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Women in the Military: Still Second Class, Still Victims

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: US military, military women, women's issues, rape )

- 3969 days ago -
Read this outrageous story about an Air Force airwoman being corut-martialed for HER OWN RAPE!

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RC deWinter (418)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 4:56 pm
If this doesn't make your blood BOIL, what will? I cannot BELIEVE this woman is facing a court-martial! SHAME ON HER SUPERIORS! SHAME ON THE COWARDS WHO RAPED HER!

RC deWinter (418)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 5:00 pm

Ramona Gehl (141)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 5:26 pm
This is totally outrageous and unbeliveable........blame the victim again and again! Is there a petition to sign and send to the US Airforce? I am not an American citizen but I will gladly sign it to support this young woman who has gone through so much, being raped by three fellow airmen and then being raped by the system!!!!!!

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 5:53 pm
Wow, Shame on the system and Shame on those animals that raped this young lady. Now she's still paying, how is that justice? I think its terrible and those men should have been court-martialed, not this lovely lady. I will pray for her, as she has been thru a lot. TY, Mary H. & Cate...duly noted. If there is a petition please let me know, I'll be glad to help out this young lady....bless her heart...It's just not fair.....a man's world, this instance....

Denise Lytle (503)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 5:54 pm
I don't know what to say, except "WTF?!" I am speechless & disgusted....

Marci Marcel S (326)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 6:02 pm

Past Member (0)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 6:23 pm
That is how the "boy's club" works at times. Even in today's society the military would rather not have women in their ranks and file. This is so damn sickening that now alot more women will NOT report their rapes especiall in the military because of the interegation from the upper ranks/superioor officiers do to women. Lord help us all if she is found guilty.

Linda H (199)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 6:40 pm
When I worked for the FBI If you got raped you got fired!!! There were to many things like that happing
you had to have skirt so long but not to long. Do not get on the elevator with Hoover etc.

Martin K (80)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 7:27 pm
Lisa, the trouble is the Lord, most these Airforce higher ups are religious fanatics, Evangelicals that corrupted the Air Force Academy. An out of control Whitehouse and military as well. We are the biggest terrorists the world has ever seen, we train our men to be killers and thats what we have.
Instead of reporting those three assholes, she should have shot them. Maybe she would get a fair trial then.

Carolyn T (234)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 7:50 pm
How in the name of all that is sacred and holy is this going to end? When? I am ready to start tearing my hair out!!! The perps and anyone else who persecutes and prosecutes this woman needs to be assigned to community service under a program that has Lorena Bobbitt at the helm!

Pat B (356)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 8:03 pm
this is absolutely horrible, and disgusting. i can see even after 30 some odd years of being out of the military myself, it hasn't changed a bit. i am appalled this STILL continues even today! the title says it all.

Pat B (356)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 8:03 pm
this is absolutely horrible, and disgusting. i can see even after 30 some odd years of being out of the military myself, it hasn't changed a bit. i am appalled this STILL continues even today! the title says it all.

Pat B (356)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 8:04 pm
oooops, sorry for the double!!!

Mary H (47)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 8:32 pm
I retired in '78 -- just can't believe this is still happening to the women in our military!
Nothing has changed in this many years!!!

Rob S (112)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 8:46 pm
Deplorable,unacceptable.Women join the military to fight for and support their country and get this in return?Plain bullcrap.What is the military coming to.Definitely not respect for their minions.

Wednesday August 8, 2007, 8:48 pm
Are we forgetting who is the "Commander in Chief" of the U.S.A.? None other than our president!!! Bush is the commander of the nation's military forces. What does HE have to say about this??? We are not second class and we should not allow the government to keep on treating us as such. Where do we go from here? If there's a petition going on, I would gladly sign it. Does anyone have any idea how to get "the message" to the White House? Bush is so concerned about being "self-righteous" and about other countries' "human rights". What about the violation of the "Human Rights" right in our own backyards?

Jennie B (14)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 9:06 pm
Miriam do you really think this President cares? Since when? What kind of Commander in Chief is this joker anyway? He never really served...certainly not on the front lines, never in Vietnam. He spent his time with his feet propped up on the desk reading flight magazines and drinking beer. And just because you don't hear about women in his life-well, why would he? He only likes men like Rove, Ashcroft, Gonzales and a man's world in which women are second class citizens - except for Rice who he does nothing to support other than to leave her dangling out in the press when things don't go well. This man is not your friend as a woman or member of the military. People keep expecting something from him except the same old behavior patterns he exhibits over and over, sociopathic and narcisistic. Wake up and realize you are in a police state in which what you want as a middle class woman is the least of the so called commander in chief's concerns. Noted

