All the same everywhere

Over on alternet, there’s an article detailing some reader responses to rape, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexualized threats towards female soldiers and civilians in Iraq, including the case of a woman who’s been jailed because she refuses to subject herself to that treatment:

Rose Aguilar’s July 14 article tells the story of U.S. Army Specialist Suzanne Swift, who alleged that she was propositioned for sex by three sergeants “shortly after arriving for her first tour of duty in [Iraq in] February 2004.”

As Aguilar writes:

When Swift’s unit redeployed to Iraq in January 2006, she refused to go and instead stayed with her mother in Eugene, Ore. She was eventually listed as AWOL, arrested at her mother’s home on June 11, sent to county jail and transferred to Fort Lewis.

A colonel outside of Swift’s chain of command is investigating the case, but Rich says she has been given little information with no time frame. “I believe they’re trying to break her down using fear and intimidation.”

Of course, Swift is not the first — nor the last — alleged victim of military assault. As Aguilar notes, rape and harassment are not infrequent in the armed forces: “Since the fall of 2003, the Miles Foundation has documented 518 cases of sexual assault on women who have served or are serving in Middle Eastern countries.”

Some of the reader responses seemed really familiar, like this one from Bobsays:

As usual, AlterNet readers had lots to say about the matter. Reader Bobsays weighed in: “War itself makes men very aggressive physically and sexually. I think it is this that is putting female soldiers at risk. Unfortunately, much of this was argued by experienced soldiers prior to the mixing of the sexes in units, but it was dismissed as sexism. I don’t think it was sexism: it was an honest account of how the behavior of young men in a war environment, despite the best checks and balances of the military hierarchy, are still difficult to control. Think about it: horny guys with guns, horny guys, who after having a few friends killed and maimed, don’t care a toss about the military hierarchy or what feminists think. It is that brutal on the frontlines…”

The strawfeminist is perched between the lines here. Feminists do not argue that men and women do not respond to each other sexually, or that policy cannot take sexual desires and relationships into account. It is therefore a strawfeminist to argue that it’s “sexist” to point out the fact of male sexual desire and potential sexualized threats towards women. I’m pretty sure the feminists were nodding right along with that one, since it’s a problem in most other coed environments.

The sexist part comes in a little later, where the logical response to “Women in the armed forces will be sexually harassed and assaulted by male soldiers,” is, “Women should not be serving in the armed forces.” It is sexist to expect these women to either put up with harassment and assault by fellow soldiers or stay home. That reasoning places a very low value on the lives, safety, and morale of women, and cements sexism in practice. A male soldier who posed a physical threat to other male soldiers, who was beating the shit out of them when they tried to use the bathroom or the shower, or who repeatedly threatened another soldier’s life, would probably face consequences of some kind, right? At the very least, the soldiers on the receiving end of those threats would have some recourse.

On that note, this idea that brutality cannot be restrained tends to come out only when the brutalized population is expendable, or when protecting them is not an objective but an excuse for dispensing with them. This is what’s happening here. There’s no reason these soldiers cannot be effectively prevented from hurting women.

Bobsays continued: “The military tries to bring some creature comforts from back home to the war zone. So you have people getting into their bathing suits (and women into skimpy bikinis) and dipping in inflatable pools. In fact, the chicks are usually out on the grass sunbathing when they aren’t working. So the guys have a very clear idea of what they look like — and keep in mind these are women who are in top physical condition.”

Either sexual harassment, assault, and rape are violence bleeding through into everyday relationships, or they’re normal male sexual desire plus half-naked chicks. Either they can be controlled by fewer bikinis, or soldiers are brutalizers. Not both.

A second alternet story discussed sexualized threats towards Iraqi civilian women:

In another AlterNet story — published the same day as Rose Aguilar’s piece — Ruth Rosen from Tomdispatch chronicled the “wave of sexual terrorism” currently perpetuated by US soldiers against Iraqi women.

Her starting point was the alleged rape and murder of a young Iraqi girl, perpetrated in March by a group of five American soldiers. The child’s body was set on fire to cover up the crimes, and her father, mother, and sister were also killed.

