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Caution: Trigger. The topic covered therein will include the use of sexually charged language and topics.

A midshipman, a female one is asked on the stand, if she wore a bra the night she was sexually assaulted. There are lots of other aspects to this case, but I want to just focus on this one facet.

Tell me, did it ever occur to you, that if you are sexually assaulted, someone would care if you wore a bra? Should they care if you wore a bra?

Pert bouncing boobs are sexy, but apparently bras are sexy too, or we wouldn't have ad-campaign-extravaganzas to advertise all the sexy ways women can bind and support and reshape their breasts.

Is it possible to be raped wearing this bra?

Because you know, if you have saggy tits, well that means you don't care. Sexiness for a woman, is also a proxy for a professional appearance. If you don't wear make-up and a bra, and you don't shave your legs, and wear fitted clothing that matches, it wouldn't matter how smart you are, you are a frump and frumps are not successful. In the military, you wouldn't pass inspection.  Besides girls are taught from a young age, to wear bras, not necessarily just to keep their nipples from poking through their shirts, but also because bras are a sign of adulthood and sexiness.

So that brings us to a sort of issue here: are bras, being the ambiguous garments they are, a good indicator of authentic, sexual, availability? Can you tell if a woman actually wants to have sex minus overt, verbal queues, by the presence or absence of a bra?

Even good girl bras are all about feeling and looking sexy, even if they also try to be comfortable. Feeling sexy = confidence in this culture, until that is someone decides that looking sexy makes you a target. Then looking or feeling sexy suddenly becomes a shame-filled experience that permanently warps your psyche and your social standing.

If you wear a bra that has lace on it, is it because you are expecting another person, potentially a sex partner to see you in it? And if so, will that hurt your chances if you should go to court to file rape charges the day or night you wore that bra?

Let's see what the greatest generation has to say about this matter:

My that's some sexy undies grandma! Tell me, are you wearing those for you? Or are you wearing those for your beau?

If someone is going to have sex with an unwilling partner, or with someone incapable of consent do you think they will care if that person is wearing a bra? Isn't that just an excuse? How easy it would be to go from: "Your honor she wasn't wearing a bra," to "Your honor she was wearing sexy underwears..."

And because all undergarments are intimately associated with primary and secondary sexual characteristics, is it possible to divorce the notion of panties or bras, from thoughts of the vagina or breasts? Or from the buttocks? And if not, can there truly be, unequivocally, unsexy-undergarmets? Would being without them, potentially be just as much of a potential excuse, as wearing them?

Could it be that women are caught between the desires and fears of a culture that desperately needs to finish going through puberty?

Special thanks to Tara the Anti-Social Social Worker and her post on This Weeks War on Women.

Originally posted to GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:11 AM PDT.

Also republished by Sex, Body, and Gender and Sluts.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (19+ / 0-)

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:11:58 AM PDT

  •  maybe instead of having that there (4+ / 0-)

    sexual revolution back in the Sixties we should have left sex hidden in the closet,  but it sure was getting crowded in that closet back then.  Something had to give...

    ...the desires and fears of a culture that desperately needs to finish going through puberty?

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 09:44:29 AM PDT

    •  I just don't believe that the "sexual revolution" (4+ / 0-)

      is over, or that it is confined to the theatre of sex.

      Clearly this war is about personal power, and self ownership.

      If the sexual revolution was over, then why does it feel like I have to fight the same old tired shit every day of my life? Why am I reading about the same old tired shit every day in the media?

      These are more rhetorical questions claude--because you are on to something. It is very crowded in that closet. Closets are horrible places to live, because they represent social and legal vulnerabilities. If you have to hide whole aspects of your life in a closet, then those issues can be used against in a court of your peers or in some cases like this--a court of law.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:13:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think it's over either. (4+ / 0-)

        Admittedly, I'm a bonafide freak, but even in things such as what underwear I wear and the natural size of my breasts I've gotten slutshaming comments.

        It's something that ripples through the entirety of our culture, and needs to be combatted at all levels.

