When I was discharged from the army, one of the many things I was relieved about was that I would never again, as the lone female in my unit, have to share transportation with the rest of the guys when we were on travel. I would never again have to listen to Howard Stern on the way to work. I wouldn’t have to sit, leaning against the back window staring into space, while the men bonded over classic commentary like this:
I just wanna take that piece of ass body, put tape over her mouth, and do things to her. . And then like, I reach in, I yank out her vocal cords and then she just orally satisfies me by the pool. Oh, she’s totally a mute Kim. And she’s totally nude. . And then I break her legs and position them in the back of her head so that she’s sitting, and they’re permanently fixed like that.
I would never again end up standing in a crowd, waiting for them to give me a ride home, while women line up to have cold water dumped on their tee-shirts, and my co-workers line up to help rate them.
As a woman in the army, I learned not to complain about those things. I watched as a civilian woman was denied a job interview in our office, because the LTC in charge checked her personnel files and found out she’d filed an EEO complaint once. He wanted people that could work as part of a team, not trouble-makers. I nodded in sympathy when he explained this. I could have spoken up; I could have made a stand and any of those particular things would have been dealt with. But I also knew if I did that, the attention would be directed at me instead of those other women. Men have a way of knowing how to yank out a woman’s vocal cords without ever having to touch her.
Interaction and Inaction
Not so long ago, there was a blog post circulating around the internet, which began:
Memorandum for Record: Military Spending Concerns FROM: SPC Freeman, Milo; US Army, Iraq TO: Senate Democrats, Republicans, and “American Idol” viewers across the nation.
1. You. Punk. Ass. Pantywaisted. Bitches.
It continued on with a fine anti-war rant intermingled with a bunch of stupidity about congress finding their testicles. It traveled around various lefty sites, and landed in an anti-war forum that I visit. An equally irate rant appeared from my keyboard echoing the language in the original essay, beginning with:
At the risk of pissing off every member of the peace movement, who apparently are all unanimously embracing this post at the moment, let me just say that as a “pantywaisted bitch” who has been searching for my testicles for decades now without any luck, I am not going to be following suit here …
One of the responses, from an anti-war activist whom I personally know:
Audrey, and all feminists who would wish to have everyone be politically correct when voicing their opinions on (this) group. Get a fucking grip! This isn’t about you! or your pantywaistes. Your acting like little bitches! . In fact to see (it) on this group makes me want to puke. .So stop being a pantywaiste bitch and get over it.
This grew out of a post I originally made here, How Women Activists Are Silenced, so there's some repetition of themes. The comments I quote, with the exception of the Stern comments, all occurred in June, after I posted the initial rant.
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