Still a "Boys Club"
So as you can tell my my new profile update a LOT has changed since my last blog post. Well really, my insides have not changed, but I found a different voice, a strong voice and came out and started to speak out about my experiences in the military. This "enlightenment" our "outlet", as I think of it has become one of the things I draw my greatest strength from, but suffer my deepest sadness from sharing.
I blog here under a different name because originally I was scared of the military finding out that I was giving them any negative press. BUT.....Fuck them anyway. Not the people though, just the system in which they are just cogs in the greater machine of oppression, greed, and capitol. That said... I can get on with the boys club reference.
I am now an organizer and activist with the organization Iraq Veterans Against the War. We have around 1800 members from across the U.S and even members deployed and serving in countries overseas.
I love this organization. I continually pour my heart and soul into it again and again in hope that the general public will some how wake up and realize that....the war is bad ummmkkky? ( South Park Reference, corny I know.) However we have a big problem...the percentage of women in this organization is about the same in the different branches of the military, 11-14% only women.
Most of our brothers do their very best to learn the past wrongs introduced to them by one of the most misogynist organizations there is. However the re-learning process is harder because military men are taught that women are weak, and therefore can be treated as second class. Job placements and pseudo-science tell them that as warriors we are inferior and can be dismissed. The untrue notions that our periods or body mass or emotional weakness are re-inforced by the blocking of women in so called "combat roles" IE; Special Forces, Rangers, SEALS, Para-rescue, Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery. You name it men are given the excuse, with "science" to back it up. Although this woman can personally attest to some physically weak, cowardly and even deeply emotionally disturbed men. A crackpot man weighing 140 pounds straight out of jail for a misdemeanor can qualify for these positions. Bullshit.
Well I am now of the personal opinion I don't want to see ANYONE in these positions. lol
Well although our brothers in IVAW are generally more informed, and sensitive than most, we still have this deep underlying institutional sexism that runs rampant. They don't mean to, but it's always the elephant in the room. My first chapter president tried to continually get me to be " the other woman" after we had spent one night of passion with my NOT knowing of his relationship. I have been hit on by my mates, ignored, and even once told my a dude to hold one of our banners in the street and be "the honeypot for IVAW." I did not. I would like to say these are isolated incidents but they unfortunately are not. We are starting luckily to remedy this.
We have a more forward thinking Board of Directors and Exec. Director who are socially more conscious as well as effective. Also we are seeing more mentorship of women, by women, and collaboration inside the system. Like what I learned from the book "Cunt" other women are not my enemies, they are my friends.We are starting to grow stronger and have a voice and although we are few and they are many we are banding together now more than ever to educate our brothers and bring forward OUR problems that have been left unspoken.
For part of VFP's (Veterans for Peace) national MILITARY RAPE AWARENESS WEEK, we hope to also be launching a campaign to insist that all military posts me equipped with Rape Crisis Centers (as well as a designated "Safe Place" for homosexuals.) In accordance with IVAW's new resolution that passed officially taking a statement against the homophobic "Dont ask, Don't Tell" Policy.
Anyway now I'm horrifically tired and I hoped this all ended up making sense in the end