This post may be a little rough, folks. I will do my damnedest to be careful in my choice of words, but we're dealing with pure evil here. Today's biggest story is Missouri Representative and Senate candidate Todd Akin's horrific comments about rape:
Leaving aside the complete ignorance of biology, the truly problematic thing about Akin's statement is his use of the term "legitimate rape". There is a large contingent of conservative authoritarians who have a problem with the concept of consent. They believe that, if a woman doesn't fight tooth and nail against a violent attacker, then any assault on her can't be characterized as rape. Other forms of coercion besides the use of violence don't enter into consideration in their minds. Their position reveals a patronizing attitude towards women- best exemplified by a heinous quote by Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Clayton Williams. As far as the Patriarchy is concerned, a woman's value is as a sexual object, and her sexuality must be controlled and constrained in order to maintain her value (this is why they place such an emphasis on creepy purity pledges). In this worldview, a "worthy" woman would only be raped by a violent assailant- the occurrence of date rape, marital rape, and statutory rape are handwaved away- that sort of thing wouldn't happen to a morally upstanding woman. Consent never really enters into consideration with conservatives... and I'm not even getting into the cesspool of self-described "Men's Rights Activists' opionions regarding rape.
Oddly enough, while conservatives have a problem recognizing what constitutes rape, they often use violent sexual imagery to refer to things which aren't rape. Whines about "things being shoved down throats" and being "bent over" abound with conservatives. It's bizarro world- date rape isn't rape, but an increase in marginal tax rates is...
Now, getting back to Akin, the real story is that he partnered with Paul Ryan in an attempt to narrow the definition of rape in H.R. 3. The only real difference between Akin and Ryan is that Akin is dumb enough to say what he thinks on live television while Ryan's assaults on women's rights take place behind closed doors.
Vixen Stangely and Bette Noir have covered this topic really well.