I (usually) can't stand Rush Limbaugh—and once again, he has confirmed my remarkably low opinion of him. Here's what Rush had to say about Ohio State University's sexual assault prevention measures:
"Seduction used to be an art. Now, of course, it’s ‘brutish’ and it’s ‘predatory’ . . . How many guys, in your own experience with women, have learned that no means yes if you know how to spot it?”
Oh Rush, you never cease to confound. Like, in a really awful way.
Alas, the shock radio host isn't the only high-profile man who's said some truly disturbing things about rape. Here are some of the bottom-dwelling worst of the worse.
"Relax And Enjoy It"
Former Texas governor hopeful Clayton Williams made a career-ending comment back in 1990 during a day of unsatisfactory weather. Instead of comparing the weather to, you know, virtually anything else, Williams decided that a rape analogy was a must:
"If it's inevitable [rape victims should] just relax and enjoy it."
Though Williams later apologized, the bizarre and disgusting statement was enough to poison his name.
"Legitimate Rape" Can't Get You Pregnant
No list of awful rape quotes is complete without the infamous god-awfulness spewed by Republican Representative Todd Akin, who made women and science teachers alike shudder in horror when he said in 2012:
“It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.”
Because Akin is a politician, he too apologized for his words. Kinda. Mostly, he defended his anti-choice activism by claiming he was about preserving "all life" (except for the lives of victims, apparently). Even Mitt Romney called Akin's comment "inexcusable."
"God Intends" For Rapes To Happen
Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, Richard Mourdock, former Republican candidate to Indiana's state senate, took things even further in 2012 when he pushed his ant-choice agenda by proclaiming:
"Life is a gift from God . . . Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something God intended to happen."
Cue foot in mouth. Mourdock clarified that he does not think God commissions rapes to occur or anything. He just, I guess, thinks God is totally OK when rapes do happen? Or that it's all part of that proverbial plan everyone is always talking about?
A Man Has A Right To "Force Himself On A Woman"
Perhaps the absolute worst rape quote, though, came from Republican lawmaker Lawrence Lockman. This is a man who once blamed AIDS patients for contracting the disease by being "addicted to sodomy." (Another basic biology fail.) And as a passionate opponent of abortion, he made this utterly unbelievable remark in 1990:
"If a woman has [the right to abortion], why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman? At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”
Oh my. That is a bad one.
In lieu of debating just how awful this quote is—honestly, where do we even begin?—let's end things on a less horrifying note. On the U.S. government's rape victim resource page, our own president puts these vastly better words front and center:
"Perhaps most important, we need to keep saying to anyone out there who has ever been assaulted: you are not alone. We have your back. I’ve got your back."
As we suffer through atrocious (and idiotic) quotes, it's important to remember that there are plenty of people out there working to raise awareness and offer support. In the meantime, we can take solace in knowing most politicians have seen their careers go up in smoke as a result of their rape statements.
And as for Rush? Surely he'll be held accountable for his words someday. Any day now . . .