Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anti-Choicers and Rape Apologists

When I first became interested in feminism, the topic that interested (and horrified) me the most was rape, and in particular, rape apologists. Rape apologists are the people who say things like "I'm against rape, but it really was her fault for wearing that skirt". They're the people who would rather blame victims of rape for being raped, as opposed to blaming rapists for raping people. Rape apologists have a long list of things that people, particularly women, should do/not do in order to not get raped. If these rules were to be made law, America would start looking a lot like some middle eastern countries. Rape apologists use rape as a tool to exert their dominance over women, and sadly, it's working.

I don't think it's a coincidence that the vast majority of rape apologists that I've met have been anti-choicers, and that many (most?) antis that I've met have been pro-rape. The similarities between rape apologists and anti-choicers are striking. Antis, like rape apologists, like to blame the woman for the pain that she's in. If she's hurting from an unwanted pregnancy, you'll hear them say "It's her fault, she shouldn't have been having sex". Rape apologists deny the pain of rape victims by saying that "It's just sex. Sex is natural". Anti-choicers do the same thing by claiming that, since pregnancy is natural, forcing a person through a pregnancy won't hurt hir. Anti-choicers use pregnancy, a beautiful and natural occurrence, as a weapon to keep women "in their place", just as rapists use sex, yet another beautiful and natural occurrence, to exert their dominance over people and to put them "in their place". Antis believe that the fetus has the right to use another person's body against hir will, much like the belief that people should always have access to a woman's body for sex, despite what she says. Their beliefs show a complete disregard for people's bodily autonomy and the right not to be violated. Rape apologists and anti-choicers just don't get that sex and pregnancy are both beautiful. Forced sex and forced pregnancy are not.

If you try to discuss the subject of pregnancies that resulted from rape with an anti, you're not likely to hear a lot of sympathy coming from their side. Whenever I try to have this discussion, the antis are never able to sympathize with the women. It's always about the fetus for them. They'll include both the rapist and the fetus into the discussion by saying something like "It's not the baby's fault that its father was a rapist!", but there will be no mention of the person CARRYING the fetus. Rape victims are invisible to them. They speak of us as if we're objects that feel no pain.

Now, if you're lucky, the anti MIGHT acknowledge a rape victim's existence by saying that she can just "give the kid up for adoption". This is just another way to ignore the pain that the person carrying the fetus might go through. I've never been pregnant, but I'm willing to bet that pregnancy is no cakewalk. I can't imagine how some people may feel when they get pregnant as a result of rape. Giving the child up for adoption doesn't mean that you don't have to go through 9 months of pregnancy. It won't erase the trauma. The abortion issue isn't just about the nine months of pregnancy, or just about the responsibility for the child afterwards. It's about the whole picture. Pro-choicers don't ignore some people's pain by narrowing the scope. If an anti isn't trying to make rape victims completely invisible, then s/he will most certainly try to make hir pain invisible.

Rape victims are invisible to a lot of people. Most people won't hear our voices. Most people don't even know what rape is, beyond the idea of a young, pretty cis girl being attacked and raped in a dark alley. Anti-choicers neglect us, because they know that hearing us out is detrimental to their political agenda. They know that listening to our voices can't possibly benefit their agenda, so they ignore us. It seems like they'll hurt anyone and everyone, as long as they get their way.

I've had a lot of triggering conversations with antis about this subject. Their complete disregard for the experience and emotions of rape victims horrifies me. It's made me come to the realization that, if we were to let them win, the rape culture would win, too. It wouldn't be just the right to choose that would be flushed down the drain. Other rights would go, as well. Any right that has to do with protecting our bodily autonomy will be destroyed. Anti-choicers and rape apologists have similar beliefs and goals and, in a sense, they make perfect partners in crime.


  1. Can you separate rape and pregnancy please?

    Their is no excuse for rape, not even a mini-skirt. I don't know the circumstances of what happened to you, but I'm thinking you were blamed for the way you dressed? It wasn't your fault, and nobody should blame you for what happened. If pregnancy had occured, then yes, I would say to let it live. But it's not because your feelings don't matter. It's because both you AND a baby are involved at that point and you both matter.

