First the Spitting, now this. Found via Feministing, comes the sound logic and coherent arguments of one Kathleen Parker, who's never met a rapist that wasn't tempted into it. Let's take this slow.
The Fog of Rape
Is nothing like the "fog of war" effect in Warcraft 2. For starters, there's a lot more screaming. Second, you can't type on screen or showpath to get rid of it.
There are enough rape and sexual assault stories coming out of Iraq these days to keep Americans variously outraged and confused...
See that right there? I just threw you a bone. After that, it's welcome to Crazytown. She begins talking about stories about military rape in the Times and Salon.com.
Both stories, however, contain enough errors to raise questions about whether the rape-assault rate is as high as suggested. The Salon story reports, for example, that one woman was "coerced into sex" by a commanding officer, which the Salon writer asserts is "legally defined as rape by the military."
This is simply not true. According to the Manual for Courts-Martial, rape is defined as "an act of sexual intercourse by force and without consent." The same woman also was prominently featured in the Times story, where she said she was "manipulated into sex."
Not quite rape, in other words.
Hey, you know what we need? We need some kind of scale or index to show us the difference between "not quite rape" and "woah, that's rape". Of course, I still think that situation would have merited rape, since according to the soldier, Suzanne Swift, her commanding officer in Iraq demanded sex from her every night for four months. And then when she stopped, he made her do marches by herself with full gear on. And humiliated her in front of the rest of the troops. But I understand why this is not quite rape. She could have stopped all of it by going back to having sex with her commanding officer.
No serious person doubts that sexual harassment and even rape occur in a war zone. But the degree to which sex is consensual or forced -- often a question of he-said-she-said -- is further complicated by military hierarchy and the extenuating circumstances (and passions) of war.
Kathleen Parker: not a serious person.
Doubtless many women have suffered what they report. Doubtless, too, some women exaggerate sexual-assault stories.
Doubtless, some people prefer Jose Reyes. Doubtless some prefer Derek Jeter. I hate when people say shit like that about rape cases. What if a prosecutor based all their murder indictments on the theory that "some people who are charged with murder didn't really do it"? Prosecutors are there to think everything is a crime.
But the $287 million-a-day question that sits like a Brontosaurus in a Baghdad mess tent is:
How about: "The $100,000 a week question that sits like a Tyrannosaurus in a Tikrit tub"? Or maybe, "The million-an-hour question that sits like a Nqwebasaurus in a Nasiriyah nook"? God what an awful metaphor. Wait, what were we talking about?
Oh right, that. I have an incredible idea. Men in the Army can stop raping women in the Army. I know, I'm crazy, I'm nuts.
How much is enough to thwart the nature of the beast?
This is not to say that men at war are expected to behave badly, but there are possible explanations for some of these questionable liaisons that bear closer scrutiny.
It's not to say you're an idiot Kathleen Parker, but there are possible explanations as to why all you've been doing is making idiotic arguments. Let's scrutinize you closer.
But more overt sexual aggression may be the product of something few will acknowledge, at least on the record: resentment.
Hmmmm, nope, still an idiot.
Off the record, in dozens of interviews over a period of years, male soldiers and officers have confided that many men resent women because they've been forced to pretend that women are equals, and men know they're not.
Wowie zowie is that offensive. Men rape women because they know they're not equal. Those uppity broads and their demand to serve the country they love. Why can't they be happy being nurses or secretaries? Well if that's how they want, we're gonna rape the shit out of them til they understand our dominance.
Targeting women isn't excusable, obviously. It's also not the women's fault that they've been put in this untenable situation -- exposed both to combat and to the repressed fury of sexually charged young men.
Fun fact: women are never sexually charged. I also like that she does excuse the targeting of women by pitying the poor sexually repressed men.
The fault lies with the Pentagon and others who have capitulated to feminist pressures to insert women into combat. Although women are prohibited from direct ground combat and are assigned primarily to support roles, the lack of clear boundaries in Iraq has eliminated the distinction.
Did you know feminists were pro rape? Little known fact. Also, I had figured that the only clear boundaries you need are don't rape the woman in you unit. God, this is killing me. I hope you people are happy.
Wishful thinking and bureaucratic expansion won't likely solve the problem of sexual conflict in the war zone, but a more-rational military structure that keeps women and men apart would help. As a bonus, segregation also would reduce the plague of divorces caused by men and women fraternizing away from spouses.
Yes, instead of sending the message that rape is wrong and will not be tolerated, the Army should admit it has no power to discipline its own troops. Furthermore, to fix this problem, they will undertake the giant project of making sure men and women in the Army don't mix together. OK, almost done. Deep breaths.
Finally, our commanders and fighting men could focus on the business of war
I would imagine part of the business of war involved making sure your unit is disciplines. That's just me though. Also, love the reference to our fighting men. No women. Men.
rather than tending to gender skirmishes that distract commanders and steal time, resources and energy from the military's purpose.
Gender skirmishes. Just a lover's quarrel really, there's nothing to see here. And we've finally reached the end. Ah, what the hell, how about a kicker?
Kathleen Parker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can be reached on top of an ice cream castle with candy canes for windows.