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

 

 

 

 

No, I’m not dead–yet. But I’m working on that development like all other living things.

Did I really say that?

Yeah, I guess I did.

Huh, who’d have thunk it.

 

Okay, hello to any interested parties. Yeah, that means you, Bearspawprint, Johnny, Charles, Dennis, LaBelleStudio, Lisa and whoever else who might have been wondering why I’ve been so MIA.  I’m not sure I’ve found something positive to post about at length. But while finally attending to my email –yeah, I’ve been an equal opportunity AWOL entity on more than the blogland front– a few thoughts crossed my mental landscape — nothing earthshaking, I assure you.  I hope this finds everyone enjoying some part of being alive at the moment of reading.  If not, it’s my understanding that there are seven seasons of True Blood available for viewing online to help with your perspective. Or perhaps not. Do you get the idea as to why I’ve not been posting for some time? Hmm?

One:

While I’ve been absent from my blogcasa The Breakfast Special’s  Sarge and Lily–and their supporting cast, have been running amok for hundreds of pages. Currently I am not sure it’s a good idea on my part to continue posting their romantic adventure online. Thoughts on  the pros and cons of this issue are welcome.

Two:

Why the f*&k is Soy appearing in everything from mayo to bread to soup where it serves no purpose except as a filler? I have no affection for soy products as I am allergic to to soy–and its increasing presence in food items where it serves no value is pissing me off royally.  Ooops, this isn’t quite positive, is it? But I do feel better for venting. That’s positive relief. Frack Soy.

Three:

My ever delightful friend, Berit, shared this insightful commentary about rape culture in poetic form.  Nothing is perfect, but I do think it makes a point well worth sharing.  And anything that slams the TSA is right up my alley along with Freedom of Speech.  Hmm, the positive is in the poetry. Or so I’m thinking as I’m typing.  Hence, let me present Anna Binkovitz’s poem “Asking for it”.

Button Poetry

Published on Mar 27, 2014

Anna Binkovitz of Macalester College, performing during prelims at the 2014 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Macalester placed 5th overall in the tournament.

Download the audio of this poem for free: http://bit.ly/1tZ49QM

Follow Button on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/SG5Xm0

About Button:

Button Poetry is committed to developing a coherent and effective system of production, distribution, promotion and fundraising for spoken word and performance poetry.

We seek to showcase the power and diversity of voices in our community. By encouraging and broadcasting the best and brightest performance poets of today, we hope to broaden poetry’s audience, to expand its reach and develop a greater level of cultural appreciation for the art form.

 

Four:

Lantern Journal Magazine can be found on facebook for anyone interested in a serious Art Journal.  At the moment I cannot paste a link to its website. I have no clue why.

Five:

I’m ending this post now before I start backpedaling like crazy before hitting the post button.  🙂

War ~ a few musical pieces

War raises a lot of very troubling questions about the human species.

Are we all natural-born killers?

Are we hardwired to engage in war?

Who sets up these lethal games and why?

Why does the cannon fodder allow themselves to be so easily manipulated into serving the interests of others?

Any mothers out there having children so they can grow up and go off to boot camp where they’ll be trained to kill other people?

And now there are drones.  Well, the drones don’t rape and torture anyone. Yet. I’m sure the war-mongers will figure out that computer program in time.  And some amoral folks will make it work just because they can.

*

Masters of War   ~ original by Bob Dylan covered by Ed Sheeran.   The lyrics get the point across quite effectively. Though maybe the masters’ lethal games need to be monkey-wrenched before they get to destroy the lives of others. Just a random thought.

ONE

*

Women and children during war are as expendable as the soldiers. No life is sacred.

Thousands of women and children were raped and killed in Nanking in 1937-38. The Flowers of War is based upon these events. This is just one example of the insanity, brutality and dehumanization of humans by other humans.

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East estimated that 20,000 women were raped, including infants and the elderly.[42] A large portion of these rapes were systematized in a process where soldiers would search door-to-door for young girls, with many women taken captive and gang raped.[43]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanking_Massacre

 The Flowers of War 

&

mpalewi

*

The line between sanity and insanity to which all are pushed during war. Once your mind is gone what more can be lost?

Journey to the Line ~ Music from the film The Thin Red Line by Hans Zimmer

mikt87

*

Multiple movie views of warfare involving horses.  Animals conscripted for war. If we humans were more like animals, would we still make war?

The Horse Charge ~Music: Two Steps from Hell – Heart of Courage

Tinman4368

*

Some of these scenes are ‘famous’ from a time when photojournalists were not embedded with soldiers and put their lives on the line to photograph the reality of war.

