The winner is in. The Quote of the Week comes from your friend and mine, Rep. Todd “A Seven-Month-Old Doesn’t Put His Foot in His Mouth as Often as I Do” Akin.
It’s probably a bad time for me to be making big decisions. My nose hasn’t worked properly for five days, I didn’t get enough sleep last night, and two out of three people I encountered today decided to get on my last nerve and do a time-step. I didn’t watch the debates last night because post-nasal drip had already messed up my throat and I figured screaming at the television wouldn’t help matters. But even after taking all of this into consideration, and reviewing the highlights of the debate last night, I’m keeping my vote where it is.
Who else can describe their debating opponent with this kind of clarity?
“She had a confidence and was much more ladylike (in 2006), but in the debate on Friday she came out swinging, and I think that’s because she feels threatened.” - Todd Akin, quoted in the Kansas City Star/Midwest Democracy
“The first two minutes, wow, it’s like somebody let a wildcat out of the cage.” - Rep. Todd Akin, quoted in the L.A. Times
Forget the debates. Mr. Obama was off his game, and Mr. Romney exceeded the world’s very low expectations for him. Big whoop. Rep. Akin, on the other hand, is explaining to us women the difference between right and wrong behavior, if we will just pay attention long enough to learn from his wisdom.
If I sound more blatantly sarcastic than usual, you’ll have to forgive me. (Well, you don’t have to, but don’t expect me to stop.) For the entirety of my forty-three years on this planet, I’ve been listening to people tell me exactly what is and is not proper for a lady. “Don’t sit with your knees apart.” “For your interview, look professional. Wear a skirt and some makeup.” “A lady doesn’t talk like that.” In everything I’ve read about his debate with Sen. Claire McCaskill, I can find no evidence that she flashed the audience or appeared on stage without mascara, so I’m guessing Rep. Akin’s problem lay with number three.
Funny, in reading about the presidential debate, I read a lot about Mr. Romney interrupting Mr. Obama. I waited (politely, with my legs crossed at the ankles, my hands folded in my lap) for Mr. Akin’s companion piece about how Mr. Romney was much more gentlemanly in his last debate. I’m still waiting. I read pieces by other people saying that Mr. Romney was “fiery and having fun” (Huffington Post) and that he gave “an aggressive, confident performance” (Modesto Bee). Nobody said anything about how a gentleman doesn’t start talking until his opponent is finished.
I like to think that this is not something I need to rant about to the world at large. These quotes were from Rep. Todd Akin, the man who does not understand the difference between the biological functions of a female human and a female duck. (Ducks, Mr. Akin, are the ones whose bodies provide some natural protection against pregnancy during rape. Check out Kevin Bonham’s excellent post on the subject at scienceblogs.com for more details.) The one who said that unscrupulous doctors are performing abortions on women who aren’t pregnant. (I believe magic is involved.) The one who accidentally forgot to mention nearly $130,000 worth of pension earnings on his last decade’s worth of tax returns. (It was an “unintentional oversight,” according to his quote in the AP Article.) For us bloggers, he’s the gift that keeps on giving.
But here’s the thing. He’s still in the race, and there are still people who support him. (Newt Gingrich, for one.) This kind of thinking is still out there. Google “How to Act Like a Lady” and “How to Act Like a Gentleman” and you will find ehow articles for both. The article for potential ladies lists six items informing a young girl what movies to watch, books to read, clothes to wear and not to wear, how to walk and talk, and to keep your voice down and not yell. Its counterpart for young men has four items (including how you can still have tattoos and piercings) and number four is “Enjoy the Benefits.”
Every time Mr. Akin, or any of the other Mr. Akins out there, open their mouths and spout this tripe, girls will hear it. Since it is spoken by a grown-up, young women the world over who aspire to be young ladies (despite what you might think, many of us did) will consider believing it, at least for a moment. It is up to all of us who know better to run out and call this garbage out for what it is, right then and there: a lie covered in bullsh–
Oh, wait, I am a lady. Okay, I’ll call it a bovine excrement-enhanced untruth.
We’ll probably hear rebuttal from all the Mr. Akins out there eventually – as soon as they’ve had a chance to look that last sentence up. I’m sure a reprimand for my unladylike behavior will be in my mailbox post-haste.
But hey – it’s my column, and I’ll rant if I want to, so why stop there? Here is my updated list.
♦ Kimberly’s Rules for Civilized Humans, Female or Male:
- It’s called underwear for a reason. Keep it there.
- Be nice to people. They are human beings, and the chances are good you don’t know everything they’re dealing with right now.
- Have respect for yourself. You are the only you we have, and we need you.
That’s it. I feel better. Maybe I should make “Quote of the Week” into a regular feature. Or maybe the decongestant is finally kicking in. Either way, I’ll take it.
Kimberly apologizes to all the men out there with the last name Akin who are more evolved than your average congressman.