It’s part of a much larger problem, as author Rosen reminds us:

Still, the invasion and occupation of Iraq has had the effect of humiliating, endangering, and repressing Iraqi women in ways that have not been widely publicized in the mainstream media: As detainees in prisons run by Americans, they have been sexually abused and raped; as civilians, they have been kidnapped, raped, and then sometimes sold for prostitution; and as women — and, in particular, as among the more liberated women in the Arab world — they have increasingly disappeared from public life, many becoming shut-ins in their own homes.

AlterNet readers had varied reactions to the story. Gazooks commented: “In not acknowledging the history of terror and rape that was systemic in Saddam’s Iraq, this piece diminishes the issue because it simply reads like propaganda. How necessary is it to characterize the American military as an organization of rapists dishonoring the Iraqi people and thereby distort and inflame the issue?”

Most of the other readers responded to the idea that we must always mention other people’s crimes to put our own in context. I’m interested in the way he describes institutional support for sex crimes. As I understand it, Rosen is not arguing that all soldiers are rapists, or that the military are rapists. She’s arguing that American soldiers are not being prevented from raping or brutalizing women. This means that brutalization does occur. This means that the soldiers who don’t rape support the soldiers who do by their presence. It also means that these women must look at soldiers as rapists and potential rapists–not merely because they are threatening, but because these women are absolutely vulnerable. She’s also arguing that the American military has failed to protect Iraqi women from other threats, and that its presence legitimizes a social system that endangers and oppresses them. Responding to that with, “…Is it really necessary to call American soldiers rapists?” obscures and trivializes a real problem by misrepresentting Rosen’s argument as propaganda.


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33 comments for “All the same everywhere

  1. July 24, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    Having just attended the Lamar Owens rape court martial, I am throwing the BS flag here. Don’t banty about definitions when you don’t knw what they mean. Rape is defined differently in the military courts than it is in the civilian courts. Because in the military it is almost always familiar on familiar and “She said vs he said” they have had a stricter standard. It takes force AND lack of consent to be defined rape.

    Here’s some real numbers not hearsay. USNA 56 rapes charged since I think 1998, 2 convictions. USAF academy remember all the rapes claimed two years ago? Zero convictions and 1/2 the claims cecanted, AND admitting they lied.

    This year at USNA, Zero Tolerance for rape, sexual misconcudt and sexual harassment, three cases 2 rapes one harassment. First case finished last week. Acquittal in rape, guilty of unbecoming an officer (had consensual sex in dorm) and failure to obey a Military Protective Order. Senetence? No Penalty.

    Prosecutor, never, ever, provided evidene of the first element, force, for the rape charge. They never had any evidence. It should never have gone to trial. Accuser was given horrible advice by cheerleading Sexual Assault Victims Intervention office, and the Staff Judge Advocate.

    I went to the trial on the fence, came out biased.

  2. July 24, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    Simply because military code defines rape differently than the civil code doesn’t make it any less wrong.

    I feel confident in hypothesizing that rape and sexual harassment are underreported in the military just like they are in the civilian realm, which might be the reason that the official numbers don’t match up with the self-reported responses.

    Now, back to the article.

    “War itself makes men very aggressive physically and sexually. I think it is this that is putting female soldiers at risk. Unfortunately, much of this was argued by experienced soldiers prior to the mixing of the sexes in units, but it was dismissed as sexism. I don’t think it was sexism: it was an honest account of how the behavior of young men in a war environment, despite the best checks and balances of the military hierarchy, are still difficult to control. Think about it: horny guys with guns, horny guys, who after having a few friends killed and maimed, don’t care a toss about the military hierarchy or what feminists think. It is that brutal on the frontlines…”

    I’m calling the BS flag here. I don’t care how f’in horny a guy is, he CAN control it. Grown-up men control it all the time. And if he can’t, and the object of his desire to control refuses – it’s rape.

    The answer isn’t blaming women for joining the military or wearing a bathing suit. It’s getting the message out to men who might rape that such behavior is intolerable and will not be tolerated.

  3. July 24, 2006 at 4:02 pm

    Johanna -“… it any less wrong.” Yes it does make it less wrong. To take action on rape it MUST be through legal channels. If you are using the definition from another court system then it CAN NOT be tried in the other court. Anything other than legal action is sexual anarchy. Any different from rape?

    As to reporting, if the reports reflect the civil definition, then they are absolutely wrong for the military environment. Apples will never equal oranges when the definitions are mixed, and this appears to be the current environment in the military.