        When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

        by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 11:57:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No surprise as to the outrageous questions the (7+ / 0-)

    woman was subjected to as I remember the hazing the first women at the Citadel endured to force them to drop out.  I remember the "Tailhook" scandal where brass blamed the women involved for the blowback and I also read that academy hierarchy encourages the proselytization of cadets by RW fundamentalist Christians.  Given the control that the leadership in the military exerts on the lives of the everyday rank and file, is there any wonder a defense attorney can ask a rape victim "how wide her mouth opens" with no expectation of censure and for that matter, can ask his questions with a smirk.

    It comes down to the issue of respect.  The "Men's Liberation Movement" would have you believe 82% of rape accusations are false, that most domestic abuse charges are bogus, that divorce always favors the woman and that a man's dominance in his home is biblically inspired and mandated.  Lots of top brass both in the academies and military take this POV.  After all the midshipman found charges filed against her for drinking alcohol and moral turpitude.  Then they offered to drop the charges, which could wreck her career, if she dropped her charges.

    Someone needs to take a broom and mop and clean out the hierarchy at each one of our service academies  

    •  Yes. It will take a tremendous paradigm shift (3+ / 0-)

      however it won't be just in the military, but in our culture entirely.

      The military wouldn't be able to continue down this path for so long, if our civilian culture didn't practically give them permission. What we see in the military happens on college campuses, and on high school campuses too, and other places.

      As for the religious aspect--YES. However many people are denial about that. They don't realize how deeply one can be indoctrinated into a religion, even if they aren't true believers or regular church goers. It takes a special sort of personal scrutiny to begin to unravel all of that.

      I would like to see manhood redefined as in part, someone who doesn't rape or harass women or gay people. Being an adult, man or woman is powerful, and it is important to use that power for good. And one path to that goodness is to refuse to violate the free will or the bodily integrity of another.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 10:39:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What I will never understand (0+ / 0-)

    is why a rape victim is supposed to feel humiliated and responsible.  If someone forcibly takes your wallet, you are not held responsible.

    The other thing that unfortunately women have to recognize is that there is such a thing as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and to avoid this whenever possible.  If this means not going places socially where they will possibly be unprotected, and thinking always about whether they are in a safe environment, then, that is the world we live in, and I have faced it and make my choices.  It makes no difference if you think you should be safe anywhere as a right--that is not the reality.  I am not saying that women should not have the right to go to military academies.  I "sponsored" (had her at my house during her leave times) a woman in the Naval Academy who is now a fighter pilot, and she told me she chose not to go to the Air Force Academy because she had first-hand knowledge of how women were abused there (her father was an Air Force pilot).  She also told me that at the Naval Academy she kept a spray bottle of Eucalyptus oil in her room, and all she had to do was spray it in the air to get pesty Mids to leave.  LOL

    •  Yea, because all would-be rapists wear signs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      churchylafemme, Portia Elm

      warning us of their presence.

      The danger isn't always obvious. That is why we have things like date rape. That is why so many rapes are committed by people known to the victim.

      You made me think of another diary I posted: Scrutinizing lone women travelers.

      I often traveled alone while I served in the military. I was on orders. And being female, and at that time only 11 percent of the force as female--It wasn't easy to find a "buddy" to travel with even when on leave or liberty.

      And Eucalyptus? Really? If someone were determined, it would take a lot more than some watered down essential oil to make that stop. She would have been better off with an iron skillet.

      When you transfer to a command, it's a crap shoot. It's a gamble. You don't know what the atmosphere is going to be like, what the prevailing political or religious winds are going to be like--you enter into such places blind.

      And if you are lucky, it's mostly good people and if you are not lucky, then you have a real interesting tour. So before you go telling women to limit their travels as rape prevention, perhaps you should ask yourself why people think that it's okay to rape at all?

      Would you want a future officer that shoved his male parts into a woman's mouth who was unconscious or semi-conscious, to be in charge of your friends and family as his troops? Would you want your daughter or sister who just graduated boot, to be working in his office? To come of age on his post? To have her first drink at his command Xmas party?

      The people in this case are the ones that will someday be of high rank and be in charge. Rather than telling women to avoid drinking at a party with these men, you should ask yourself if such morally bankrupt creatures who rape should be put in a position of trust and authority where they have power over women in uniform, ever.

