Todd Akin, GOP women and the ‘Dirty Dancing’ factor
BY SUE ONTIVEROS August 22, 2012 3:02PM
Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in "Dirty Dancing." Why she agreed to unprotected sex makes sense now!
Updated: August 22, 2012 11:05PM
Todd Akin may have others obsessing over election chances and party politics.
Me? I’m thinking about “Dirty Dancing” and Republican women. Stick with me, you’ll see where I’m going with this.
Ever since Missouri GOP senate hopeful Todd Akin made his odious — and highly erroneous — televised comments Sunday that the female body can deflect a pregnancy during “legitimate rape,” Republican fellas have been working overtime trying to get the Tea Party favorite to step down and put a lid on the national outcry.
Akin says he’s not going anywhere, and really, who can blame him? He’s a point ahead of his opponent, Claire McCaskill, in the polls, and his staunch opposition to abortion is no different than the Republican Party’s platform.
Prominent Republican Party males are everywhere talking about Akin, rape and abortion. Why, even that aw-shucks guy Mike Huckabee attempted to show how rape can have a positive outcome — a baby who grows up to be a succesful adult. (Reports that he did so while strumming his bass guitar are false, I tell ya.) But their female counterparts? Silent.
Oh yeah, Sarah Palin got out there and talked about Akin, but not about rape or allowing its victims the right to an abortion. A strong anti-abortion advocate herself, all Palin would say is he should step aside. And quite nicely, too. “Bless his heart, I don’t want to pile on Todd Akin, because in some respects I understand what he’s trying to say here, in standing on principle,” the former VP contender told Fox News’ Greta Von Susteren.
Nikki Haley, Susana Martinez, Condoleezza Rice. Nothing, and as the Washington Post’s “She the People” blog just noted, Rice is everywhere. And talking, but not about rape victims and abortion.
The GOP made a big deal about giving those three prominent and successful women highly visible roles at their Tampa convention, which begins next week. See women, we’re the party that’s all for you, was the not-so-subtle message. Yet here is an issue that women are concerned about and we are greeted with their silence. Not a word from them on the Republican party platform that, just like Akin, is opposed to all abortion, which leaves rape victims in a horrible position.
Is it because the party menfolk actually are handling the heavy work? Or is it the “Dirty Dancing” factor? I’m going with “Dirty Dancing.”
In the wildly popular “Dirty Dancing,” one of the summer dancers, Penny, finds herself pregnant and has a backroom abortion. Later a fellow dancer describes how Penny was screaming (that’ll happens when there’s no anesthesia). Penny develops a terrible infection and almost dies.
It always bothered me that the Jennifer Grey character Baby, after witnessing Penny’s situation, still hops into bed with the late Patrick Swayze’s Johnny. I don’t care how smoothly he swiveled those hips, I always thought it was a teachable moment — use protection! — missed and that Baby would not want to end up like Penny.
But Todd Akin and the silent GOP women have opened my eyes. I now get “Dirty Dancing.” I’ve always viewed that movie through the eyes of what I was at 18 — a female without much money.
But not Baby (ironic, name, isn’t it). She doesn’t have to worry about ending up on a dirty table in someone’s kitchen. Her dad’s a doctor, she comes from money. Something happens to her, she’ll be provided for in any crisis.
So when the big-name GOP women are OK with outlawing all abortion, accept it in their platform and keep quiet about the specter of leaving rape victims with no relief, could it be the “Dirty Dancing” factor?
Maybe like Baby they know that their well-off, entitled selves are OK, and they have no problem accepting abortion opposition in the abstract. If some animal rips apart their sister or daughter and leaves her pregnant, there are ways to quietly take care of that. As there always have been for women of means.
No, it’s females like the Pennys of the world who will get hurt by rape and then must carry that pain through pregnancy without the option of abortion. Or who, like Penny, will find themselves in some backroom, jeopardizing their health, maybe their lives.
And there’s no dancing around that.