A Critique of the Private War

April 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

Although I was absolutely horrified with the article “The Private War of Women Soldiers” by Helen Benedict, I was also pretty critical. I definitely do not doubt the hardships and pain that women face in the military. There are plenty of proven facts that women are harassed in horrible ways. When reading this specific article, I was painted a picture that every single man in the army is going to rape or harass women. I know this to be FALSE. The article offers one short paragraph that suggests that there is a small group of men do not hurt every woman they see; otherwise all men are evil.

I understand that the author was trying to make a point, which I respect. I also understand that there are drastically high numbers of women who are in fact harassed. I just do not like how this article makes all military men out to be pigs and heartless. There are great men in the military. I think the generalization of this article goes way too far. Personally, my brother in law is a former Marine, and he is an incredible brother to me and husband to my sister. Like many soldiers, he suffers from post-war symptoms. I do know for a fact that he is a gentleman. The marines didn’t transform him into a disrespectful woman-harasser, but a man who cares deeply for people. The article implies otherwise.

There are also incredible military women who have not been harassed or assaulted. I wish the article would have offered stories of women that did have good experiences. Benedict makes it seem like it is inevitable to be raped by a fellow soldier if they join the military. I do not think this is a fair assumption.

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