      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

      by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 11:29:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  GreenMother, these are the large questions (0+ / 0-)

        that are always addressed and discussed here at DK.  My acquaintance, the pilot, addressed the day-to-day issues one at a time intelligently and circumspectly, and successfully reached her objective of being a fine and respected pilot in the Navy without being on a mission to clean all the assholes out of the military, or even the ones she came in direct contact with.  I firmly believe there is a path, a way around (or through, if you prefer), for all of us, without direct confrontation being necessary if we do it right.  She was just totally matter of fact about the way things were every day.  We need to keep in mind that bullies are basically stupid, and sharpen our wits for the encounter.

        •  I am sorry, I never found the "path around" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, jessical

          Portia, I respect that you are trying to be thoughtful and honest, but when your gender makes up 11 or 15 percent of the entire service, then you cannot help but be alone with males in isolated spaces at some point.

          Then what.

          And seriously, everything within me just cries out against that notion of forsaking my own freedom for the illusion of safety. And that's all it is, an illusion.

          I served too. I was Jr Enlisted, and that meant I didn't have your friend's rank to protect me from anyone. I was the bottom of the totem pole and did I mention enlisted?

          That means the issues I faced were quite a bit different in some respect than the ones she faced as an office with rank and a pilot. Compared to her even on her worst day, I was low hanging fruit on my best.

          I don't believe you realize how much you are oversimplifying the problem. I don't detect malice, just not knowing. We can't all be butterbars and Lt JGs, some of us have to be techs, and paper pushers, grunts and ditch diggers.

          So if some middle rank enlisted guy tried to jump her, the outcome would be quite different than when it happened to some E-3 female.

          You step on your friend's tail, and you got insubordination, failure to respect rank, and a whole lot of other stuff to add to assault. Just by her status as an officer her story will be more believable, IF she is survives an assault by lower ranking individuals, especially if they are enlisted to boot.

          The other issue you are not acknowledging, is the politics of advancement in the military. You fail to schmooze you lose just like in the academic scene for both enlisted and officer. So which parties should she avoid and which ones are mandatory for advancement opportunities,  and will the ones you want to be safe, really be safe?

          Being left out of the outside social life when one already belongs to a small, insular community can be quite depressing. Expecting one to self-isolate is just sad. And either way it affects your advancement opportunities. Ever hear of mandatory fun functions? You think women don't get assaulted at those?

          It isn't about what she was doing. It's about the guys that have poor impulse control, no boundaries issues and a misogyny problem. Lets make it about them and stop shaming the victim by making her feel bad for being alone with the "wrong" people, as if that really works for most people.

          If a guy is so obvious that no female wants to be alone with him ever, then one sort of wonders how he managed to get into the service in the first place.

          That your friend--a freaking pilot, had to lock herself up like that in order to feel safe is a powerful statement that needs to be acknowledged. Women don't join the military to become cloistered virgins locked in a bower.

          But then we don't join expecting our own to stab us in the back either.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 12:28:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you are totally oversimplifying my (0+ / 0-)

            answer.  Working in the private sector I experienced plenty of sexual coersion and abuse.  I am saying, that it is possible to go to parties, to pretend to drink, to keep your wits about you at all times, to learn how to talk to idiots, and to make choices without ruffling feathers--it just takes strategy and thought and yes, some study of people.  One invaluable tip:  drunks and idiots have very short attention spans and are easily distracted.  I am encouraging women to stop feeling trapped and helpless and caged, and take charge of themselves.  I did plenty of traveling alone, at night, etc., eating out alone in cities where I knew no one.  I did not take stupid chances, and if you think women have an inalienable right to be protected at all times from poor decisions, often motivated by alcohol, then I don't know what.

          •  and my friend, the freaking pilot (0+ / 0-)

            --do I detect resentment?--is a Navy pilot flying way cool jets on combat missions, which EXACTLY what she wants to be doing, she is married to another pilot and happy as a clam (oh, does that me she locked herself up?)  I don't think so...

            •  So your friend exemplifies the end all and be all (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme

              of this subject?

              You have ONE friend who shared her story. That's great. She is one friend, and here you are extrapolating your understanding of this problem from that one friend, without comprehension of the complexities of military culture.

              Hell no I don't resent her. I am glad she was able to serve without this problem. I am glad she had that rank, but I am not fool woman--I know that with rank comes certain privileges and a certain amount of protection from assorted bullshit.

              That's how it is. I know that. You don't. Because I am not just getting ONE story from one friend. I lived it, and so did some of my other friends.

