[quote]Consistent rates of rape across eras of service indicate that violence towards military women remains an unresolved problem. ~ Anne G. Sadler, R.N., PhD; Brenda M. Booth, PhD; Brian L. Cook, DO, MSc; and Bradley N. Doebbeling, MD, MSc[/quote]
[quote]Violence towards military men, however, is completely resolved, based on my thorough research into the matter. ~ B.R. Merrick, PhDoD, PDQ (Doctorate of Doofosity, brought to you by the letters P and D, and the number Q)[/quote]
I’ve mentioned Antiwar.com before in a separate matter of the denigration of men and vaunting of women. I figured that would be it. In spite of the gaffe, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and moved on. I then stumbled on another one of their more recent headlines that looked like it needed a bit more attention, since it involves the world’s most unspeakable crime, the crime against womanhood itself:
“Studies: One in Three Female US Soldiers Raped During Service”
Oh, my God! RAPE! RA-A-A-APE!! And, of course, RAPE! rhymes with APE!, which is, at their core, what men really are. This belief may go consciously or unconsciously acknowledged, but RAPE! there it is. It exists in subtle RAPE! ways that Mr. Ditz and all the other APE! men at Antiwar.com probably don’t even realize. There’s the smirking, pat-on-the-head condescension of Mike Davis, who writes: “Someday – perhaps sooner than we think – a new Edward Gibbon in China or India will surely sit down to write The History of the Decline and Fall of the American Empire… I think she’ll probably classify self-righteous American ‘innocence’ as one of the most toxic tributaries of national decline…” Ah, yes. We know you can do it, ladies. One of youz is smart enuff to sit your pretty little hips down and plunk out a multi-volume literary work that galvanizes historical research, and the only reason you haven’t is because men haven’t patted your head lovingly enough.
It’s a simultaneously patronizing and demeaning comment that hearkens back to the old fashioned pastime of the “battle between the sexes.” It belongs there, in the past. It does not work in a modern society plagued with misandry so entrenched that a writer working for Antiwar.com can publish a headline that screams “RAPE!” and “1 IN 3!” and be taken seriously.
Antiwar.com’s 1 IN 3! claim links to Al Jazeera, which then links to a study called “Factors Associated [w]ith Women’s Risk of Rape in the Military Environment,” which proceeds to detail what some of these offenses are, all under the heading of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Lumped in with actual rape and assault are such horrific, grisly things as:
- Sexually demeaning comments, behaviors, or pornography at duty station…
- While servicewoman on-duty, soldiers stared at their [sic] body…
- Felt physically intimidated or unsafe because of the number of male soldiers or personnel around you…
- Ranking officer/immediate supervisor asked the servicewomen to perform sex-role stereotypic jobs in addition to regular work assignments.
The above criteria are not placed under the heading of rape, but are entered into the study under the MST acronym as an attempt to determine whether other environmental factors are at play when rape occurs. However, if I was a woman reading this, I’d feel pretty “intimidated or unsafe” around my mostly male colleagues if the contention that I had a 1 IN 3! chance of being RAPED! was true. Since it isn’t, but is apparently being repeated ad infinitum et nauseam around the Internet, what are the odds that a great many military women who are not at risk will all of a sudden think that they are, simply by being in the presence of a group of penises men? Now environmental factors that have nothing to do with RAPE! can be included, at least in the minds of impressionable young females, and most importantly, the proponents of RAPE! hysteria have bigger numbers to play with.
“Simultaneous with primary prevention interventions, the development of new channels for reporting sexual assault appear necessary so that victims can report without fear of retribution.” What sort of retribution does a man falsely accused need to fear? Sadly, this is not addressed. Instead, it is finally revealed that:
“The rate of rape found in our research (28%) is similar to that of other studies of women veterans reported by Hankin et al.  (23%), and [sic] Murdock and Nichol  (25% of women age 50 or younger), and Coyle et al.  (29%).” 1 IN 3! still looks horrible, until you get into the details and discover, much to Mr. Ditz’s dismay, that the number is merely one in three women “selected from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) comprehensive women’s health care centers’ registries,” not 1 IN 3! women who have served. The number of women reporting MST (not just rape) may be closer to one third of the women serving, but take another look above at some of the “trauma” that is included, and envision a man making those same complaints.
