Feministing has a creepy plug into an article about sexual assault on female soldiers. The article is bad enough on its own, especially with the fact that over 90% of these sexual assaults are being dismissed with little more than slaps on the wrist, but if you check out the reactions to it, there’s an awful lot of rape rationalisation going on here.
Say it with me, dudes: “Rape is not okay, ever”. That’s all we need to know and this subject, and the fact that it’s not okay is why it’s called rape in the first place. Men can and should control themselves, whether they’re in the army, politicians, or just your average joe. Rape is not “yet another reason women should not be in the army”.
Now, I agree that this is a little less shocking when you keep in mind that women are restricted to backline work in the US military. But it is still blatantly unacceptable, regardless. To pre-empt people trying to justify their sexism, women are not restricted to the back lines “for medical reasons”, it is sexist attitudes about protecting women and women being unsuitable for combat that keep them there. You can see this again in the comments, such wonderful jewels as “before you dismiss the other posters- think about whether you’d want your mother or sister serving.”
I agree that I wouldn’t want my sisters or mother in the army. But I also wouldn’t want my father or brother serving in the military. But I would respect the courage and the independence of any of my family or friends who were willing to do that sort of work. And that’s really what the men saying women don’t belong as full members of the armed forces don’t get- that women need to be treated as fully independent people, able to risk their lives for the defence of their country and its allies, just like men.