Trigger warning for rape culture justification, gaslighting, and bitches be lyin’.
Paul Ryan has really picked a winner to back in Wisconsin, where State Rep Roger Rivard (R, natch) has been strongly criticized for having claimed that his father told him that “some girls rape easy” — a stern warning from father to son that women who get pregnant after premarital sex will turn around and claim to be raped. He was upset that he was taken out of context, so he provided more context to make it all better.
On Wednesday, Rivard told the Journal Sentinel the article did not provide full context of his comments and that his father’s exact words had been slightly different from how they appeared in the Chetek Alert.
He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’
“What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’
“So it’s been kind of taken out of context.”
Um… that didn’t change the context of what people are upset about at all. Just FYI. They’re upset at the advice because in a culture already so protective of a young man’s right to rape without repercussions, this just adds to the difficulty in getting real rapes taken seriously. There’s already an underreporting problem with regard to real rape, so suggesting that this is somehow a fact that young boys have to deal with lying bitches trying to ruin them to protect themselves, it’s just blinkered. Just, fractally wrong.
Do girls sometimes lie about their pregnancy? Well, yes. In a culture that also shames sex to the point where the only education some young folks in sexual matters get is “abstinence-only”, and where birth control is not widely available or affordable, teens will get pregnant. And when there are dire social ramifications for getting pregnant, and no easy recourse to abortion for unwanted pregnancy, it’s no wonder kids might lie about the origin of their pregnancy once they can’t hide it any longer. I mean, hell, if the Virgin Mary was a real person, it sure seems likely she was lying about her pregnancy too, right?
Only lying about rape is pretty fucking rare, considering the terrible public scrutiny you undergo as a rape victim. And even more rare would the accused actually get in any sort of trouble, considering how hard it is to prove real rape (by which I mean not-imagined, not the hair-splitting dogwhistle Republican meme). And the advice given, not to have premarital sex at all, is not going to stop a person hellbent on lying about the origin of the pregnancy from lying about who did it, so you’re not safe either way. I mean, look at who got blamed for Mary’s rape. Certainly not her husband!
So Paul Ryan… yeah. He picked a real winner of a rape culture apologist here. I mean, sure, it’s Rivard’s dad who gave him (and us all, by extension) that advice, but Rivard obviously internalized the meme to pass it on.
I’m being a bit facetious because one must laugh to keep from crying. There are a few more arguments that can be made to tear this apart, about which I’m sure I couldn’t even do justice, so feel free to pull out the long knives in the comments.
Update: You might also enjoy Alyson Miers’ take.