The American mind seems to have a limited capacity for dealing with either the diachronic or synchronic aspects of issues. That is unfortunate. However, if we seek to overcome those limits, we discover a profound need to deal with the absurd. In August 2012, we had occasion to consider the excellent absurdity of legitimate rape.
Representative Todd Akin of Missouri said on public television”
It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
Had Akin momentarily become the anti-hero of Voltaire’s novel Candide and were his unguarded remarks informed by the twisted beliefs of Dr. Pangloss? Was he at all aware of what Mark Twain, a famous writer from Missouri, had said about the madness of “rape” in King Leopold’s Soliloquy? Perhaps not. Few of our politicians can demonstrate cultural literacy. But from the angle of literary analysis, it seemed Akin had uttered a proposition about “rape” that was itself “legitimated” by the genocidal “rape” of indigenous peoples to obtain the Lebensraum that is now the United States of America. From the angles of cultural analysis and biology, it seemed Akin was dead wrong, because “legitimate rape” of the African female body during the period of slavery so frequently resulted in pregnancy. Akin suffered from the convenient amnesia that for thousands of years has made rape legitimate. Much of the outrage about his statement pertained, I suspect, to his treachery in revealing a secret that was no secret.