Suing to Serve: Military Women Fight Combat Exclusion Policy

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While serving in Afghanistan, Marine First Lieutenant Zoe Bedell and her Female Entanglement Team of 46 women worked within an insurgent-heavy area to improve the quality of education and health care for Afghan women and children while also gathering intelligence. In Iraq, Army Staff Sgt. Jennifer Hunt (who works with the Army’s Sexual Assault Prevention […]

Report Confirms: Sexual Abuse Rampant at Lackland Air Force Base

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The Air Force released last Wednesday its report on recent incidents of sexual abuse at the Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, where members of the Air Force undergo basic military training. According to the report, 25 military training instructors (MTIs) have been or are currently under investigation. So far, the scandal has […]

Can Paula Broadwell Reclaim Her Story?

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Feminists have good reason to cringe when reading the news about General David Petraeus’ resignation as head of the CIA. It should be a simple enough story: He made an error he regrets. Apparently he deceived his wife and some of his colleagues and he’s resigning from his position. To his credit, he doesn’t seem […]

War on Women Soldiers?

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In late May, feminists celebrated the addition of the Shaheen Amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which would expand the Department of Defense’s abortion coverage policy for its soldiers. Currently, abortions are covered only if the woman’s life is endangered. Even if a woman in the military needs an abortion due to rape, […]

Memorial Day Amnesia? Rachel Maddow Has the Cure

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Memorial Day build-up is in full swing across the nation, as we prepare for barbequing, beach-going or simply sleeping in. Alas, few of these preparations involve remembering we are a nation perpetually at war. As with many other national holidays (Mother’s Day being a prime example), the intent of the day has been lost to […]

New Lawsuit Filed Against Military Rape

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Back in December of last year, a federal judge in Virginia dismissed a landmark case filed by Washington, D.C. attorney Susan Burke in which 28 plaintiffs had alleged that they were sexually assaulted while in the military. But that hasn’t stopped Burke, nor the brave military women who are speaking out, in her quest for […]

Still Fighting for Women in Combat

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The Department of Defense released a long-awaited report yesterday updating its controversial 1994 ban on women in combat. The DoD recommends that women be allowed to serve closer to the front lines in units that “co-locate” with ground combat forces. However, it still advises that women be barred from ground combat. Unless Congress raises objections, […]

The Invisible War of Military Women

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On Sunday I attended the Sundance premiere of The Invisible War, Kirby Dick’s heartbreaking documentary about sexual assault in the military. The 90-minute documentary opens with vintage military recruitment ads aimed at women from as early as the 1940s. They’re followed by clips of women military members talking about what drew them to a career in […]

If You Were Raped in the Military, Would You Turn to a Fundamentalist Chaplain for Help?

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The cliché tells us that war is hell, but for female enlistees, the war on the domestic front—within their units—trumps that of the battlefield. In fact, a recent Veteran’s Administration survey revealed statistics that should have turned the military on its warmongering head: 30 percent of female vets told the interviewers that they had been […]

New Act Could Fix the Military’s Fatally Flawed Handling of Sexual Assault

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One of the most pernicious aspects of rape in the military is the prevailing culture of blaming the victim. Victims are treated as whiners, liars, seducers, and traitors–as everything a soldier should never be. They are mocked, ostracized and even punished for trying to seek justice. As a result, fewer than 20 percent of military […]