              If anything I think you resent it that I am not kowtowing to your subtle attempts at slut shaming. Forget it. If I wanted to be a traditional woman in my youth, I would have forgone the military entirely and found a man to impregnate me after the altar.

              I wanted adventure, and travel, and an education, and I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself.

              I got more than a I bargained for, and for some reason that only a therapist could say, I still feel a need to help push this issue, so that no more women--no more little highschool graduates like me or that girl AT THE NAVAL ACADEMY has to live in fear of this.

              The girl in the story I talked about above--she would have been an officer. I doubt that will happen now. I wonder what kind of pilot she would have made?

              Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

              by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:28:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  oh my--read about the crap that has (0+ / 0-)

                gone on at the Naval Academy before you say she had an easy ride.  I am not extrapolating--we as women need to learn how to navigate the pitfalls instead of demanding that someone remove them--and believe me, I railed as much as you do until I understood that.  I encountered incredible resistance in my chosen male-dominated profession, sexual harrassment, etc. as part of the rules of engagement of the competition.  Men do not play nice to each other either.  You had to mean business, be more serious and be better than the best man, and yes, it cost me personal relationships.  But, I am not traditional either, so I did not need to "have it all" and everyone, man or woman, has a story to tell about obstacles.

                •  I am sorry, I demand that Rape not be an (0+ / 0-)

                  expected experience for any military personnel, especially rape perpetrated by their fellow service members. I also demand that sexual harassment be removed as well.

                  And pitfall? More like Deadfall.

                  The way the military sets women up for failure with these issues, it's not just some random hazard. The military has consistently refused to reconsider how to weed these sexual predators out, both during recruitment and after they are in.

                  When you end up in a command that has several--that's not just a hazard, it's a massacre.

                  That demand is not unrealistic. We all take an oath to uphold the constitution, to follow all lawful orders, etc., and so forth, and since women are full citizens, and full members of the military, rape, and harassment are not only civil rights violations, but also refusal to support lawful orders, these damage good order and discipline and unit cohesion and undermines the integrity of the chain of command.

                  The military is not a democracy, it's authoritarian. And it's success or failure rests on the qualities above:

                  Good order and discipline--meaning rules are followed

                  Unit Cohesion--meaning that even if you don't like it, you respect rank and you respect service and cooperate for the success of the mission

                  Integrity of the chain of command--If a person uses their rank to rape or harass or if the higher ups ignore these sorts of things or cover then up, then word gets around. This destroys any confidence that women would have in the ability of the chain of command to protect them on any level--because it would appear to be a lack of will, there would be the appearance of unfairness if not the substance of it, it would corrupt the entire chain, destroying the other two qualities simultaneously--meaning good order and discipline, and unit cohesion.

                  Once people stop following orders--what do you think happens in dangerous situations or in combat?

                  Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                  by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 03:54:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  OK, here's an unwelcome perspective (3+ / 0-)

          As many folks on here know, I'm trans.  I survived "transition" and all that went with it because the extremely competent professional women I worked with closed ranks around me and took on the task of socialization, of coping with the workplace when you aren't a boy.  

          At least a few of those women, then, I believe would have said something similar to what you just said.  That there is a way through.  That moderation and care and intelligence and stone cold competence can get you there.  These were folks who had risen to the vice presidencies of banks.  On some levels I owe them everything.  And I get what you're saying.  For many people, it is true.

          And for some people, it isn't.  Sometimes the same people, at different points in their life.  If you are old, or the wrong color, or don't have the requisite education, formal or informal, if your intelligence has never been applied to overcoming certain kinds of obstacles...if you have too many negatives and not enough normal, whatever the reason, there is, sometimes, no way through.  And so advocating that becomes a kind of "I never get mugged because I walk tough" kind of meme.    

          It is admirable when someone finds a way through.  And if you are trying, you have to assume there is one, or collapse in despair.  But there isn't, always.

          This comment is open to any number of attacks, and if so, sobeit.  

          ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

          by jessical on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:34:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't believe you should be attacked for that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jessical, churchylafemme

            Jessical.

            Sometimes there is no way through.

            And yes, there are as many reasons for that as there are stars in the sky.

            I just do not understand why we punish people for being targets of criminal behavior when the survivor's only "crime" appears to be their gender.