    Knowing that you wants LOTS of kids, I would have to ask WHY the hell you're letting prochoice paint pregnancy in such an evil light. Pregnancy is natural, and it's beautiful. There is no feeling like holding that baby in your arms after you nurtured him for 9 months in the womb.

  2. justsnapd8-

    "Knowing that you wants LOTS of kids, I would have to ask WHY the hell you're letting prochoice paint pregnancy in such an evil light."

    I haven't seen any of the pro-choice activists that I know do this. If you think that we're comparing pregnancy to rape, you're wrong. We're comparing forced pregnancy to rape. There's a huge difference.

    "Pregnancy is natural, and it's beautiful."

    I already addressed this. Here's what I said: "Rape apologists and anti-choicers just don't get that sex and pregnancy are both beautiful. Forced sex and forced pregnancy are not."

  3. I agree that forced sex is evil, but a fetus and pregnancy are never evil, and I don't think the fetus should suffer because of it. A fetus is not a curse, or a punishment, it's a baby.

  4. justnapd8, it's really not for you to say what is and is not a curse or a punishment for any woman. It may not be for you, but it may be for another woman, and she has every right in the world to feel that way. The situation and the individual traits of the woman are what determines that, not you. So don't tell me how to feel or what's best for me and mine. It's the height of disrespect and the kind of erasure we're talking about.

  5. Love this post! Great analysis, excellent writing. Keep it up!!

  6. In my womens studies class a girl actually had the nerve to say that women bring rape onto themselves when they act 'slutty' and how can anyone take their word serious or believe them when they 'accuse' a man of rape. And how do women expect men to control themselves when they know that a woman puts out and dresses 'slutty'.

    Yup! It was appalling. I still can't believe people think this way.

    As for your connection between forced sex and forced pregnancy, I never really noticed that before. Very interesting and thought provoking.

    It's never any person's fault if they are raped. I do know people that are anti-choice but are pro-choice in cases of rape/incest- interesting. I think most anti-choice people are not truly mysoginist control freaks and just want to look out for the 'fetus'. I think most who blame rape on the victim have their heads screwed on backward. I think that you are right about there being similarities in the two ways of thinking, and I also think that it's mostly the 'big boys' who try to use both methods to control women.

    Ask yourselves ladies, if it's really our fault because of how we dress then why are women in the middle east who are covered in clothing from head to toe also being raped? Why are men being raped? Why are innocent and completely asexual children being raped? It's NOT our fault.

  7. Thanks everyone for you comments. :)

    Angie- Sadly, this is a really common view. I wrote a blog post about this called "Living in a Rape Culture".

    A lot of women and girls agree with the viewpoint of the woman in your women's studies class. Tragically, a lot of them eventually become raped and end up blaming themselves for the rapist's actions, just as they blamed other women for their rapist's actions before. If you look up rape victim's stories online, you'll find a lot of survivors who blamed themselves/are still blaming themselves for their rape. This is an ongoing problem. We're raised in a society that teaches people how to not get raped as opposed to teaching people not to be rapists, and because of this, we have this idea that, if a person does get raped, then it's his/her fault. It's very tragic :(

  8. This is also a case of giving special rights to zygotes, embryos, and fetuses. Many anti-choicers think they're activism leads to giving equal rights to them and giving them personhood. Of course, no person has the right to be inside a woman or use a woman's body without her permission. Giving a zygote the right to do so is giving it a special right that no person has. So if they want zygotes to be protected under the law by making them persons, then they must also accept the fact that who's protected under the law must also be accountable to uphold it.

  9. Your "Scare Tactics" are absolutely DISGUSTING! It's shit like this that FORCES people into being pro-choice and it's pathetic. All you damn feminist do is use abortion to fight all your battles when there's more important things for you so called feminist to be fighting for. You link all us anti-abortionist with rapists and is fucking disgusting. By YOUR logic all uf us against abortion are rapists or rapist sympathizers and that's bullshit! YOU are SICK, instead of arguing valid points you are literally SCARING people into becoming pro-choice by spitting out such BULLSHIT that we anti-abortionist are rapists and that if we win this "war" on abortion that there will be no "rights" for women at all and not only is this DISGUSTING, it's STUPID and ILLOGICAL! HOW DARE YOU say that we're rapist or rape sympathizers, non-smypathizing towards rape victims and basically void of any emotions. You say that WE don't listen, listen to the verbal vomit that's coming out of YOUR mouth, if anyone is a non-sympathizer its YOU! Why don't you stick to valid arguements instead of trying to SCARE people into believeing your verbal spews!

