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Rape In The Military: A Male Dominated System That Fosters Sexual Terrorism And Serves As The Extension Of Our Society Views

1379 words - 6 pages

Horrified, devastated, infuriated, astonished, disgusted, and sadden; some of the emotions that flowed through me as I watched and listened to the survivor recount their stories and events that occurred when they where sexually assaulted or raped. The Invisible War is a powerful documentary, written and directed by Kirby Dick,that sheds light on the subject of gendered violence, sexual assault, sexual terrorism, and rape in the military. Through interviews from different ranking veterans, who served in multiple branches of the United Sates army, and statistics gathered from the Department of Defense, this documentary paints a grotesque picture of what awaits an individual, central focus on ...view middle of the document...

The military is a male dominated institution and like western culture (dominated by men) men use gender harassment, sabotage, gossip, rumors, and indirect threats, to resist the intrusion of women into their gendered space” (Jeffreys). Therefore, when women join the military they face what Sheila Jeffreys defines as Double Jeopardy. The danger of being killed or wounded by the enemy as well as sexual violence from their own side. The sexual terrorism one face in the military, most of the time is the same type that individuals face in society. For example, “the insensitivity among impartial justice system and reprisal against survivors instead of the victim” (Alyn Pearson) are very common in a culture that teach men that women have less value then men; therefore, women should be treated like property and objects for their pleasures. These characteristics can be found in the different types of sexual terrorism, but for the purpose of this paper and article I will be primarily focusing on what institutes rape, and just rape in general. Rape is about power, domination, humiliation, and control. In western society rape is considered a sexual act, therefore evidence of force and resistance is often necessary, in order to convict a rapist. When females do not have any laceration, consent is assumed because they did not resist rape as much as possible; however, males, on the other hand, are humiliated if they have been raped because their masculinity has been expunged form their persona. In the military, as Bunch state, this problem is magnified due to its males-dominated culture. In the accounts from the documentary as well as the narratives in the articles the characteristic mentioned before become apparent in the military's handing of sexual assault cases. Mercier interview with a Canadian veteran demonstrates how the military turns a blind eye “to victims of sexual assault.... rejecting the individuals the very moment they start heading down the spiral trauma” (Mercier). These Individuals, mainly women, who decide to report the sexual assault to their superiors, often men, are not taken seriously. Rather then receiving reassurance, they are met with excuses for the behavior of their presumed aggressor: he was drunk, you did not resist hard enough, you were asking for it because of the “military regulated” skirt you were wearing, you have no witnesses to back up your allegations. While these excuses are given the most astonishing and disturbing one is when women are told that rape is a risk inherent in the military service. With these obstacles in place it is no wonder why rape is the most unreported crime. Survivors, who suffer sexual terrorism at the hands of their fellow soldiers, are afraid of not being taken seriously as well as the repercussion failing a complaint will bring upon them.
When individuals enter a military academy the first thing they are taught is to “bond with recruits, weather male or female, like bricks in a wall and to...

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