#ReasonToRise: "Dear Mr. Akin, I Want You to Imagine..."
I posted this letter on The Huffington Post less than 24 hours ago and I have been flooded with thousands of emails, tweets, texts, stories of terrible rapes and profound emotion. There is a loud trembling unspoken story of women about to break to the surface of the world. It must break through if we are to survive as a species. It must break through.
I want to thank each and every person (woman and man) who shared their story of violation with me. Your courage, your support, your anger, your love, your voice is so powerful it can and must make the world right. Now is the time.
I urge you to join One Billion Rising on February 14, 2013 when every woman on this planet who has been raped or beaten or violated or cut or burned or exploited or muted or hurt and all the men and women who love them will walk out of their jobs, their offices, factories, homes, schools and say this is the day that violence against women and girls ends, this is the day we DANCE and do not stop dancing.
I ask you to sign-up and to get one hundred people to do the same.
NOW IS THE TIME TO SHAKE THE NEW WORLD INTO BEING WITH OUR BODIES.
My deepest love, admiration and gratitude,
Dear Mr. Akin, I Want You to Imagine...
Dear Todd Akin,
I am writing to you tonight about rape. It is 2 AM and I am unable to sleep here in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am in Bukavu at the City of Joy to serve and support and work with hundreds, thousands of women who have been raped and violated and tortured from this ceaseless war for minerals fought on their bodies.
I am in Congo but I could be writing this from anywhere in the United States, South Africa, Britain, Egypt, India, Philippines, most college campuses in America. I could be writing from any city or town or village where over half a billion women on the planet are raped in their lifetime.
Mr. Akin, your words have kept me awake.
As a rape survivor, I am reeling from your recent statement where you said you misspoke when you said that women do not get pregnant from legitimate rape, and that you were speaking "off the cuff."
Clarification. You didn't make some glib throwaway remark. You made a very specific ignorant statement clearly indicating you have no awareness of what it means to be raped. And not a casual statement, but one made with the intention of legislating the experience of women who have been raped. Perhaps more terrifying it was a window into the psyche of the GOP.