldn’t. I am going to go out on a limb here, but they are probably referring to people who are ALIVE and who have been BORN, and not fetuses. Abortions are irreverent.

    2. Is it wrong to state that alobar holoprosencephaly with cyclopia due to trisomy 13 is “abnormal neural development”?

      This is a medical term, and medical terms tend to be very specific to the context, yes? Just like many scientific terms, they don’t always correlate well to real-world usage.

      I’m also not sure I’d consider the usage of “abnormal” to be necessarily discriminatory — certainly not in a scientific context. Simply, it just means a deviation from “normal”. Or maybe even “average” I’m no scientist). In the context of science, the concepts of “average” and “normal” have general guidelines or … I don’t know. I’m not articulate enough in science to, well, articulate this well, lol, but you can’t just arbitrarily pick “normal” or “average” in a scientific context.

      In the general, real-world however, “normal” and “average” are incredibly subjective, and based on social and cultural norms, not scientific guidelines.

      So, you know, it depends on context.

      And also how it’s used.

      That said, the subject of aborting because of “abnormalities” in fetuses is very touchy. I personally don’t give a crap, but other people disagree. Some may find it discriminatory. I, personally, don’t. And I imagine most intelligent atheists and/or skeptics would agree.

    3. The context in which I have always heard “neurotypical” is specifically with autism spectrum disorders. It seems to be used to emphasize that autism (especially high-functioning and Aspergers) is not a defect but a difference.

      1. Here are the DSM IV criteria for autism:

        A. A total of six (or more) items from (1), (2), and
        (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from
        (2) and (3):
        (1) qualitative impairment in social interaction, as
        manifested by at least two of the following:
        (a) marked impairment in the use of multiple
        nonverbal behaviors, such as eye-to-eye gaze,
        facial expression, body postures, and gestures to
        regulate social interaction
        (b) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate
        to developmental level
        (c) a lack of spontaneous seeking to share
        enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other
        people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or
        pointing out objects of interest)
        (d) lack of social or emotional reciprocity
        (2) qualitative impairments in communication, as
        manifested by at least one of the following:
        (a) delay in, or total lack of, the development of
        spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt
        to compensate through alternative modes of
        communication such as gesture or mime)
        (b) in individuals with adequate speech, marked
        impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a
        conversation with others
        (c) stereotyped and repetitive use of language or
        idiosyncratic language
        (d) lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe
        play or social imitative play appropriate to
        developmental level
        (3) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns
        of behavior, interests, and activities as manifested
        by at least one of the following:
        DSM -IV
        Criteria for Autism
        (a) encompassing preoccupation with one or more
        stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that
        is abnormal either in intensity or focus
        (b) apparently inflexible adherence to specific,
        nonfunctional routines or rituals
        (c) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms
        (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting or complex
        whole-body movements)
        (d) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
        B. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of
        the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:
        (1) social interaction,
        (2) language as used in social communication, or
        (3) symbolic or imaginative play.
        C. The disturbance is not better accounted for by
        Rett’s disorder or childhood disintegrative disorder.

        If autism is simply a difference and not a defect, then why bother treating it? Why see a Psychiatrist or Psychologist for this if it is on the spectrum of “normal” behavior?

        And I would add that just because an individual has a neural or genetic defect that does not mean a person is a “defect”. Even a person with advanced Alzheimer’s disease who has lost all social and cognitive function who regularly soils his/her pants is still a person who should be treated as an equal.

  5. That Onion article got it dead on. Also, let me quote fron a Facebook message someone (he is known to be one of those people who thinks he knows a lot more than he does) said on the topic:

    “Not that I support this guy in any way, shape or form, but pretty much every single media outlet has misquoted him. He didn’t say “Rape can’t cause pregnancy”. What he did say was something along the lines of “In my understanding, from do
    ctors I’ve spoken to and articles I’ve read, In the event of a legitimate rape, a woman’s body has protocols and systems that will *usually* prevent her from getting pregnant” – you’d have to go back and watch the interview yourself – CNN had it yesterday; I don;t have time to go back and look for it. Anyway, big difference between what he said in the interview, and what media are report/inferring he said.

    Scientifically speaking, he’s somewhat factually correct. When a women is aroused, her vaginal pH level becomes less acidic, meaning it’s less hostile to sperm, meaning there is a (marginally) greater chance to become pregnant. During rape, women aren’t generally aroused.

    Just sayin'”

    My response:
    “Not true at all, during a rape a person’s body will respond to the sex, against what a person is feeling. This is a huge part of why many rapes don’t reported ( especially for men, how can I have been raped if I got an erection?) and a majo
    r guilt and shame issue later on. How can I have felt that way? I didn’t want it. Your body betrays you, in a sense. There is ABSOLUTELY NO TRUTH to that statement at all. The only thing that prevents pregnancy is not having sex or using birth control. You don’t get to roll a will save.
    The worst part of all of these conversations is that no where, no one is saying “STOP RAPE” they’re still saying “Stop getting raped” and that is where the major issues lie. Denying anyone the reproductive rights is misogyny, period.

    1. Absolutely!

      Aikin has been mocked thoroughly for 3 days running at Youaredumb.net. Very satisfying and well worth a look!

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