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Clever Song 'Legitimate Rape' Captures Anti-Akin Outrage | The Nation

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Greg Mitchell

Greg Mitchell

Media, politics and culture.

Clever Song 'Legitimate Rape' Captures Anti-Akin Outrage

After two full days of coverage, outrage and anguish over Rep. Todd Akin’s declaraton about “legitimate rape” and the magical ways women who are assaulted prevent pregnancy, I thought I’d heard enough for now. I’d blogged and tweeted, and blogged and tweeted, about it myself—and made all of the connections to Ryan and Romney—and was even boring myself.

Akin looked like he’d quit the Missouri Senate race, then stayed in—and blamed the “liberal media” for trying to force him out when quite  the opposite was true. Then polls, depressingly, showed that while he’d lost some—only some?—ground, he was still no worse than tied with Sen. Claire McCaskill, and Romney might be up by ten points in his state. Okay, enough for now.

Then along came a link to a song and video titled “Legitimate Rape.”  The singer and songwriter was a young woman, and one had to give her props for speed, if nothing else. But the song, her costume changes, character acting and editing, turned out to be terrific, with apt and clever lyrics from beginning to end, and sung very well. I hailed it in a blog post and on Facebook, the Huffington Post picked it up too, and suddenly some of her old high school friends were giving her a call. Here’s the video now, with some of the lyrics at the close of this column.

So who is it? She’s Taylor Ferrera, age 24, who hails from West Virginia and (she tells me in an e-mail interview) now living and working in New York for the past two years. Her songwriting goes back to her teen years when she was in a band with her brother named The Bugs—in tribute to the Beatles—and she did a lot of acting in college. She’s been posting videos for about six months now, with titles like “Businesses Are People” and “I Hate the Bank of America.”

What inspired her to write and record this song?  “I’ve been writing politically themed music for a few months now,” she explained, “along with my other silly songs, and when I heard about the Republican representative’s statements, I was absolutely blown away. So when I got home after midnight, it just came pretty naturally. So with a Red Bull in me, I wrote it, recorded it, photoboothed it (such high quality technology goes into my videos) and edited it by around 4:30 am.”

Why this subject? “Honestly, I just hate the way politics in general tries to make everything seem so black and white as if there are no grey areas. Issues like gay marriage and abortion become political footballs to try to fool poor Christians to vote for the Republican party—a party that in no way represents their best interests. I also hate that the right tries to own this monopoly over religion and God, especially Christianity. I identify myself as a Christian and I’m also a major liberal. I think they go hand in hand way more than Christianity and being a conservative.

“So that all bothers me, but what really inspired me to write the song was how utterly absurd the statement was. It’s hard to pass up on something so absurd when you write satirical songs. 

“I’m a definite supporter of Barack Obama. I think it’s easy to think that not enough has been done in this first term, but it’s really hard to turn a huge boat around that is careening towards an iceberg—I don’t know if you’ve seen Titanic

Now som.e of the lyrics. And hope we see and hear a lot more from Taylor. Stay tuned.

How can you tell if it’s legitimate rape?
I’ll tell you how to spot legitimate rape.
You’re not sure if you got legitimate raped?
Well here’s a little lesson for you.
Tell me if the following things are true:

I was a little drunk
Illegitimate rape!
I knew the rapist well
Illegitimate rape!
My skirt was kinda short
Illegitimate rape!
I’m married to the man
That’s a husband’s privilege!

So now we all know what’s legitimate rape.
We all know who to trust to tell us what’s rape.
Republicans who’ve never experienced rape.
They’re the ones I want to decide
That I should keep the baby growing inside.
Because abortion’s always wrong.
Glad things are so black and white.

Greg Mitchell’s books and e-books on influential American campaigns include Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady, The Campaign of the Century (on Upton Sinclair’s 1934 race) and Why Obama Won. He also blogs daily at Pressing Issues.

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