    Oh, BTW, in the Owens case, when he realized that she was passed out, he withdrew. Not your basic rapist action.

    Another oh, BTW, the next rape case at the USNA did NOT get recommended for court martial at the Art 32 hearing, similar to a grand jury indictment, but the USNA Supe went ahead anyway.

    What’s that about?

  4. Kat
    July 24, 2006 at 7:10 pm

    despite the best checks and balances of the military hierarchy

    Are they really the “best” checks and balances of the military hierarchy? Because in my experience as a military spouse it often seemed that the hierarchy was a huge part of the problem.

    I wasn’t raped, but I was abused by my husband (a Marine) and the hierarchy made sure he never had to really answer for. It took months to get a restraining order, and even when he broke it they didn’t do anything about it. Despite various visits to our home where my husband was forcibly removed by MPs, not one charge was ever “substantiated”. They just seemed to get more and more upset with me. They threatened to kick me and my kids out of housing, and they even advised my husband to remove my autistic son (his stepson) from DEERS enrollment (therefore making him a non-person in the military community and cutting off his medical benefits and autism therapy.) They figured this would put the screws on me to straighten up.

    When charges are levied against a Marine, the solution seems to be to pressure the victim (usually female) to change her story. They can make you feel pretty darn unwelcome and powerless when they want to. Often charges of violence are handled at the accused Marine’s own command. Not exactly an unbiased group. And there is no civilian authority that has jurisdiction, you are at the mercy of the military judicial system. And while they are taking your power away from you, they are bolstering the abuser’s sense of power because he starts to feel like he can get away with it.

    Really, I think the practices of the military hierarchy breeds this mentality in the ranks–often these guys know there will be no accountability. So why stay in check?

    In my book, this is substandard leadership. I held my husband’s chain of command just as accountable as him for the family violence we endured, because they knew about it and had the means and duty to help us and him, but knowingly failed to do so.

  5. ginmar
    July 24, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    Because, of course CoRev, I’m sure we cadn expect the military to punish rape severely. I remember how one drill at Aberdeen Proving Ground got convicted of twelve or eighteen rapes. He got six months.

    And I’m sure you can provide a cite that proves you know the difference between ‘admitted they lied’ and ‘that’s just what I want to remember.’

  6. evil_fizz
    July 24, 2006 at 7:59 pm

    Yes it does make it less wrong. To take action on rape it MUST be through legal channels. If you are using the definition from another court system then it CAN NOT be tried in the other court. Anything other than legal action is sexual anarchy. Any different from rape?

    I’m sorry, but what the hell does that even mean? As a matter of English grammar, I can’t even begin to figure out what the point is.

    As (I suspect) the only person posting here who’s actually working in a JAG office, I have to say, Kat’s experiences are not atypical. My own anecdote: Last week, I was helping a woman whose husband was incredibly violent and abusive. He was also serving as a pilot for a commanding general (overseas) and his superiors refused to prosecute him even though a 6-week investigation back in the States substantiated severe abuse and recommended that a court martial be convened. How’d I wind up helping her at all? She left a long comment on an Army housing “how are we doing” survey pleading for help and eventually it got forwarded to our office. She’d been though her husband’s chain of command and even with the investigation and documentation, they still didn’t want to take it up. The case has been handed over to another SJA who’s going to handle the case overseas, but jesus.

    It’s fucked up, to say the very least.

  7. July 24, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    KAT,sorry to hear your story. The CoC definitely let you down. Hope things are better for you and yours.

    Ginmar, I came on saying stop making rash claims of things you know nothing. Rape is alegal term. UCMJ definitions are different than civil. Like it or not. Applying civil definitions gets us no where.

    I know of the Aberdeen claims and the USAF Academy claims and of the current USN Academy claims. USNA has gone overboard. Women and their movement for equality has been irreparably hurt. Shunning, mildly, is the norm at the academy. WUBA,women used by all, is practiced by the male mids. As a joke look it up in Wiki.

    Oh, BTW, Ginmar. As I understand, the Aberdeen case, he was acquitted of all the rapes. Convicted on lesser charges.

    If equality were the aim, a second set of physical standards would not exist. A bend over backwards attitude for women would not exist. Keeping the percentage of women as high as possible would not be the modus operandi.

