Why Are You Still Talking?

So. Legitimate rape. I am so angry and frustrated and sad about the current “conversation” I don’t really know how to put two sentences together. Todd Akin may be getting a lot of press for his statements, but he is just a symptom of a larger problem. His remarks are the natural result of a culture that does not value women. And, ultimately, a culture that does not value its women, cannot value its men.

Working in the queer movement, I feel like one of the bigger challenges I have seen over the years is the response to the transgender community. People that, by their very existence, challenge the assumptions that we make about gender and the inviolate and unchanging essence that it is, are very frightening to a culture that needs to divide and conquer based on genitals and gender roles.

What would it be like to live in a world where instead of saying things are one way or another because of something completely beyond our control, like our gender, and instead really embracing the complex depth and confusion of our fully human experience? If I am honest, I know I am not there. I still find some sort of satisfaction in a female identity. I still crave a strong female community. But underneath that, is the ideal of living in a world where we are not tied to these strangely confining ideas of gender.

But, until then, why is Todd Akin still talking?  And why are there people in power who are so very committed to a world in which women are not treated as equal people?