Mostly this blog is for writing-, cooking-, and gardening-centric posts (not necessarily in that order). However, today I must share something a bit more political in nature. But it shakes my core values, so I will cope with it much as I do everything else. You get my writing. My story. And inevitably, those themes that run through it all are present.
As a veteran and as a woman, I can’t even begin to tell you the vileness and personal attack I felt when I saw this video (not to mention the choice words that flew from my mouth following it). Normally, I don’t watch Fox News (is it any wonder?), so I was led to this clip by a friend who clearly knew it would boil my blood and spark a written response.
Here take a peek and then come back and let’s have a chat:
Like attracts like. I have learned that while on this planet more than four decades. Many of you reading this blog will probably feel the same that I do; however, I know there are some that read it that may be thinking that Fox News Correspondent Liz Trotta has some legitimate points. So let me just clear up that incongruent thinking now.
First, let me first address the “statistics” that Liz Trotta was spewing along with her hatred of her own gender. There is one fact that she misses completely when referring to a statistic released by the Department of Defense (it really irks me when journalists say that the Pentagon released something – the Pentagon is a building, not an agency, organization or individual). It says that since 2006, there has been a 64 percent increase in incidents of sexual assault. What she either doesn’t mention in order to spew her hatred towards female military service members, is that in 2006, there was a refocused effort within the DoD to provide a better process for reporting sexual assault, as well as providing better oversight and better trained leaders. In essence, old stories about how sexual assaults may have been discounted or horribly swept under the proverbial rug became outdated. Also, the increase in female populations (a clear 15 percent compared to the barely 9 percent when I served) across most spectrums of the military can create an environment where a woman has same-sex allies within her command to receive support from and during such an awful affair. The situation, like I witnessed in my career, where there is just one woman among many men in a theatre of operation, is less and less. I would argue, then, with Trotta that you don’t have an increase, but rather a situation where the truth is coming out more often.
When she says that “these people are in close contact…” Yes. This is true. But, our armed forces are a professional force. Is she presuming that other professions where close working conditions apply – say police or doctors or lawyers – or insert your choice here – shouldn’t also mix sexes when performing a job? That close contact – that, oh, you know, depending on one another for survival – is also what makes the military community like family. That’s why when crimes are committed on its members by its members, it’s so heinous. But, it doesn’t mean that this close contact allows for ACCEPTABLE rape. There is no situation where rape is allowable, acceptable and legal, which is what Trotta says here. Her statements contend its high-stress situation rape is to be expected and that women are stupid for thinking their comrades professional. Such hate for her own gender! It must be tough waking up every day with the knowledge that depending on where you put yourself you are expected to be raped and that somehow is HER fault and not the fault of the rapist. I could say other very snarky things here, but will refrain.
However, she doesn’t stop there. She says that FEMINISTS (talk about an f-bomb) have some how bamboozled Congress in funding the Department of Defense into actually funding this program that aims to prevent, if not eliminate sexual assault in the Armed Forces. Because, you know, that’s a bad thing. Did you know that victim advocates and sexual-response coordinators are a bad thing? Yeah, I didn’t either.
The kicker? Her statement which I still cannot wrap my brain about: “…for women in the military who are being raped too much.”
Yes, she said: “too much.”
Jon Stewart and his team stole my thunder in that Trotta seems to imply that women should, again, EXPECT to be raped and that the feminists are just pressuring people to report things when it reaches a certain number. Really? This from one of the first female reporters to cover Viet Nam? The irony is not lost on me, but apparently it’s lost on Trotta.
Her laugh and “nice try” comment to the other broadcaster comes off as defensive and just down right bumbling. We’re not to protect the people who are charged with the defense of our country? (Yes, yes, the validity of “defense” with the wars were in right now is another conversation.) This kind of attitude is what leads to lack of care of our Veterans when they are done with their service. It is that kind of attitude that contends that our Veterans never go through anything horrible during their service – that war is somehow a big party they signed up for – and they should just suck it up and drive on, drink a can a man and get on with the plan. In essence, serve us and then we’ll forget you.
Well forget you, Trotta and the inhumane train you road in on.
Columbia should really revoke her journalism degree. If there was a degree given to people for “becoming human,” that should get revoked for her as well — if she ever had it to begin with, that is.
What Trotta and others like her would like to see is to turn back the clock, because it’s easier if the warriors are only warriors and never are victims. But, that rarely happens – no matter what the sex. Being a warrior means either doing the wounding or being wounded. Whenever there is an injury, there requires healing. That it is somehow acceptable by Trotta that our sons do that, but not our daughters is befuddling. Those damn feminists – showing us where our logic fails!
However, finally, no matter the ramblings of a woman who has forgotten her own gender and life experiences for perhaps the gain of a conservative dollar, women are making strides in equality within the structure of the traditional Patriarchal culture of the military. Trotta needs to get over it and keep her nineteenth-century values in the past. . We’ve grown as a culture. We recognize the humanity in us all. That takes investment: education, funding, training and lots and lots of energy. Lastly, I say, good on those within the DoD for continuing to attempt to make our Armed Forces a community of equality.