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)


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Ashwi W.
Ashwi W.6 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.

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Lika S.
Lika S.4 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.