Conservative columnist Mona Charen would like to offer a "mild dissent" about Todd Akin, the Missouri senate candidate who claimed that in cases of "legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Sure, she acknowledges, there isn't any scientific evidence, at all, to bolster that claim. But doesn't it just feel right?

Is it such an outlandish idea? I looked it up, and it appears that there is no evidence that pregnancies are less likely in cases of rape, but it didn't seem out of the realm of possibility to me. Many things about the human body are peculiar and amazing.

Is it such an outlandish idea, that Mona Charen is made out of bread? I've looked it up, and it appears that there is no evidence, but it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility to me. I don't have a Web M.D. article about stress and conception to cite, the way Charen does, but I can certainly wonder at the "peculiar and amazing" human body, which, Charen re-iterates barely a paragraph later, "is capable of impressive feats."

She then turns to National Review's latest embarrassing cover story: "Kevin Williamson notes in the current National Review that high-status men have more male children than ordinary men. Is it 'stupid' to believe that this phenomenon is real?"


Oh, god, and then: "Testosterone levels vary widely among men and are known to change in response to events. The liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan wrote an absorbing piece more than a decade ago about the role of testosterone." Now she is just writing about science-y things she heard about once, in the 1990s.

Then, after all that, she acknowledges that he was wrong. I liked Mona Charen better when she was telling her 14-year-old son that Cosmo is "a magazine for sluts."

[NRO, image via AP]