"Feminist" Organization to Help GOP Talk Nice About Rape

The XX Factor
What Women Really Think
Jan. 15 2013 1:23 PM

"Feminist" Organization to Help GOP Talk Nice About Rape

129219332
Oops, Rep. Phil Gingrey opened his mouth and talked about rape.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Politico recently published a piece aimed at impressing upon Republican lawmakers the importance of keeping one's true opinion about rape victims close to one's chest, and Think Progress pulled out the most interesting detail from it. It seems that the Susan B. Anthony List is already developing a training program for Republicans on how to talk about rape in ways that avoid creating media shitstorms (like the one Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey recently stirred up after saying Todd Akin was "partly right" on rape). 

[Gingrey] may have added new urgency to a training program that’s already being launched by an anti-abortion group—the Susan B. Anthony list—to keep candidates and lawmakers from continually making the same kind of comments that may have helped ruin Republicans’ chances of winning the Senate.

Advertisement

No big surprise there. The SBA List occasionally lands coverage as a "pro-life feminist" organization, but in reality, they'd be better described as a P.R. firm that specializes in developing communication strategies to help misogynists appear less misogynistic. They started off by trying to spin anti-choice messaging to sound less anti-woman, beginning with a misinformation campaign distorting the history of the suffragist movement to imply that early feminists supported criminalizing abortion. (They didn't.) It's no surprise that SBA List would be branching out to rape. Spinning misogyny is a growth industry these days, with Republican politicians like Gingrey cheerfully promoting the myth that many to most rape reports are a result of women falsely accusing their partners in order to evade people finding out that they like sex. (Definitely not true.)

Make no mistake about this: The SBA List isn't interested in discouraging Republican politicians from holding ugly, sexist beliefs about domestic and sexual violence. They're just here to help politicians avoid giving reporters easy soundbites that expose exactly how backwards they are. After all, if you cross reference SBA List's 2012 endorsements against the 2012 House vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, you'll find that out that every single SBA-endorsed candidate that had a chance to vote on VAWA voted nay. The SBA List knows that opposition to reproductive rights is consistent with opposition to many other attempts to help women have healthier, happier lives. The group's purpose is to distract the voters from seeing the connection.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 10:41 AM Taylor Swift Just Went to No. 1 on iTunes Canada With 8 Seconds of Static 
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 10:43 AM Social Networking Didn’t Start at Harvard It really began at a girls’ reform school.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.