Saturday, May 28, 2005

I don't know the women in the military who were assaulted, but I remember Nicky

The Senate may have reached a compromise to disarm the nuclear option, but don't think that means this anti-choice Congress is willing to compromise it's far-right agenda.
This time, not only did our opponents take aim at our courts, they even turned their backs on women in the military.
By a vote of 56-43 the Senate confirmed Priscilla Owen, an anti-choice judicial activist from Texas, to a lifetime position on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

House Republican leaders refused to allow debate or votes on two amendments that would have provided compassionate health care to military women who have been raped.

The first would have ensured that the morning-after pill, ordinary birth control pills that can prevent pregnancy after sex or assault, is made available to servicewomen at every military base.

The second amendment would have allowed women to use their military health insurance for abortion care in cases of rape or incest. Given that sexual assaults against servicewomen rose 25 percent in 2004, it's appalling that anti-choice lawmakers refused to allow these amendments to even come to a vote.

Military women were also yet again denied the right to access abortion care at military facilities overseas when the House defeated an amendment to repeal a ban that forbids servicewomen and female military dependents from using their own money to pay for an abortion at overseas military hospitals.
Please express your outrage to your representative who voted against military women's access to abortion care.
Click here to take action and learn more today.

As of 4/04
"Nationally, U.S. military personnel have reported 129 cases of sexual assault to the Miles Foundation - a group that tracks cases of sexual assault - in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Bahrain. Only 27 were reported to military officials, according to its executive director, Christine Hansen, who spoke before members of Congress on Wednesday.
The Pentagon says it has received more than 100 rape reports in the last 18 months from servicewomen who say they were attacked by colleagues in war zones.
Numbers go up in wartime
Military sexual trauma includes rape, sexual assault, or persistent sexual harassment that was "threatening in nature," according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. "

God, talk about the ultimate injustice. You join the Military for whatever--your parents can't help with tuition money, or, you are 17 years old and believe the hype that the cute recruiter sells you, or, you were raised a flaming "patriotic"christian by distorted parents, and at 17, 18, you are just too young to be able to form your own opinions about a world that you know very little about or, or, or..

Really, though, the reasons that you joined the military, at this point, do not matter. The reasons that you joined the military at this point, do not matter, because, you are now lying on a barracks floor, beaten and bleeding from your vagina and or your anus, thanks to your fellow soldiers.

Or, you are lying in a heap of desert sand, perhaps your vagina is ripped open, your lip split, your ribs cracked, your mind and soul cracked more so.
And no, as an American, you won't have to worry about your young teenage brother or cousin now being recruited to kill you to avenge your family's dishonor, because you were brutally raped and injured, like so many women who live in Middle Eastern Countries have to worry about, after being raped.

But, you may have to worry about the possible revenge of your comrades in arms, if you report the abuse. You will have to worry about how you will now be treated by your superiors and your fellow soldiers. And you will have to worry about the possibility of being pregnant, and of contracting STD's.

As you lay, bleeding, bruised, raped, does it make any sense to even contemplate challenging the U.S. military by telling them that you were raped by your fellow soldiers and want appropriate medical treatment? Especially if you are presently in a godless forsaken area of Iraq? Or Afghanistan? How alone those women must feel, how frightened.
What inner strength the women who report sexual abuse and assault must have. What inner strength they must have to stand up to military courts, and to interrogations, and relate what was done to them.
And Repuglicans refuse to even consider making emergency contraceptives available to them?

Does it matter if the young men, muscled up, and in their prime, maybe were given an anti malaria drug by the US Army, that can induce aggression and psychosis, prior to attacking, as the female soldier ended her watch, and walked back to her barracks built by Halliburton?

No, in many ways the why of the individual act of violence doesn't matter. That the person that you raped is a fellow soldier is, I am sure, lost on the aggressor. In his eyes, she is a woman, and the same society that produces the War machine that marginalizes all human life, while glorifying the act of deadly aggression, and that spends billion of dollars training men on the act of killing, views woman as just another form of bounty. I'm sure that programming is not lost on the soldier rapists. They have imbibed it, and now live it. Aggression is a good thing. Killing can be a good thing. Depends on who you are killing. There may also be a reward for all of that applauded aggression.

Whether the reward is openly told as 10,000 virgins, or is given as quiet condonment of a brutal attack, the bounty is still a woman. No matter the type of warrior, the reward is the same. Female flesh. Whether sitting in heaven or hushed up in a courtroom, the reward is the same.

Hostility to women, in all of it's forms, can be displayed by all men, whether they are straight, gay, bi, drugged up, in the military, in a church, or on a Senate floor.

Hostility to women, and the sense of power and control (Ahh Conqueror!) that empowerment over women gives to the male species, does not understand sexual orientation boundaries. And drugs may tip it's more ominous hat, but the root cause, the hate ingrained in the ideologies of religions, of governments, of society, is there, lurking, just waiting for an excuse to appear.

A torn vagina, a ripped open anus, a busted mouth, a cracked skull, they don't ask from where the injury came. They are just there, bleeding, hurting, and in need of healing. Healing that is so often not given. And it is not given because their wounds, the wounds of the bounty, do not rank as high as those of religion's and government's supreme flesh made in the image of GOD, that of a male.