            I don't get that.

            Teach males not to rape. That would be a nice start. Instead of cloistering women and judging them for being adventurous, or outgoing or even stupid--teach males not to rape.

            It won't stop every rape, but it just might begin to reduce the numbers and change the way in which we think about this kind of criminal behavior.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:42:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes (3+ / 0-)

              I started a longer comment but nobody wants to read about my individual experiences of being assaulted.  It isn't just that they think it is OK.  I'm pretty sure they don't, except right then.  It is also I think that they cannot for whatever reason support both reason and desire.  And to change that, I think we have to change the way, culturally, we teach reason, desire, and shame.   To men and women both, so that our kids learn to experience desire and remain themselves.

              Anyway.

              ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

              by jessical on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 02:00:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  (Jessical) I am happy that you found support (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jessical

            from your peers.  Finding your "place" to grow to your full potential is for some people a lifelong search.  We however should never forget that life on this earth is fascinating and we will never understand it in a lifetime--so, while we are searching, we can look around a lot at the scenery and we might see another path that will take us!

    •  Because a lot of the time there are points where (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Portia Elm

      you could get off at an exit before you run out of road, so to speak.  

      Why did you go to the party, why did you drink, why did you let him in, why did you let him stay over, why did you..... And we internalize this.

      When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

      by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 11:59:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  love your sig line (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alexandra Lynch
      •  Why didn't you see it coming? (5+ / 0-)

        Why didn't you have eyes in the back of your head?
        Why don't you have psychic abilities, why didn't you read his mind?

        Why didn't you know what he really meant?

        Why didn't understand you couldn't be alone with him?

        Why didn't you know he couldn't be trusted?

        Why didn't you consult an magic 8 ball or the psychic friends network?

        Why didn't you wear uglier clothes?

        Why didn't you avoid deodorant and toothpaste?

        Why didn't you not do your hair and makeup?

        Why did you buy that sexy underwears and bras and then wear them, or not?

        We internalize that okay, with a little help too. Or a lot.

        We should be asking:

        Why does he think this behavior is acceptable?

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 12:33:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am reading this and wondering how (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Alexandra Lynch

          on earth I made it to 58 without being attacked on a regular basis.  Oh, maybe I was THINKING for myself.

          •  I don't know Portia. Luck of the Draw? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme, Alexandra Lynch

            Maybe you live in a better neighborhood or maybe you just put off some vibe. I have met women who claim they have never been bothered. But most women I know at some point tell me horrifying stories, and if I am lucky they are near misses and not the worst case scenarios, though I have heard those too.

            You have trouble believing it because it hasn't happened to you in that circumstance. You wouldn't be the only person who has trouble stretching their brain around that.

            But it doesn't give you the right to judge. And on some subtle level your posts imply judging. As if --"gosh I hate to say it honey, but you brought this on yourself."

            If I had a nickle for every woman in her 50s who told me that for ever enlisting in the first place. I usually walk off to a quite place to breathe and count to 10. It must be nice to have such a beautiful life and to be gifted with so much wisdom so easily that one never has to come by it through adversity.

            Wish you the best. And I am truly thankful you cannot relate. Maybe someday I will meet more women like that, because this will have truly stopped.

            Til then, I guess I shall have to wear the bitch suit.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:19:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I would never say you (0+ / 0-)

              brought it on yourself.  However, I am not living in the utopian future you are striving for, so don't get mad at me for quietly facing present conditions and dealing with men at their present level of evolution.  At present, my neighbors have children who are car thieves and drug dealers (all male) who come and squat and cause trouble.  I share a right of way with them, and have to talk to them on a weekly basis about things that are going on down there.  My other neighbor above me was robbed, and the thieves came up through my property to break into their house.  This is a recent development, and the other neighboring people can not understand how I can go down and talk to these thuggy guys.  I live alone, and I guess I do give off a vibe.  The poor economy has touched off a real crime wave here where there was none before.  So you see, I couldn't avoid trouble by staying in the woods in a rural area.  But this too shall pass. In the meantime, I will stay on my toes.

              •  I don't know Portia--what to say to you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                churchylafemme

                you have ignored the substance of the diary itself and the case it speaks to, and instead chosen to use your friend's story as an explanation about how we can all avoid this.

