Hats Off to GQ’s “Son, Men Don’t Get Raped” by Nathaniel Penn

I love my local public library’s book and magazine holdings–even if I don’t always love what I learn via all information sources. While browsing the magazine racks this weekend I came across GQ‘s red tagged Special Report on sexual assault in the U.S. military–“Son, Men Don’t Get Raped” by Nathaniel Penn.  There’s a certain irony in this September 2014 issue of GQ as this is its style edition and there are lots of photos of great looking guys wearing wonderful clothing throughout the magazine. So many in fact that I had some trouble navigating my way to the article that had caught my attention. To clarify, not because I was distracted by the images, but because of the sheer amount of fashion pictures.  It’s all about a man’s image. And this article offers a haunting and compelling counterpoint to all those slick photographs of handsome, healthy masculinity.  What happens when a basically healthy man is destroyed by his fellow man via sexual assault?

Penn’s piece offers a shattering look at the ongoing, and increasing, issue of male sexual assault in the military. The number of victims are in the thousands, these men  have no recourse for medical aid of any kind from the VA, they are discharged from all branches of the service if/when they report being sexually assaulted by their comrades and superiors, and the consequences damage them for life.  Penn eschews a straightforward narrative prose approach by letting dozens of quotes from victims speak for themselves to tell their stories, which taken as a whole present a damning portrait of how the American Armed Forces across the board is NOT dealing effectively with sexual assault by men against other men.  The issues of power and control are in full throttle swing here on multiple levels and the picture is appalling. Indeed the military has succeeded in de-humanizing itself from the very top ranking officers down to the lowest ranking private.  There is no compassion, there is no legal redress, there is no medical treatment offered, there is no accountability. There is only abuse and destruction of men by other men on the psychological, physical and emotional levels.  There’s not much to recognize of the noble ideal of officers and gentlemen in this scenario which is destroying the lives of men who joined the military to serve their country.

The bottom line is that–the men who swear to defend the United States of America by doing military service do not defend each other—they enter a system in which rape, a crime of power and control, is rampant–and clearly no one within the system gives enough of a damn to do what needs to be done to address the problem. Other countries have–but not the United States.  Here the victim still pays the price for the behavior of the criminal.

Yes, son, men do get raped all the time in the military — and it’s not by enemy forces, but by their so-called brothers in arms.

Kudos to GQ for publishing this devastatingly candid article about an issue apparently no one in the U.S. government really wants to do anything about. Why is that? Refusal to face reality that the military system is dysfunctional and destructive and therefore counterproductive? Because it’s run by damaged people with power and control issues of their own? Because the public lives in denial of reality? Because it’s hard to accept that the ideal is not real? Or ____ ?

Link to GQ — “Son, Men Don’t Get Raped”

http://www.gq.com/long-form/male-military-rape

 

 

 

 

Winter Soldiers ~ Illusion versus Reality ~ Walt Disney Studios Runs Amok? Or What?

What’s in a word? What does a name signify? If you call a thing by a certain label does it make it so? For the life of me I cannot understand why a film is titled Winter Soldier and contains a character by that name when the term has nothing at all to do with the historical reality associated with the term Winter Soldier.  From the information I’ve gathered so far online there seems to be absolutely no connection at all between the movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier and the historical and contemporary Winter Soldiers of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan telling the public about war crimes.  I find this a tad unsettling while seriously doubting there will be any ongoing social media dishing of this misappropriation of a phrase which designates American veterans as there was of The Lone Ranger. There was a ton of chatter about all the things ‘wrong’ with The Lone Ranger –all of which went on while blatantly ignoring the movie’s outright attacks on genocide, manifest destiny and the military industrial complex. I came across some comments regarding a clip from a portion of the real Winter Soldier testimony in which people were considering the effect of the Captain America film on the reality of the veterans known as Winter Soldiers. Once the movie is seen by millions who pay little attention to historical events, the term Winter Soldier will be coupled with a character from a movie with absolutely no meaningful connection to the Winter Soldiers of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Is there any greater insult to people who have the courage to speak the truth about war? Hmm, ooops I shouldn’t have asked that question, because I’m sure there are greater insults. Have no doubt that the FBI and/or the CIA could top such an insult with ease.  More on that when I post my review of Betty Medsger’s very unsettling book, The Burglary. It’s an unsettling read for what it reveals about the totally corrupt character of the FBI under J.Edgar Hoover. If you can imagine a law to break, the FBI broke it. I digress,  more to come on the book later.  Back to misrepresentation, illusion and manipulated delusions of Marvel Comics characters. Superheroes can be so enthralling. They’re also very unreal.

Now if anyone sees the Disney film and finds a connection between the illusion and the reality, please do not hesitate to share it.

Wait–could it be the concept of brainwashing? Could it? Let’s consider that possibility…hmmm. Why not? It’s a connection. Or is it?

My thanks to Wikipedia for the factual information and links that follow.

On with the show.

What does this illusion: 

Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Information about the film  via Wikipedia     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Captain_America:_The_Winter_Soldier

Steve Rogers’ best friend, who has reemerged as an enhanced brainwashed assassin after being thought killed in action during World War II.[12][7] About the character, Feige said, “Winter Soldier has been methodically, almost robotically, following orders for 70 years.”[13] Stan, who has a nine-picture deal with Marvel Studios including his appearance in The First Avenger,[14]endured five months of physical training to prepare for the role and did historical research stating, “I dove into the whole Cold War thing. I looked at the KGB. I looked at all kinds of spy movies, and all kinds of documentaries about that time, and what it was about. I grabbed anything from that time period. Anything about brainwashing.”[15] Regarding Bucky’s transition into the Winter Soldier, Stan said, “You know, the truth of the situation is although he looks very different and there’s different things about him, it still comes from the same person. I think you’ll get to see that no matter what. I think part of my goal here was to make sure that you see an extension of that version but just a different color of that same version in a way. I think he’s still the same guy; he’s cut from the same cloth.”[16]

have to do with this reality?:

Winter Soldier Investigation via Wikipedia   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Soldier_Investigation

The “Winter Soldier Investigation” was a media event sponsored by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) from January 31, 1971 – February 2, 1971. It was intended to publicize war crimes and atrocities by the United States Armed Forces and their allies in the Vietnam War. The VVAW challenged the morality and conduct of the war by showing the direct relationship between military policies and war crimes in Vietnam. The three-day gathering of 109 veterans and 16 civilians took place in DetroitMichigan. Discharged servicemen from each branch of military service, as well as civilian contractors, medical personnel and academics, all gave testimony about war crimes they had committed or witnessed during the years of 1963–1970.[1][2][3]

With the exception of Pacifica Radio, the event was not covered extensively outside Detroit. However, several journalists and a film crew recorded the event, and a documentary film called Winter Soldier was released in 1972. A complete transcript[4] was later entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Mark Hatfield, and discussed in the Fulbright Hearings in April and May 1971, convened by Senator J. William Fulbright, chair of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

~~~

Democracy Now! Coverage of Winter Soldier

Promote Liberty

Democracy Now coverage of the Winter Soldier event in Washington DC-Testimony of the Iraq Occupation

&

Via Wikipedia : Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan was an event at which more than 200 U.S. military veterans and active duty soldiers,[1] as well as Iraqi and Afghan civilians,[2] provided accounts of their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event was inspired by the Winter Soldier Investigation of 1971. It was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War, and held from March 13 to March 16, 2008, timed for the fifth anniversary of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, at the National Labor College in Silver Spring, Maryland.[2] 

The “Winter Soldiers” of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan

NRUN65·

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