    A prior admissions official said that the average percentage of qualified women submissions has been 16-17%. Raising that percentage, as the Supe and DoD Sexual Assault Working Group have recommended would require an even lower standard. I don’t know the truth of that statement, but present only for its dubious value.

    And, finally, most recent stats show that the military rate of sexual assault, etc. is less than or equal to the population in general. My own analysis indicates that the trate of false claims may be nearly twice that of the general population, nearly 40%.

    Before anybody pulls out that old claim of 2% false claims I refer you to this: http://llr.lls.edu/volumes/v33-issue3/greer.pdf

  8. Kat
    July 24, 2006 at 9:06 pm

    KAT,sorry to hear your story. The CoC definitely let you down. Hope things are better for you and yours.

    They did because I took the kids and left base. So they won, really. They set out to get rid of me they did. I made complaints up and down the chain of command to include the Base Commander and my Senator. But not much has changed from what I hear.

    The way my case was not a whole lot different than they handle most abuse cases. Wives know to keep their mouths shut or deal with what I got. Its a very widespread problem that keeps victims from reporting for fear of retribution.

    I’m sure the victims of rape are dealing with the same type of mentality and I can empathize with that. It’s a helluva machine to be up against.

  9. zuzu
    July 24, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Aw, isn’t that cute. CoRev thinks women shouldn’t be in the military at all.

  10. July 24, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Kat said: “I’m sure the victims of rape are dealing with the same type of mentality and I can empathize with that. It’s a helluva machine to be up against.” In lamar Owens’ (LO) case it was the alleged victim who had the machine support. Regrettably, she was ill served by the machine. If LO had not gotten the support of some alumni he would have been railroaded.

    Similar to the Duke situation, the convening authorities, USNA Superintendant and Nifong in Duke, have proceeded with a trial that is ill supported by the evidence. All parties are being seriously injured, including the convening authorities.

    Evil-fizz, sorry wasn’t very clear. What I was trying to say is that using civil definitions for rape in a military court doesn’t work. Much different standard.

  11. evil_fizz
    July 24, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    What I was trying to say is that using civil definitions for rape in a military court doesn’t work. Much different standard.

    There’s also that matter of death as a potential punishment for rape in court martials…but leaving that aside, I think you’re making a distinction without a difference. So the standard of proof is different: so what? Does that somehow make it more moral to rape someone by the civilian definition than the UCMJ definition?

    It makes it harder to get a conviction in a court martial, because you need some kind of affirmative sign of resistance on the part of the victim, but I don’t think that means term rape is being thrown around with no regard for what it means.

    Also, have you noticed this thread is not, in fact, about Lamar Owens?

  12. July 24, 2006 at 10:54 pm

    And, finally, most recent stats show that the military rate of sexual assault, etc. is less than or equal to the population in general. My own analysis indicates that the trate of false claims may be nearly twice that of the general population, nearly 40%.

    Uh, CoRev, “nearly twice that of the general population, nearly 40%,” implies that the rate of false claims in the general population is nearly 20%. However, the FBI puts false reporting of rng of rape at between 3 and 5%, about the same incidence as false reporting of other crimes. Where are you getting this nearly 20% figure from?

    Also, you say “your analysis.” Do you havea background in quantitative analysis which allows you to analyze statistics better than the FBI? What sources is your analysis based on? Links, please.

  13. Taube
    July 25, 2006 at 5:27 am

    You know what’s fucked up? Guys get away with raping women in the military, but if they want to have a consensual relationship with another man, they’ll be kicked out for that. We have some screwed up ideas about the military and sex.

  14. July 25, 2006 at 6:23 am

    My own analysis indicates that rape apologists and deniers of sexual assault are more than ten times as likely to be irritating fuckwits than the average person in the general population.

    And Raincitygirl, before you question my “background” or “qualifications,” may I simply remind you that as a random person on the internet, I am clearly qualified to make blanket statements about subjects that I know very little about, and to back up those statements with my own personal analysis, which is entirely divorced from any credible or unbiased source.

  15. July 25, 2006 at 7:06 am

    raincitygirl, “the FBI puts false reporting of rng of rape at between 3 and 5%, about the same incidence as false reporting of other crimes.” Why don’t you try the cite I provided earlier. It is enlightening.

    Zuzu, name calling, tsk, tsk.