Run Through the Jungle ~ Creedence Clearwater Revival

Lana Rains

“Various images and photos depicting the Vietnam war. CAUTION….. Very graphic videos, please be aware that these videos show graphic scenes of napalm attacks.”

~~

This selection of music and a few notions does even begin to touch the tip of the human history of making war.  When are we going to evolve beyond such behavior? Can we? If it’s all a matter of choice–then what is wrong with us for continuing to decide to make war on each other?

I know I’ve probably not accomplished a thing with this post–but–at least I’ve vented a tad.

namaste

~~~

Bear’s War     http://bearspawprint.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/war/

a poem day ? maybe, maybe not, then again

Today is one of those days. You know the sort. One of those days where you start off loaded with positive intentions that quickly are buried under the murky weight of dark news information freely flowing from one edge of the cyber swamp to another. Haiku was on my mind at dawn.  Something about the crisp cold snow seemed sensible for a few brief lines.  Then I got online and hit Democracy Now! for some news. I know better than to start every day off with Amy Goodman’s “War and Peace Report”.  For mental health reasons, I try to switch it up for different times of the day after the livestream broadcast. Some days it’s better to read the transcripts rather than listen. Real news can be very disheartening. I don’t know how the news staff of this independent news venue manages day in and day out to thrive on a steady diet of The Dark Side of Humanity–without perky blonde cleavage or airy breathless reading of text monitors. Seriously. Actual journalism work is not for the faint of heart.

A report on the death of another gang rape victim in India lingered long after I moved on to other online tasks. I thought it was disheartening enough to learn that a woman is raped in India every 11 minutes–until I learned that there’s a rape every 6 minutes in the United States.  These numbers maybe be skewed because so many rapes go unreported.  Violence against women has been on my mind lately. It’s hard to avoid–fans of Downton Abbey will even get a taste of it. Yes, I watched ahead via online venues. In real life, things for the women of Afghanistan are at about the worst ever. So much for all the USA lip service paid to making life better for women and girls. Not so far in the back of my mind loiters the question: What is wrong with all the people who rape women, children and men? Are they born-hard wired to engage in such violence or are they made by their environments? Maybe they’re nature’s form of human predators for our species?  I’m not sure. Before I forget, The Invisible War aired on PBS–again.  It’s an expose about the rape epidemic in the military.  Ladies, I know it’s tempting for some to enlist for economic reasons like supporting your family or college funds–but do so knowing the risks you’re taking by hitching a money ride with the armed forces on any front. Take note, men aren’t escaping the sexual violence either, they’re also targets.  I’ve had conversations with people who say that rape has always been a part of war.  Hmm, hard to dent that fact. But, how does that explain military people raping the men and women in their own ranks? Is that a by-product of military training people to kill, torture and rape other people who they’re taught to view as non-humans? Possibly. What’s going to happen when the rapists return home? Are they going to cease engaging in violent sexual crimes?

Well, this is now very far afield from haiku about biting frost. Or is it?

~

Amy Goodman — We Will Not Be Silent

Link TV

~~

Deomcracy Now!

www.democracynow.org

~

Democracy Now! YouTube channel

https://www.youtube.com/user/democracynow/featured

~

January 2014

_

Tomdispatch from January 2013

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175641/

~

The Invisible War trailer

~~

Maze of Injustice–The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA–pdf file. This is the size of a small book complete with very informative end notes.

http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf

~

~

Revolutionary Association for the Women of Afghanistan ~ RAWA is the oldest political/social organization of Afghan women struggling for peace, freedom, democracy and women’s rights in fundamentalism-blighted Afghanistan since 1977.

http://www.rawa.org/index.php

https://www.youtube.com/user/rawa77/about

~~

&

so goes the snow haiku

down the rabbit holes deep

sleep? dream of chances snow blowing

&

`

news blues blow off vent

cyber waves serenity

mind fields boom! boom! boom!

&

November 25, Look thru Independent Lens for Young Lakota on PBS.

Heads up, documentary film, Young Lakota to air on Independent Lens on November 25, 2013.

I am wondering how in-depth this documentary will delve into the ongoing issues facing young Lakota –especially young Lakota women. From the trailer it appears to address at some level the sexual violence endured by many Indigenous women. I’ve provided links to two very important documents created by Amnesty International. Depending on your awareness of the issues they may or may not prove to be very disturbing reading.  I think they’re required reading for anyone entering into a serious discussion of violence, abortion, and sexual issues concerning Indigenous women–and all others as well.

I discovered this  information about the film via a post by Matthew L. M. Fletcher on Turtle Talk  http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-documentary-to-premiere-on-pbs-independent-lens-nov-25/

