Women in the military

This is a story about rape in the military as seen through the eyes of a child in the bygone days of the Cold War. This is also a story about the old war on women which is the same war on women going on today.

What is it with some Neanderthal dimwit male politicians who believe that the cure for service men raping women is to eliminate the victims? Or as a dimwitted man with boobs remarked several months ago — well what do women expect?

For some unknown reason the Neanderthals gene seems to eradicate all common sense — or is it the Y chromosome defective in some males? Do these rape defenders and rape enablers believe that the US military is completely devoid of any women? Do these GOP males believe that that the military could function without any women on base or anywhere near where the macho guys do their “thing”.

Women have been part of the military ever since the feeble minded violence loving males formed the weapons of war and started wracking the men from the other war party. “Defenseless” women left alone are targets — this happened thousands of years ago and it is still happening today. Rape is used as a weapon of war — the US armies in Iraq and Afghanistan include a few rapists and a few have been identified. Most probably get away with their crimes — just like they always have.

I grew up on military bases, although there were very few women in uniform there were still plenty of women — nurses, secretaries, civilian employees and WIVES and children. Wives and children are called dependents and we grew up hearing the joke: “If the military wanted you to have a wife and kids you would have been issued a wife and kids.”

My dad was career military. He was deployed for 6 months and then home for 6 months, as were the fathers of most of my classmates. Our moms learned to manage as women have managed since men have been going off to war for thousands of years. This is about what happened when I was in the 5th grade.

The rapes happening on the base where I lived were reported in the newspaper (Honolulu Advertiser & Star Bulletin) and that’s were I read about something wrong and horrible that I really did not understand. No names were used — but the women were neighbors and I knew something horrible had happened because everyone in the whole neighborhood  (Military base housing) was tense. Women, mothers of my friends were crying and women were hugging each other and crying. Who died and why were so many moms afraid, I had to know. Military wives are generally tough — they have to be to survive all the garbage involved in being married to the military (man).

At first the suspect was thought to be one of the civilian employees — someone with access to the housing. This rapist would sneak into homes in the middle of the night, rape, threaten and then leave. The mothers of my friends and classmates had no idea when they might be a target and many were getting very little sleep. If you want to know what being under constant treat of terrorism is — imagine that if you fall asleep you might be awakened by the rapist. Image this was a daily part of your life for weeks and weeks. One of our neighbors piled up pots and pans in front of her doors and windows. One pile was knocked down as someone tried to enter her kitchen and she work up rushed to the window to see a medium build person dressed in black running through the brush filled boondocks.

The civilian male employees (locals who lived off base) were eliminated as suspects. I don’t know how this investigations was carried out but with adult maturity I suspect that the process was probably quite brutal. There was also probably an element of racism — since the civilian employees are nearly all non-white and the military police were white. Military police are often not very nice people to begin with — unfortunately this has been my experience and that of other military brats I grew up with. The behavior of the military police toward the victims, was one of the reason why very few women reported being raped. The message I took away from this whole episode was if you are raped DO not report it — the aftermath of the rape and the actions of those in authority is often worse than the rape. This was the overwhelming attitude of the victims of this rapist and the officers who were in command of the base. Women in the military are still living under the same male dominated — blame the victim — structure.

Next on the suspect list were noncoms or non commissioned officers. And these men were eliminated as suspects. The rapes continued.

At some point the newspapers seems to stop reporting about the rapes and the atmosphere seemed to calm down. But that didn’t stop me from seeking answers to what happened. Military kids have a communication network — generally we know what our dad’s do when they are gone for 6 months. We all have bits and pieces of the puzzle. My classmates and I discovered that the rapist was an officer who had been attached to the supervision of military housing. I’m guessing that he probably had a master key and that’s how he was able to sneak into so many homes and rape so many women. I also know that only a fraction of the rapes were reported. From the military kid’s telegraph we heard that someone recently arrived from a mainland base knew about a string of similar rapes and that the rapist was shipped off to the base the where I lived. We believed that the same office who had been transferred to our base was the rapist — and as soon as he disappeared the rapes stopped. I never heard his name spoken — the military command structure has and still has that much power as to silence the truth. The problem was eliminated and shall no longer be mentioned.

Although nearly all our neighbors, the wives of deployed men, were raped or scared off the rapist — my mother was never a victim. We had a medium sized poi-dog, a local dog that we rescued as a puppy. Basically I found her and insisted that she needed us. If a strange person tried to enter our home in the middle of the night our dog would have alerted us with very loud barking. She slept with me. Other homes that had dogs also were never visited by the rapist. Apparently there was a list of all homes that had “pets” and notations about which home had deployed husbands. All the rapist had to do is check the chart and then go hunting.

My neighbor who boogie trapped her doors and windows saw the intruder running off through the boondocks toward the officer’s section of the base housing. So it didn’t surprise her that the rapist turned out to be an immune officer.

As far as I know there was never any trial. What we think happened was that this guy was either discharged from the military or worse sent to yet another military base to continue his terrorism on female dependents — or the women of the military who are found on nearly every base.

Serial rapist just don’t stop — and from the research I’ve read the majority of rapist are serial rapists. The rape culture is still alive and well and not much has changed — women are still blamed and most women still don’t report being raped.

One other detail or aftermath of the rapist’s reign of terror I remember so clearly which taught me that the rapist’s impact remains long after he has disappeared. I spent most of my time playing outside and while walking down the street passed a row of houses I heard screaming coming from the second story window. I looked up to see a woman trying to climb out the window to get away from her husband who was violently beating her. He beat her to a bloody pulp. His white undershirt was bloody from her blood. No one made any effort to help this women. She was one of the victims and because she reported the rape — that fact went on her husband’s record. He was beating her for being raped and then reporting the rape.

What a fu***** way to grow up. Not much at all has changed. Service women are being beaten and raped — some by their superior officers (a documentary, The Invisible war,  has been made about rape victims and the military’s chain of command ignoring the problem — see Democracy Now for an interview on this subject).. The only way this will stop is for more women to join the military and more women working their way up the chain of command. There will always be women who enable rapists as there are women who enable crimes against civilian women — but I’m hoping that the majority of women will have empathy for their military sisters and bring an end to the reign of terror that a minority of males have gotten away with for thousand of years.

To the jackass GOP male & female politicians who believe the way to reduce rape is to toss women out of the military ranks — I am a witness rapist will still rape women. Save us from the morons in the world. The link is to a list of morons as well as their misogynistic words.

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