Illegitimate Rape. Or not.

Lots of us Mexico related bloggers are long standing, avid readers of Felipe Zapata, whether from the days of the Tales or the modern musings from the Moon. I could have placed this post of mine as a comment on his latest blog entry. But Felipe is a delicate flower at times, and prone to censoring those who disagree – often under the pretense of ‘bad manners’. I don’t generally comment under threat of censorship, so my opinions have been kept to myself for a long time now, bar one solitary effort. Which was quickly censored. Of course. But his latest literary discourse deserves a response. Over the years his opinions have gone from ‘common sense’ to ‘provocative’ to ‘untruthful’. A downward slide is pretty evident.

Today his latest post  entered the ‘deserving of contempt’  arena. It is a scarcely disguised defense of Todd Akin. He claims that illegitimate rape exists. He suggests that it may indeed be possible that females have a way of preventing pregnancy when being raped – but although he wants the suggestion to remain in place, he doesn’t want you to hold him to it. Just in case, you know. But best of all, he maintains that in some cases of rape, the woman is partially to blame. He’s adamant about that.

Where do you even begin? He complains that commenters aren’t posting responses relevant to the post. Something I find a little ironic, and even a little bit hypocritical*. But I’ll have a crack at it here. Firstly, what the hell is legitimate or  illegitimate rape? Seems to me it’s a term Akin made up as he was going along, but the idea was perhaps based on 13th century British law. Felipe, while your comments might belong to the 1200’s, we’ve moved on since then, and it would be nice if you could catch up and join us here in the 21st century.

For the record, if the sex was agreed to by the lady concerned, it wasn’t rape. We often refer to it as ‘consensual sex’. False allegations of rape are commonly referred to as ‘false allegations of rape’. What Felipe is doing is trying to justify an unjustifiable – and fairly despicable – opinion. I won’t touch much on the female’s ‘ability’ to ‘shut that whole thing down’. Anyone with an ounce of sense needs only to look up a few cases of rape that have resulted in pregnancy. The internet makes looking easy, and you don’t have to look hard. Raped females get pregnant pretty regularly. I think the results speak for themselves. There isn’t much room for doubt. It could be true that female bodies can prevent pregnancy? It might be possible? Felipe, expect a visit from this superhero, flying through your window, at any moment….

Lastly. Women are partially to blame for rape? Jeez, which century did you get your ejukashun from? I know name-calling etc ain’t kool, but there comes a stage where you just have to call a spade a spade. Felipe, rape is rape. I have had quite a few lasses in flats, rooms or hotels who’ve drunk a bit much and passed out in my presence. Know what? I didn’t rape a single one of them. Know why? Because I’m not a rapist. Females don’t ‘partially’ rape themselves. When a guy unzips and puts it in there when she’s saying no, or is unconscious, he is raping her.  He bears one hundred per cent of the guilt. One hundred per cent. Not the slightest, tiniest bit less. He is the only one making a conscious decision to go through with the act. You can word it any way you want to. But you’re going to remain on the wrong side of what is morally acceptable. You can phrase it with some wit, but you’re going to remain a man talking nonsense that belongs in an era long gone.

Felipe, you plumbed the depths today. I have long disagreed with a lot of what you have had to say over the years, and still do. But this goes beyond provocative. It’s not controversial. It’s wrong and quite sickening. I suspect that your (often irrational) hatred for Señor Obama has lead you down a path of extremism. Turn round and walk back, amigo. Civilized society awaits you. It’s nicer here.

There is another reason I wanted to post my comment. It is perhaps the more interesting part of the post, although it’ll take a lot less time to get through. Obama’s successful presidential campaign of 2008 was heralded for his successful use of social media. What’ll happen this time round? I appreciate that many rational people have come to disapprove of Obama. Some may even vote for Romney and let the Tea Party – Akin et al – in through the back door. At which point, the new ‘religious doctors’ might change the law and legislate ‘legitimate rape’. But I have come across so much utter nonsense about Obama on the internet. Does it matter? Quite possibly. I came across this interesting story about Apple’s fictitious asymmetrical screw. It just goes to show how, in the internet age,  fact and fiction seem to matter less, and opinion more. Felipe’s commenters are generally bright and seem to have cottoned on to the quality of his latest piece. But will American voters see through the rubbish that makes it’s way to their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and forums? And that does, without any doubt, include the anti Romney rubbish.

