Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Rampant Rape in the Military: Who Knew?

He is shocked, shocked that raping is going on in this establishment. Commander in Chief Obama, along with the Congress, Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines and all the ships at sea are floundering. How in the name of almighty empire could this be happening to the greatest military force the world has ever known?

Let the annual bromides begin.

He wants it rooted out, pronto. Same as he wanted it rooted out last year, and the year before that. And just to show how much he cares, he's punted the scandal of a 37% increase in military sexual assaults in one year over to yet another wishy-washy defense secretary to sweep under the rug deal with:
I’ve … indicated to him that we not only have to step up our game but exponentially go after it,” Obama said.
It is never a good sign when the big boss frames dealing with a rape epidemic among his troops in terms of a sport. Women being beaten to a pulp in the good old boys' club? Just step up your game, fellas; shoot a few hoops, have a few beers.

And you know it's a bad sign when even one of the Senate's most outspoken feminists frames her outrage in jingoism. My comment to Maureen Dowd's column today: 
Sen. (Kirsten-NY) Gillibrand said, "Obviously, there's a failing in training and understanding of what sexual assault is and how corrosive and damaging it is to good order and discipline and how it's undermining the credibility of the greatest military force in the world."
How about undermining the rights of the victims? I'm hearing echoes in American officialdom of the Vatican response to the child sex abuse scandal. How awful that the failure of a few sickos damaged the rep of the Church, what with its grand history of inquisitions and crusades and extermination-by-disease of native peoples. How terrible for American Empire that serial rapists are now harming the "good order" of the biggest war machine on the face of the earth, interfering with our capacity to invade, bomb, occupy and operate an obscene 1,000 military bases abroad, even as our leaders impose cruel austerity here at home.
It's not a lack of training. It's too much training. It's training generation after generation how to kill, and rewarding them for it with stars and bars and perks. Rape has been a feature, not a bug, of military cultures since the dawn of time.
That it's so rapidly escalating in our own armed forces is an indication that our military itself has grown too large to control, just as our banks have become too big to fail. We have entered the new age of American feudalism.
Restore good order and discipline. Cut the Pentagon budget, stop the wars, heal the corrosion right here at home.


James F Traynor said...

Yeah, the Big O is really an embarrassing idiot. And, Karen, your comparison of rape in the military with the Catholic church and its essential abetting of sexual abuse was an apt one.

Denis Neville said...

Rape is not just a nightmare for military women.

Military sexual violence impacts both men and women. Of the 19,300 estimated assaults in 2010, 10,700 victims were men, while 8,600 were women. About 1 in 5 women and 1 in 100 men seen in VHA (Veteran’s Health Administration) respond "yes" when screened for MST (military sexual trauma). Though rates of MST are higher among women, there are almost as many men seen in VA that have experienced MST as there are women. This is because there are many more men in the military than there are women.

Report in the New York Daily News by Heidi Evans, “Majority of sexual assaults and rapes committed in military in 2011 were against men…Men are assaulted at a lower rate — 1% of servicemen reported being attacked by a comrade last year versus 4.4% of women — but that still translates to more than 10,000 cases compared with 9,000 attacks on female recruits and officers.”

Bill Sizemore, The Virginian-Pilot, “Military men are silent victims of sexual assault,”

“It is the high victimization rate of female soldiers—women in the armed forces are now more likely to be assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in combat—that has helped cast light on men assaulting other men,” wrote Jesse Ellison, “The Military's Secret Shame.”

The institution that is supposed to protect us as citizens, protect our freedoms, is assaulting its own.

As Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., noted, “This is not a female problem; it’s a predator problem.” This disgusting sexual violence is being done by perpetrators who use it to assert dominance and power over those they perceive to be weaker.

And it is just another reflection of the general tone of our culture, in which the rest of us are now regarded as a prey by the vulture capitalists.

pete v said...

Power and Brutality

"The exercise of power in any institutionalized form — whether economic, political, religious, or sexual — brutalizes both the wielder of power and the one over whom it is exercised."

from Free Women of Spain by Martha A. Ackelsberg

Denis Neville said...

Child abuse casts a shadow the length of a lifetime.

“Children are a heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.” – Mittens Romney

The Quiverfull movement preaches that it is the duty of women to submit, bear as many children as God would give them, and train them up as dedicated culture warriors, arrows in a divine quiver.

“When we quarrel with the way the world is, we find that the world has ways of getting back at us. In other words, however we try, the sexual act cannot be made into an egalitarian pleasuring party. A man penetrates, conquers, colonizes, plants. A woman receives, surrenders, accepts.” - Douglas Wilson

Janet Heimlich, Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment, exposes a dark side of faith that most Americans do not know exists or have ignored for a long time—religious child maltreatment. High-profile cases such as the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and "faith healing" deaths in certain fundamentalist Christian congregations have made the public aware that religion can sometimes mask deviant and harmful behavior. But the extent of the problem is far greater than most people realize.

According to the Department of Education, the number of kids being homeschooled nearly doubled between 1999 and 2007. The first generation to age out of the Christian homeschooling movement, that first took root in the 1980’s, are speaking out about their experiences.

Former homeschoolers rally against abuse @ Homeschoolers Anonymous (HA), blogging about childhood experiences that left them traumatized and unprepared for adult life. Many were schooled in the Quiverfull movement.

No Longer Quivering, a gathering place for women escaping and healing from spiritual abuse:

This is a world that does not love its children.