Bobbie W (113)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 9:18 pm
So unair-so infuriating! I just don't know what to say. This is like something out of the dark ages.-Oh, I forgot! These ARE the dark ages all over again! Noted1

Wednesday August 8, 2007, 9:19 pm
It is beyond me that that a woman or a man can be out have a good time and just when you think things are ok someone or someones think this ok (Grant you some people will lie or something to cause pain to other just because they they think why not ) It is not right to this to someone and be able to get away with it :)

Denice G (45)
Wednesday August 8, 2007, 11:29 pm
Same crap, different day. Will it never end/ That poor woman, she puts her life on the line for her country and this is the thanks she gets. The whole situation is discusting, especially the three men(cowards) who raped her. I'll bet their parents are proud of them. I think I am going to be sick.

Mara G (411)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 12:04 am
This one is for the books. Maybe with enough stink about it, it will be reviewed or dropped, but still yet the rapist's go free don't they. Sick!!

Susan F (116)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 5:14 am
Noted! I couldn't possibly say it any better than Martin K or Jennie B. I only hope karma visits all involved-
including Weasel Bush and Scheming Cheney. The more that I hear about this administration,
the more I realize they are making Bill Clinton look like a choir boy. YES, he had faults, but this administration
has taken bad behavior, lies, and disrespect of all voting American people to a new low. To the poor woman
who had to endure further humilation my heart goes out to you, and please believe somewhere down
the road these "SLIME" who did this to you-there will be retribution. They may not pay the way you want
them to but what they put out there will come back to them three-fold.

Yan K (75)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 5:51 am



Past Member (0)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 6:17 am
Growllllll !!! I am fuming with this one Cate. Thanks for the info...Great informative article....

Charles C (160)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 7:22 am
This is mind boggling.....but seems to be par for course the way things are today!!! The 3 sickos should be castrated and this woman should be cleared on any and all charges....still scratching my head trying to figure out how she was charged in the first place!!!!
And I agree with Dubya would give a damn!!!

Elle J (276)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 12:43 pm
Noted! I am also disgusted at such a miscarriage of justice. Since when has the victim become the "bad guy"? Oh right, GWB is in the white house and anything goes. I certainly hope that justice is done and these three men get the punishment they so richly deserve.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 3:17 pm
Blaming the victim is an old human practice; it goes back to Genesis at the minimum. I saw a lot of it in 30 years of police work, on and off the street.

It's pathetic and degrading no matter how you look at it; but hey, people love to do it. Fer' instance, what's happened to Paris, Britney and Lindsay may largely be their fault; but by God, it's not TOTALLY their fault.

In my opinion, Martin's to a large extent right, and I'd like to elaborate, if I may. . .

Consider that the "Christian Embassy" has all kinds of influence in the Pentagon alone (check out the news stories lately), and that Bush himself is basically an "born-again" evangelical (I lived with a born-again alcoholic myself for twenty years, so don't get me started). Consider that the Supreme Court is denying many challenges of First Amendment violation (which of course includes religious freedom).

They're merely following some of the teachings of "Saint" Paul, that's all. The poor girl's a victim of it. To explain: from the Gideon's International New Testament:

- Romans 13:1-2 -

"Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For their is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God; and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."

- I Corinthians 11:8-9 -

"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man."

- I Corinthians 14:34-35 -

"Let your women keep silence in their churches; for it is not permitted for them to speak; but THEY ARE COMMANDED to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak at church."

- I Corinthians 5:22-24 -

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so LET the wives BE to their own husbands in every thing."

- I Timothy 2:9-15 -

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamedfacedness and sobrety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array. But (which becometh women godliness) with good works. Let the women learn is silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being decieved was in the transgression. Notwithstanding, she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety."

- I Timothy 5:9-15 -

"But the younger widows refuse; for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; having damnation, because they have cast off the first faith. And withal they learn TO BE idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not. I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan."

. . .Whaddaloaddacrap. . .I'm not even gonna talk about his logical inconsistencies. . .here. . .yet. . .

Finally, I would recommend that everyone read the last two chapters of the Book of Judges. That's a longtime favorite of mine; it might wake you up.

Let's keep in mind that in I Corinthians 15:4-8 "saint" Paul lists everyone Jesus appeared to after the Resurrection. Strange thing, though: ain't a single woman mentioned. Not one.

Both Gospels agree that, at the mimimum, Mary Magdalene was there, other women appear, dependin' on the version you read. It was ALWAYS the women who stuck with Jesus: when his own disciples ran away from the Romans and Jews, the women stayed as close as possible. They were at the Cross and the burial. They were there after he'd come back; and the disciples made fun o' them. He's reported in each case to have revealed himself to women (specifically Mary Magdalene) first.

