Republican party leaders may be working to push Rep. Todd Akin out of the Missouri Senate race, but leading social conservatives continue to rally to his side. Fellow Missourian Phyllis Schlafly said late Monday that Akin should remain in the race and compared his treatment by party leaders to former Va. Sen. George Allen, who lost support in his 2006 race for reelection after calling a young aide to his opponent “macaca.”
“He’s not for rape. That’s ridiculous,” said Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum. “They’re making a big thing about an unfortunate remark.”
“You saw what they did to George Allen in Virginia, which I thought was a shame,” she said of party leaders urging Akin to leave his race against Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. “I don’t think people like that should make the decision. The people of Missouri should make that decision.”
Schlafly backed Akin early on in the race and her endorsement is prominently displayed on Akin’s website, but he may consider finding other defenders since Schlafly herself refuses to recognize the existence of marital rape: “By getting married, the woman has consented to sex, and I don’t think you can call it rape,” Schlafly said back in 2007. In fact, she doubled down on those remarks in an interview the year later:
Could you clarify some of the statements that you made in Maine last year about martial rape?
I think that when you get married you have consented to sex. That’s what marriage is all about, I don’t know if maybe these girls missed sex ed. That doesn’t mean the husband can beat you up, we have plenty of laws against assault and battery. If there is any violence or mistreatment that can be dealt with by criminal prosecution, by divorce or in various ways. When it gets down to calling it rape though, it isn’t rape, it’s a he said-she said where it’s just too easy to lie about it.
Was the way in which your statement was portrayed correct?
Yes. Feminists, if they get tired of a husband or if they want to fight over child custody, they can make an accusation of marital rape and they want that to be there, available to them.
So you see this as more of a tool used by people to get out of marriages than as legitimate-
Yes, I certainly do.
Like Schlafly, Akin once voiced his disapproval of marital rape laws by warning that they could be used as “a legal weapon to beat up on the husband” in a divorce proceeding.