Bottom line: I was a female soldier in the combat zone. So why do I feel so uncomfortable about formalizing women’s placement in combat roles? I did a lot of soul-searching about why this bothered me so much. Ultimately, though, I’ve discovered there’s nothing I should be uncomfortable about.
When I first read that Defense Secretary Panetta had lifted the ban on women in combat roles, I felt queasy. While I left the military for the private sector in late 2011, I spent the first decade of my adult life in the Army, half of it on active duty as a Military Police officer. I have led and served alongside extraordinarily tough and competent leaders, male and female, while deployed in Iraq and in training all over the world. This was personal.
Yet, even as a woman who had been to combat, I couldn’t endorse lifting the ban. The more I examined my prejudices, though, I realize that they were just that — prejudices. Keep reading »
This video had me tearing up: here’s NBA star Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets and his two moms, Waudda and Carol. They talk about how they’ve been a couple for 11 years, have supported each other through health scares, and how special it was for them to marry. Faried and his two moms filmed the PSA on behalf of One Colorado, an advocacy group for lesbian and gay rights. Colorado is advancing a civil unions bill through the state legislature as we speak, which Kenneth Faried supports. Not only is he handsome and talented, but he’s got his heart in the right place, too. [YouTube; Huffington Post]
“Don’t look like trash, don’t get drunk, don’t be sick down your front, don’t break your heels and stagger about in the wrong clothes at midnight. This is bad. It’s not me being a snob about it. It’s not me being an old woman talking to young women, its just standard practice for how our species should behave. Don’t behave badly. … I promise you it is better to look after yourself properly, which means behave properly, be polite, be on time, dress properly – I don’t mean dully – but don’t be sick in the gutter at midnight in a silly dress with no money to get a taxi home, because somebody will take advantage of you, either they’ll rape you, or they’ll knock you on the head or they’ll rob you. … I am now an old lioness, if I see my young ones getting out of order, I’ve got to be able to say to them this is not how lions behave. This is not right.”
– Here’s Joanna Lumley, who plays Patsy on “Absolutely Fabulous,” making comments to the UK’s Telegraph that have infuriated a lot of folks for victim-blaming. Newsflash, Joanna: women still get raped if they “behave properly” and “dress properly.” Believe me, I understand the concerns about young women and binge drinking — but these comments are pretty gross for all the “don’ts” they place on women alone. The problem is the robbers and the rapists, not women who dare to get drunk or wear a “silly dress.” [Telegraph UK]
Earlier this week, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta lifted a ban that prohibited women from openly serving in combat roles in the military. This would entail overturning a 1994 rule that bans women from certain ground combat roles, thus opening up more jobs to servicewomen. Women have already been attached to ground units performing these jobs — they just haven’t been properly credited for it.
Yesterday, Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Join Chiefs Of Staff, officially overturned the 1994 rule. “Everyone is entitled to a chance,” Panetta said. According to The New York Times, the Army is now creating gender-neutral standards for all their positions but will not be lowering the physical standards required just so that women can be admitted.
All week there have been reactions to lifting the ban, both for and against. I’ve rounded up some of the responses: Keep reading »
A pregnancy resulting from rape or incest is evidence and having an abortion is “tampering with evidence,” according to a new bill introduced yesterday in New Mexico which would legally require a rape victim to carry a fetus to term.
Presumably Rep. Cathrynn Brown, a Republican, will also criminalize tampering with evidence by taking a shower after a rape, too? Keep reading »
On January 26, FOX is set to air an Ultimate Fighting Championship fight with MMA fighter Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who last April posted a video on the YouTube channel for FilmOn in which he jokingly attempted to rape a woman. He in the video, he advises viewers to use choloroform to “help her relax” and suggests purchasing zip ties. Also in the video, Jackson says he hopes the woman he attempts to rape “got low self-esteem.” A clip from the video shows Jackson dressed in all black, sneaking up behind a woman with her back turned while she’s opening her car door. Worst of all, this video is entitled “How To Pick Up A Gurl … Fast.”
Let me remind you again: FOX and UFC want to put this guy on TV.
Keep reading »
Here is a confession: I am a dude, and sometimes I don’t want to have sex. For good reasons, or no reasons at all. It just depends.
I know that’s not actually shocking, but bear with me here, because that is somehow still a radical thing to admit. It’s still the default assumption about men, still casually reinforced basically every day. And women explicitly get told that it’s true, by men, even when they’re asked directly. Here’s just one recent example, from Cosmopolitan‘s “Ask Him Anything” column, in response to a question about why a woman’s husband wants to do it the moment they check into a hotel room anywhere: “Guys pretty much want sex no matter where they go – work, the mall, funerals, etc,” the “Him” who writes the column says, before explaining that a hotel room is just a part of that endless chain. Keep reading »