I was preparing to write a piece that was going to be freaking hilarious about women and styling salons. I wanted to open with a funny one liner that would be a take on “Women: can’t live with them; can’t live without them.” So, I turned to my old friend, Google, to help me find something adorable.
What I found was this.
I didn’t investigate much. This was the second hit when I started my Google search. But, I did see that it came from something called the “Military Times.” I do not know if this site is associated formally with the US military, whether it is a legitimate publication, or if it is just garbage, but I was totally disgusted. And, I don’t get disgusted easily.
There is what appears to be a legitimate site called “Military Times” which seems to offer news, information and opinions for, by and about military personnel, defense issues, politics and policy. I would love to believe that these two factions are not, indeed, connected, though.
I was first horrified to see that, at the time, the top response to “Women: Can’t Live With Them, Can’t…” was related to vicious commentary about rape. Not sure anyone associated with the military should be giggling about illegally shoving your penis where it doesn’t motherfucking belong. Isn’t there enough bad press about how women are treated in the armed forces already? Jesus.
The rest of the responses I read were about murdering, defiling and otherwise performing (or forcing the performance of) sex acts with women.
I don’t talk about it. Ever. But, I survived a rape 16 years ago. It changed everything about everything in my life. And, to see sexual violence used as a punchline makes me feel a kind of anger for which there is no real word in my language. I, very literally, feel sick right now.
I don’t even really recommend you go and read those posts on that forum. I really hesitated before even linking to it as I was afraid to give it more of a voice.
But the mother in me came out. If you are the parent of a daughter (or if you love any woman in your life at all), you need to see what kind of people she will encounter in her lifetime. Think about how you might teach her to respond to these animals. If you are the parent of a son, perhaps you can think about what you can do to make him turn out NOT to be like the (presumable) men on the aforementioned forum.
Rape and molestation are not about sex. They are not about “urges” or “attraction.” They are about violence, power, anger, aggression and the deep and insecure desire to cause pain, shame and a feeling of weakness.
If you have or if someone you know has been the victim of a sexual assault, or if you were involved in a situation where you were forced, coerced or taken advantage of while you were in a state that made you unable to consent to a sexual encounter clear-headedly, please contact your city’s Rape Crisis Hotline or visit http://www.rainn.org/.
Things don’t have to be the way they’ve always been.
I received this message recently from reader, Christine Moore:
The Military Times is indeed a Military publication. My husband gets the Navy Times all the time. I’m not really surprised that thread is on there, rape and sexual assault is a HUGE problem in the military. Most victims of sexual assault in the Military are “written off” as crazy and discharged from the military. There is always stories in the Military Times that talks about it, and how the Military is working to fix the problem, but the honest truth is nothing is really being done about it. I think what needs to be done here is that thread needs to be reported to the military, to DOD, to the Pentagon. AND it should also be reported to the media, if the media gets a hold of something like that the military will have to do something about those people, they will have to investigate, and hopefully that will lead to some arrests.
I will be reporting it, I hope you do also, and encourage others to do so.
Thank you, Christine! And, indeed, please, everyone, feel free to take action against this heinous attitude about victimizing women.