                1. involves living in fear, limiting the chances of facing these situations, but also limiting so many more aspects of a full life.
                2. and If I or someone else chooses not to live in that fearful space--what then? well we didn't so we should expect certain situations to follow.

                How else would you interpret that?

                I am not fighting to be equal in a padded room away from eyes and conversations and opportunity.

                I am fighting to be equal in the world, to be able to walk out my front door without having to fear being accosted for simply being female or for angering someone for not being a their notion of sufficiently feminine, quiet, beaten down, basically a submissive female.

                If we adopt your strategy as a philosophy, then why bother reporting rapes at all? How could we prosecute rapists when clearly it is the woman who broke the social contract by being verbal and visible, and maybe even alone?

                Maybe we should make the buddy system the legal requirement for a woman to leave the house, and outlaw drinking for all women, that would solve all our problems wouldn't it?

                Chaperones and sobriety--It's the law!

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 03:27:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  obviously you see only one way and one outcome (0+ / 0-)

                  I am deeply sorry

                  •  I am not sorry. I don't regret fighting for (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    churchylafemme

                    every woman and girl, every survivor out there. I don't feel bad about that at all.

                    No one deserves to be raped, ever. Not even unprofessional, loudmouthed, party girls who drink in the military in their off time with their fellow service members.

                    I fought a good fight while I was in, because I guess that was the purpose of my presence there. If it weren't I would been able to just do my job like everyone else.

                    Other women I served with also fought this fight, before and after me, and during that time as well. They also want one outcome--FOR IT TO STOP

                    For these behaviors perpetrated on them, to cease being SOP in the service, especially for women.

                    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                    by GreenMother on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:46:56 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  we are all wounded (0+ / 0-)

                      and need to recognize and help each other, male and femaile, all human beings, not constantly punish and punish and punish, because punishing gets to be fun after a while.

                      So next time you lie down in the street and get run over, and get mad and sue because pedestrians have the right of way, let me know and I will send you flowers in the hospital.

          •  Maybe you were (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme

            also lucky.

        •  Ten thousand implied recs, GreenMother, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, GreenMother

          for your comments throughout this discussion.

          There is often a path around, or through.  And then, one time, there isn't, and then you're (er) fucked -- and it's all your fault, sweetheart.

          •  Thank you for your kindness (0+ / 0-)

            but a gentle correction--during my time in the military, it wasn't a one time thing. It was a relentless thing. It was an everywhere thing. It was a "If I had a nickle" for every unprofessional bastard thing.

            It only takes one incident to start that ball rolling and it doesn't even have to be rape, though that is the trigger we often read about in the news.

            Good thing I didn't hold my breath all these years waiting for that to change.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:49:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, I understand (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GreenMother

              It is never just one time, and it was incessant in my life from age 11 or so until -- well, I got a car last month & the finance guy called me "my dear" even after I asked him not to. And I am, um, ancient, with white hair and granny glasses and flat shoes and a disabled parking tag, so I guess it's not gonna end in this lifetime.

              •  That just plain sucks Foothills. (0+ / 0-)

                Perhaps the next time someone doesn't get a clue, you should turn right around and start calling them pookie or sugarlips.

                Be sure and glare when you say it and roll your eyes--maybe that will penetrate their solid bone head.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Tue Sep 24, 2013 at 05:51:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  I think we should ask ourselves (0+ / 0-)

        these questions.  If I am required to drink at a party, why would I capitulate?  Why is drinking so prevalent and "necessary?"  Why would I let a man I don't know well enough to trust, or who is drunk, or if I am drunk, stay over?  None of these things are necessary to a fulfilling life.  We as women need to raise our standards and not try to be one of the guys or even one of the gang if it is not good for us.  You shouldn't go to a hardware store to find a dozen eggs, as the saying goes...

        •  Why can't I have fun just like the guys do? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, marsanges

          That was my question? If I am doing the same job and I am undergoing the same stresses, then why am I not allowed to have some of the same fun as they are?

          If they are so goddamned trustworthy with a gun or with nukes or a plane, then why can't I trust them when I am drinking just like they are? Am I not one of them?

          No one required me to drink, I was young and wanted to party with my peers-- just like many kids who leave home for the first time!  But no one does that expecting to be raped by the same people who are supposed to have your  back in a fire fight, or any other kind of serious, dangerous situation that one might encounter in the service.

