More so than at any time in recent memory, political discussion of rape seems to have become quite common this year. We’ve discussed Todd Akin and “legitimate rape”; we’ve learned about Paul Ryan’s drive to redefine “rape” as it relates to Medicaid; and there have been related incidents involving Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa) and Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.).
But even after these incidents, quotes like these are hard to stomach.
A state representative is drawing heat for saying that his father had told him when he was young that “some girls rape easy” as a way to warn him that a woman could agree to sex but then later claim that it wasn’t consensual.
Freshman [Wisconsin state] Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) in December discussed a case with the Chetek Alert newspaper in which a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school’s band room.
The newspaper quoted him as saying his father warned him, “Some girls rape easy” – meaning that after the fact they can change what they say about whether sex was consensual.
This week, Rivard told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the article, originally published in December, did not provide the full context, as if it’s possible to make “some girls rape easy” less offensive.
“He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’” Rivard said, referring to his father. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’”
And who’s Roger Rivard? He’s the one who benefited from an endorsement and fundraiser from none other than Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee, who threw his support to Rivard eight months after the “some girls rape easy” comments were published.
Update: After this story garnered national attention, Ryan pulled his support for Rivard this morning.