Tina Fey On Todd Akin And ‘Grey-Faced Men With $2 Haircuts’ Who Redefine Rape

It’s always amazing to watch Tina Fey get her dander up, but I think she hits on something particularly important at the Center for Reproductive Rights Inaugural Gala in calling out “grey-faced men with $2 haircuts” who display an unnerving confidence in telling women what does and doesn’t count as rape and what happens to them, or should happen to them, physically and psychologically, when it happens:

The important line is actually one before the catchy burn on older, male, Republican legislators who don’t trust women: “I wish we could have an honest and respectful dialogue about these complicated issues, but it seems like we can’t, right now.” For me, that’s part of what’s been frustrating and frightening about this latest round of statements by politicians on women’s bodily autonomy and functions. This isn’t a conversation, and the people on both sides of it have wildly different assumptions. The idea that I’m supposed to trust someone who doesn’t even understand how my body functions, much less how I might react intellectually or emotionally to trauma, to make decisions on my behalf is so frightening and rage-inducing it’s an immobilizing experience. As someone who is inclined to niceness, to sticking with reason even against all odds, Fey’s issuing permission slip to abandon courtesies that aren’t being extended to women, to call crazy crazy, and standing up for the idea that being driven nuts by this stuff isn’t a sign of oversensitivity. It’s a rational reaction to being treated with condescension and threatened with a substantive deprival of rights that are dear to me, whether it’s my ability to have an abortion if necessary or to get easy, affordable coverage to contraception. Waves like the recent one of anti-woman we’ve been caught in can be immobilizing. Fey’s speech is a reminder that to save yourself, you have to keep swimming.