I’m traveling for this month….out west with all the wild ones. So here’s something to ponder.

I’ve noticed some frightening commonalities between rape culture and antiabortion culture. According to Marshall University Women’s Center, rape culture normalizes violence against women. It’s perpetuated through the use of misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies and the glamorization of sexual violence, thereby creating a society that disregards women’s rights and safety.

So when I look at anti abortion culture, it’s not too different, in principle, because it uses misogynistic language, the objectification of women’s bodies as incubators for fetuses and the glamorized morality of violence against women seeking abortions and against professionals providing abortions. This anti abortion culture creates a milieu that disregards women’s reproductive rights and their safety at abortion clinics. In fact, anti abortion culture is founded on a perverted desire that turns people away from goodness, enslaves them to a need that is forever unsatisfied and roots itself in depravity (some would call it sin).

Rape culture teaches young adolescents that heterosexuality in THE norm. It teaches young men that it’s OK to make rape jokes, to watch pornography and to degrade males who aren’t hyper-masculine. Anti abortion culture is not much different–it teaches young men and women that heterosexuality is the only acceptable sexual orientation. It teaches them that it’s OK to stigmatize women who choose abortion, to threaten them with violence, and to foist their grotesque media on innocent women. And while some might object to the comparison of rape culture to anti abortion culture, the issue of consent is hard to deny.

Some research and legal definitions of rape are based on the idea that non-consent should be assumed until someone actively consents, whether verbally or nonverbally. While research and legal definitions might work for rape, it’s harder to define consent when anti abortion protesters actively accost women outside abortion clinics. Whether verbally or nonverbally, an anti abortion protester doesn’t need consent to violate a woman because of free speech rights. A woman entering a clinic may be unable to freely give consent to anti abortion protesters who attempt to violate her privacy as a result of fear, the threat of harm, or a sense of obligation or coercion to listen to their messages. And anti abortion protesters take every advantage of these women with the same gratuitous violence as a rapist, only they hide behind their thin veneer of religiosity.

Rape culture like anti abortion culture:

Blames the woman

Defines the female as promiscuous

Allows sexually aggressive men to avoid responsibility for their behavior

Tolerates sexual harassment

Objectifies women’s bodies

And most importantly, both rape culture and anti abortion culture require no consent to degrade women.