But Paul seems blissfully unaware of this. No matter; he knew nothing of Jesus, either. Anyone's cursed who doesn't believe HIS version.

Don't believe me? READ YOUR BIBLE.

Thinking like this is why churchmen were still debating whether women had souls 300 years ago. And I would definitely also suggest a reading of history of the status of women in this country. Things have changed, but not much.

(Oh, and one good reason I say TWO Gospels: The order should really be--in my opinion--Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. The first three are all the same story, and scholars agree they may have all been based on an individual scripture they call the "Q" document. When read in the order I've given, one sees that the basic story is elaborated on further and further with each retelling, with all kindsa extra goodies thrown in. And for that matter, John didn't even claim that his Gospel was an exact factual story).

This is the kinda bull that's force-fed into our children (and supposed adults) on a regular basis. A person's beliefs and actions are largely a function of religion, and what you are IS basically your religion.

The problem is that a pure message, such as that of Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha, takes shape in a culture that reorganizes it into a form that denounces its initial precepts. Everything about that pure message is degraded to the lowest common denominator, and the original message is often lost if no one looks at it. In each case women ended up being treated as crap.

In the same way species and environment change each other once the species appears, culture and religion alter each other when the religion appears. All you haveta do is look at the additions to Christianity for the past two millennia.

And insofar as behavior goes: I always hear lotsa talk and blather about Jesus and being nice to people, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty everything's Old Testament blood and thunder and vengeance.

("When words and action disagree, believe action." - Frank Herbert)

We still have slavery. Women are still be treated as soulless property. There definitely ARE other explanations for rape as well, and I wish I had one of my research papers here to refer to. Having to depend on public access is a pain. . .especially when home's across town. . .

I have known numerous women personally who were victimzed by husbands, boyfriends or others. And, to a much lesser degree, I have known men victimzed by women. And I have known children victimized by both.


I'm sorry, and I apologize to you all. As Cate knows by now, I get started on a rant and can't stop. All I'm trying to say is that Martin's very correct, since religion shapes our beliefs and attitudes, actions and reactions. This extends to politics, laws and every other facet of life, so that it's very difficult to separate the religious aspect of behavior.

But what we got ain't Christianity. Hasn't been since at least 323 AD. In this respect Nietschze was right: "The only true Christian died on the Cross."

Throughout the eighties and nineties I was aware of "Holy Blood & Thunder" type preachers who raped their own own children and grandchildren; their wives were every bit as submissive as Paul ordered them to be. Not just in Texas; news reports came across now and then of similar things around the country. Past few years we had ministers murdered by their wives, takin' the kids with 'em.

. . .wonder why. . ?

More than likely, one radical mouthpiece's wife finally couldn't hack it any more and took care of the matter, for her children's safety, maybe her own afterwards.

Therefore, given our military subsculture's degradation over the past seven years, and its bowing down to "higher authority"--including "spiritual" higher authority--it should be no surprise what happened to this young'un.

You will see a lot worse before anything gets better. At least, that's what I expect.

I want to be wrong, but I might not.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 6:20 pm

Elsa ED (231)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 6:58 pm
You know other women in the military have been raped if I remember correctly and they too also never got justice either. This is not the first and it certainly won't be the last.

Sharon D (91)
Thursday August 9, 2007, 8:11 pm

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday August 10, 2007, 9:05 am
Women should refuse to join the military, and should TELL THE RECRUITERS WHY.
The Army is having trouble meeting its recruiting goals. Parents and teachers and other adult leaders are not recommending kids join the military and make it their career.
GET RID OF THE PRESENT MIS-ADMINISTRATION; GET OUT OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND STOP MAKING WARS AND DESTROYING COUNTRIES FOR OIL; bring our Military back to DEFENDING our country and not ATTACKING others; and REFORM the Military: COMPLETE EQUALITY FOR WOMEN AND GAYS. {One definitely impacts the other!} A very tall order, there. But, it HAS to be done, to SAVE OUR COUNTRY FROM GOING DOWN THE TOILET. Which is what is happening now.

Past Member (0)
Friday August 10, 2007, 9:23 am
That is how the justice system is. Don't be surprise. For any crime when committed, the justice system freed criminals. Victims have to suffer.

Eduardo L (101)
Friday August 10, 2007, 11:56 am
Okami, thanks for sharing your wisdom! If it is so unfavorable to women, perhaps let men serve the country. The system will need to be improvedif they really need women to serve.

