Still Fighting for Women in Combat


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

invisible war

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?


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


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 […]

This Veterans Day, Honor the Sexually Assaulted Service Members Who Have Been Silenced


Every year, thousands of service men and women are sexually assaulted, and the vast majority does not report it. Victims fear reprisals and retaliation and suspect that their confidentiality will be violated. This Veterans Day, it is important to shed light on these individuals silenced for fear not of the enemy but of their fellow […]

Military Men Speak Out About the End of DADT

Marine Times

As of September 20, if you’re in the U.S. military and an officer asks if you’re lesbian or gay, you can say, “Yep, I am.” And the next day, you’ll still be an honorable member of the service. Hell, you can say, “I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it!” (But I wouldn’t recommend it.) […]

Veterans Affairs Office Decides To Trust Women About PTSD


A woman in the military is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. One in 5 women who seek veterans’ health care say they experienced sexual trauma during their service. We’ve known these shocking statistics for years now. Less discussed is the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) afflicting many […]

Honoring Real Heroes on Memorial Day

Pat Tillman

If you want to honor soldiers and their families this Memorial Day, watch The Tillman Story. I caught it the other night “on demand” from my cable TV system. It’s mesmerizing, horrifying and, in some ways, inspiring. You probably already know the outlines of the much-reported story: Professional football player Pat Tillman decided to chuck the […]

Newsflash: Military Sex Assault Bill To Be Reintroduced

Women's History Month

Sexual assault in the military has reached near epidemic proportions, as Rep. Niki Tsonga (D-MA) reported at a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee in February: In 2010, there were 3,230 reported sexual assaults in the military. But by the Pentagon’s own estimate, as few as 10 percent of sexual assaults are reported. The […]

Click! Rape Should Not Be a Requirement to Serve


I grew up oblivious to gender inequality. As a child of the ’80s/’90s I never felt gender prevented me from doing what I wanted to do. I grew up playing sports, doing things that may have been traditionally “for boys,” and being told that any career option was open to me.  I eventually chose to […]