I couldn’t find much on Murdock and Nichol, but the Hankin study is a “[n]ational sample of women veterans using VA outpatient services between 7/94 and 7/95.” The Coyle study covers “[t]he prevalence of physical and sexual abuse in women veterans seeking care at a veterans affairs medical center.” In other words, these studies rely on studies that center on women who have used the VA. How many veterans overall use the VA? “18 million of the 24.5 million veterans in the United States have never used the VA’s health system.” According to the Association of Schools of Public Health: “Among veteran respondents, 6.2% reported receiving all of their health care at the VA, 6.9% reported receiving some of their health care at the VA, and 86.9% did not use VA health care.” Let’s see, 1 in 3 minus 86.9% of 1 in 3 is…
Sorry. We didn’t cover statistics in doofosity training. We did cover throwing paper airplanes, which’ll land you a job at Antiwar.com spouting drivel.
From Sage Publications: “Existing research indicates that prevalence rates of MST [which apparently includes being stared at] vary depending on method of assessment, definition of MST used [which may include being stared at], and type of sample.” Furthermore: “The VA 2002 national MST surveillance data from approximately 1.7 million VA patients indicated that 22% of women and 1% of men have experienced MST… Although women are 20 times more likely to be victimized during their military duty than men, there are 20 times more men in the military than women in the VA system.” This sounds pretty awful for women, doesn’t it? The percentages look terrifying, but remember that percentages represent actual numbers of actual people. When you look at the actual number of complainants by sex, you find that “because 22% of female and 1% of male VA users screen positive for MST, the actual numbers of men and women are about equal…” Whoops! How did that happen? Never mind. Moving on with something a little less actual and far less equal.
In yet another “convenience sample of 270 veteran women receiving medical and/or mental health treatment at the VA North Texas Healthcare System,” we finally get a big, fat, actual admission of bias: “Although men and women appear to be equally represented in the numbers of MST victims, research examining the mental and physical consequences associated with MST has been unequivocally focused on females.”
So what about male victims? “Last year nearly 50,000 male veterans screened positive for ‘military sexual trauma’ [were they stared at, though?] at the Department of Veterans Affairs, up from just over 30,000 in 2003… By the Pentagon’s own estimate, figures for assaults on women likely represent less than 20 percent of actual incidents.” Okay, percent refers to a hundred, right? 100 minus 20… (I could probably fold this one into a hang glider…)
“‘We don’t like to think that our men can be victims,’ says Kathleen Chard, chief of the post-traumatic-stress unit at the Cincinnati VA. ‘We don’t want to think that it could happen to us. If a man standing in front of me who is my size, my skill level, who has been raped—what does that mean about me? I can be raped, too.’“ Or exposed to a porno mag in the workplace! Or the accidental sighting of a penis! Or…
“‘Many men and women will experience symptoms like PTSD or depression after experiencing sexual assault. But the experience seems even more detrimental for men’s mental health,’ says Amy Street, a psychologist with the Boston VA hospital who has worked with both male and female survivors [and somehow managed not to say what RAPE! means to her]. ‘The way I make sense of that is that women, for better or worse, live their lives with this idea that they might experience sexual assault at some point [Oops.]. There are public models of how to recover from rape. Men don’t have any expectation that this might happen to them. It’s very difficult to figure out how those experiences fit into your sense of self as a man.’…
“What’s clear is that the Pentagon has only just begun to figure out how to treat men who have been sexually traumatized. Until 2006, sexual assault was classified as a women’s health issue, and even today, Pentagon awareness campaigns target women almost exclusively… Chard… says that more than 11 percent of the men she works with eventually admit that they were sexually victimized. Nationwide, there are just six programs like hers, and there is a single VA facility, in Bay Pines, Fla., that specifically treats male survivors of sexual trauma.”
What exactly would these men need to be treated for? Being insulted with a stereotype? Being stared at? Being exposed to (shudder) pornography? Well, an ex-military dude named Blake Stephens said his “assailants told him that once deployed to Iraq, they would shoot him in the head. ‘They told me they were going to have sex with me all the time when we were there,’ he says.
“Stephens twice attempted suicide. His marriage fell apart. He became paranoid and explosive. In June 2003 his mother wrote a letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer, detailing her son’s ‘continued humiliation.’ ‘Congressional inquiries have been know[n] to jeopardize a soldier’s rank and standing,’ Boxer’s office responded. ‘There is no way for our office to administratively protect your son’s military standing once a congressional examination is in progress.’ The following August, Stephens was discharged for his ‘physical condition.’” Poor Ms. Boxer’s hands were tied, it seems. So much for Gr-r-rl Power!