    As for my analytical abilities, not quantitative, but I have beena professional analyst, trained even, since I was a young man, too many decades past now

  16. July 25, 2006 at 8:16 am

    Haha… did Zuzu really just get tsk tsk’ed?

    And she didn’t even call you a name. She just said it was cute that you thought women shouldn’t be in the military.

    I, however, did infer that you are an irritating fuckwit.

    And your cite was a single article from one law journal, where even he says that the high point for false accusations is 25 percent. But perhaps the best oart of the article is where he recognizes that the 2% false accusation figure is nearly universally accepted — and then provides two pages of citations for articles that support the 2% figure. Perhaps we should look at the burden of evidence?

    Further, having read his article, it’s clear that he’s approaching this from a fairly skewed angle. He conflates a report/accusation of rape with the conviction rate for homicide.

    Furthermore, there is no plausible reason to believe that almost all complaints of rape are true. On the contrary, aside from the limited probative empirical evidence on the issue, there are a number of good reasons to think that a significant fraction of rape complaints, far in excess of two percent, are false. By way of comparison, there is an elaborate body of literature and numerous examples suggesting that a significant number—way beyond the two percent range—of capital murder convictions are of innocent men.22 Why should criminal trials involving sexual assaults on women be more accurately discriminating than those involving capital homicide?

    See how that doesn’t exactly make sense? It’s not logical to argue that, “Police officers, investigators and prosecutors make mistakes in capital murder cases which result in wrongful convictions more than 2% of the time. Therefore, it must also be true that women lie about being raped more than 2% of the time.”

    He doesn’t have any basis for his idea that more than 2% of rape reports are fabricated. His entire article basically boils down to, “I think that the 2% claim is wrong, and too many people relied on Susan Brownmiller’s book.” Nowhere does he show how he got to his figure that as many as 25% of rape reports are fabricated — the best he does it compare it to other crimes that are not at all analogous. Another example:

    However, it may well be that as much as twenty percent of sexual abuse claims may be false in divorce settings with respect to children.77 If this is true, then it is not implausible that at least twenty percent of non-stranger rape claims are false.

    So because as much as 20% of sexual abuse claims in the context of divorce may be false (again, may be), we can deduce that at least that many rape claims are false.

    Do you see how this is terrible scholarship?

    He also conflates feminist theory about rape with the law, which is clearly problematic in myriad ways, as it seriously misrepresents the reality of our legal system.

    If this is all you’ve got, then don’t expect us to take you seriously.

  17. zuzu
    July 25, 2006 at 9:01 am

    As for my analytical abilities, not quantitative, but I have beena professional analyst, trained even, since I was a young man, too many decades past now

    Perhaps it’s been too many decades indeed if your analytical powers told you that I was name calling.

    I still can’t believe I got tsk-tsk’d.

  18. July 25, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Jill, Jill, Jill Tsk Tsk also, but more importantly how disengenuous! Why didn’t you finish the article’s references when you said: “I think that the 2% claim is wrong, and too many people relied on Susan Brownmiller’s book.” What he traced was the history of the 2% claim to Brownmiller and THEN beyond.

    And, what did he say? Before Brownmiller’s reference there was no evidence, no studies, nothing but a single comment from a NYC Police Lt in the vicitm assault office in the mid 70’s. Her comment was faxed to a Judge who was giving a speech, and Brownmiller’s first reference was to that speech. All other comments become circular logic derived from that single heady comment. Everytime I read another reference to a nonexistent FBI study I cringe at the shakiness of the claim.

    And why do I cringe? Because at the same time Brownmiller was writing her book citing her reference, I was working in a moderately large police/criminal justice system building one of the nation’s first Integrated Criminal Justice information Systems. Some of the data feeds were police incident reports, arrest reports, court action reports, and the infamous FBI reports that we coded and filed.

    Then as today the formats, elements, data fields, data codes etc. etc. etc. were different, used differently and seldom normalized. Moreover, the biggest problem in all the reports was matching IDs. It might be amazing to many of us outside the Criminal Justice community, but folks lie and data can be corrupted. Matching victims is difficult enough without spelling errors, data entry errors, etc, but matching assailants’ records with the same issues AND a concerted effort to hide their identities makes any reports analysis suspect at best. Matching police with court records to say the least is problematic.

    Having said all that, if one common claim of the feminist movement is based upon shifting sand, how many others are?

