Monday, November 29, 2010

Response 11/29

The New York Times articles by Steven Lee Myers I felt were really enlightening. We often forget that just like in America, there is a chance for abuse, pregnancy and even marriage. Firstly, in “A Peril in War Zones”, the sexual abuse that goes on between soldiers is discussed. I find it interesting and even sad that the author describes that there are ‘conditions for abuse’ that exist in combat. There should not be any excuse for abuse, regardless of “remote locations, tension and even boredom”. When women and men serve side by side, these issues, while I understand are newer than ever, there should be a code of conduct that is enforced and the punishments imposed and taken seriously. It is disappointing to learn that there is an extremely low rate of rape and abuse cases reported, because supposedly “acceptance and respect for women in uniform is now more common”. As the other article “Living and Fighting Alongside Men, and Fitting In” states, women in uniform have had a “transformative” effect on the army. There are condoms, birth control and gynecological services available to women soldiers, and it is clear in many other ways, such as separate living quarters and bathrooms, that army bases have been “reshaped”. It is encouraging that people feel that both the contributions of women and men have been needed and that the military has begun to accommodate women’s needs, however many females are advised to travel in pairs, and are often the aim of slights and derogatory remarks. Furthermore, I think it is sad that women have found acceptance “not by emphasizing their sex but rather by displaying their toughness, their willingness to adjust to conditions that are les than ideal” rather than by embracing the fact that they are inherently different but that’s what makes it even better to have women and men working alongside each other for a common goal.



  1. I agree that there should be a code of conduct enforced. Why are these mean allowed to get away with something that is considered a crime in the U.S.? Just because they are in another country does not mean that the rules from home don't apply anymore. But how can you punish a soldier when they are fighting for our country? Do you send him/her home? It can be a sticky topic since we all want to think of our soldiers as being heroes.

  2. I agree with what what Brittany mentions about how we often forget that there is risk of sexual assault, rape, pregnancy and even marriage within our troops overseas. As Drew mentioned in class today as well, we often think of a lot of things as out of sight out of mind. We do not want to be the ones fighting the wars; therefore the atrocities that take place overseas can easily be written off as simply a side effect of war and something that is inevitable among our troops. Although the government clearly tries to keep these stories out of the media, I think the only way we can really make a difference for women serving overseas is by getting people to really hear about and know what is really going on.