Lisa Germain (60)
Friday August 10, 2007, 12:29 pm
im with you all women should not join the miltery. because its to dagers for women to be thier.
and shoud be home with their love ones

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday August 10, 2007, 2:51 pm
You can WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON on Ms. Hernandez' behalf.

Air Force Charges Victim in Her Own Rape
This news item made my stomach turn: Cassandra Hernandez, a female Air Force airman was raped, reported her attack and then subsequently became a court-martial defendant, herself.

The story goes down like this: Hernandez was at a party, where she was drinking. She says that three male airman raped her. She went to the hospital and filed a report accusing her attackers. Due to stress and harsh interrogation tactics by the Air Force, she eventually refused to testify against the airmen.

The Air Force then charged her with underage drinking (of which she admits to being guilty, but that's hardly the point, now is it?) and, along with her three attackers, "indecent acts." I had a hell of a lot of trouble finding an official definition for "indecent acts," and the best one I came up with is a "form of immorality relating to sexual impurity which is not only grossly vulgar, obscene, and repugnant to common propriety, but tends to excite lust and deprave the morals with respect to sexual relations." Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic translation seems to be "a sexual act, particularly one that is not generally accepted in society, such as sex with multiple partners."

So. The woman was raped. By three men. She reported her rape. She was harassed by her superiors, to the point where she became too afraid to testify. The Air Force took this as meaning that the sex was therefore consensual (which isn't what it means at all), and charged her in the case of her own rape. If she loses her case, she could be publicly registered as a sex offender.

Sounds like it couldn't get any worse, right? But it does. How? The three alleged attackers were offered sexual assault immunity to testify against Hernandez on the indecent acts charge. Having at least half a brain cell among them, they accepted.

Hernandez is writing to her congresspeople and her Governor, Rick Perry, in a desperate plea to end this madness. Once you finish throwing up, crying, breaking things, etc., I strongly suggest that you write, too.

IMPORTANT CORRECTION: Apparently, the correct action to take is to write directly to YOUR congresspersons. You can find the information to write to your Representative here, and the information to write to your Senators here. It is a good idea to include one of the links to articles about the case, so that they know specifically what you are referring to. [From feministing, a women's site]

This has been re-posted in !Hands Off!, a Care2 group dealing with RAPE IN THE MILITARY; AND BY MILITARY RECRUITERS. Please check out the Care2 group if you are interested in this subject further. BMT


Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Friday August 10, 2007, 3:27 pm
By "Sgt.Hogg", from the discussion at that site.
{Suzanne} Swift was command raped in Iraq. Reported it. Went through the chain of command and was eventually going to be REDEPLOYED to Iraq with the very same people who threatened her with missions designed to make her think she would surely die or be raped again in them. Later when she went AWOL she herself was punished, spent time in the brig and demoted. She now is serving the rest of her contract out.
What kind of message do you think this sends to women who want to even report their rape. It makes it look like its easier to just shut up and drive on, meaning, if you DON'T say anything you are better off.

With Both Johnson and Priest it looks as though in one was raped and killed and one reported the rape and either was killed or killed herself. This once again is taking place in Iraq where your options run even lower for a hope of a listening ear.

The point is that the system as a whole encourages women not to speak out and when they have the courage to do so it often works very hard to push them back to being quiet or you get what Swift did (if you are lucky) or worse you could get what Johnson did.


Kari D (192)
Friday August 10, 2007, 3:30 pm
Noted UFFDA!!!!!!

Wolfweeps Pommawolf (251)
Friday August 10, 2007, 9:32 pm
What wonderful vision of what our so wonderful military justice. All of the taxpayers money supporting abuse against our own female military population. This is so wrong, illegal and vicious. What a just lovely representation of military justice. No reform or true justice for the real victim.
You know what. What the heck would the military do if all the female military personel were to just say enough, and just stand down. Join force with one another with the help of the public and bring it to an end. If the men in the old world concept of military want the women to be a part of the military...treat them like people. Personally I see this as a military attack against its soldiers. And the military knows they have all the power. This has gone on for too long. As American women, we all should just say enough and stop allowing our taxpyers money go to support this man made machine of abuse against its own. This is so wrong..wrong, wrong.

Sandra Williams (50)
Saturday August 11, 2007, 9:22 pm
Noted, unbelievable!

Merry L (74)
Sunday August 12, 2007, 8:50 am
Noted and NOT SURPRISED, but feel like vomiting.

Mary Kay Thompson (23)
Sunday August 12, 2007, 8:27 pm
I don't even know where to begin .... suffice it to say, like everyone else here - I'm appalled, disgusted and absolutely furious!!! We need to help this poor girl.

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