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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...

crickets

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!

"The Invisible War" Trailer

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.

Power. Control.

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.

Originally posted to RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:05 AM PST.

Also republished by Sluts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SaraBeth, BlackSheep1

    "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 02:05:37 AM PST

  •  So rather than scolding us, (5+ / 0-)

    educate us. You won't get very far with insults, I think. So there haven't been diaries on it? Write diaries on it. Invite other diaries on it. Don't assume we don't care. Just assume we don't know.

    Life is short. Love deeply and forgive swiftly. And be kind. It matters.

    by Melanie in IA on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 03:49:05 AM PST

    •  Well, it's not an assumption... (0+ / 0-)

      The diaries are here as I posted above. Maybe I should link them? Would that be preferred?

      And as for educating everyone, that is what I'm now starting to do. Did you click on the links? Did you watch them?

      Have you started to become educated?

      Will you bother to answer my questions?

      I do thank you for your reply!

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:25:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And admittedly... (0+ / 0-)

      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...

      crickets

      So far as I'm concerned, scolding is deserved.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:45:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I signed the petition (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RoseWeaver, mijita

    and emailed the link to some people I know.

    I wish I could say something more personally supportive but words are failing me right now. I understand completely the anger a person feels about the silence on this subject.

    •  Thank you... (0+ / 0-)

      I do appreciate the time you made to do this.

      More information will be forthcoming.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 09:27:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for educating, but wow. (0+ / 0-)

    You asked, "These women volunteered to serve your country, our country, to protect you! Do you have any idea what is happening to them?"

    I know a little that's come through news stories. Outside of that, well, I'm not in the military, so how would I know except for people like you who talk about it? The military is not known for being transparent. You pointed out yourself how very few Kos entries we've had on it, and how that was shameful, but then implied that those few entries should have fully informed everyone about everything, and if it didn't then we must all agree with Liz Trotta that women should expect to be raped. That's a huge jump. A massive false negative assumption.

    Your outrage and frustration is so genuine and so true.  I've signed things and written emails in the past to try to help. Thank you for providing more links. I signed the petition.

    It is frustrating to have someone say that since I haven't commented on six diaries on one specific website on the entire web, therefore I don't care what's happening to military women, or women in general, and think that women should just expect to be raped, etc., etc. As I said, a huge jump, and not a warranted one.

    You have many allies here on Kos. Here, more than many other places. Fortunately for you, that will continue to be true and your cause will continue to have supporters no matter how much you blame them and make incorrect and horrible assumptions about them.

    Perhaps you haven't read as many of those news stories as I have; perhaps you haven't read the comments afterward. It might lift your spirits to do that. There are a lot of people out here who care very much about what happens to women in general and military women specifically. Thanks for noticing your allies. No snark. It helps.

    Here are some sample links to media stories. (Google "women military rape" for more stories.) I especially recommend "Why Soldiers Rape" because even in civilian life the focus is almost entirely on what the victims do -- not on what the rapists do, as it should be.

    "Sexual Assault in Military Jaw-Dropping"

    "The Scandal of Military Rape"

    "Why Soldiers Rape"

    "1/3 of Women in U.S. Military Raped"

    I am not a crockpot.

    by LaraJones on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:05:26 PM PST

    •  As an MST Survivor and... (0+ / 0-)

      an educated one at that, I've read the above articles already.

      And I'm one of that 1/3 of Women in the U.S. Military who have been raped...

      I am a disabled veteran due to my PTSD which is a result of the MST I endured. I intend to share a bit of my story.

      I'm a member of on line veteran groups, as well as groups who meet in person. The amount of other veterans I've encountered who have shared their stories, and have passed on articles, videos, and information from media outlets, veteran sources, and DOD sources is staggering.

      However, the media sources are certainly not mainstream, and if they are, they are, for the most part, on line sources which are not read as widely as they should be.

      The mainstream media isn't covering the problem. They never have. They won't unless, and until, the general public demands it.

      And as for this statement within the article, "Why Soldiers Rape"... "The answer appears to lie in a confluence of military culture, the psychology of the assailants and the nature of war."... I can't help but shake my head.

      Rape actually happens more behind the lines and on bases here in the United States. I'll see if I can find the article which sites those statistics, but it certainly doesn't surprise me at all. I'm not only advocating and speaking for our women who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also for those who served as far back as the 1970's.

      This has been an issue for decades.

      My rapes and sexual assaults (multiple) happened during the early 1980's. This is nothing new to the military, nor to the DOD.

      What is new is that military veterans are finally finding the courage to speak out.

      But there is still a problem; a huge disconnect between the civilian world and the military world. This idea that this is a military problem and that civilians can do nothing about it.

      Yes, I'm angry and this is evident within my post. I've been writing about this issue, Military Sexual Trauma and the effects of it (PTSD) for quite some time now in other spaces, and what I have discovered is a serious lack of desire from those who have never served in the military, and even some who have but have fortunately never experienced MST, to ignore this massive pink elephant in the room... the desire to sweep it under the rug and pretend it isn't a problem... or worse yet, pretend it isn't their problem.

      But it is.

      Because those who experience the resulting PTSD cost the taxpayers millions of dollars. And unless something is done to stop this rape culture, in the military and out of it, our economy will continue to feel the incredible pain of the effects of MST.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 04:20:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  By the way... (0+ / 0-)

      You state the military is not known for being transparent, then go on to list four articles for me to read (all of which have already been read).

      I thank you for listing the articles. However, a point I'd like to make is that you found information.

      And there is a ton more out there to find if you want to find it... and it is incredibly easy to locate.

      I stand by my point. Daily Kos is a place filled with critical thinkers. But when I find only one post discussing Liz Trotta and her atrocious remarks about women in the military being raped, etc, and that post has only 29 comments, and yet... view the vast amount of posts on Rush Limbaugh with hundreds of comments on them, the disparity is quite discouraging.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 05:27:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also see this Kos post (0+ / 0-)

    I am not a crockpot.

    by LaraJones on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 12:09:53 PM PST

    •  Already read, and recommended... (0+ / 0-)

      ... please see my sidebar.

      As stated, I searched and read what was written here. What has been written is good, but what I found disturbing was the lack of information, and outrage, when it came to Liz Trotta's comments most especially.

      That escapade should have raised some serious eyebrows. Apparently, it did not.

      And though I seem to be ruffling some feathers, I feel that is a very good thing. Because when feathers get ruffled, it means nerves are being hit.

      It further means I'm on the right track.

      "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye." - The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

      by RoseWeaver on Mon Mar 05, 2012 at 04:00:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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