Picking The Wrong Side

***There is a petition at the end of this calling for the sacking of Liz Trotter from Fox News. If you don’t want to read my blog first, please at least skip to the bottom and sign this very important document.***

I once had an interesting conversation with a battalion commander who had just recently returned from his deployment in Iraq. At the crux of our discussion was our distinctly different approaches to peace and security, but one story he told me stood out in particular. He talked at length about the rights of his female soldiers and how, in his progressively minded manner, had taken them all aside and told them his thoughts on rape.

He’d said that rape was clearly wrong, that he’d do whatever he could to protect them, but that they needed to do whatever they could to keep themselves out of situations where he couldn’t protect them. I asked him what he meant, and he skirted the subject. Instead, he said that women in his forces had to watch their backs. They had to be careful when going to the bathroom late at night and when hanging out with “the boys”. Dates and fraternizing were strictly off-limits, all in the name of protecting them from sexual assault.

Then I asked him what he’d told the males in his battalion. He told me they all knew what would happen to them if he’d ever found out that they’d touched a woman against her will.

I don’t know how often he never found out.

There is a bizarre assault on women occurring in 21st century America. Women are charged by nature with making sure that life carries on, yet so many men want to tell them when and how to do it. Women generally do not naturally possess the musculature of their male counterparts, nor the hormonal instincts of our distant, animal pasts. Yet we are forced by some to act against our wills for the sake of their ability to control – and hate – something.

When did it become so hard to empathize? Have people in our society never felt weakened by something, or hurt, physically or emotionally? Have they never felt frustrated by decisions of another man or woman that have directly impacted their lives?

It is not the desire of the majority of humans to want to hurt one another the way some people choose to hurt each other. This is not optimism. This is truth. Look at yourself to know it. How much do you desire to cut someone? Sting them with words? Shoot them and kill them? If you are a man, how much do you desire to make the blood flow into your penis and ram it into the body of someone who doesn’t want it in them? To feel the tearing of their skin? To see the blood of the wound you create? To hear the screams of their pain and their desire for nothing else in this world than to make you stop?

How many of you want this?

How many of you want this for your sons and daughters? For yourselves? For people you have never and will never meet?

I have never been raped, but I fear it. Maybe some of you feel I should be raped. I wish I could understand what drives that hatred in you, or why you are some of those who haven’t managed to achieve the level of evolution that has brought the rest of us to the realization that rape is beneath us.

The men and women who attach blame to victims and potential victims instead of their violators, deserve no less than the punishment of the perpetrators. Our society is changing. Not quickly enough to prevent these people from being given a soap box from which to espouse their idiotic diatribes, but it is changing. And it is changing because of the majority. Those of us who know better than to listen. Those of us who focus on the problems at hand and work only to solve them, regardless of the walls people put in front of us. We are the ones who will push for the rights of others, not because they are members of our families, or because they are friends we’ve known for years, but because they are humans who need us, whether or not they agree with our causes.

People like Liz Trotta, Rick Santorum and their supporters and their fans are wrong. We know that. But should Trotta find herself at the mercy of someone despicable enough to sexually assault her, or should Santorum’s wife or children suffer a similar fate, we will make them thankful that there were people like us in this world who stood up for their rights, who put the blame where it belonged, even when they did not do the same for us.

I leave you with a petition created by Sarah Albertson of Bozeman, Montana. She is calling for the soapbox to be pulled out from underneath Liz Trotter so that her message will not permeate, and so that others will know we stand against those who would blame rape victims for the crimes perpetrated against them.

Make your voice heard. Tell them you are part of the majority:

Change.org Petition – FOX News: Fire Liz Trotta for Blaming Military Rape Survivors!

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