Thursday, May 16, 2013


[Content note for sexual assault, and rampant use of all-caps internet-yelling]

Last night on my drive home from work, NPR ran a story about sexual assault 'scandals' in the military.  Apparently in addition to the recent sexual assault prevention Air Force officer being arrested for (wait for it) sexual assault, a Fort Hood Army officer in charge of sexual assault prevention and victim counseling is now under investigation for (surprise surprise) sexual assault.

Man, that's a lot of sexual assault in one sentence. 

So.  I'm not even going to address the main story, other than to comment on how I am amazed that anyone can talk about this topic without screaming.  


If there's a better exhibit of why this is a cultural problem that can't be fixed by little sound bytes and lip service, I don't know of it.  Anyway, my hat's off to Melissa Block for somehow managing to conduct this interview without exploding.  

What I want to talk about is this.  The interview addressed the sexual assault prevention training that the military is running, and ran a clip from a bystander-intervention-encouraging video.  Now, I'm all about pointing out to dudes that THEM PERSONALLY not raping anyone at the moment is not enough.  This is not an individual problem that would be fixed if only we could weed out those few 'bad apples.'  This is a systemic, cultural problem, and the predators are depending on the other dudes' silence in order to get away with (and get implicit approval for) their heinous actions.  YOUR SILENCE MATTERS.  Speak up!  Don't let people get away with this shit!  So let's see what the fancy sexual assault prevention campaign has come up with to convey that women are people and you should speak up because predators will interpret your silence as encouragement (and yes, people of all genders are victimized at times, but this piece seems to be pretty heteronormative so that's presumably the most relevant message at the moment.  One step at a time, I guess, as much as I hate that these steps are even necessary)!

Here's the transcript (emphasis mine, and I've changed the names from 'unidentified man' to something more appropriate):

Dudebro #1: Check out Chris. He's making a fool of himself. 
Dudebro #2: Dude, that girl's trying to leave and he keeps grabbing her. Man, that's all we need is to get put on lockdown again. 
Dudebro #1: Yeah.


No!  That's not... I just... I hate everything.

CLEARLY the ONLY POSSIBLE reason to want to prevent BODILY ASSAULT is because it might inconvenience YOU.  Not, like, because you'd be PREVENTING A CRIME.  Because gosh darn it, those pesky people might punish the person COMMITTING A CRIME, and that might be annoying.  Consequences are so tiresome.

Or perhaps more realistically, the people making this video thought that would be the only reason that would be accessible to, and resonate with, the young military dudes at whom the training is targeted.  They're seriously saying that young men are so incredibly devoid of humanity and empathy that they're unable to see horrific victimization as horrific, and so it must be filtered through a little prism that casts it into terms their widdle bwains can comprehend.  Namely, that the fallout might be inconvenient and might get onto them a little.  Because someone somewhere DOES give a shit about the victim and the crime, presumably.  That person (whom I guess we must presume to be female) might even see the victim as an ACTUAL HUMAN BEING.  But that would be WAY too much to ask of your poor little military dudes.

What.  The.  Fuck.

To all you male and male-identified people, why are you not screaming about this?  That is some of the most fucking insulting shit I've seen in a while.  Presuming that you are literally incapable of caring about another person, so the only (or perhaps best) reason for speaking up against blatant predation is because it might be mildly inconvenient?  Now THIS is actual real-life misandry.  And this feminist, for one, is pissed as hell about it.  Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, patriarchy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have thoughts about my posts? Put 'em here!!