  10. Prove that you don't support rape by supporting women controlling their own bodies. You know you want to ;)

  11. Anonymous-

    If the truth scares you, then maybe it's best to reconsider your beliefs. I'm not trying to scare anyone, I'm just telling the truth.

    Tell me, if you don't support women's right to their own bodies, what stops you from supporting rape? Most of the "logic" that antis use could also be used to justify rape. Not supporting the right to choose is just one step away from supporting rape.

  12. I have been raped twice in my life. The first as a teenager. I am stronger than rape. But I am way stronger than abortion.

    Wolves prey on the young, the sick, the vulnerable and the elderly. Wolves do not have free will. I do.

    Keep up the good work Pro-Lifers! God Bless.

  13. I am stronger than intentionally hurting people. I'd never do that. That is why I'm pro-choice.

  14. Supporting the killing, or actually doing the killing of our most vulnerable human beings the Weakest Choice a human can make. It's what Hiltler and Stalin did but they sure were thought of as Strong Characters in their time. When we know better, we do better.

    You are making an Intentional Choice in supporting violent acts that only continue the dedegration of females of the Human Race. How sad you don't even realize this.

  15. Comparing abortion to the horrors of the Holocaust is extremely disrespectful to pro-choice AND real Holocaust survivors. And how is it degrading to women to give them power to decide if, when, and how to start a family?

  16. Killing innocent humans is the ultimate disrespect. How interesting you use the word "power". Hitler adn his cronies were all about this too.

  17. Two things wrong with your statement, obviously:

    Abortion doesn't involve killing. Otherwise you would have to disagree with established medical precedent. That the cause of death when a human is disconnected from artificial life support, is the disconnection NOT the lack of brain function. After all, abortion is the termination of the implantation of the fetal plaCENta (y'know, biological life support?) into the uterus.

    It also doesn't involve innocents. Unless you are going to call your table innocent. They both lack the caPACity to be guilty. Innocence is the default of guilt, full stop. The lack of capacity to be innocent is the default of the lack of capacity to be guilty;

    Yes, Hitler and his cronies were all about the power to give more rights to a certain class of humans (like ProLifers want to do with fetuses) that they thought superior (themselves) while denying rights to another class of humans (like ProLifers want to do with women) that they thought inferior (Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, really, all other people that weren't like 'them'). Hitler was both ProLife and ProAbortion, *neither* of which is ProChoice. It was a ProChoice woman (Gisella Perl) that saved Jewish women from the gas chambers, though. Really, read up on your history, next time, before making your unfounded accusations, mmkay...?

    So, because a woman has to remove the fetus in order to retain her rights, she must not be allowed to have them? Why do anti-choicers always think that women must be punished for the way their body is developed, while men can get off scot-free?

    The true violence is supported by anti-choicers. Rape and slavery.

    You support rape when you declare that another form of it is more acceptable than the former, even though it is of shorter duration, and has fewer risks to one's physical health and life.

    You support slavery when you attempt to enslave women to their wombs.

    When you make them nothing more than incubators and baby-making machines, that is the TRUE violence and degradation of women.

  18. "You are making an Intentional Choice in supporting violent acts that only continue the dedegration of females of the Human Race. How sad you don't even realize this."

    So, when black people were freed, people were making an intentional choice in supporting violent acts (the emancipation of people who are black WAS violent, after all... and this was to give them equal rights, prevent them from being dehumanized, just as the ProChoice movement now wants to help women do in the face of the anti-choice movement) that only continue the degradation of black people of the Human Race? Do you see how easily your words can be turned against you, now? If not, how sad you don't realize this.



Due to constant spam and derailing coming from a few antis, I am now making this blog a "safe place". This does not mean that I won't allow opposing views. It means that I'm not longer going to allow hateful or unrelated/spammy comments. This will continue on until the anti-choice spammers get bored with harassing me and the people who post here, and is especially relevant when it comes to the topic of rape. I hope this doesn't deter any respectful people from commenting. :)