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Tuesday How To

November 13, 2012

So I have a thing about debate. By “a thing” I mean, it is like a holy religion and STOP DOING IT BADLY, OMG WHY?  Pant pant

Sorry. I had a moment there. I’m back now.

Periodically, I’m going to offer you an opportunity to learn something. OK, I try to give you an opportunity to learn something every day but this is not the same. Or, possibly I just thought of a gimmick I can run with for a while and shut up.

In that spirit, the teaching one, not the gimmick one, I offer you a very simple and straight forward lesson.

How To Draw Every Nutcase Conspiracy Theorist Who Is Pissed Off Their Candidate Lost To Your Facebook Page:

Write about rape and abortion. Add in a little military. Stir. Let sit. .

Holy crap. Tidal wave of crazy.

I rarely delete threads on my Facebook feed. No matter how contentions they get  I allow them to continue because I think the debate is valuable and can be educational both for the participants and those reading. But an endless thread of telling me, a veteran, what the military is “really like” slut shaming female soldiers is not debate so fuck those people, frankly.

The Right Winger’s inability to assimilate facts is maddening. Their identification of anything they don’t like as biased is pathetic but at the moment, that is the standard and we have to deal with things as they are.

So here you are Right Wingers. Here are some facts you won’t care about. That’s fine, but don’t ever again pretend that you “support our troops.” Women in the military are our troops too and if you are on Team Rapebaby, you’re not supporting them.

When you’re in the military, the primary lesson is “suck it up.” You don’t complain. You do not ever rat our your fellow military member. Yes, yes, I know that there is also training which makes clear that you are not to follow an illegal order or accept illegal behavior but, to be honest, that lesson is far less important and given far less focus than the ones that state you stick together, don’t speak out no matter what.

When one or more of your fellow soldiers sexually assaults you, which happens a lot, your sense of violation is compounded by the knowledge that as far as your brothers, the people who are supposed to support you, look at the situation you are wrong no matter what. Never mind that you are more likely to be raped by one of these brothers than killed in combat. If you “rat out” your rapist, you are the one causing trouble and in doing so you are risking your rapist’s career. That is how it is viewed. That is the message that women in the military get every day. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Under the current rules, a female soldier, sailor, airman or marine must prove that she has been raped. A military rape survivor must give up her right to a restricted report. She must tell people, multiple people, not just military law enforcement but various members of her chain of command as well as the rapist’s chain of command.

A military chain of command does not exist to protect individual service members, especially not female service members who are well aware that they are considered less valuable that their male counterparts. The chain of command exists to maintain itself. It does this, often, by ending a conflict, rather than solving them.

So a female servicemeber must prove she has been raped. She has to prove it not only legally but to the satisfaction of at least two chains of command which do not necessarily have her best interests in mind. She must do this, while the very limited window wherein she can legally obtain an abortion in most circumstances gets smaller and smaller. Or she will just be set aside until someone can figure out “what to do with her,” while that time ticks away.

And all this time, her mental health and ability to do her job is all being questioned because someone else choose to assault her and that assault resulted in pregnancy. Further, you can’t have a pregnant woman in certain places, so once she tells her commander that she was raped and is now pregnant with that rapist’s baby, she may be punished by losing her job. Even if she retains her rank, she faces the possibility of losing her position in her unit and being shipped back to the US. This is a killing blow to a military career. When your tour is cut short people ask why and it can hinder your hopes of promotion because no matter what actually happened, the victim of rape will be accused of damaging unit cohesion. Pause and think about that for a moment. When a military women is raped and becomes pregnant, the fact that she will be judged and slut shamed is considered her fault and that judgement and slut shaming will follow her for the rest of her career. That is always assuming that she isn’t prosecuted under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In case you don’t want to click the link that is the article that covers dereliction of duty.

This is what military women face if one of the people she is supposed to be able to trust with her life rapes her and the other people who make up her chain of command don’t believe her or don’t care.

As if that isn’t enough, if a woman is lucky enough to find her pregnancy early and she is lucky enough to be able to prove rape to the satisfaction of her chain of command and the rapist’s chain of command and possibly the medical chain of command, she still has to pay for it.

So what can be done? Remember a few days ago when I said that if you don’t know who your federal, state, and local elected officials you fail civics forever? This is why you need them. SUPPORT THE SHAHEEN AMENDMENT! Pick up the phone and inform your current and future elected official (if they have changed) that this amendment must be a part of the 2013 Defense Authorization Bill, currently wandering through the Senate. This needs to happen, like yesterday.

They stand up for us. It’s long past time we stand up for them.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. CinnamonOpus permalink
    November 13, 2012 4:55 PM

    Wow. So much I was unaware of, and so rage-inducing. And now it has me wondering how things work here in the CDN military.

  2. November 13, 2012 7:24 PM

    I looked into that briefly but I wasn’t able to find much. I don’t know what Canada’s current policy is.


  1. Tuesday How To: Not Take The Bait « What a Witch

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