Rape of U.S. women soldiers in the Iraq War

Several articles have come out recently about the prevalence of male on female rape that is occurring among troop units fighting in Iraq. The first is an article that I found online at Salon.com, and the second was the cover story of the New York Times Magazine two weeks ago. These articles bring up many questions about a woman’s place in the army, and how female U.S. soldiers have been dealing with their experiences in Iraq. I would like to dedicate my next few blog posts to these articles, and in the following posts I will try to reformulate and answer these questions.

Should we consider the possibility of all female platoons as a way to eradicate or at least limit rape?
Although many American politicians still disagree with the idea that women should be allowed to serve in positions where they would encounter full-on enemy combat, the Salon article made it abundantly clear that women stationed in Iraq are already facing these situations, although they are not specifically serving in infantry front line positions. Can we then come fully to realizing the prospect that women should and must be serving in all areas of combat, that they are both capable of doing this, and that they are equally as skilled as men to get the job done? Perhaps these kinds of troops have the potential to be more productive and coherent than an all male, or mixed gender troop. In a January 19th article on FoxNews.com, I learned that the first all-female peacekeeping unit, all Indian women, from the UN will be deployed in Liberia.

This article expresses the same sentiments that the U.S. soldier articulates in the Globe piece, that female soldiers seem more approachable to other women and children, and that they may ultimately be more effective than an all male or mixed gendered unit. The fact that women and children see female soldiers as less threatening is interesting because even though these women fight along side men, their fellow women do not see them predatory, sexually or otherwise.

5 Comments

Filed under female soldiers, Iraq War, New York Times, rape, U.S. Military, women in the military

5 responses to “Rape of U.S. women soldiers in the Iraq War

  1. Pingback: When will this barbarism end? - Page 9 - The Moscow Expat Forums

  2. Pingback: When will this barbarism end? - Page 10 - The Moscow Expat Forums

  3. Ryan

    As an a vet ( former infantrymen) I would just like to say that women do not face the same dangers that many men face on a daily basis in a combat zone. That being said I do think that some women could very well do my job just as well, a few maybe better but not the majority. It is even in regulation that women cannot be in the field (without access to certain facilities i.e.; showers) for more than 7 days. Hell some patrol missions last longer than that. Iraqi women and children probably see women as less threatening because they rarely see them at all, compared to the average male G.I they see on a daily basis and the one in all the combat situations.

    I also think that it is funny that most people who have opinions like this have never even served in the military and only know whats on a piece of paper and what statistics say. I have taken statistics classes, you can make them say whatever you want.

    I am not saying this is you, just wanted to share my view on things.

  4. Ryan

    As a vet ( former infantrymen) I would just like to say that women do not face the same dangers that many men face on a daily basis in a combat zone. That being said I do think that some women could very well do my job just as well, a few maybe better but not the majority. It is even in regulation that women cannot be in the field (without access to certain facilities i.e.; showers) for more than 7 days. Hell some patrol missions last longer than that. Iraqi women and children probably see women as less threatening because they rarely see them at all, compared to the average male G.I they see on a daily basis and the one in all the combat situations.

    I also think that it is funny that most people who have opinions like this have never even served in the military and only know whats on a piece of paper and what statistics say. I have taken statistics classes, you can make them say whatever you want.

    I am not saying this is you, just wanted to share my view on things.

  5. barleysinger

    Ryan. The idea that women need shower facilities for some mysterious hygiene reason is stupid and ignorant beyond belief. There are many parts of the world were water is far too valuable for any person to bathe in the manner that people from the USA are used to and they live their entire lives – into the 80s easily, without one bath.

    I have lived in situations with more than one female human, and of several age ranges, where no person, male or female, had any access to bathing facilities for several years at a time.

    Not one person suffered any ill health effects.

    Women are not a strange different species.that require different conditions. Newt Ginrich made an idiot of hm self when he made his ‘men and women are different’ and ‘men are little piddies who hunt giraffes’ comments.

    Every forward hospital unit in every war the US has been in, which also had female staff, had situations due to attacks, supplies, etc…where no person there bathed for well over a month at a time – both in extremely high heat, or extremely low heat.

    Bathing is important when you can, but if you are in a difficult situation, you can survive without it – male or female.

    You also utterly failed to address the problem of men who are horrible people,. and do not comprehend that rape is a crime as bad as murder.

    Any soldier who rapes a fellow soldier deserves summary execution and a posthumous dishonorable discharge with no access to military burial or transport of their remains back home.

    Take them to the rubbish heap or the latrine ditch and pitch them in like the rubbish/crap that they are… and let them rot like the rubbish they are. Do that a few times and the problem will stop.

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