*But perhaps not entirely surprising. Señor Felipe has long had trouble grasping the word ‘illegitimate’. Not so long ago he claimed 41% of US children are born to single mothers, and linked to the study to prove it. I slipped in an anonymous comment to point out that the article actually claimed that 41% of US children are born outside of marriage. Not to single mothers. It made clear that of that 41%, more than half those children were born into cohabiting two parent families.

A single mother and cohabiting two parent families aren’t one and the same thing, unless you’re writing out yourself a brand new dictionary and inventing new definitions. Felipe initially claimed that he, and others simply ‘read the report differently’ to me.  I pointed out by email that we can differently interpret exactly what statistics mean. But the statistic itself is what it says on the tin. You either read it right, or you read it wrong. Felipe had read it wrong. My comment was deleted and the comments closed, presumably before anyone else noticed…



17 thoughts on “Illegitimate Rape. Or not.

  1. Kim G says:

    I’ve done what I can do. I stopped reading. I used to enjoy his Tales of Zapata Street, his exploits in DF, recounted in OurHamptons, and even the Bierce Annals had some interesting stuff. But the political stuff? I started to dread it, then just gave up.


    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we enjoy reasoned, conservative argument. But not rants.


    • I loved his old blogs. But I should have stopped reading the newer stuff a while ago. I guess my passing by there has been rubber necking. It’s hard not to slow down and stare at a crash on the other side of the carriage way.

      But enough’s enough. I give up too. Felipe has lived up on that hill for too long, but perhaps it’s the best place for him now. Which is a huge shame.


  2. I also stopped reading after Felipe began his diatribe about the nonsense of diversity…. And he, a gringo in Mexico. I was disgusted. And you can’t discuss things like that with a person like this. I chalked it up to some kind of beginning Alzheimers and “un” followed his blog.
    Thank you Gary for having the courage to put this post up.


    • His take on diversity has long been lacking any grounding in the real world. It’s almost like he’d no idea the slave trade, apartheid, ghettos and civil rights movements ever even happened. What made me chuckle most though, was his quoting of a right wing news commentator, ‘only liberals and racists are talking about skin colour’. Or words to that effect. Felipe has dwelled on skin colour on his blog to an extraordinarily high degree for a long time. Which begs the questions….if his quote is correct, then which is he?


  3. norm says:

    “a downward slide” was what I was thinking as well, ageing is not for sissies. The thing about mental illness is that it reaches out and touches those around us in an “in your face” kind of way, unlike a bad back or an organ on the lam. Don’t hate the man because he has become sick, it’s no different than if his kidney was on the fritz The first thing you have to ask is: is the behavior rational? If not then you start to look for other examples, build a case , then see what can be done. I feel bad about the guy. He needs love, not hate at this point because it is not going to be pretty in the next year or so.


    • I don’t know what, if anything, is up on ‘that’ front. But I don’t hate the guy. I try not to hate anyone. That doesn’t always work out! But internet people…it’s tough to summon up the sort of dedication and emotion to hate someone who is effectively bits and bytes on your monitor. I do have a great dislike for some of the stuff he says though.


  4. A couple of years ago I had a ‘run-in’ of sorts with Felipe stemming from my allowing one of my Blog reader’s negative comment about him relating to a comment he left on my Blog
    We argued censorship. In seven years of blogging I think I have deleted but two comments that were simply too foul and vitriolic to allow. Truly the comment that offended Felipe was not of this character – I let it stand. I have never closed the comment area either. Due to my allowing that freedom of thought Felipe has never again left a comment on my Blog and probably does not read my Blog any longer since that incident
    Being that I had read his Blog and interacted with him for many years prior I continued reading his and commenting (perhaps less commenting). I enjoyed his quality of writing. It was simply a matter of not throwing out the baby with the bath water – and he can be a baby indeed.

    Most who have commented herein are at least occasional readers of my Blog. They all are also people that I respect and like. This includes not always agreeing. I may risk offending them here – but I am not operating a popularity contest as surely Felipe is not.

    For those that have troubled themselves to read Felipe’s offending entry and read the several comments, they know I was not in agreement, rather took him to task on the issue of a rape victim having complicity in the causation.
    It is true that he seems to have some redneck and inane value system as it relates to this; and surely this applies to his stand on ethnic diversity as well – an appalling lack of reasoning to be sure. He is far from perfect; as is the case of most of us mere mortals (of which I am pretty sure he does not himself include).

