Monday, March 31, 2003

WOMEN IN COMBAT

War isn't pretty. It's especially not pretty when women are in the front line. It gets down right ugly when a woman is captured by the enemy and becomes a prisoner of war (POW). Plenty of people are against women in the military, especially when they are assigned jobs that place them at risk of becoming a POW.

I've heard a couple of arguments from guys as to why women should not be in combat. The second most common reason for men objecting to a woman in combat is menstruation. Oh, yeah. They don't think we can deal with our personal hygene, and many of them are terrified of tampons. What they don't realize is that there are progesterone shots out there that will suppress this natural phenomenon. Yep. A little stick a few times a year and no more period. Bye bye argument.

The number one most common objection from men I know is that they can't bear the thought of what might happen to a woman should she become a POW. For this, I love men. Adore them. Adore their protective nature. I especially adore the incredible man I've been seeing for this very reason. If there were more men like him in the world, women wouldn't need to take combatant roles. I'm getting off the track - ANYWAY, the problem men have with women POWs is that they could be raped.

Yes, rape is ugly. It's horrid, and terrible.

What men don't seem to understand is that - to a woman - rape is not the worst possible thing you could ever do to her.

Shocking? Here's the logic:

Rape is a hostile act. It's a violent act. It's impersonal. It's obviously an act of dominance and hatred. Women aren't dumb. We know this. Rape me, fine. Yeah, it'll fuck me up emotionally for a little while, but it's certainly not the worst thing you could do to me.

One of the most terrible things you could do to me as a woman is flirt with me, court me, make me fall in love with you, tell me you love me, get me all fantasizing about a little house, white picket fence, a 2-car garage and 2.5 kids, and then reveal to me that you're already married. That pain is far worse than any one episode - or even repeated episodes - of impersonal violence.

Woo me, marry me, have kids with me, make me think I'm your world, and then leave me cold and alone for a younger woman. Shit, I'd rather be raped than have to deal with that pain for the rest of my life.

You see? Rape is a man thing. There's nothing personal there. Women are emotional animals. Impersonal violence doesn't have near the impact on us that personal violence and deceit has. As a woman, I can eventually blow rape off as a sensless act of violence, but I'll never get over the feeling of being second best to a cheating husband's wife, or unsexy and frumpy after finding out my husband has taken a younger lover.

You want to rape me? Bring it on. I'll get over it. But, break my heart? I might never get over it.