    I bring up the LO court martial in this discussion because it is recent, real and I attended the court martial. Since this article was about rape in and by the military, I thought real world info might be interesting.

  19. July 25, 2006 at 9:47 am

    And, what did he say? Before Brownmiller’s reference there was no evidence, no studies, nothing but a single comment from a NYC Police Lt in the vicitm assault office in the mid 70’s. Her comment was faxed to a Judge who was giving a speech, and Brownmiller’s first reference was to that speech. All other comments become circular logic derived from that single heady comment. Everytime I read another reference to a nonexistent FBI study I cringe at the shakiness of the claim.

    If that was so, then wouldn’t the current FBI statistics continue to place the false accusation rate at 2%? They don’t. Explanation?

  20. July 25, 2006 at 9:52 am

    And we get that you don’t agree with the 2% figure. What you haven’t explained yet is how you came to yours. And that law review article didn’t explain it, either.

  21. raging red
    July 25, 2006 at 10:20 am

    And Raincitygirl, before you question my “background” or “qualifications,” …

    Jill, I think Raincitygirl was just addressing CoRev, who said “my analysis indicates…”

  22. Kat
    July 25, 2006 at 11:00 am

    He was also serving as a pilot for a commanding general (overseas) and his superiors refused to prosecute him even though a 6-week investigation back in the States substantiated severe abuse and recommended that a court martial be convened.

    Why inconvenience a GO when you don’t have to? (said with utter sarcasm). Manning issues often take precedence in the military, even over serious issues like abuse. People in the military are “assets.” Pilots cost a lot of money to train. That’s a hard asset to let go of. Costs a lot of money. That’s the mentality anyhow. Easier to ignore the wife than to train a new pilot.

  23. July 25, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    Jill said, “If that was so, then wouldn’t the current FBI statistics continue to place the false accusation rate at 2%? They don’t. Explanation?” Current FBI statisitcs…?????? Jill, where is the report? Not a reference to a report, but the report!!!

    Here’s one reference to SexHar: http://www.thefire.org/index.php/article/6727.html

    Here’s one validating (not) the last DoD survey: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=12228

    Another:
    http://www.cmrlink.org/social.asp?docID=260

    And this quote: “Many professionals working in the field of sexual assau;t contribute to the problem by citing statistics from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting Code without understanding the definition or the source.”
    from: http://www.mysati.com/Downloads/FalseAllegations.pdf

    And from here: http://archives.cjr.org/year/97/6/rape.asp we have an interesting article reviewing mid 90s reports. Quoted:

    “If you look to academe for such studies about false reports, you’ll come across the unusually high percentage found by the Purdue University sociologist Eugene J. Kanin, now retired. In an examination of rape reports from 1978 to 1987 in an unnamed midwestern city of 70,000, he found that of the 109 rapes reported to the police, 45, or 41 percent, were subsequently classified as false. Kanin also got the police records of two unnamed large state universities and found that in three years, 50 percent of the 64 rapes reported to campus police were determined to be false.”

    I found his final advice to reporters very intriquing: ” For the reporter, the conclusion is clear. Don’t rely on one source. Talk to the local sexual assault counselors, talk to the local police, talk to the FBI, talk to the academics. Try to make some sense out of all the different numbers. And be careful.”

    Getting away from the EDU, sex training community, we begin to see different numbers. That communtity too cites the 2% number citing each others’ articles which is why I included the Greer article. The Columbia Journalism Review article expands on what I was trying to say re: FBI reports and quotes. They can not be trusted because they are drawn from different sources, needs, reporting requirements, and definitions.

    Oops! I’ve gone full circle to what I started with, definitions of sexual assault. Since the article was about the military and I had attended the most contemporary case, I tried to share.

  24. Therapist1
    July 25, 2006 at 2:02 pm

    My biggest problem with many of the discussions that I have seen on the subject the past few weeks is the question posed by a couple of different women, “Why would she lie about something like this?” The next logical question is Why does anyone lie knowing the consequences? People have their own motivation and agenda in every situation, so they can lie about rape. Having read a couple of the articles CoRev cited, it is stating not they are all false, but that the information provided is false. They may have been raped or not, but look at how many people are freed by DNA or the lack there of supporting a claim of murder or rape. First hand eye witness accounts are by far the weakest. In a stressful situation most people lose perspective and do not get the details necessary to be accurate. All the statistical quoting here makes my head spin. [Math was never my strong point.] But in my personal experience I see women falsely accuse men of sexual misconduct all the time especially when they are trying to terminate with a patient who has some sort of personality disorder. In the LO case, she had very poor legal advice to go forward.

