Saturday, May 11, 2013

This is the most aggressive language I have EVER heard a President use concerning sexual assault in the military. And I like it!

Here is the source:

Valerie Jarrett, among President Obama’s closest advisers, and Tina Tchen, first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, called the meeting at the White House two days after the Pentagon reported a 35 percent rise in the number of military members victimized by sexual assault and related crimes over the past two years. 

During a news conference the same day, Obama said, “If we find out somebody’s engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged — period.”

You know as the father of a young woman, and a person who once taught self defense course for women, I cannot tell you how gratifying it is to see the President using such unequivocal language concerning sexual assault.

Sexual assault is not about sex, it is about power. And it is about using that power to demean, brutalize, and humiliate somebody into acquiescing to the demands of their assailant.

I for one hope that the President follows through on this and we start seeing some of these misogynistic jackasses standing in front of military courts and being forced to listen as their crimes are read out in front of their commanding officers and families before being court-martialed or dishonorably discharged.

However it should be noted that if stronger guidelines are implemented it will be most likely WITHOUT the support of the majority of Republicans who recently demonstrated their lack of support for victims by fighting against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.


  1. Anonymous1:01 PM

    You're so right about the GOP Congressional anti-VAWA crowd which is now increased by one Mark Sanford who voted against VAWA twice when he was in the House some years ago.

    Pres. Obama sounds very serious. I hope he listens to Sen. Gillibrand and not Sec. Hagel or the Joint Chiefs. The rape culture in the military seems to be endemic. A guest on one of the MSNBC shows spoke of meeting with a team of nurses returning from the Viet Nam war. All of them had been raped by members of our military. It doesn't seem to matter whether we have a draft or volunteer force; we've got a serious, disgusting, disgraceful problem.

  2. Anonymous1:08 PM

    The only way to tackle the problem of sexual assaults in the military is to attack the environment that allows it. The first reaction seems to be to protect the unit, the military branch, instead of protecting the victim and getting justice for them. Victims find themselves being blamed for the attack, brow beat into not pursuing charges, or brought up on charges themselves. In cases like that you cannot just punish the assailant but you have to prosecute anyone and everyone who gets in the way of real justice. If you think it is just men who are the problem, google LTG Susan Helms Dismissal. She is the second Air Force General in less than two months who overturned a court martial board sexual assault conviction. Under UCMJ, she can do that. And try and watch The Invisible War, a documentary detailing sexual assault in the military and the hell the victims go through after the assault. And unfortunately, the Military isn't alone in defending the institution over the victims, just ask the kids who were victims of Catholic priests.

    1. Anonymous6:10 PM

      And in Alaska, you have the perfect trifecta of the Church, the Military and the Oil Patch, three institutions where sexual assault, exploitation and rape is tolerated.

      There was the story this week of the Marine recruiter in Anchorage who received a court martial for sexually assaulting a woman.

      This week there's the story of the guy in the Valley, a Scoutmaster and Youth Leader no less, who just pled guilty to sexually molesting a 10 year old boy.

      The former Commander of the AKARNG Retention & Recruiting branch is an amateur pornographer too, Kodiak Entertainment Group, or KEG2000 was the entity that he used to pursue his business.

      To much authority rests with the Commander, that person is literally the judge, jury and executioner, more reform within the military is needed.

  3. Anonymous1:28 PM

    I HATE Republicans and all they stand for.

  4. Nan H (formerly Nan C)1:35 PM

    DAMN, I am proud this man is our President!

  5. hedgewytch1:41 PM

    It's good, tough, rhetoric, but will there be action behind those words? Example the so called "isolated" incident with the SS and prostitutes in central America. This corruption is a deep, deep infection in all the branches of the military and it does very high up in the feeding chain. I'll believe it when I see some 'em be court martialed.

  6. Balzafiar1:50 PM

    I had been wondering about this entire situation and got my answer on NPR yesterday. A very high percentage of the sexual assaults are M2M with the remainder being M2W, and there have been some very brutal assaults which required medical attention in those M2M cases as well.

    It's good that President Obama is taking this stand but unfortunately at the Commander level within the ranks it's too often the old "you must have done something to provoke it" bullshit.

    One study in 2011 showed that when it is a M2M sexual assault in the military, fully 86% of male victims will not report it.

    When I was in the military (early 60s) I never heard of such things happening, even when I was overseas in an isolated location, and I really think it was the era. Our military seems to have gotten a whole lot worse in the decades since then. Too many people are just a lot meaner now with little concern for their fellow humans. It is a sad situation.

  7. Anonymous1:56 PM

    I agree, Gryph. And please, why don't you help out a little more by dropping the misogynistic language and imagery you often use to denigrate women with whom you disagree. Attack their ideas with logic and fact, but leave the misogyny out of it.

    1. Anonymous3:37 PM

      When females like Sarah and Bristol use their sexuality in actions, in language and in pursuit of political or media influence and money, they have earned the attacks that they get. They are denigrating women by their very existence.

      I will denigrate the SHIT out of Sarah Palin and with glee...and I'm a WOMAN, so you can't lay that misogynistic attack on me.