As I could not get the video on the link via TT to work properly I ventured to the tubes of you for an alternative which is posted here. I’ve included the links cited on Turtle Talk as well.

*

Young Lakota 

IndependentLens

Three young people living in the Pine Ridge Reservation try to forge a better future. When the first female President of Oglala Lakota defies a South Dakota law criminalizing abortion by vowing to build a women’s clinic in their sovereign territory, the three young tribe members are faced with difficult choices

*

Young Lakota website http://younglakota.tumblr.com/

*

Racialicious :  http://www.racialicious.com/2013/11/19/young-lakota-premieres-nov-25-on-independent-lens/

10 .m. EST, Monday, Nov. 25, on PBS’s Independent Lens. The film chronicles Tribal President Cecelia Fire Thunder’s challenge to a proposed abortion ban in South Dakota, and the political awakening she inspires in Sunny Clifford, a young Lakota woman living on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Young Lakota was an Official Selection at the Big Sky Film Festival, the New Orleans Film Festival, the American Indian Film Festival, and won Best Documentary at Cine Las Americas and the Smithsonian Showcase.
***
Maze of Injustice:  The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women from Sexual Violence in the USA.  (Note: Depending on your PC the PDF file may load fast or slow, but it will load–or so we hope.) This is not reading for the faint of heart.  Report by Amnesty International.
http://www.amnestyusa.org/pdfs/MazeOfInjustice.pdf
***
Stolen Sisters, Canada, A Human Rights Response to Discrimination and Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada (Also not reading for the faint of heart.)
http://www.amnesty.ca/sites/default/files/amr200032004enstolensisters.pdf

What’s Today? Oh yeah, Taino Genocide Day . . .

It’s 14, October, 2013.  Some people are celebrating what might be called a myth or a lie of epic proportions about a fellow named Christopher Columbus.  Shall we discuss irony? Manifest Destiny? Greed? The profit motive? Slavery? Genocide? Rape? Murder? Torture? Yeah, the man did it all according to his own words and those of his companions. So what exactly is being celebrated? I’m at a loss–unless it’s an extremely sanitized delusional story,  because the truth would scare the pants off all the little children if it were told in classrooms. Oh but excuse me, schools are not supposed to be about  truth or reality. Nor are books. Certainly not poetry.  so what.  Here’s some historical truth, some current ugly reality and some poetry that deals with both.

“Mic Check”

TheBigPictureRT TheBigPictureRT

Oops, “Reality Check.”

*

To the Indigenous Woman – A poem by the 1491s (short version)

the1491s

*

Bad Indians, a poem by Ryan Red Corn

redhandmedia

was told by those old ones
that every song has a special time and a place where its sang
this is our song
and this our time
they used to say the only good indian is a dead indian
i must be a no good at being indian
cuz I feel alive and kicking
we are the bastard reject children of manifest destiny
the offspring of fornicating aimsters
raised by our grandparents who told us
not to confuse being warriors with gangsters
the edward curtis groupies get jazzed by anyone fitting the bill
and America gets jazzed by every Bury My Heart at Walmart film
here i stand before you
this crowd of nations
this life of sanctions
an awkward patience
like five hundred BIA buildings vs. a fathers’ unfiltered hate
right next to the IHS building with a two and a half week wait.
a cinderblock battlefield where few are left standing
and the people its failing, its’ marginalized estate.
i am armed to the teeth with words from the ivory tower
and those good indians told me its borrowed power if…
if i talk loud enough
if i talk clear enough
that i would be heard
that for some talking is singing
that for some singing is praying
but i guess that depends on who is doing the talking
and i guess that depends on who is doing the listening
…so understand me in english,
you have been robbed of your tongues
the taproot of thought
in the middle of resisting
the language got caught
and she only shows her face during ceremony
like she’s ashamed of her scars
like what she has to say is never really heard. at all.
and the violence she knows is enough to never sing again
but i killed the cameraman and stripped him of his lense.
i photographed the body and asked him to forgive.
forgive me as i cut out your tongue
forgive me as i put you in this powdered wig
forgive me when i put your body in a museum
forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
the balls of your forefathers will be traded for whiskey
to fuel the molotov cocktails to be tossed at your cities
and the breasts of your mothers severed and bloody
will be sold to the freak show for the revelers money
your children will witness their whole world collapse
as kidnapped siblings must erase names off maps
so forgive me of all my sins
for not being a good indian
i was taught better than that
i have more respect than that
there is no history book with my story
there is no newspaper to give me my glory
because no one has heard this language in years
cept kokopelli, dream catchers and a trail of beers
my voice is a small pox blanket
that spreads like fire on the prairie
infecting both fist and hatchet
in the spirit of fucking crazy

Lest you get the wrong idea with all this negative press, let’s end on a positive note from “all my relations”:

**

Indigenous Love Words Project

the1491s

We asked one simple question: How do you say, “I Love You”, in your Indigenous language?

This is a crowd-sourced project organized by The 1491s. All footage was submitted by fans and supporters from throughout the world.

We say thank you to all those who submitted videos!! We are working on a succinct credits list, to be posted here, soon!!!!

Music Credit: “Kodi Track” by Frank Waln – https://soundcloud.com/f_waln_35/fran…

MIA content regarding Rape epidemic within Military, etc.

Okay, I surrender to the ghost in this machine and refuse to fight the edit blog post battle any further today.  While I’ve narrowed down the search for causes of earlier frustrations in blogland to this specific computer at my end, the reasons for such remain elusive. So instead of trying to force the program to do its editing duty properly,  I’m just going to yap in this post instead.

Yes, it’s been very quiet in my blogcasa since round one of “Breakfast Special.”  I confess that I’ve been wondering if further courses of “Breakfast Special” might be of interest to anyone wandering by.  Would anyone care to put in an order?

Frankly I think I’ve ranted, vented and held forth over time on most items broiling in my brainpan. Yet when Dirk Kirby’s documentary “The Invisible War” aired on my local PBS station via Independent Lens last night it supplied some motivational electro-shock therapy which prompted my earlier attempt at a blog post regarding the rape epidemic in the U.S. Military. I’d been aware of this issue for several years, but had no idea of the current ongoing scope and depth of the issue until viewing Kirby’s film.  While I’m aware that the violent crime of rape is widespread, under-reported and under prosecuted in America, I’d had not any idea just how callous the entire U.S. Military’s attitude is towards the crime in its own ranks.  Is this a logical consequence of the innate nature of the military itself as a vehicle for training people for combat that requires the death and destruction of other humans? Perhaps it is.

If so, why would any parent who puts forth the effort to raise children to be decent, caring, intelligent adults ever encourage their children to enlist in any military force? Why would parents want to have their children destroyed by a system which does not value human life?

I am at a loss for any rational answers to those questions and the host of others I have in regard to the specific issue of rape in the military and the institution in general.  It appears that being an “officer and a gentleman” is nothing more than illusion created by smart uniformed propaganda images.

Rape outrages many people when news of it surfaces in the media. The rapes of women in India have garnered world-wide attention.  People are appalled by rapes of children. Rape is recognized as a war crime.  No one seems to condone rape.  Yet it is a widespread violent crime which knows no social, political, economic nor religious boundaries.

Does the U.S. Military view the victims of rape within its ranks as simple collateral damage that is an acceptable byproduct of their own culture of acceptable violence?

Is this just a military problem or is it a human nature problem? If it’s human nature working out its dark side then what does it say about US?

Considering the recent issues regarding the Violence Against Women Act I wonder if we live in a culture which somehow deviously nurtures the act of rape.

Such is the current state of my brainpan stew. This is more or less the gist of the content which inexplicably vanished from my earlier post when I hit the “Publish” earlier today.

Anyone have any answers?

 

Rape–in the US Military by the US Military of its Own Soldiers by its Own Soldiers–The Invisible War

PBS Independent Lens –The Invisible War–
http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/invisible-war/

Due to technical difficulties some content is currently MIA.

“Maze of Injustice” Legal News

Amnesty International, USA news:

We are thrilled to report that earlier this week Congress passed the Tribal Law and Order Act as an amendment to H.R. 725, a groundbreaking and long-overdue piece of legislation that tackles violent crime against Native American and Alaska Native women.

A huge thank you to the thousands of Amnesty supporters like you who took action to make this human rights victory possible.

Because of you, Native American and Alaska Native women will no longer be trapped in a mindboggling, jurisdictional maze that allows perpetrators to rape with impunity.

Every Native American and Alaska Native woman will be given the chance to:

  • get a police response,
  • have access to a rape kit,
  • have the opportunity to see her case prosecuted, and
  • see justice served for crimes committed against her.

Spurred by our hard-hitting 2007 report, Maze of Injustice, Amnesty’s millions-strong, global human rights movement has worked tirelessly to ensure this legislation became a reality.

People like you have set the stage for reversing the devastating rate of sexual violence that Native American and Alaska Native women have endured for much too long.

This is what we can accomplish when we work together.

I want to thank you again for all you do. This is a truly amazing victory for women’s human rights and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Thank you,
Rachel and the rest of the Stop Violence Against Women team.

And what did “Sarah” do to help the women of Alaska?

 

 
 
 
 

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