Opinion » Note

The Women Behind the Men

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A criticism often lobbed against presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney is that because of his enormous wealth, he is out of touch with regular Americans. Will most Americans build up an IRA anywhere near Romney's $100 million golden nest egg? Nope. How many of us will own a car elevator, let alone enough cars to justify such a purchase? Not many. But let's be honest: Wealth and power have a long and storied history together.

Does that make it right? No. But is it that unusual that the leader of our country--like the leaders of every other nation on the planet--enjoys a fatter paycheck than those over whom he or she rules? No.

What worries me more as a voter isn't to be represented by someone who makes far more money than I do, it's to be represented by someone who is so entrenched in his own experience of the world that he makes no effort to understand the life experience of at least half of his voters--the female half.

Someone like Rep. Todd Akin, the Missouri Republican U.S. Senate candidate whose comments on rape and pregnancy created a shitstorm earlier this week. Had Akin ever been "legitimately raped" or had he paid any attention to sex ed at some point in his 65 years, he may not have made such an insensitive remark. Had his wife or daughter had the misfortune of being "legitimately raped" and her body had not properly found a way "to shut that whole thing down," perhaps he might know that more than 30,000 pregnancies occur from rape every year. Pundits, politicians, talk show hosts, newspaper columnists, office workers around the watercooler ... we're all talking about Akin.

What I want to talk about is Lulli Akin, his wife. What I want to know when the men running this country, men like Akin, spout off with such nonsense is: Who are the women who put up with these men? Lulli has been paid some media attention but she's remained silent thus far on her husband's comments. That's not to say there's any indication she'd disagree.

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