AKIN CODA

Posted in Quick Hits on August 22nd, 2012 by Ed

Tomorrow is my first day of classes with my new employer, and combined with a large amount of time well spent chatting with friends and loved ones on Tuesday night (technology is a poor but serviceable substitute for being near people you actually know) the intended Wednesday post did not get finished. You'll see that on Thursday, and it's one of those posts. Honestly I'm curious to see your reaction. Usually I don't give a shit.

I kid, I kid.

In its stead, Eve "Vagina Monologues" Ensler has what is hands-down the best response yet to Todd Akin, and I strongly encourage you to read it. I must confess that the long, overwrought personal gut-spill essay is not my favorite form of commentary on social and political issues, but given the nature of the Congressman's comments (and the author's ability to be effectively restrained and objective about a deeply scarring and personal issue) makes this incredibly effective. Read it.

I want you to close your eyes and imagine that you are on your bed or up against a wall or locked in a small suffocating space. Imagine being tied up there and imagine some aggressive, indifferent, insane stranger friend or relative ripping off your clothes and entering your body – the most personal, sacred, private part of your body – and violently, hatefully forcing themself into you so that you are ripped apart. Then imagine that stranger's sperm shooting into you and filling you and you can't get it out. It is growing something in you. Imagine you have no idea what that life will even consist of, spiritually made in hate, not knowing the mental or health background of the rapist.

Then imagine a person comes along, a person who has never had that experience of rape, and that person tells you, you have no choice but to keep that product of rape growing in you against your will and when it is born it has the face of your rapist, the face of the person who has essentially destroyed your being and you will have to look at the face every day of your life and you will be judged harshly if you cannot love that face.

Side note: In college I was participating in a workshop with numerous student organizations when the question, "How can feminism move forward?" was posed for our consideration. My best friend at the time, a lesbian of the Butch type who vocally led a women's group on campus, rose and said "We can start by admitting that 'The Vagina Monologues' kinda suck without feeling bad about it." I've not once heard the VM mentioned without thinking of this and chuckling on the inside.

You can see why we were friends.