too legit to quit *

Yeah, this one kinda sticks with you. In this time of constant onslaught from folks given audiences to whom to proclaim directly that women are not universally valued in the US, these words reverberate and rankle.

too legit

This phrase keeps echoing over here. It’s not “just one wrong word.” It’s a clear projection of the entire enterprise that reiterates to us that women should not control their bodies. We are warned that women should think twice, thrice and then forget about reporting rape because apparently rape is not rape–oh, some might be legitimate, sure sure. But it’s best just to accept the inevitable and “relax and enjoy it.”

These things flare up and fizzle out, but they keep coming up again and again and sometimes worse. wtf? What happened to progress?

* apologies to MC Hammer.

Todd’s No-Baby Baby Quilt

This whole controversy with Todd shoving his foot in his mouth stuck with me longer than most of these things do. So I kind of felt I had to dig a little deeper. Here we’ve side-stepped his whole ignorance of science, preserved in the title, in favor of a linguistic examination of his statement. Perhaps we’ll come back to that later?

Todd's No-Baby Baby Quilt

Was struck by different interpretations of the meaning of “legitimate rape.” There are two veins within the comments on my related post from last week. That is, legitimate can be construed to mean justified or, alternatively, real/actual. I was in the latter camp in my understanding of Todd’s intent (indeed, he did correct himself to the party line of forcible (a word with its own issues)) and I feel remiss in missing the other possible connotation so clearly conveyed in the adjective legitimate.

Todd's No-Baby Baby Quilt

I tossed around this ambiguity and started thinking about all names of categories of rape we’ve been given over the years and how some can be misused to justify the acts. That is, though labels like spousal and date served to expose previously un-discussed violations, I wonder if they also led to linguistic and verbal protections for the attacker in some circles. But that is off-topic a little for today.

Back on track… What about the slang legit? It has even more—and some contextually worse—connotations in this situation. Let’s try this one.


Although my intent in designing this quilt is manifold, at base, this piece simply uses the language at play and seeks at once to ask some of these questions: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How…rape. It might have different meanings for the viewer.

Todd's No-Baby Baby Quilt

To illustrate my intent, a more free-ranging photoshoot is necessary, which requires a team since my neighbors are very…inquisitive. Anyway, I half-imagine the quilt traveling around the world being photographed everywhere like one of those rogue garden gnomes. We’ll see…

Now we’ll leave Todd behind. Yes, that’s a very good idea.

Todd's No-Baby Baby Quilt

The Details:
Pattern: some scrappy improv; and some improvised words
Materials: flour sacking, muslin, Kona cotton, osnaburg; wide red print for backing
Techniques: machined pieced; machine quilted; and hand-bound
Finished size: 62″ x 88″
Started: August 23, 2012
Finished: August 24, 2012