          If they pass out in front of me, I am not going to sexually violate them--oh well you got drunk, time to do something horrible to your body that will scar you for life, and humiliate you and ruin your life! Sucks to be you! You asked for it!

          These are supposed to be your friends and compatriots, these aren't just some random strangers on the street. They are supposed to be held to a higher standard of trustworthiness.

          That is what unit cohesion is all about, and rapists ruin that, and they have so effectively undermined the integrity of the chain of command, that many--myself included would like to see an outside, independent civilian agency handling rape and harassment cases from now on, outside that chain of command.

          Do you actually think about the words you type? If you said something like this to me when I was young I would have read you the riot act then too.

          A drink is not an open invitation for sex. And it does not imply consent nor does it remove the need for consent! Ever!

          Many drinks do not do that.

          Loss of consciousness is not implied consent.

          Lower rank is not implied consent.

          Female Gender is not implied consent.

          Less upper body strength is not implied consent.

          Being alone on the job or in the world is not implied consent.

          We sit here and talk about equality and then when my gender comes up, there are all these caveats that suddenly appear with no apologies, no good explanations--just a load of opportunistic victim blaming  wrapped in paternalistic bullshit.

          And what do you think these sorts of bad guys do when they go off post? Do you honestly think  they only target military females?

          Women, were so tired of being hassled, and in some cases assaulted with no where to turn, that many armed themselves on post. against their own fellow service members That has been covered in several news stories. Apparently they didn't find that magical passage around either.

          You should give this spiel to the women who were raped on their way to the latrene at their posts during the wars. You know some died of dehydration, they--trying to take your sort of advice, limited their intake of water in the afternoon, to avoid needing to urinate and therefore leave their tent and become walking targets.

          The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn't located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. "There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night," Karpinski told retired US Army Col. David Hackworth in a September 2004 interview. It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn't drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn't have to urinate at night. They didn't get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said. (truthout)
          You have a lot to learn about people, about life and the military Portia.

          Your post implies that if only we could find some perfect formula, then all this unpleasantness could be avoided without needed to confront the obvios. That's a lie. That's a dangerous lie.  
          It truly doesn't work that way. Not for the "good girls" or the "bad girls."

          We need to confront this every chance we get, til we don't need to any more.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:08:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wow--you crammed a lot of history into (0+ / 0-)

            that post.  yes, why is it that terrible things have to happen before anyone admits there is a problem?  Well, I have to say that there is no talking among women about the truth, no training of men to be mindful.  And anger is only the beginning, the catalyst.

            •  When a woman gives judgement, expect anger (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              churchylafemme, marsanges

              especially on this topic. Your claims of the truth are shaky at best. And that history is short compared the reality.

              That you want to correct the behavior of women for the things that males are doing to them without their consent--expect anger over that too.

              It's never okay to rape anyone. Everyone always has the right to say no, or even to change their mind and stop at any time--male or female.

              A person's body is the temple of their soul and no one should ever violate that temple. Ever.

              Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

              by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 01:33:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                you got angry, and you pointed out how things should be.  Now what?

                •  Lead by example. Don't let these women be shamed (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  marsanges, churchylafemme

                  or silenced, and don't let our legislators or judges avoid addressing the issue of basic physical freedom for women, even in male dominated professions like the military.

                  I don't care what that girl was doing prior to the rape, NO ONE deserves to be raped. Not even bad people, not even hedonistic bad girls, not even rapists deserve to be raped.

                  Rape is not a punishment, nor is it a proportionate response to have to a woman or girl that has allegedly broken some social rule or violated some religious mores.

                  Rape is not a punishment for drinking, even if he or she passes out.

                  Rape is not a punishment for bending or breaking gender roles.

                  Rape is not a punishment for being visible and female.

                  Rape is not a punishment for being alone or vulnerable.

                  Rape is not a punishment for a woman who is able to successfully compete with a man in a male dominated profession.

                  Rape is not a punishment for being attractive or unattractive.

                  Rape is not a punishment for being sexually assertive or even kinky.

                  Don't confuse sex with rape.

                  Because all rape has ever been, has been about punishing someone weaker than the perp in that moment for some imagined transgression. It's only been about dominance, humiliation and power.  

