Saturday, April 5, 2008

U.S. servicewomen are more likely to be raped by U.S. servicemen than to be killed by Iraqis

Here are details of the rape of one member of the U.S. military, as described by Karen Houppert, writing for The Nation.
That dawn, naked, covered in blood and feces, bleeding from her anus, she found a US soldier she did not know lying naked in the bed next to her: his gun lay on the floor beside the bed, she could not rouse him and all she could remember of the night before was screaming and screaming as the soldier anally penetrated her while a colleague who worked for defense contractor KBR held her hand--but instead of helping her, as she had hoped, he jammed his penis in her mouth. (full article)
Details such as these confirm what we instinctually know is happening, behavior that we have to know is exacerbated by military engagement and by far-right ideology generally. Any system or culture that strives to destroy any traditionally "feminine" characteristic breeds violent rage against women and all who are perceived as “weaker.” And those with a core belief that life is one big power play, that it is not only a prerogative but, indeed, a responsibility, to exploit wherever possible and a duty to take responsibility for their own exploitation are bound to initiate and perpetuate, consciously or not, the type of behavior described above, both on literal and metaphoric levels.

I agree with Noam Chomsky that many of the “surprises” associated with the U.S. landscape from 9-11 forward are not surprising at all except in the demographic of the victims. Women serving in the U.S. military raped by men in serving in the U.S. military are one of those “surprises,” (maybe, to some). There is an unexpressed shock that this would happen to women engaged in a traditionally masculine role instead of only to those many disempowered Iraqi women. Well, boundaries never hold up as we expect them to, and even if a person has no empathy at all, no reason to care about those being victimized, he or she should take heed because in real life, from any historical perspective, everything comes back. Chickens come home to roost. They just do.

Here’s the personal: I’m a woman and, like most women, I’ve been raped. The rapist was a member of the U.S. Marines. I don’t believe that those two facts are coincidental, either. Cold comfort: I was not brutalized as horribly as the woman whose experience is described above.

Before you tell me that all men in the military are not rapists, just don’t. I know that good and well. But the careful conditioning of a patriarchal organization whose raison d’etre is violence can’t really help, can it?

All this shit, all of it, gets overwhelmingly upsetting to contemplate.

Additional links to accounts of the frequent rape of U.S servicewomen:

L.A. Times


A hat tip to RBL, who posted these links and in-depth commentary.


Seeing Eye Chick said...

I wonder if Leamon could list Dick Cheney and other Company rule makers/leaders as Rapists by Proxy.

That Comment about No Adult Supervision just really twisted my shorts.

Quote: Horton. "It's like Texas west of the Pecos in 1890 over there!" It's just common sense that you're going to have some violent crimes when you throw this many people together, he says. "Think about it. You have 180,000 people over there, you're going to have a few crimes. I don't know how anybody could fairly view this as a partisan issue. Crimes happen when you bring people together anywhere, and in a war setting, without adult supervision, crimes are going to increase. That is just a fact. And if you eliminate law enforcement, the crimes are going to get worse because people will quickly learn they can get away with it."

What the fuck does that mean? No Adult supervision? I mean are you telling me all those peckerheads running around operating billion dollar equipment and sporten huge fire arms aren't actually adults?

Did all the Males of the U.S. Military and KBR then ride to Iraq on the *little Bus?

What a crock of shit!

We arent in the U.S. where actual policemen can see us, so that means we can all run amok and rape and murder as we please?

Well I can see why our Hearts and Minds Campaign is working so well.

I wish I could act surprised. I too am an MST survivor from a previous service era.

A.F. said...

I hear you, seeing eye chick! Engineers/architects/salespersons of the war are rapists and murderers by proxy.

"We arent in the U.S. where actual policemen can see us, so that means we can all run amok and rape and murder as we please?"

I think that's what it means, too.