The insult that our 2005 Repuglicans--those same Repuglicans with the GODawful current and past record of sexual abuse to women and children---the insult that they gave to our BRAVE WOMEN in the military, by REFUSING to even debate the option of allowing emergency contraceptives and abortions to military women who are the victims of rape, well, you know what I have to say to those American legislators?

and FUCK YOU by three Lariamed up, muscle bound, 20 year old military punks testeroned out on their guns, their lighting up of civilians, and their newfound sense of POWER that that farm in Kansas, or that that mean street in Chicago, would never have given them.

Bush and company have not just spawned a war against "terror." They have re-ignited a war against WOMEN. And rape, especially RAPE of women's rights, is one of their spoils.

But, there are still people who will oppose Bush and his current War Regimes onslaught of testerone, murder, rape and christianity....
NARAL keeps fighting, the Feminist majority and NOW keep fighting. Some of our Democratic legislators keep fighting. Lots of everyday people keep fighting. I'll keep fighting. I signed NARAL's petition. I'll see what else I can help them with in order to get access to emergency contraceptives and abortions for women in the military. I'll help for a lot of reasons. One reason being that I may not know those women in the military who have been raped and left bleeding, but I remember Nicky.

I remember a little, chubby, blonde friend who was the best kickball player on the block. She lived three houses up from me for all of my childhood life.

I was never allowed to sleep over at her house, though. That edict didn't come from my parents. With nine kids and their respective friends running around my parent's one bathroom home, well, sleep over's at someone else's house were allowed.

But I couldn't at Nicky's. The kickball game in the field behind the candy store went sooo great. Nicki was fabulous and awe inspiring, as awe inspiring as a superstar on a little block in a little town in working class south jersey can be.

She was great. Thick straight blond hair whipping past our opponents ( kids from Fourth ave.). An arm that could throw a slightly deflated basketball straight as an arrow at an opponent, and tag him out quicker than a bee could sting his foot. Jeez, she was fearless. She was quick, she was strong, and she always won the game for us.

But, you couldn't sleep over at her house after any of the late summer night victory's over the 4th ave kids.

No, not even if you were her best friend since your 4th year of life, and you were both so happy, walking back from that field, jumping and skipping so high in the south jersey night sky, cause...cause you had beat the 4th ave. kids, yet again.

Nope, you couldn't sleep over at Vicki's house. And the weird thing was, she couldn't sleep over at your's, either. Which, in that day and age, before the age of Amber Alerts, well, that was weird.

"Well, why can't I sleep over then?" "My Daddy wouldn't like it." Well, then, ask your Mom!" "I can't ask Honey." Honey being the name that Nicki's Mom had ordered all four of her children to call her. No Mom in that home, just..Honey.

"Oh, ok."
I was used to the weird Honey thing by now. Although, it was too weird for most of us kickballers to digest. It was too weird that Mrs. N made all of us, in addition to her children, call her honey, and that Mr. N., would wait, every single night, out on HIS steps, for Nicki to come home from the game.
Thick blond hair shining in the darkening light, chubby, tough, little body walking confidently home, until the last block.

By now, you probably know why I couldn't sleep over at Nicki's house. I won't hurt her anymore than she has already been hurt, by going over the sordid details of her father's continued rape of her, for years, and of her mother's continued feigned ignorance of the situation, for years.

If Nicki had joined the Army to escape her parent's, but had been raped once again, and became pregnant with her father's child just prior to her joining, she would not be allowed the option of taking an emergency contraceptive, or having an abortion. She would not be allowed the option of starting a life free from him and his claims on her young body.

Goddess forbid, if her fellow soldiers had targeted her pretty face and no longer chubby body, and had raped her and left her on a dirt floor in her barracks in the hellhole that is now Iraq, she would not even be allowed the consolation of an emergency contraceptive. Her father's property, her fellow soldier's bounty, her government's non debateable issue.

It is 2005, isn't it? The world has progressed, hasn't it? It WAS progressing. But somehow, now, in this year, 2005, the raped women of the US MILITARY, why they are not even allowed the option of having necessary assistance for their plight discussed in the SENATE.

In the SENATE, that SENATE for whom the women in the MILITARY paid taxes to support that SENATE'S salary, AND FOR WHOM THESE WOMEN MAY LOSE THEIR LIFE or be disabled, in a WAR THAT THE SENATE VOTED FOR, in THAT Senate, the war mongerer's will not even open to discussion emergency contraceptives and abortions for women in the military, who are RAPED.
You already know what I have to say to that Senate..

The spoils of WAR are so obviously for all men, whether in actuality or vicariously...

When I next place flowers on her grave, I'll ask Nicki's opinion about this newest blow to women everywhere. May she throw me a thought as straight as an arrow, and may her ghost kick all of their butt's out of the Senate field.

They are a disgrace to women everywhere.

They are a disgrace to Humanity.

***if you think that you saw this post late last night, you did. This latest onslaught against women's rights left me somewhat sleepless. I woke up early, pulled the post, and added a bit more. The marginalization of women in the military is even reflected in blogger. The spellchecker doesn't recognize the word, servicewomen.


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