You know, I write the books I do hoping to empower women not to take bull from jerks, and while I like to think there’s a chance at least one more woman could find courage, when our lawmakers are against us, I don’t know what to do. Our politicians who should be protecting our rights are the ones standing by and enabling the violation of our bodies. So we need to teach our daughters to start carrying knives and mace to fight off those who are empowered by the government to assault them?

The latest anti-woman news out of the US, on the heels of a Massachusetts high court deciding yesterday that sneaking up-skirt pictures is legal (thankfully rushed to the legislature, which immediately overturned the ruling and banned up-skirting, and is set for the governor to sign),  that women in the military who are raped are often afraid to speak up because of retaliation will continue to be deprived of justice. There’s a growing problem of women in the military having to give sexual favors in exchange for documents and other things necessary to do their jobs, on top of outright forceful rape.

Military commanders remain in charge of deciding which cases are prosecuted at all, and how. What happens if the rapist is a good buddy of a commander? What happens then the commanders are raping women? Today’s vote was on a bill that would have removed these decisions outside the chain of command to the Judge Advocate General, but instead it was struck down. This is like a crooked cop deciding which cases to have taken to trials instead of prosecutors and judges having any say.

So our women soldiers still can’t get justice because they, like us civilian women, have rights that are subpar to the rights of men.

For an idea of just how accepted military rape is, try not to have a heart attack over this quote from Virginia State Sen. Richard “Dick” Black when he defended rape as a natural and predictable part of human nature:

“Think of yourself at 25. Wouldn’t you love to have a group of 19-year-old girls under your control, day in, day out?”

Thank you, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for your attempts at standing up for our military women who already put their lives on the line, and whose biggest threat is from our own government.  Thank you for sponsoring this bill, and for fighting so hard for it.  This photo, taken following defeat, shows us how much this meant to you, and how disappointed you are that our senators let us down.  Those of us with any measure of decent sense are right there with you.


Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY) taking a pause during speaking at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington following the bill’s defeat. Photo:Charles Dharapak/AP