I've heard so much about limiting access to birth control pills; the bills being proposed (and passed) requiring transvaginal ultrasounds prior to abortions; the panel comprised of all men, two of whom were Catholic Priests, all of whom were supposedly more qualified to speak about birth control before a Congressional hearing than Sandra Fluke, the only female witness, and who was banned from testifying, and which sparked the latest round of trash from Rush Limbaugh...
However, I'm beginning to wonder...
Do any of you really care about the women in this country... ALL of them? Do you really care about what we think and how we feel?
I suppose I should assume you do because of all the discussion here, but I'm skeptical.
And I ask this question not only because of what I see happening within our collective political spectrum, but also as a female veteran of this country's Armed Forces.
I ask this question because it seems to me that if you really cared, more would be discussed about what is not only happening within our country regarding these issues of women's rights, but also what is (and has been) happening within our military regarding these very same issues.
What makes me so upset isn't just the fact that various high profile individuals are calling for policies that are pushing women in general back into the dark ages, but that so many people don't want to touch these exact same women's issues when applied to women in the military. It's as if the military, and the atrocities which happen there, is off limits. It's not. It is time the civilian sector stand up for those who serve this country!
And sadly, as I search Daily Kos, I see so, very, very little... so few standing up for those who protect and serve you.
I'm beginning to believe nothing is happening but a bunch of lip service; a group of Kossack politicians. A lot of talk and no action; a bunch of blow-hards who like to hear themselves speak, but do nothing else.
And before anyone else accuses me of scolding, prove me wrong by actually reading the text below and watching/reading the links provided.
I've been reading several diaries voicing outrage, and rightfully so, over Rush Limbaugh's comments about Ms. Fluke, the equally outrageous misogyny being pushed by the GOP in the form of various draconian legislation designed to return the strides made in women's rights back to the Victorian era, and I'm sickened... I am literally sick to my stomach.
I grew up during the 1960's and 1970's when women's rights were finally secured, or so I thought. But then again, the Equal Rights Amendment was never ratified. It was said women's rights were secured under the Civil Rights Amendment, but if that is so, I wonder why women still do not earn the same wages as men when working the same job... but I digress.
With so much outrage being expressed, not only here on Daily Kos with what is being dubbed as the "War on Women", but everywhere else I click on the internet, to include blogs, Facebook, you name it, I cannot help but wonder why this same outrage is not being expressed with what is happening to our women who serve in our Armed Forces?
These women volunteered to serve your country, our country, to protect you! Do you have any idea what is happening to them?
There have been attempts made to inform you. I searched Daily Kos and found only six entries since 2008 on the subject of Military Sexual Trauma. Six. 6.
In four years!
And the total number of comments on those entries? Fourty-six. 46. That is 4-6.
And these diaries don't even tell you the full story. Not even close.
[EDIT: One individual who commented accused me of scolding. I'll provide my reply here: While the diary count of 6 is low and can be attributed to the lack of entries written by Daily Kos members, what disturbed me was the incredibly low comment count on these diaries.
As stated, only 46 total on all 6 diaries. That works out to an average of 7 to 8 on each diary, but in fact most had only about 3 each. 1 had many more... it was a diary seeking advice and did not include information about what is happening in the military, although did include some very basic information on PTSD and MST.
The most recent Diary was written in late 2011 about the lack of abortion services in the military. It was written to inform the public about how women, including women who were raped in the military had to pay for their own abortions. The military refused to pay for abortions for them. It included several links.
A total of 3 comments were on that one. That is it. 3 comments.
So in fact, attempts have been made to educate... and that is my point.
It seems that when it comes to problems with women's issues within the civilian sector, an uproar ensues, but when someone attempts to bring these same problems, which are happening in the military, to light...
So far as I'm concerned, scolding is deserved.]
If you would like a taste of what members of the military experience, I recommend a film called, "The Invisible War" by Oscar nominated Director, Kirby Dick.
This should outrage you! This should spark hundreds of comments, as well as letters to your Congress-critters and Senators!
Democracy Now's Report on "The Invisible War" includes interviews, including one with the director, Kirby Dick
If this doesn't generate comments then I would suggest Daily Kos isn't what I thought it was... a place to discuss and deal with hard-hitting topics. I would venture to suggest Kossacks are afraid to really take a look at the truth of what is happening in our country.
I would most likely think you all agree with Liz Trotta. She says women in the military should expect to get raped, and implies men just can't control themselves.
[EDIT: In a search on Liz Trotta, I found one result... Are you kidding me? When Liz Trotta made her obscene statements, only one diary on Daily Koswas written? Wow... ]
Make no mistake about it, what is happening within our military isn't simply a military problem. It is a problem with the system, that is certainly true. However, look around you. What is everyone discussing and so horrified about right now?
Women's rights and how outraged we are by the disgusting statements, legislation, and complete lack of empathy and compassion shown towards women and the right to control their bodies, and their lives, by those in power.
That is what rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment is about; ripping away the power and control of another human being because the one taking it feels too impotent on their own and must steal it from another.
According to Department of Defense estimates, over 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military in 2010 alone. Over the past 5 decades, more than 500,000 U.S. Soldiers have been assaulted.
In 2009, only 8 percent of sexual assault cases are prosecuted in the military. Only 2 percent result in convictions. Only TWO PERCENT!
The reason for this is due to the epic failure of the Military Justice System, and the fact that those assaulted cannot rely on civilian authorities for help. The majority don't report their rapes and/or assaults due to fear of reprisals.
But if you feel this is simply a military problem and you can't do anything about it, that it's not a problem for civilians, you're dead wrong.
It is because of the ignorance of those in power, both in the civilian sector, as well as in the military, that these atrocities are allowed to continue unchallenged.
You are all speaking up, and very loudly, to support your wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, nieces, in the civilian sector.
I'm wondering when you're going to do the same for your wives, daughters, sisters, mothers, nieces, all of whom volunteered to serve in the military to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, as well.
And if you really want to help Military Sexual Assault Survivors and those still serving in the military, then go to "The Invisible War" website and sign the Petition (or go to the Petition directly) which states the following:
Bills have now been introduced that would provide justice for sexual assault survivors currently serving in the U.S. Military, and would help alleviate the suffering of veterans who were sexually assaulted. In order for these bills to become law, they must pass a vote by specific committees prior to going to the full House or Senate for a final vote. Unfortunately most bills never get out of committee. Please join us in asking the Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Howard “Buck” McKeon and the Chairman of the Senate Armed Service Committee, Carl Levin to support H.R. 3435, The STOP Act, and H.R. 1517, The Holley Lynn James Act.
We also ask Representative Jeff Miller and Senator Patty Murray who chair the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs respectively, to support H.R. 930, a bill that would make getting disability for military sexual assault-related condition from the Veterans Administration much easier.
I'm doing my part to help host a screening of "The Invisible War" in my home town and have already signed the petition. As a survivor of MST, help me believe my fellow Kossacks aren't all talk and no action.