After receiving 300,000 views in the first three days after posting her song “Legitimate Rape” to YouTube, Taylor Ferrera couldn’t help but be a little humbled by all the attention. “I didn’t expect this kind of popularity,” Ferrera tells MEB. “I knew this one would probably be popular, because it was timely, but over a quarter million views? That blows my mind.”
If you haven’t been keeping up with recent political gaffes or the news in general, you should know that Representative Todd Akin (R) of Missouri has made quite the misstep. Last week, Akin spoke out in an interview about abortion and whether or not it is justified in cases of rape. Claiming that rape does not usually result in pregnancy, Akin stated, “It seems to be, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, it’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down.” Understandably, angry chaos ensued.
Ferrera, however, responded with humor instead of rage. “My initial reaction to the comment was laughter,” Ferrera stated, acknowledging the comment as outrageous. “So that’s what I want everyone’s reaction to be: laughter. Because it’s absurd! It’s ridiculous and most people are aware of that.”
While many people took to all means of protest to declare their distaste for Akin’s comment, Ferrera took to the writing block. “I almost immediately decided to write a song about Akin’s comments,” she explained. “Right after I heard, different ridiculous scenarios started going through my head; like, a uterus being like a DMV and needing proof of legitimate rape (2 from Column A or 1 from Column A and 2 from Column B)” she mused. “Once I decided that I was going to write a song and put it up by the end of the night, the song was written pretty quickly. It was the recording and editing and costume changes that took most of the time.”
The effort was well worth it, with her fan base growing by the day. “Of course, it’s nice to have people tell me they are in love with me. It makes me feel like I won’t die an old maid, and that’s what it’s all about in the end, isn’t it?” Ferrera jokes. “Honestly, the response has been overwhelming. I can’t believe how awesome and supportive and energized people are about all of this.” But, it hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine for this songstress.
For every few gushing comments on the video, there is the one commenter who has something nasty to say. But Ferrera doesn’t let the haters get her down. “No negative comment I’ve gotten on Facebook has made me regret posting anything up there.” She admits, “At first, I’d delete them and get red-faced and sad, but now it’s easier to shake it off. Especially when people are being so nice and yelling at those meanies for me.”
Akin has since apologized for his offensive slip-up, after receiving a great deal of condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike. Mitt Romney called Akin’s statement “deeply offensive…insulting, inexcusable and, frankly, wrong” while President Obama commented on it, stating “Rape is rape, and the idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we are talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.” Akin apologized, but affirmed that he would not drop out of the race for the Senate.
In regards to her backlash-in-song-form, Miss Ferrera stands strong in her intent. “His apology doesn’t make me regret the song,” Ferrera declared, “I wasn’t really mean to him. And besides, when you are running for Senate, you are scrutinized. You can’t say things without thinking; you can’t say things without having actual support to back it up. If you make statements (and not just any statements — huge, bold statements that are obviously hot subjects), make sure they are based in knowledge and not ignorance.”
Ferrera is not a viral video regular, but one of her songs did get a good bit of attention. “The last video I had that got a lot of views was my ‘Moving to Arizona’ video which got 45,000,” Ferrera says, referencing her song written about the law enacted in Arizona that considers a woman to be pregnant two weeks before conception. Luckily, the attention from this video has given hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to hear her talented vocals and quirky songwriting.
In closing, Ferrera wanted to give a shoutout of her own: “Uh, I gotta mention Tim Lincecum because I have in almost every interview so far and he pitched really well his last game, so I’m giving myself credit for it,” she jokes. If baseball and politics aren’t your thing, never fear. “I’ll say what I usually say, which is that not all my songs are politically themed. I do have some other songs that are silly, about different topics ranging from Diet Coke to Tim Lincecum.” And the best of her positive feedback? “My favorite comment I’ve had was someone saying, ‘I hope the Giants legitimately rape the Dodgers tonight,’ and they did. They really did.”