Roger Rivard, Wisconsin lawmaker: "Some girls, they rape so easy"

Rivard was endorsed by Paul Ryan in August, just days before Ryan became the GOP VP nominee.
Rivard was endorsed by Paul Ryan in August, just days before Ryan became the GOP VP nominee.

The latest Republican rape-related gaffe comes to us courtesy of Wisconsin, where state Rep. Roger Rivard, R-Rice Lake, recently told the Wisconsin Journal Sentinel that "some girls, they rape so easy."

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Rivard's remark came in the context of paraphrasing a story his dad told him while he was growing up, so the words weren't entirely his, though he did suggest he took his dad's advice seriously. His dad's point was to warn young Roger about the dangers of premarital sex with fast and loose women.

A stunning revelation is that Rivard made the self-destructive remark twice, first last December and then earlier this month. The first time, he was asked by the Chetek Alert newspaper what he thought about a Wisconsin case where a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with a 15-year-old girl in a school band room, and replied by recounting his dad's advice. The "some girls rape easy" remark didn't create too much of a stir that time, but Rivard apparently felt compelled to stick his foot further into his mouth during a recent interview with the Journal Sentinel.

From the Sentinel:

He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.

"He also told me one thing, 'If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,'" Rivard said. "Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she's not going to say, 'Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.' All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she's underage. And he just said, 'Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,' he said, 'they rape so easy.'

"What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, 'If you're going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.' So the way he said it was, 'Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.'

"So it's been kind of taken out of context."

Anticipating that his comments would get him in trouble, Rivard issued a written statement just hours after the Journal Sentinel interview. It said:

Sexual assault is a crime that unfortunately is misunderstood and my comments have the potential to be misunderstood as well. Rape is a horrible act of violence. Sexual assault unfortunately often goes unreported to police. I have four daughters and three granddaughters and I understand the importance of making sure that awareness of this crime is taken very seriously.

And indeed, Rivard's comments have been widely decried. Nichole Kathol, president of the Barron County Domestic Abuse Project, told the Sentinel that the remark "portrays women as the perpetrator of violence being perpetrated against them. He's blaming the victim and implying the definition of rape is all too encompassing."

Rivard's November opponent, Democrat Stephen Smith, told the Sentinel he's "offended to think that my sister or my daughters would be thought of in that manner."

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