Rape in the Military

Rape in the Military

After recently hearing an acquaintance encouraging her female relatives to enlist into the military after several others (male relatives) had just joined, I couldn’t help but blanch. Seriously? You want your granddaughters, who are still in high school, to enter a workplace with one of the highest track records of rape in the world? What, do you hate them? Did they key your car or steal your booze? No matter what, I wouldn’t wish military service on my worst female enemy, period, let alone a friend or kin.

Don’t get me wrong; I honor and support those who do serve and wish them speedy returns to their families. I would never, however, encourage someone to enter the military who wasn’t already considering it—particularly a female. I’m not sexist; I’m simply against rape. And if you don’t want to get raped, you probably shouldn’t join the military, since at least 30% of women in the military get raped (nearly 1,400 reported being raped last year alone, but there are likely many more, since up to 90% go unreported; servicewomen are informed by their superiors that they should not report them) and almost all of them experience sexual harassment. Most females in the military who seek help for post-traumatic stress disorder are rape victims, and most victims report being raped not by enemy combatants but by their own fellow soldiers.

Does this not creep you out? That not only are a good portion—if not most—of our servicewomen being raped, but that our servicemen are the ones doing it? And don’t reply with that “boys will be boys” shit; if it were your daughter or your sister or your mother, you’d cry for blood, wouldn’t you? You’d want him to be punished. Or you’d want them to be punished in the case of gang rapes, as many military rapes involve multiple men raping a woman.

Yeah, they’re real men, all right.

Would you want your granddaughter to stop drinking water at 7:00 PM to ensure that she wouldn’t have to go to the bathroom and night and risk being raped? Would you want your mother’s rapist to, instead of going to jail like he would as a civilian, receive a simple reprimand or even no punishment? Would you like your sister to be gang-raped, drugged, and locked in a shipping container for days with no food or water, left for near-dead—so severely beaten and raped that she was cut up in all of her private areas and then some—and then have her rape kit mysteriously lost? How about your daughter being punished for reporting her own rape? This has happened to real women in the military, and it continues to happen even as you read this.

Until this systematic violence is stopped and it is safe for women to serve with their fellow brothers in the military, there’s not a damn chance that I’ll encourage my daughter to join.