I have trouble accepting that we could elect to national office someone who doesn’t know how pregnancy works, so I’ve been trying to work out the basis of Todd Akin’s theory to see if it holds any water at all. First, let’s go over how conception occurs.
- An ovary releases an egg into the fallopian tube.
- A sperm makes its way into that tube and merges with the egg.
Pretty simple, right? Nothing an adult capable of giving speeches should have any trouble working out. But Akin maintains that somehow the woman’s body can shut down this process when she’s raped. The problem is that once the egg is in the fallopian tube, in position to be inseminated, the rest of the “process” is down to the sperm. So what exactly does Akin think a the girl’s or woman’s “shock” can do to alter the situation when an egg happens to be in position at the moment a rapist chooses to rape?
The force shield theory
One theory I came up with is based on video games. Maybe Akin believes that the egg, already positioned in the tube and awaiting insemination, is provided with a special force shield when the brain feels traumatized. I’m picturing little hormones racing from their gland in the brain area at speeds above that of sound (rape can happen pretty quickly, so this process has to be super-speedy) and forging a sort of human… well, hormone chain around the egg and singing “We Shall Overcome” while the frustrated sperm thrashes its little tail-thingy in frustration and sings “Every Sperm Is Sacred.”
Even though this is pretty much precisely not how hormones operate, I think we can call this plausible in order that we may continue to feel good about ourselves as we support condemning society’s victims to pay for society’s mistakes while rapists revel in the very real possibility that their victimizations will continue for the rest of the victim’s life as she is forced to either raise or surrender the rapist’s child while he continues – yes, it’s true – to enjoy paternity rights in the US. No thought could make the rapists I’ve known come harder.
The hidey-hole theory
Another theory I came up with is that Akin believes there is a special hidey-hole somewhere just off the fallopian tubes, and an egg can dash off into it when it feels threatened. This one is a little harder to believe, because:
- We’ve surgically opened up a lot of women over the years, and none of them had such a hidey hole. It’s unlikely that all of them were medical anomalies.
- Eggs can’t “feel threatened” because they don’t have minds, so what we’re really talking about is the brain releasing hormones that tell the egg “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE” and the egg somehow propelling itself into this non-existent hidey-hole.
I dunno, that one’s kind of shaky.
The Teflon uterus theory
One more theory I came up with is that perhaps Akin isn’t talking about conception, but about what happens afterward. See, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall where it grows into a fetus. If it fails to attach or somehow detaches, that pregnancy is over. So maybe Akin thinks that after a big shock, hormones come rushing into the uterus and turn it super-slick, like non-stick cookware, and the egg falls away. This is one of the more plausible theories, since it doesn’t have to rush to happen during the rape. On the other hand, it seems like this process would kind of be easy to detect. I mean, this is precisely the sort of thing infertility specialists would have been looking into for their clients, right? “Hey, did you know that right after I implanted that IVF egg in you, your womb turned to Teflon and out it went? What did you do immediately after the implantation? Watch the new version of Dallas? Didn’t I tell you to avoid trauma for at least 48 hours?”
Social liberals for Akin!
Whatever the case, I want Akin to stay in the race and continue to jam his foot down his throat up to the knee so that he will (a) secure the election for his opposition and (b) make the Republicans look like the kind of rape collaborators they are.