Great news for people who love terrible news: legitimate rape is back! Republican State Representative Rick Brattin is introducing a bill in his home state of Missouri that would require a woman seeking to end her pregnancy to get written permission from the man who got them pregnant. Exceptions are made for victims of rape and incest, but Brattin says that women will have to prove that what happened to them was "legitimate rape." You say tomato, I say to-mah-to, let's shut this whole thing down!
In Brattin's defense, and this is the only thing I'll say in his defense, he is not pulling a Todd Akin by saying that women cannot get pregnant when they are raped. In fact, he is acknowledging that this is a thing that can happen, but only if he sees proof. He tells Mother Jones:
"Just like any rape, you have to report it, and you have to prove it. So you couldn't just go and say, 'Oh yeah, I was raped' and get an abortion. It has to be a legitimate rape… I'm just saying if there was a legitimate rape, you're going to make a police report, just as if you were robbed. That's just common sense… [Y]ou have to take steps to show that you were raped…And I'd think you'd be able to prove that."
As we know, filing a police report after being raped is a favorite and common activity for American women, because we are totally secure in knowing that we'll be believed every time. But also, it's totally easy to prove a rape happened because rapists leave behind telltale "rape flags" in all of their victims. So Brattin's idea is practically perfect in every way!
Brattin, who has five children, says that he was inspired to create this bill when he got a vasectomy and his wife was asked to give her written permission before the procedure. Because getting someone pregnant and getting pregnant yourself are totally the same, according to a guy who can only do the former. Also, Brattin saw a great opportunity to propose a law that restricts women's rights in a state that has exactly one abortion clinic.
I can see where he's coming from because when a man gets a vasectomy, he should probably tell his wife or long-term partner that, in case she's trying to get pregnant, it's not going to work. If he didn't mention something, well, that's a really Don Draper thing of him to do, and not in a good way. But that's not really the same as a woman making the call to not go through a pregnancy, which is actually a lot more involved and expensive than ejaculating sperm. I'm a little surprised that Rep. Brattin doesn't realize that since he has five children.
All this being said, I have a question and some follow-ups for Rep. Brattin and the slippery slope that a bill like this might introduce:
If a guy buys me dinner and I need to take a shit, do I need to get his permission to expel my food baby? Do I have to prove that this was the result of the meal he bought for me? What if I need to take two shits? What if he didn't keep the receipt? What if our date didn't go well and he left without leaving any of his contact information? What if he paid for someone else's dinner that night? Will I still need to get his permission? What if I paid for myself? What if I paid for him because he's poor/cheap? If I didn't like dinner but he paid for it, how do I prove that before I take a shit?
I'm not trying to minimize the horror and trauma of rape, but if men are so bent on legislating how my body operates, then they shouldn't miss an opportunity to cover all their bases. Come on -- legislate my shit. I dare you.