                  That girl at the academy---she is a symbol. She is one of our best and brightest. We can only just imagine the flaming hoops that young woman jumped through to get there. Just who the hell does she think she is? The sponsor letters and the politics and the hard work to maintain a GPA, and the tests--only to end with this?

                  Well now the young males at the academy have turned her into a victim. They want to turn her into a slut, and make her worthless so that they won't be punished for raping nothing.

                  That's a far cry from all the promise and potential this young woman's life holds, that any person's life may hold prior to this ultimate act of betrayal and humiliation and trauma.

                  Rape is their way of saying--"You ain't nothing!" You aren't so smart, you aren't so tough--look at what we did to you!"

                  It needs to stop and it stops with each and every person refusing to perpetuate it, especially those who avoid passively allowing it to be perpetuated.

                  Each of us can be that place where the buck stops. And if enough of us stand together it will.

                  Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                  by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 03:40:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Lead by example--EXACTLY (0+ / 0-)

                    show men in the work-place what professional behavior looks like, show men that you don't have to drink or have sex to have a good time, engage them in intelligent conversation, ignore stupid comments, don't play their game, do it in the trenches, so it does not have to get to the courts.  It will take thought and courage.  This is not theory GreenMother, this is tested and proven.  Even the most obnoxious lout can be won over.  BUT you have to love them first.

                    •  And if you do get raped, for heaven's sake don't (0+ / 0-)

                      report it because that would be confrontational and that would be bad.  After all, "there is a path, a way around (or through, if you prefer), for all of us, without direct confrontation being necessary", right?

                      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 04:37:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  misquoted, and (0+ / 0-)

                        assertiveness is different than being confrontational.  And how you could extrapolate from anything I have said that I would not report and take a rapist to court and go to any lengths to bring him to justice , I can not fathom.  I have merely been addressing a solution to the existing culture, which GreenMother is so adamant must change, which sometimes leads to rape.

                        AFTER a woman is raped, then the lawyers go to work--so I want to hear what you all want to do about the tactics that THEY dream up, that their clients would not have the wit to think of for their defense.  Let's talk about how the legal system rakes women over to make the rapist look lily white and conned into the act.

                        •  Uppity women must be punished--yes I learned (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          churchylafemme

                          that lesson well.

                          There comes a time when you realize that nothing you do will please certain kinds of individuals, that they will look for a way to hurt you no matter what. At that point, you hold all the cards--whatever you want to do will not change how they are, or what they want to do, so why not?

                          Why not call the bastard out?

                          Confrontation can be a beautiful thing. Imagine if you will, what would have happened in the Suffragettes hadn't been as brave as they were, challenging the system? Their situation was so bad, they went on hunger strikes in jail. They were force fed with tubes. They were beaten in the streets, heckled and threatened and most likely worse.

                          And that was just wanting the vote, so they could have a say.

                          And the lawyers? How can we change that as meek little mice, whispering from behind the scenes, afraid to confront, afraid to be ourselves where people can see us?

                          The lawyers naturally look for any perceived weakness they can find, after all they owe their clients a good defense.

                          But you know the jury doesn't have to buy it, and in your world Portia, they would. Good girls don't confront, they don't own it, they don't demand.

                          Thank you Portia, for reminding me just who I am.

                          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                          by GreenMother on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:27:23 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Please sit down with a dictionary (0+ / 0-)

                            for a while.  What the suffragettes did was passive resistance, a Ghandi tactic, not confrontation which you love, being taught well in the military.  And I advocate assertiveness, not confrontation.  Assertiveness has movement to it, while confrontation is a sort of stagnating force.

                    •  Your suggestion is that I and other women who (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      churchylafemme

                      suffered didn't show professionalism in the workplace. Wow Portia, that is pretty crappy.

                      Nothing hurt worse, than the realization that my patriotism, my professionalism, wasn't valued. That by some I was seen as nothing more than a glorified camp follower.

                      The ignorance of your comment above takes the cake.

                      And no, the most obnoxious lout cannot be won over. You really have not lived this, and I am tired of trying to explain it to you.

                      When or if you do figure this out, you will think back on this conversation and cringe in embarrassment.

                      Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                      by GreenMother on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 05:40:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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