Rape Survivor Eve Ensler Responds to Akin’s “Legitimate Rape” Comments

Missouri GOP Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Todd Akin comments on his reasoning for opposing abortion even in cases of rape – or should I say “legitimate rape” – have deservedly received much criticism over the last few days.

Of all the commentary I have read, there is one piece that for me struck a real chord. Playwright and activist Eve Ensler’s response as a rape survivor brought me to tears while I simultaneously clapped and cheered as I read her powerful words. Here are the parts that meant the most to me.

Rape is Rape

“The underlying assumption of your statement is that women and their experiences are not to be trusted. That their understanding of rape must be qualified by some higher, wiser authority. It delegitimizes and undermines and belittles the horror, invasion, desecration they [rape survivors] experienced. It makes them feel as alone and powerless as they did at the moment of rape.”

Excuses, Excuses

“Did you honestly believe that rape sperm is different than love sperm, that some mysterious religious process occurs and rape sperm self-destructs due to its evil content? Or, were you implying that women and their bodies are somehow responsible for rejecting legitimate rape sperm, once again putting the onus on us? It would seem you were saying that getting pregnant after a rape would indicate it was not a ‘legitimate’ rape.”

Less Talking, More Doing

“I am asking you and the GOP to get out of my body, out of my vagina, my womb, to get out of all of our bodies. These are not your decisions to make. These are not your words to define…Why don’t you spend your time ending rape rather than redefining it? Spend your energy going after those perpetrators who so easily destroy women rather than parsing out manipulative language that minimizes their destruction.”


What did you think about Akin’s comments regarding rape? What about Ensler’s comments? Have you read any responses that really struck a chord with you? Please share in the comments!

Photo credit: Photo by MoBikeFed used under a Creative Commons license.

Related from Care2:

Obama Calls Akin’s Comments “Offensive,” Adds “Rape is Rape”

Rep. Akin “Misspoke” About Legitimate Rape, GOP in a Panic

GOP Rep, Akin: Women Can’t Get Pregnant by ‘Legitimate’ Rape (Video)


Ashwi W.
Ashwi W.4 months ago

Ensler's test is highly effective and real. Reducing sexual assault in any way, is disheartening to the sufferer ... and reveals the presenter to be an ignoramus blowhard. Rape is sexual assault. Rape is energy used against females, using a male organ as the tool. GET OUT OF OUR BODIES. Men have no right to determine sexual assault or legislate concerning contraception method, maternity, abortion, or any of the specifics that females only, have to handle with in our way of life. These repubs use a delicate problem to try to relocate their professions, and it's surprisingly scuzzy.

The Jungle Book

Lika S.
Lika S.3 years ago

It's amazing. Rape is a crime. Yet we make laws to restrict women when it comes to being victimized in this manner. It's not illegal to have sex, only when you use it as a tool to hurt somebody else.

How about we tell the mother of 3, that it was her husband's fault for being on the road when a drunk driver hit him? No, it's not illegal to be an alcoholic, but, to get behind the wheel is. So should we start punishing victims of drunk driving accidents for being at the wrong place at the wrong time?

It seems as if rapists and drunk drivers both get leniency in the court of law.

Ed G.
Ed G.3 years ago

On comedy central they were interviewing real republicans about rape and one woman didn't think that you could get pregnant from rape and the interviewer said well only 32,000 women got pregnant last year and the woman acted surprised. I do not know where they find these stupid people who are gullible enough but they actually do.

Michael G.
Michael T.3 years ago

You got that right MIke.

Over the months that they have been pushing and passing these laws in GOP states it has become a game. Each one pushing the other to do more and get crazier. Akin was just the first to really step in the ditch big time. King, the Iowa troll who called Obama a liar out loud in congress and who runs dog fights is standing by him. But before that, some guy named Kelly claimed abortion was like 911 and Pearl Harbor (the poor jerk gave 1945 as the date for Pearl Harbor). I've been listening for the last 3 days to the BS of their convention (just to keep up on the BS). Oh yeah Dubious Rubio my Senator just announced Mitt is Unfit. And just in case you couldn't have known what this was if you just turned on your tv some idiot camera man had to do a close up on a poster with the dynamic duos's names on it. Later Mike

mike rollo
mike rollo3 years ago

Yes it is Michael.It never ceases to amaze me unintelligent human sheep are.It would be laughable if it wasn't so twisted bro

Carla van der Meer

I am honestly starting to feel that the GOP know nothing about women. We are simply the people who occasionally bring food and tell the not to touch us..ever..

Ariel H.
Ariel H.3 years ago

The concept of "legitimate rape" comes from the Old Testament - Deut 22: 23-27. If you want to really understand this war on women, PLEASE read the book Religious Right: The Greatest Threat to Democracy http://www.religiousright101.com/

Michael G.
Michael T.3 years ago

Hey Mike, IS that not the craziest spin crap you have ever heard?

mike rollo
mike rollo3 years ago

so Sandy E,does this mean you condone rape? or you condone rape as long as your not being raped.This post is about some douchebags moronic ,false and ignorant comments about rape.I thought repugs like you were somewhat educated .You seemed to have lost your way somewhere .Read the top of this page cause i think your confused about what you're commenting on

mike rollo
mike rollo3 years ago

I guess the GOP thinks if a woman gets pregnant from a rape her assailant should go free cause she wanted the rape to happen.How disgusting ,stupid and cold hearted.If one of their wives,mothers ,daughters or sisters got preg from a rape their tunes would change or they would keep it a big secret.Kinda like Romney and Ryans plan for the budget.They probably think god will protect them from an ass kicking from a few union construction workers who got outsourced just cause they have faith.That shit doesn;t happen in the real world.Only in tthe minds of greedy hate filled redneck cracker republicans