In the past few years increasing numbers of men have begun publicly disclosing that they were sexually abused as children. I admire the bravery of these men who are coming forward – just as I have long admired all the brave women who have come forward with disclosures of their own. Four weeks ago U.S. Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts revealed in a book and in televised interviews that at 10 years old he himself was molested by a camp counselor.
“I actually felt much safer [in Iraq] than I did back at our Command.” On myth vs. reality for women in the U.S. military.
A few weeks ago a lawsuit was filed on behalf of fifteen women and two men who state that they were sexually assaulted by their fellow comrades while serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard of the United States of America, and that their reports of these assaults were ignored by the chain of command. The lawsuit states that people at the top levels – even up to the U.S. Secretary of Defense – were aware of the immense problem of sexual assault within the ranks, and yet did nothing to stop it.
March 8 is International Women’s Day. It occurred to me that perhaps the best way I could honor women on this holiday would be to offer to women something that has been missing for far, far too long: an apology from us men. For our violence. For our abuse. For our sexism. For our continued promotion of patriarchal structures and practices.
Still dancing “backwards and in high heels.” (To be considered equal, women actually have to be better.)
(Special thanks to Julie Reynolds for posting a link to the NPR story discussed below.)
This past week the brutal issue of men raping women has featured prominently in the news. First, there was the horrific gang rape of an internationally prominent female journalist in Cairo’s Tahir square during the “celebrations” over the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Then there was the report that several current and former members of the U.S. military are suing the U.S. government over its continual failure to address the epidemic of the rape of military personnel by their brothers-in-arms.
Valentine’s Day is upon us again. It’s the time of year where here in North America we are supposed to scrounge around for some cream-filled chocolates, perhaps a bottle of bad champagne, some scratchy lingerie, a dozen high-carbon-footprint roses, and an over-priced greeting card that communicates thoughts of love in bad rhyme.
Over the past few years there has been a lot of debate about the link between the Super (?) Bowl and the issue of violence against women. Before I address the Super (?) Bowl specifically, let me begin by saying that I understand the appeal of watching NFL football. I really do. Growing up in the Washington DC area I was a huge fan of the Redskins.
I recently followed the recommendation of a friend and finally got around to seeing “The Hangover” – a film about a bachelor party in Las Vegas that goes terribly wrong. Now I need to talk to that friend about how I might go about getting those 100 minutes of my life back!
I think it is probably safe to say that recently Sarah Palin has become one of the more hated women in the United States. I personally think that she is a very mean person. I believe that the smiles, the winks, and the “knowing” nods all serve to obscure the deep cruelty that is in her heart. I think that she is both hateful and hate-filled. I have no love for her. So I do not mind it at all whenever her political star fades a little bit.
“I’m not responsible!” is simply not enough. (On the need to “refudiate” violence in all of its forms.)
(*refudiate: (verb) refute + repudiate. Coined by Sarah Palin, summer 2010.)
It’s been a tough week to be an angry right-winger in the United States of America. A Congresswoman who is a moderate Democrat was the target of an assassination attempt by a deranged man. This Congresswoman’s district had been targeted, literally, on a website sponsored by the conservative celebrity Sarah Palin. (Palin had also encouraged her followers not to “retreat” but instead to “reload.”)