      Sarah Palin has so much damage to perceptions of women in politics, in parenting. Sarah has supported in human trafficking and prostituting women, in partnership with her husband, Todd the Pimp..Sarah is NOT pro anything related to women outside of what's in it for Sarah.

      I come to this blog to enjoy the highly intelligent snark and humor that Gryphen uses to dilute the toxicity of the Palin clan, the Right Wing outrage machine and the GOP. He always has an optimistic and funny viewpoint about things that make me want to vomit when it comes to Sarah. So by all means, Gryphen, bring it ON! Denigrate that woman to hell.

      Now, since I know Gryphen's love of women, his respect for women, in how he speaks of his your mother and his daughter, how he goes to bat in his postings, for women's issues and women's rights, so I'm very comfortable with him hitting Sarah and her ilk with both barrels of misogynistic metaphors.

      Otherwise, I have found Gryphen to be very respectful of women in general.

    2. Anonymous3:57 PM

      Anon at 3:37 pm. I agree with you. Sarah Palin has done more to damage women than most men around. She is, at best, a caricature of women in politics and a disaster as a model parent. Gryphen is not misogynistic with regard to Sarah Palin; he's just being honest.

    3. Anonymous4:55 PM

      No, 3:37 and 3:57, you are wrong. Yes, Sarah and Bristol do use their sexuality as you say and anyone is totally justified in criticizing them sharply, but when Gryph himself does so not with rational, intelligent thought and language, he both plays into their hands and destroys any chance he might convince someone who does not already agree with him.

      3:37, it is sad that you as a woman also feel it necessary to use misogynistic language.

    4. Anonymous5:41 PM

      Please give an example of Gryphen using misogynistic language.

      I really want to know what you see as his anti-woman language, especially when discussing Sarah and Bristol.

    5. Anonymous9:09 AM

      Anti-Sarah language: check. Anti Bachmann language: check. Anti Foxx language: check. Anti-Ayotte language: cetera...

      But anti women? notsomch..

  8. Anonymous2:42 PM

    along with coming down hard on the perp's, their CO's ought'a minimally get busted in rank as well

  9. Anonymous3:39 PM

    O/T but here's some heartening news!

    Short-term GOP problem: turnout; long-term GOP problem: demographics (CHART)

    You've probably seen lots of post-election speculation in recent months pointing to the conclusion that it just gets worse from here on out for the Republicans: The country is getting less and less white, and older white voters get replaced by young new non-white voters, the Republican path to victory (at least at the presidential level) just gets narrower and narrower.

    It's not speculation anymore, though; on Wednesday, the Census Bureau released a thorough quantitative demonstration of how the electorate is changing. The data in the Current Population Survey (pdf) reveal rising black turnout and falling white turnout in 2012, but even if turnout rates shift to a more typical pattern without Barack Obama on the ballot in 2016, the constantly increasing non-white share of the population means that the GOP's door moves a little closer to slamming shut each year.

  10. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Yep, they're going there...what sort of insanity is this? What would Obama gain from this ridiculous theory? Damn, they are grabbing for straws.

    Erik Rush's big idea:

    'Given his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and legendary understanding of all things Islamic, it is possible that President Obama could even have arranged for the assault on the compound without the foreknowledge of his Cabinet.'

    You just knew they would go there. It was inevitable.

  11. Anonymous5:22 PM

    He’s Back! Ed Schultz Tears Apart Dick Cheney And GOP For Hillary-Fueled Benghazi Hysteria

  12. Already women are being bullied, intimidated and assaulted to prevent them from reporting sexual assault.

    I don't see this as doing anything except escalating that behavior. The good old boys network and the officers that don't believe women should be there in the first place ( so are "asking for it" and "deserve what they get") will simply close ranks even tighter to protect the careers of their good buddies. Because the consequences will be even more severe, the women reporting it not be believed. More than they are currently not believed.

    Instead of women being beaten and locked in shipping containers, we are going to see women being killed in "accidents" to prevent them from reporting or testifying.

    This won't change the culture. It's ingrained and will continue. But now it may be lethal to report you've been sexually assaulted. The bar to prove it may also be set so high as to be impossible.

  13. Anita Winecooler8:19 PM

    Yeah, that's what's called "leading from behind" in some circles. I'm glad he spoke out and clearly stated the repercussions. As much as I hate war, I still believe it should be available as a career choice for women, without the added burden of not being able to trust your own brothers and sisters to respect your personhood and personal boundaries.
    Supporting an environment of "boys will be boys" in the military has to stop.

    President Obama has shown his support for diversity and equal rights for all since he hit the ground running as President, it's something I respect and am so grateful for what he's done for all of us.

  14. I think the problem in the military is not simply a "boys will be boys" attitude. I think is is directly connected to the infiltration of Christian Dominionists into the military. The far right wing evangelicals are authoritarian and anti-women. A woman in the military and/or who is not automatically subservient to any man is an abhorrent idea to them. They also fight against stronger laws against rape. All of that misogyny plus the power of rank in the military is leading to their condoning rape, blocking abortions for wone who were raped, and protecting rapists. I am not going to say that Christian Dominionists are over-represented in the percentage of rapists, but then again, it would not surprise me terribly.


Don't feed the trolls!
It just goes directly to their thighs.