Smack! Oh, My Akin Head. Smack, Smack!

27 Aug

by Roger White  


I make it a point never to get political in my missives to you, my brethren and sistren. In my book, all politicians of every stripe and polka-dot leave themselves wide open to much well-earned ridicule as long as their well-stuffed pockets continue to leak all those special-interest dollars. I aspire to run right down the skinny middle when it comes to any public comments regarding that muddy, treacherous, and ridiculous landscape we know as politics.

But dumb is dumb, OK, even among this population known for its monumental foul-ups.

I’m referring, of course, to one Todd Akin, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the great state of Missouri. Note how I did not mention Rep. Akin’s political affiliation. It may or may not be relevant, and frankly I don’t care if he’s a donkey, an elephant, or some creature in between. Because mainly what he is is a jackass. What we’re focusing on here are the actual, fantastical words that came from his actual, bombastical mouth recently. I am still, at this very moment, smacking myself upside the head with an open palm, trying to determine if I’m having a bad dream.

For those with short-term memory loss or who have been vacationing on Easter Island of late, here’s what the honorable Rep. Akin opined regarding a woman’s chances of getting pregnant because of rape: “From what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Smack, smack. Nope, I didn’t wake up. It must be real. Smack.

Now, I’m as flag-totin’, freedom-lovin’, and Ford-truck-commercial-watchin’ as the next American, but sweet ghosts of Gary Hart and Dan Quayle, we do not need any more help looking like nitwits to the rest of the civilized world.

Where to begin with the supreme idiocy and outrageous implications of this statement? First off, the very idea that women can just “shut that whole thing down” if they want to? Smack, smack. No, still real. As if there really needed to be research on this, a three-year study of American women was actually conducted in 1996 that found rape-related pregnancy occurred with “significant frequency”—with no fewer cases of pregnancy than from consensual sex. Besides, if women could simply “shut that whole thing down” (smack), don’t you think girls and women all over the world would be “shutting down” unwanted pregnancies on their own—just by sheer willpower?

Another thing about Akin’s declaration that is just as upsetting, not so much for the sheer stupidity but more for the casual implication, is the language he used regarding “legitimate rape.” You know what he’s saying here, of course. Was it really rape? Did she lead him on? The word “rape” needs no modifier. To imply otherwise is a slap in the face to rape victims everywhere.

Ah, but wait. There’s more. Here’s the topper: Akin is a (drumroll) member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, no less. Smack, smack, smack. Man, that’s beginning to hurt.

And guess what? Yours truly has done some digging. Hey, I was once an investigative journalist, ya know. Had the fedora with press credentials stuck in it and everything. Covered the city beat for the Cement, Texas, Greensheet. Anyway, I’ll bet you didn’t know some of the other cringeworthy things ol’ Rep. Akin has done and said. Take a gander:

  • In a speech delivered to the Research On Funding Limits for Matters Amoral & Objectionable (ROFLMAO) Institute, Akin proposed cutting funding for AIDS research, reasoning that, “Transmission of AIDS is rare in cases of legitimate male rape because the truly heterosexual male body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down back there.”
  • Akin was the author of the Sanitize Public Hot Tubs Now Bill, citing his belief that women have been known to get pregnant by merely sitting in a hot tub in which a male has “relieved himself.”
  • The Missouri representative also proposed NASA’s First Manned Mission to the Sun. “As sure as the Earth is flat, the Soviet Union or China will get there first if we don’t get on this,” Akin said at a press conference held at the Akin Phrenology Institute. “I want to see our flag on solar soil.”
  • Akin also sponsored House Resolution 6969, otherwise known as the Perpetual Motion Resolution. Wearing a dreamcatcher necklace made entirely of magnets at the press conference, Akin stated that “just because scientists say it violates fundamental laws of thermodynamics doesn’t mean we can’t try. Hey, this magnet thing really works,” Akin added. “Go ahead, see if you can push me over.”


Roger White is a freelance writer living in Austin, Texas, with his lovely wife, two precocious daughters, a very fat dachshund, and a self-absorbed cat. For further adventures, visit



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