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View Diary: Military Wives Turn Their Backs To Victims of Sexual Assault (135 comments)

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  •  It can still be that way. (22+ / 0-)

    It just depends on who you hang with. It can even change from base to base.

    This is one of those issues that shouldn't cause anyone to turn their backs. Even the brass admits something is not working. This is a solution and I would think that even military wives that embrace the system wholeheartedly would be able to see that.

    •  Somebody is doing the raping. Are these wives (8+ / 0-)

      concerned it might be their husbands?

      I'm not trying to accuse or be provocative. However, this is such a horrific problem. And I don't think enlisted personnel are treated very well as it is.

      Angelajean, I really admire your work on this. It is hard and frustrating and unfortunately not a short-term project.

      This is, of course, the difference between republicans and human beings. - Captain Frogbert

      by glorificus on Tue Jul 10, 2012 at 11:42:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  All of them? (4+ / 0-)

        Even with high numbers of sexual assaults, there is no where near a majority of our male officers raping their subordinates. Might one or two be worried? Sure. Might most of them? No way.

        •  I worked for the Navy as a civilian in the 70s/80s (3+ / 0-)

          In those days before women were on ships (And as that started to change), the Navy culture seemed very much to discourage marital fidelity. And I personally know (from bitter experience)  that many of the men who seemed to be fine upstanding citizens  had no compuctions about raping women. What I have observed since then living in a Navy town, I doubt that has changed much.

          I'm not saying all military members cheat, BTW. Just that their culture and the long deployments tend to encourage it. If you have been a military wife for awhile, I'd bet you have seen many marriage breakups over this issue.

          Military wives were the least supportive people of expanded roles for women in the military when I worked around miltary folks because they didn't want those hussies near their husbands.

          I think alot of these wives suspect their husbands cheat on them when they are deployed and they are afraid that those "awful" women will cry rape if they can.

          To me it is not at all suprising that they don't want to think about female service members being raped and they feel that they somehow deserve it for being where a good woman wouldn't be and that they are all sluts out to get their husbands and therfore don't deserve protection. You don't give support to people you view as the enemy.

          You are doing good work, it's an important issue. But I'm not in the slightest bit surprised the military wives aren't supportive.

    •  can you listen to what they're thinking? (7+ / 0-)

      It's really hard when you care so passionately about something, and have the cause of justice on your side (as you do)!

      But I wonder if you (or a friend) could listen to some of these wives (not talk to them, not talk with them, not even ask salient question; not talk at all, just listen), and hear what is in their heads.

      E.g., are they worried that if they signed a petition it would hurt their husbands' career? Or that their husbands might get angry (for whatever reasons, including career concerns)? The military tends to be one of the most conformist, in-group, obey orders, toe-the-line institutions in any society. Are they worried about being seen as rebelious, renegades, rocking-the-boat? Are they channeling their husbands antagonism about women in the services? Are they sublimating their own fears and antagonism, e.g. about "other women" deployed with "their men"? Do they unconsciously 'blame the victim,' blaming women troops who are rape survivors?

      Just learning what their inner fears, hesitations, concerns, worries, etc. are would help devise a strategy, in the long run. Again, a challenge for you (I'm guessing, maybe?) might be to bite your tongue, and not say "But what about... [anything]". :-)  Rather, just to nod, and draw them out, listening to them.

      Again, you are doing great work! Brava!

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