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Feb 10 2014

Roller coaster time!

Wait, wait, that last post was just too cheerful and optimistic. We can’t have that! So now that you’re feeling all happy about a peaceful response to oppression, let me bring you down to earth with this site, My Duty to Speak, in which military personnel recount their personal tales of getting raped while serving their country. That description is enough that I don’t have to say, “trigger warning”, right?

(via Bateman on rape in the military. Also pretty intense. OK, just don’t read any of this article or anything it links to. Go back to the dance video. Although…dancing won’t fix this problem.)

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Artor

    My sister has one of those stories. The rape itself was rather mundane. The behavior of the officials at the Air Force Academy afterwards is the particularly revolting part of the tale.

  2. 2
    doublereed

    oh my god this is the worst roller coaster ever

  3. 3
    Menyambal

    I looked up my old branch of service. Thirty years later, and it’s still screwed up. And now there are more women serving, and getting the worst of the worst of it.

    How can anybody in the military NOT believe a person who says they have been raped?

  4. 4
    Pteryxx

    Bateman’s essay is the second and latest in an ongoing series. Here’s the first, addressing fellow men in the US military.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/bateman-rape-in-military-012214

    The mere appeal of “right” versus “wrong” is not enough for most men, and men make up the overwhelming majority of all four services. It is not that most men rape. It is that too many of us get a glance, have a hunch, hear a rumor, and do nothing. That is where we fail. That is how we fail. If that moral appeal was sufficient we would not have this problem, so perhaps I need to present this in a different light to make other men as mad as I am.

    [...]

    The nation sinks resources into training us, educating us, and keeping us fit and healthy. A lot of resources. Every assault on a woman in uniform and every case of sexual assault or harassment, threatens all of the training, all of the resources of the nation which went into making her a competent member of our Forces, when she leaves the service because of that attack by one of her peers.

    So what do you do? Well, you need to get mad. You need to get breaking-a-bottle-on-the-side-of-the-bar mad. Then you need to do something about it. It does not matter if you are infantry or an FA-18 maintenance specialist or working at 30,000 feet on an AWACS. You joined, like I did, for a reason. Some people talk about us joining for the money, but those are only people who do not know what we get paid in comparison to what we are asked to do. The reason we joined was to defend the nation. Now you need to accept the fact that there are some slime bags out there who are betraying our mission to defend the nation by preying upon our female peers. That weakens our nation, and these oozing piles need to be excised. If you even suspect, and you are silent, then you, mister, are now part of our national problem, and you are hurting America.

  5. 5
    sapperdon

    As a Jr NCO, I had to deal with an instance of a senior NCO making very unwanted (and inappropriate) advances on one of my soldiers. No matter how loud I complained, it seemed nothing was to be done about it. Until the young soldier committed suicide six months after the events (I think there was more than what I personally witnessed, but she was too scared to say anything about it). That is what it took for CID to investigate and actually address the problem.

    This is still a huge problem in the military, and it is the mid-level that is the problem. The higher ups all proclaim they want to fix the problem, and the rank and file seem to believe them and don’t tolerate it. But it seems to be the company commanders, and their senior NCOs that are the road block.

    I think it stems from Company Commanders fearing that if such things became known it would have an adverse effect on their career, thus enticing them to ‘sweep it under the rug’. I have wondered if it could instead become a bullet on the commander’s OER if they prosecute offenders, but that would entice them in the wrong direction.

    I don’t know what will fix it, but it has long bothered me. As an NCO, I feel it is my duty to protect my subordinates as best possible, and I have often felt I failed the soldier I mentioned above.

  6. 6
    nancymartin

    I know two women who are Vietnam era vets – one a master chief and the other a chief in the Navy . Luckily, they didn’t have to deal with sexual assault but they did have to deal with inappropriate comments and requests.

  7. 7
    anuran

    Years back there was an editorial cartoon that showed an E-4 sleeping at a desk with cobwebs between him, the phone and a sign which read “Hotline for Women in the Army Who Have Not Been Sexually Harassed”.

    As true now as it was then.

    A friend of mine is currently going through college on an ROTC scholarship. Before she went in her older sister dragged my wife and me out of retirement to put her through Aunt and Uncle Froggie’s 40 Hour Course in Dirty Tricks and Knife Fighting. So far she hasn’t had to go beyond “Painful Surprise and Gentle Remonstrance”. Hoping she won’t need any of the rest, but glad she has a few things that her fellow soldiers don’t know about.

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