Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Rape is rape. Choice is personal.

We live in the 21st century and yet it may as well be the dark ages when people like congressman Todd Akin come out and claim “a women’s body can block an unwanted pregnancy during rape” in what he has termed legitimate rape. Deplorable and inhumane don’t even begin to describe these claims. The words ‘legitimate’ and ‘rape’ should never appear in the same sentence. The idea that someone asks to be raped is disgusting. No means no regardless of who it comes from. A person’s body is not property; nobody has a right to use or abuse it as they please. 

Nobody except those who are victims of rape know what it feels like to have their entire world turned upside down. Or understand that regardless of how you think you may react you will never know until in a situation nobody should ever find themselves in. Rape is quite often a silent crime in that the victim is too young, scared or even ashamed to come forward. It is a crime that happens more often than any of us can comprehend. And it is never, under any circumstances legitimate. 

And if these claims are not offensive enough there is also the debate over whether a woman has the right to abort a child conceived as a result of a rape. Is it not enough that these women have been violated in the most personal and violent way possible; but a portion of society also believes they have the right to tell said women that they must carry, deliver and possibly raise their rapist’s child? Nobody, especially a man, has the right to impose such a personal choice on a woman. This lack of ability to choose only adds to the disrespect and violation they have already experienced.

There is a lot of talk about anti-abortion on religious grounds. However religion is as individual and personal as our bodies and should not determine something for everyone. Why is more value placed on one set of beliefs over another? Why do the beliefs of one religion get to make decisions for society as a whole when one religion does not represent society as a whole? We should all have the right to choose our own destiny; decide what happens to our own bodies based on our own beliefs. Beliefs and rights are two completely different things and the former should not have an impact on that later. Everyone has their own moral code. Everyone is entitled to those moral codes. But nobody is entitled to impose those moral codes on someone else. The right to choose has nothing to do with our own personal beliefs and yet everything to do with our own personal choices. The right to choose not to impose. Our lives, our bodies, our choice.

There are way too many circumstances to take in consideration to say that one way is suitable for all people. It's not about science; it's about law. It's not about religion; it's about choice. It should only be about choice. Pro-life & pro-choice are two different things. Everyone should have the right to choose; how they exercise that right is up to them.

When discussing the rights of society why does it matter what you or I individually think. The rights of society are about representing everyone and protecting the greater good. The option should be there for everyone to make their own decisions on issues that relate directly and specifically to their own lives and bodies. What each of us believe individually is important to us but it is not relevant to whether or not as a society we should have the right to choose. How any of us feel about, in this case, abortion is not the issue. The issue is whether or not we have the legal right to our beliefs. Currently not everyone does have that legal right; not everyone’s beliefs are represented and therefore they do not have a choice over the destiny of their own bodies.

There is this fear of speaking out about such issues because they are controversial and there is such a definitive voice already established in the debate. However if the right to choose is not discussed publicly and rationally; if people don't fight for this right, then nothing will ever change. If the victims of rape are not given a voice; the safety to speak out when their very definition of safety has been shattered then perpetrators will continue to walk free and victims will continue to suffer the additional pain of knowing they are out there.

“All right, think of it this way. Every time you talk about yourself, you use the word we. We want this, we want that. You don't even know how to think of yourself as a single individual. You don't say, I want this, or I am Hugh. We are all separate individuals. I am Geordi. I choose what I want to do with my life. I make decisions for myself. For somebody like me, losing that sense of individuality is almost worse than dying.”
~Star Trek: The Next Generation – ‘I, Borg’~


  1. The words can't describe what this article triggered in me!!!
    This topic is very close to my heart because it raises an important debate in a hypocritical and schizophrenic society that sometimes treats individuals, especially women like fresh meat, like if everyone has a say in the other's life. Being a woman & living in a country where this topic is taboo and where women's rights are violated in a daily bases, I find such a statement swanky & horrifying! The victims of rape in my country live a hell not only because of the trauma but also because the society supposed to protect them, instead of punishing the criminal (because it is a CRIME when you STOLE someone's life) punishes the victim. Not only the women victims of a rape live this nightmare that destroys their lives (and where it is almost impossible to rebuild themselves) but the law (supposed to protect them or at least make the criminal pay) gives a way out to the rapist since if he agrees to marry the woman/girl he raped it avoids him jail even if the girl is a minor. How can such an atrocity exist?
    People like Todd Akin make me lose faith in humanity.
    Recently, in my country, a girl aged 15 has been raped by a man, who was a family friend. The parents of this girl decided to press charges against her rapist. But the family of the victim and the perpetrator eventually reached an agreement. The parents of this girl decided to allow the marriage of their minor daughter to her rapist. Their "union" was pronounced by the "Family Court" and confirmed by judgment of the Court of First Instance of the city. The perpetrator of the girl escaped to prison & even gets a reward. A few days later, this poor girl decided to commit suicide.
    People legitimating rape or pregnancy after a rape are as guilty as the rapists & these are the ones who deserve to die, not an innocent girl at the dawn of her life!

    1. It is deplorable that there are still circumstances under which young girls and women are forced to marry and therefore live with their rapist. To instil more rights in the perpetrator over the victim is disgusting. The law is supposed to be about protecting the innocent, not adding to their suffering. Where are these young girls' rights? Where is their justice? Why is their life less valuable then that of the monster who violated them in the most personal and violent way possible? What is wrong with this planet...