It’s not just a girl thing!


Hey, Friends.

Sorry to say, I was miserably sick yesterday.  Every now and again the stress will get to me and I end up living in the bathroom.  I hate to give you those details, but it is a reality of life after MST.

One thing that I have learned by working with the group that I do at the VA is that this is not just “a girl thing.”  One in Four women will report being sexually assaulted in the military.  One in One-Hundred men will report being sexually assaulted in the military.  Remember…I said REPORT.  It is hard enough on a female to report but it is nearly impossible for a male to report.  How many are out there that have not reported?

Why is it so important to me that I point out that this is not “a girl thing?”  Well, just like those who would exert power and control over women through sexual assault – which is not about sex – but about power, these are the same people that want us to think, “It is just another girl bitching!”  You see, if women didn’t serve in the military, it wouldn’t be a problem.

Since when is love of country a “gender specific” character trait?  It’s not, it knows no race, creed, color, religion or gender – it is about being a part of something greater than yourself.

In order to make this about SEX the people who commit these acts must make it about GENDER.  This is not about SEX…it is about POWER and CONTROL.  I didn’t have a single problem with Jerk until I got some stripes…then the abuse began.  I had to be kept “in my place.”  The best way to keep someone in their place is through assualt…physical, sexual, emotional assaults that are on-going.  Month in … Month out.  A new tactic, a new abuse, a new humilitation.  Make sure you blame the victim so that the other people around think that the one being abused “deserves” it.

Brothers and Sisters who have survived this mess to go on with a life that we pretend is normal…we all have to stick together.  We cannot allow this to be a gender specific issue. 

Joan

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5 Responses to “It’s not just a girl thing!”

  1. evanscove Says:

    I’m rather shocked to hear about male soldiers being sexually assaulted, but I probably shouldn’t be. Deviants are found in all sectors of society, apparently. Have you done any research into the factors behind this problem?

    And of course you’re right in pointing out that rape isn’t so much about sex as it is about power. I suspect most people think rape victims are always women, but it happens to men to (sometimes their rapist is a woman!). I wonder if it’s harder for men to come forward about this than it is for female victims, since I suspect they may feel that people won’t take them seriously or they don’t want to come across as weak. Any thoughts on this?

    Evan

  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    I think that it is much harder for men to come forward. If it is a male to male assault, there is often the assumption of homosexuality. If it is a female to male assault, there is always that statement that you “can’t rape the willing.”

    I have tons of research…but most of it is just on the after effects, not what causes the problem in the first place. One thing that is well-known, it is really all about power. Nothing else…just power and control.

    There are certain aspects of forced sexual activity that are stereotypes and myths. One of those is climax. If the victim acheives climax…it’s not rape. That is not true…you can’t control your body. Another one is that in same gender assault it is always latent homosexuality, it’s not. Another myth is that a woman can’t rape a man…they can and they do – although it is not nearly as common.

    Unlike the civilian world…the military has a finite power structure. Those in command are in command and there is little recourse for the subordinate. The question asked of me is “Why did you keep going into Clarence’s office.” I was under orders…I had no choice…nowhere to turn…and no way out. I could have easily gone on to abuse another young soldier by using my rank the same way. Had I done that…who would have believed him?

    Why the perpetrators do this is really beyond me. I think that there are many reasons, including themselves having a history of victimization. This doesn’t make it right…just reality.

    Until there really becomes a “zero tolerance” policy and those who do this are punished to the greatest extent of military law…it is never going to change. I wish I could say otherwise but I know it won’t.

    Blessings!

    Joan

  3. evanscove Says:

    Yes, preconceived notions abound. I’m sure many believe that a man could never be raped by a woman, but it does happen. And I understand that the majority of rapes are not reported, and even when they are, the culprit often gets off scot free.

    One of the problems with having such an autocratic power structure such as exists in the military is that it’s perfect breeding ground for abuse. As the saying goes, “Power tends to corrupt.” When there is no accountability, people will misuse their power. Shoot, they can even misuse it when there is accountability.

    Thanks for the information. We need to need to hear about these things. Those who serve our country deserve more than just parades and cheers: they deserve to be treated justly.

    Evan

  4. jayherron Says:

    I really am blessed by your post-and also by the words Evan has said:
    Those who serve our country deserve more than just parades and cheers: they deserve to be treated justly.
    Very powerful resource you are providing here-you have only just begun and look at what you have said and see how many are reading-already!!
    I am thankful to you both-peace

  5. enemyinthewire Says:

    Jay,

    You bring a very powerful voice to the “club” that we survivors belong to. Your courage to speak out as a man is so powerful. We don’t have near enough voices out there, especially from the male perspective.

    Evan is absolutely right! We all deserve Justice.

    Blessings,

    Joan

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