The senator’s insouciance is par for the course if you happen to find yourself male, raped, and in the military: “A Marine Corps spokesman dismissed the male sexual trauma subject as an ‘off-the-wall topic’ when asked to arrange an interview with a senior Marine officer. An Army spokeswoman called the reported cases in her service ‘statistically insignificant.’ Another Army spokeswoman, when asked about sexual assaults on men, began explaining the military’s policy on homosexuality.” Now there’s one we can use to celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Let’s associate all men who have sex with men with RAPISTS!, since men are prone to fuck like rabbits anyway.
The military could make a simple change to take care of the female complaints: separate the women from the men. All-female platoons that are held to the same standard as the all-male platoons as far as combat-readiness – all two of ‘em. Separate everything: barracks, showers, toilets, changing areas, mess. We can’t do that, though. The minute one barrack, shower, toilet, changing area, or mess being used by women is deemed inferior, you can expect another 1 IN 3!-style harangue from somewhere, guaranteed.
That solution would obviously only take care of half the problem. You can’t so effectively separate male rape victims from male rapists. Unfortunately, the military will never get to the root of the problem, as it is an organization that relies quite heavily on distribution of authority and creating a type of separate, higher class of people out of its officers. It is a culture steeped in the exercise of power and authority. It depends upon government schooling for the indoctrination of boys and girls who will eventually join. These young people have spent 12 years associating for large parts of the day with their immediate peers, isolated almost entirely from the surrounding community. In this environment, it is all too easy for certain children to commence forming a hierarchy, by bullying if necessary, in order to reobtain a sense of power over the self. It is a natural shift from this environment to another one where, again, the individual must do as told by superiors, may not leave without permission, and where gaining the favor of the bureaucracy by playing along with the hierarchy is encouraged. Schools and the military, on this level, operate like prisons, where male-on-male rape is epidemic.
The desire for power, as J.R.R. Tolkien tried to tell the world, is the desire that kills. It begins by killing the self. Rapists, whether male or female, walk this earth like Tolkien’s Gollum, addicted to the drug of power over others. They are, in a way, already dead. Then they proceed to kill something in their male and female victims.
It works the same as the desire to be right in order to win (have power over) an argument. Antiwar.com’s motives are noble, for the most part. They want to spread crucial information about the nastiness of this war. But using falsehoods to win debates is not an acceptable strategy in any libertarian playbook I’ve ever read. 1 IN 3! sounds horrible, and because it’s trumpeted about in the media, it also sounds true. It is not. A falsehood cannot possibly justify any end. That which is false, once it is perceived as true in the mind, coerces the mind against actual truth, which is a necessary component for the correct application of a man’s volition. Falsehoods that are therefore honestly meant ought to be corrected as soon as possible. This, rather than falsely inflated numbers, is a far better way to help actual rape victims, both men and women, regardless of percentages, sums, or politically motivated quotas.
The word “rape” used to mean “steal.” I imagine it shot into ubiquity as the definition for forced entry during sex as a way of avoiding explicit discussion of sexual matters. It still means stealing. The man or woman who is raped has property and wealth of great value stolen: bodily integrity, volition, sexual identity, peace of mind, and sometimes even physical health. It is my sincere hope that the well-meaning libertarians and anti-war activists at Antiwar.com rethink strategies for future reports that paint women as victims and men as RAPE! perpetrators. Such propaganda is the rape of my mind, as it were, on par with likening procreating Jews with procreating rats. It’s one more thing that spawns hatred, and things like this, when they build up, oftentimes lead to the very thing Antiwar.com claims to stand against: governments and their militaries raping people’s minds, wallets, purses, and bodies through state-sanctioned, violent, hate-filled conflict. It has an explanation, but no excuse.
As I see it, Antiwar.com has now dropped the ball twice. They failed to ask enough questions about September 11, 2001, blowing off those of us who question as “troothers.” The appeal to our culture’s misandry, however more subtle, is, as far as I’m concerned, the bigger failure, because hardly anyone pays attention to it. Ends do not justify means, and neither ends nor means justifies hatred of men.