    I do not think he is ill or in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, rather a misguided soul in these areas – sadly
    I will continue reading his well-written Blog realizing he is capable of being a crackpot as well as a brilliant writer of sorts. I am a vegetarian-libertarian Blogger with many detractors I am sure. Opinions – the diversity of them all – weaving through all the tangled webs can only make us better read and more aware of it all. This helps each of us prepare a better defense for what we believe in – no?


    • I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think he’s ill either. If I thought he was, I perhaps wouldn’t have written this post. Someone suggested he is ‘trolling’ his readers, or at least those readers he has left. That sounds about right. And that’s a bit sad.

      I had the same issue as you, also a couple of years ago – censorship. We probably all know some boy from school who had a tantrum when things didn’t go his way, and picked up his ball midway through the game and went to play in the corner by himself. It is his ball. He can do so if wants. It’s not much fun playing in the corner by yourself though. But Felipe seems content to play that game. Such is life.

      It’s a shame because I’d been following his blog and stories for so long. I feel I invested time and effort in reading and participating with comments. Anyway, isn’t censorship the epitome of political correctness gone awry? Shouldn’t one practice what they preach? I doubt he’ll cotton on to that.

      You’re right, he can write some great stuff. But there’s so little of it coming out these days, that I don’t think it’s worth the effort dredging through the other stuff to find it. Felipe will have to continue posting, and congratulating himself on his unsurpassed wisdom and righteousness, without me watching.


    • Dana Jennings says:

      John, I’ve always admired the give and take on your blog and the courage you have to maintain open comments. Your site is a mexican pleasure.
      I pass on Michael Dickson’s blogs, and I don’t find his style or his content brilliant. I pity his poor wife.


  5. Ay Señor Felipe might still be a reader after all. Judging by comments ‘over there’…

    …and even inspired other folks to badmouth me from the total safety of their own websites

    Collectivists are shocked to hear contrary opinions because they have long since silenced most opposition

    Ay Mr Felipe, do you even think about what you write before pressing the button? For someone who so regularly patronizes and badmouths others, those you know and those you don’t, you should perhaps develop a thicker skin. If you can give it, learn to take it.

    You’ve always been welcome to comment here, there’s never been anything to stop you. You’ve never had to wonder whether it was worth the effort because the post might get deleted. There’s always been freedom of expression from all sides here, providing it’s not completely and unnecessarily obscene.

    And because we’re all adults, there’s even a bit of banter. Emotions are allowed. Tempers can flare. A little bit of stick can be given and taken from time to time. Of course, you don’t have to work this way on your blog. You can continue doing what you profess to dislike so much, silencing contrary opinions and badmouthing others. Your loss. But really, quit your whining and grow a pair.


  6. I was the first to comment on the controversial post and my index finger shook as it pressed the SEND button. I don’t know how its possible to be so afraid of someone’s reaction when they are 1,000s of Kms. away. But I was so insulted, I couldn’t restrain myself! My fears were well-founded. At first I was mortified to be called the names he called me and to receive “an F grade…” But when I saw how many others shared my poor score, I felt some pride in having made my point. I too blogged about the whole experience: http://writingfrommerida.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/the-internet-friend-or-foe/
    I used to love The Zapata Tales… I had quite a friendly relationship with Felipe but I also fell from grace when I commented on the “Diversity post.” I stayed away from commenting until the post about Las Malvinas (The Falklands) Again he tore me to shreds… without even considering me valid points
    But I have not given up all hope… Felipe is so bright, but he’s stubborn and I hope that his ego will allow him to cut back on the weirdo diatribe.


    • Wear your score as a badge of honour, amiga! His blog was once a vibrant community. A meeting place of different people, ideas and points of view. But there’s a nasty side to him, and that’s what he likes to show these days. He’s left his blog a virtual intellectual wasteground. There’s only one or two sensible people still joining in the conversation there. He’s otherwise surrounded himself with deluded sycophants, some of whom are clearly not too bright. At all.


  7. blackdogblog says:

    He’s a pig, no question. He seems to even think he is the expert on where each of us should choose to live! I haven’t read him in ages. Too smug and self centered and closed minded. Thanks for writing this.


    • If he had a shred of common sense, he might have a look at all the intelligent and pleasant people – most of whom are perfectly capable of holding a debate on controversial subjects – who prefer to leave him at the top of his hill by himself. He might ponder for a moment – is there something wrong with all of them, or is it me?


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