Friday, March 15, 2013

Feminist Friday: MSA

So last week, a Lieutenant General Franklin was like, "Hey Air Force Pilot, so I know that you were convicted of aggravated sexual assault last November, but I'm gonna like ignore that and overturn the conviction using something called 'convening authority' and like, let you go free, cus I like, have the power to do that, or something."

A spokesperson for Franklinfuck said he "declined to approve the conviction because he did not think that there was enough evidence to say that he was guilty.” Even though 4 service-members convicted him...

This (rightfully) outraged some peeps in Congress. Senator McCaskill (D-MO) said:
"The military needs to understand that this could be a tipping point. I question whether, after this incident, there's any chance a woman assaulted in that unit would ever say a word. ... There's a culture issue that's going to have to be addressed here. And what this decision did - all it did was underline and put an exclamation point behind the notion that if you are sexually assaulted in the military - good luck." 
In a letter to the Air Force Secretary and chief of staff she said:
"His decision shows ignorance, at best, and malfeasance, at worst. I strongly urge you to undertake an immediate review of his conduct and consider removing him from his leadership position."
Ha. Haha. Right. Like that's ever gonna happen. 

Military justice for rape victims-you're doing it wrong.

So a few weeks back, I watched the award-winning documentary The Invisible War on Netflix. If you haven't watched it, you should. If you're in the military, you should watch it. If you're not in the military, you should watch it. Here's the trailer:

 So I watched it and was infuriated and heartbroken. So I took to Facebook:

So I realize that I just called the military broken. That's like not a little thing. But hey, guess what! RAPE IS NOT A LITTLE THING. So then a girl in my sorority commented:
 To which I responded:
The thing is, when I (and others) post stuff like this, immediately someone comments about how not everyone is bad. And this stuff happens everywhere, so you can't blame everyone. But I don't. I don't blame everyone. I only blame those that perpetrate the crimes and those who allow it to continue...which, apparently is like 70%. Yea, the rapists are at fault, but guess what - so are those who let this continue to happen, those who sweep it under the rug, those who defend the rapists and allow them to stay in the military and keep fucking raping people. So by trying to deflect and defend, you're only taking the focus away from the victims and the problem. Instead, why isn't your first reaction - "Wow! Rape! How awful! This is a problem! What can I do to help?" But let's be real, that's not gonna happen.

This documentary opened my eyes. I mean, I'm pretty aware of the sexual assault situation in this country. I worked at a sexual assault coalition. But jesus fuck is it so much worse in the military. We think victim-blaming is bad in civilian life? It's so much worse in the military. We think justice is hard to come by in society? You've got basically .01% (That's probably not statistically accurate, but I'd bet it's pretty close) chance of justice if you're a victim of military sexual assault.

So one of my best friends is going into air force officer training this summer. She's like a badass feminist unicorn goddess, she's so awesome. And good for her-it pays well, they're taking on her school loans, she gets to travel, it's cool beans. But is it worth it? Is serving your country worth it when in all likelihood a brother-in-arms may get to serve himself of you, and nothing will be done about it? Why are we treating our soldiers like this? Our soldiers deserve nothing less than the best, but we're telling the nearly 100,000+ rape victims that they're not worth fighting for. I'm disgusted by it.

Here's the thing - I'm a rape victim. Many of my friends are rape victims. In all likelihood, yours are too. And by telling us that what happened to us was our fault, by ignoring us, by not giving us the rights and justice and help and support that we desperately need and deserve, is only re-victimizing us again and again.

So yea, I insulted the military system. How dare I! We must defend the sanctity of our military! Well guess what, I'm pretty sure the military can defend itself against little ol' me with the guns and tanks and shit it has at its disposal. But insult a rape victim by depriving her of the insurance she needs just to fix her jaw that was dislocated during the assault and then promoting her rapist? No biggie guys.

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