Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped

Raped in the Military? You'll Have to Pay for Your Own Forensic Exam Kit

By Penny Coleman, AlterNet. Posted November 11, 2008.

Women in the military are twice as likely to be raped as their civilian counterparts. In fact, "women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq," Congresswoman Jane Harman, D-Calif., told the House Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs in May.

Harman said, "The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Health Center where I met female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41 percent of the female veterans seen there say they were victims of sexual assault while serving in the military, and 29 percent said they were raped during their military service."

What are the figures for the UK military? anyone know?



Sunday, November 9, 2008

Come on Brown crack down on tax havens

Brown wants a fairer society with Obama! Now then here is you chance...clamp down on tax havens

President-elect Barack Obama plans to crack down on international tax havens, including Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, within weeks of taking power in January, putting him on a collision course with Gordon Brown.

There is growing international pressure to outlaw the secretive practices of tax havens as a key part of reforms to the world's battered financial system, as the leaders of the world's 20 most powerful economies gather for a major conference in Washington next weekend.

Britain has been notably lukewarm, but Obama, whose approval will be key to any reform package over the next 12 months, was one of the signatories of the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, legislation put to Congress last year that blacklisted Jersey, Guernsey and 32 other jurisdictions. Key aides to Obama said he will introduce a similar law as part of a wide-ranging revenue-raising and tax-reform package, within weeks of taking power.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Ten things I absolutely hate about heteronormative dating.

From Feministing.com
Ten things I absolutely hate about heteronormative dating.

In no particular order.

1. You are expected to dress nice and act a certain way "waiting" to get asked out.

2. You have to play by the rules which generally give men most of the power. (wait till he calls you, don't be too forward, be mysterious-you don't want to scare him off, etc)

3. If you show emotion too early on or too much of it, you are needy.

4. If you don't show enough emotion, you are making the other party insecure forcing them to wield social privilege to silence your daring attempt at independence from self obliteration via coupling.

5. It fetishizes unequal power relations between women. He'll get the tab, he'll get the door as long as he gets the vagina, and that is considered "romance."

6. It makes same sex couples feel "less than."

7. It dictates your interaction in most social settings and social circles, whether you are single or coupled. It is either/or, there is no 3rd identity or in-between.

8. If you have sex too early you ruined it.

9. If you don't have sex early on you are a prude.

10. It is expected to lead to marriage (and if you don't have a ring on your finger you are "on the market.")

So while some of this is tongue and cheek and most of it is obvious, I do think this is feminism's dark corner. There is no guide to dating outside of patriarchy, there is no narrative for if you want to do it on your own or if you don't want to get married, but you don't want to be single either. Many women are caught in the middle, trapped between the discourse of what is expected and what they want.

I write this from my perspective as a woman, but I am sure feminist men also have major problems with heteronormative dating, so please give your feedback in comments.