    As for women in the military, I do have a problem with it. We enlist and/or commision them into a service that is solely designed to KILL people. That is their job, even in the support roles, there job is to make sure that the front line service person can KILL people. Now my point is we permit them to join but not actually serve is combat units. That line is getting more and more blurred in this type of warfare, but we do not do the same for our police forces, why the military? If it is unit cohesion, segregate. But I have worked with some damn fine female officers in the field
    of work I am in and one or two even saved my bacon, so it is not about ability or courage. So, if the feminist movement wants to advocate for military servie, advocate for frontline combat duty. But be prepared for the ramifications. If captured, they will be raped and tortured, just as the men are. [Yes, many of the men are raped when captured] Also, be prepared to have to sign up for the draft, once that line is crossed it is erradicated. My diatribe is over, you all have a good day.

  25. Therapist1
    July 25, 2006 at 2:18 pm

    sorry about the sentence construction. I was typing but it was not registering and I did not realize it.

  26. Esme
    July 25, 2006 at 5:15 pm

    Therapist, considering what we’re referring to is the fact that women are being raped by fellow soldiers, not the enemy, the potential for being raped by the enemy is hardly the point.

    ” So, if the feminist movement wants to advocate for military servie, advocate for frontline combat duty”

    I don’t understand what this means. What I’ve been reading is feminists discussing the unequal protection being provided for women in the service. And who says we AREN’T advocating for the ability to perform in combat? It’s just not the subject of this discussion.

  27. July 26, 2006 at 1:20 am

    Jill, I think Raincitygirl was just addressing CoRev, who said “my analysis indicates…”

    I know. I was being sarcastic throughout the whole comment. Raincitygirl made an important point about CoRev’s credentials, and I was joking when I said that she has no right to question the credentials of an anonymous person on the internets.

  28. ginmar
    July 26, 2006 at 4:36 am

    I love it how CoRev believes in false accusations but not false acquittals in such a macho world. Isn’t that just precious?

  29. July 26, 2006 at 9:24 am

    I love it how Ginmar and Jill can not argue the issue(s), but need to revert to ad hominems. Zuzu and Ginmar claim I said things, but they were never said.

    Bringing and alternative view to something we all feel strongly about just generates dust from the shuffling of feet and BS. C’mon folks, you can do better than that. It could have been an interesting discussion with some meaningful, documented arguments, but no….

  30. ginmar
    July 26, 2006 at 9:39 am

    The fact that you don’t even know waht an ad hom is isn’t helping you, doofus.

  31. zuzu
    July 26, 2006 at 9:40 am

    He’s just adorable!

  32. raging red
    July 26, 2006 at 11:40 am

    I know. I was being sarcastic throughout the whole comment.

    Whoops. I guess I had a momentary lapse of poor reading comprehension (which means I probably should have kept my typing fingers to myself). Sorry.

  33. Therapist1
    July 26, 2006 at 7:50 pm

    Esme, my discussion about whether women belong in th emilitary had everything to do in the discussion as Zuzu stated, “Aw, isn’t that cute. CoRev thinks women shouldn’t be in the military at all.” So, she opened that Pandora’s box and I responded to it. It was also a comment to address what the reality of serving in the military as a true soldier would be. I did notice you ignored the first paragraph which did address the question of why accusers lie.

    I agree that rape from your fellow soldiers is horrible, the problem is it has to meet the legal definition and that was CoRev’s point. Without a legal definition there is no crime because crimes are defined by the societal agreed upon norms or laws, not morals.

    In LO’s case the question was she forced and did she have the capacity to consent? No force and he had no prior knowledge that she might not have had the capacity to consent. I have no doubt she believes she was raped. Blackouts will do that to your memory and perception as she would not remember moaning, or pulling him into bed. It is a shme all around.

    Oh yeah, the way the USAFA was able to address the lying was by polygraphing and then requestioning those who had questionable responses. I know polys are not accurate at times, but it was the requestion that answered the query of whether they lied or falsely accused someone. Did not mean they were not raped, but the wrong guy was convicted. That too is a shame.

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