Friday, May 10, 2013


the face of mst: military sexual trauma

President Obama recently addressed the issue of sexual assault in the armed services. This is in response to his statements.

Sexual assault is unacceptable anywhere, especially the armed services. It must be exposed, discussed and steps taken to deal with it. However, it's not only women who are the targets and victims.
There is a sick double standard at work, and sometimes women perpetuate it even more than men do. In a way, the reality of sexual assault is easier for women to handle in that isn't unexpected. It is NEVER easy for anyone but from the day we're born we're taught that it's a possibility; whether it's "don't talk to strangers," "be home before dark," or "no means no". From age 3 to 90 women know it can happen and, while it may not be fully effective, there IS a system of sorts to help women deal with and recover from it, even in the military.
However, men have almost nothing to help them understand both the possibility and the actuality of sexual assault. Other than that shadowy "stranger," who tells a young boy who to watch out for? Girls share among themselves who to avoid; "don't be alone with Mr. sicko-pervo-freak, the english teacher". Boys don't have that sort of "network" or support other than, which coach likes to watch boys in the shower just a little too much.
As a victim or prisoner, there is virtually nothing that can be done to a woman that cannot be done to a man. The mechanics vary but the purpose and damage are the same if not worse.
Rape is about power and control. Sex is the weapon. Not gender.

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