Republicans Report to Sensitivity Training


Between the stories coming out of Ohio and India, as well as the presidential election last year, there has been a lot of news revolving around rape recently. Last year, a few members of the GOP said some—for lack of a better term—really freaking stupid things concerning rape. The most notorious of which were Todd Akin, who coined the term “legitimate rape;” Rick Santorum, who said women who became pregnant because they were raped shouldn’t have an abortion but should make “the best of a bad situation;” and Richard Mourdock, who said he believed that pregnancy as a result of rape wasn’t reason enough for an abortion because it was intended by God.

Akin even claimed that women have a way of preventing pregnancy in the case of rape! Is that what non abstinence-only sex education was supposed to cover because I think I missed that day. But last week, Georgia Congressman—and OB/GYN Phil Gingrey said Akin’s legitimate rape theory was “partly right.” Gingrey’s comments spurred yet another media outcry (and killed his practice in one fell swoop) against the GOP’s obvious lack of knowledge concerning the female anatomy.

Finally, someone came up with the brilliant idea (read: public relations move) that maybe all these guys need is some sensitivity training. The pro-life group the Susan B. Anthony List is working on a training program “to keep candidates and lawmakers from continually making the same kind of comments that may have helped ruin Republicans’ chances of winning the Senate.” Basically, the program will help candidates formulate and practice their best answers to tough questions about subjects like rape and abortion. As Slate said, “Finding the best possible frame for your views is just part of politics” and really, the GOP should have thought of this sooner.

Of course, none of this so-called training solves the real problem within the Republican Party: that their views are wildly outdated and contradict science, reality and public opinion. This sensitivity training is just a way to hide their unpopular ideology and, as the Daily Kos called it, their “draconian agenda” behind some nice buzz words. Steven Benen on MSNBC’s Maddow Blog doesn’t think the sensitivity training will work: “The Phil Gingreys of the world will keep offending sensible people everywhere until he and his party change course on a substantive level, not a rhetorical one.” Republicans are just people and even with sensitivity training, they’re bound to slip up.

Besides, do we really think the Susan B. Anthony group, who don’t believe a woman has the right to make her own decisions concerning her body, should be responsible for training GOP members in hiding their outdated ideologies? Probably not. Which is why the writers at The Frisky came up with their own sensitivity training. It includes some tips for Republicans the next time they feel the need to make a horribly offensive comment about rape like: “Ask yourself, ‘Do I have a vagina? Do I know what I’m talking about?’” Or maybe, at the very least, the GOP could educate themselves on how a woman’s body works instead of pretending to be experts.

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