Rape in the Military

Liz Trotta did an interview/commentary on Fox News about rapes in the military. It’s a vomit-inducing rant about how the army should have expected rapes to go up when they allowed women in the military because, apparently, putting women and men in close contact automatically leads to rape. I’m not sure who should be more insulted: the women or the men.

On the one hand, she’s basically saying that men are incapable of self-control when put in proximity to women. That’s pretty bad. It’s almost like accusing men of being unthinking savages completely controlled by their sexual desires. If that’s really the case though, why aren’t all men rapping women on the street. They are in close contact with each other. Why isn’t 5th avenue one big rape-fest?

On the other hand, she’s basically saying that the women are asking for it just by being in the military. That’s a terrible thing to say about people who want to serve their country. It’s a terrible thing to say about anyone. No one ever asks for rape. Making comments like that only perpetuates the backwards thinking that continues to minimize rape in our society. The answer is never to avoid the situations, by preventing women from serving in the military for example. What we need to do is educate people. We need to teach people to work with each other in high pressure situations and not take out their stress on each other. We need to make it ok to report rape when it happens. We need to support raped soldiers, not treat them as if they have done something wrong. We need to make them understand that it does not make them weak, or any less of a soldier, if they are raped.

That’s another problem. Not only do we have a habit of blaming the victim, but we blame them for being victims. There seems to be this thought that somehow being a victim of rape makes someone less of a person. The stigma is even worse for soldiers. They are supposed to be tough, fearless, able to fend off any attack. It’s even harder for them to come forward because they will feel like even more of a failure. We have to work on that. We need to support soldiers because they risk their lives to defend our way of life.

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