Sunday, January 02, 2005

The More Things Change,

The More They Stay the Same.

Old adages aren't old adages for no good reason, ya know. I have to hope the one above goes without much saying. I have to hope, but still...

For the last 20 years I've been ongoingly alarmed by everything from a simple lack of vigilance on up to a callous indifference for what used to be called "women's issues", or "feminist issues". I remain appalled when I hear some woman use the sentence opening: "I'm not a feminist, but..." .

I came of age in a time when feminist thinking included that perhaps the first and ground-level "ism" on the Happy Planet was "sexism". Of course in more recent years I've come to know, as we've discussed in Richard's Last (Wo)man Standing thread downblog, that the polarizing and false dichotomizing of human beings and human concepts is the real culprit. The OTHER (not male and/or dominant) is the enemy of the dominant culture -- the status quo. That is in large part why sexism and racism look alike. Why a war on a country looks like what a battered woman endures at the hands of her husband. All are based on the same false polarities...

None of this is as a result of a "little problem" in human thinking and culture. It is THE problem with life on the happy Planet Patriarchy. What, at one time meant small important changes to women in the late 1960s and early 70s, has been washed into the background by the tsunami power of the dominant group's backlash against change of the status quo. Don't forget that one of the words used to describe the invasion and decimation of a country by conquerors is the same word used to describe the invasion and decimation of women -- rape.

All that preface done read this, the reason for the introductory adage in the first place: 'I reported the rape within 30 minutes - then watched my career implode', from a woman officer in the US Army.

"The worst thing for Captain Jennifer Machmer was knowing that the US army had actually promoted her rapist. Four years in the military, from proud passing out at West Point to humiliating discharge, had provided an education into the Pentagon's thinking on sexual assault in the ranks, but Machmer never expected an accused rapist to be rewarded.

Her story, narrated to a hushed Congressional committee chamber in April this year, was a rare first-person account of the dangers faced by women soldiers during the Iraq war from their fellow troops. With thousands of women on the front line of America's war on terror, the Pentagon has been forced to acknowledge that female soldiers are at risk from their comrades in arms, and that, in the US military, rapists often go unpunished."

That women ever succumbed to the silly notion that joining the military somehow made them "equal" with men remains a mystery to me. I understand the brilliant sales job however... the dominant group has always invited the outgroup INTO the inner sanctum in order to subvert momentum. That women still refuse to see that a "Pentagon"-like war and violence organization will never prevent their rape by members of their own is mind-boggling. Staggering.

I hope the younger women of the happy Planet Patriarchy continue to remember that rape is not about "sex". Never. Rape of women by men, rape of nations, the environment, all of it is always about power... those who have it and those who don't.