Sunday, April 17, 2011

Blog Follow Up: Myers and Enloe

All of the readings look at rape in a military system. Both of Myers’s articles look at the U.S. military and female soldiers, while Enloe looks at rape by military men to (mostly) random women. Myers’s articles were really interesting to me because I know so little on the subject. Looking at how women are treated in the military, I could not help to think that no matter what the Pentagon says, women are not equal to men yet. Women cannot go on the front lines. His articles showed that there are many issues for women in the military still, despite the changes that have been made by the military. I was shocked to read, “A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” (2). When I think of the risks that soldiers take for America when they go to war, I do not think of the risk of rape. The sexual assaults and harassments are underreported, yet they are reported enough to make rape a greater risk than being shot. In Myers article “Living…” something else caught my eye. One Sergeant said that he has never relieved a woman, but he has relieved a man. Is this because women feel like that they have to live up to something more? Later in article it is reported women feel like they don’t have to prove anything, but they are called bitches, sluts, and dykes? It is clear that women are not equal to men in the military.
Enloe focuses on the Bosnia mass rapes. The Bosnian war is one example of a mass rape, but rape is found in every war. The Rape of Nanking and in the Rwandan genocide are also examples of mass rapes in war. She focuses on how the rapist, Borislay, felt a need to prove his masculinity, and the way he proved it was through rape. I thought it was incredibly disgusting how Borislav was taught to rape women. He did not want to show that he even felt guilty. I wonder if he had just one other male in the group who outspokenly said that he did not want to rape anyone, what would have happened? This culture of rape in war is terrifying. It is hard to comprehend how rape came to be a way to show masculinity. It is scary to think of the terrible things that people can do to each other.


  1. I agree with what you said about how rape doesn't make a man masculinized, at least in my eyes it doesn't. I think the ideologies that these men buy into that allow them to rape women repeatedly are many-layered and difficult to understand from an outsider's perspective. I also think that these men don't actually understand them themselves.

    You seem to argue that the Pentagon claim that women are equal to men in the military but you disagree with that. I think that the Pentagon wants to treat women equally with men, but they recognize that they still have not accomplished that in real life. Clearly there are still inadequacies, even horrible problems like rape, that come along with the adjustment of incorporating women into military bases in war zones. I still think that more effort could be put into this issue and right now it is being swept under the rug because the military leaders feel that there are more important things to deal with. However, the issues that women face will continue to worsen as time goes by and nothing in done to solve the problem. I hope that women will eventually find a way to make a difference by standing up for themselves and changing the mindset currently in place.