In our Post 9/11 emotional haste to label every man who joins the United States military a ‘hero,’ our country has in its own way bullied those of us perhaps more familiar with the myriad of definitions of the word into quiet agreement for fear of the “Support the Troops” brigade who possess all of the compassion of the Salem Witch Hunters. Certainly there are members of the US Military who possess and have demonstrated great courage and some who have proven themselves to be great warriors. They are the true heroes. But simply signing the dotted line on the application does not in itself make one courageous, nor heroic. Though I certainly wish it did. Why? Because we in this nation wouldn’t have to be witnesses to the SLOWLY unfolding revelation that there is an epidemic (and yes, I chose that word for its precision) of sexual violence and assaults against female military personnel at the hands of military men.
I am disgusted. The idea that women can put their respective lives on the line for their nation and yet be brutally victimized by their co-workers baffles the mind. To be raped on the job at say a law firm, or a Post Office or in the stockroom of a Starbucks is awful and dehumanizing enough. But imagine being brutally raped while working in a male dominated and cloistered culture chock full of testosterone junkie men, trained to kill who answer to a court held outside the purview of the normal American justice system. I can only imagine the fear.
We owe it to our precious women to drag all of these monsters out into the light and shove their respective asses into ‘the brink’ for life. Yes, I said for life.
If we are living in a society that wants to deify these men as heroes, then their fall from grace and punishment must be equal in its scope.
(Please note that while my favorite song and video by Madonna speaks directly to what it must feel like to be a woman in a male-dominant world, I must note that male soldiers, yes male soldiers have also been victims of violent rapes my their ‘brothers in arms.’ And I find that equally disgusting.)