I will admit that when I sat down to watch this movie I had no idea what to expect let alone its topic. As I watched the Invisible War, I felt a huge array of emotions. My confusion turned into sadness which later transformed into anger. Rape in the US Military? What? How could this happen? What is the military doing about this? The answer…. NOTHING!
If someone would have asked me before I watched this movie if I thought a female could have been raped in the military, I would have said, “No, or if it did happen it would have been done to a female/male POW as a torture tactic done by our enemy.” I was deeply affected by the content of the movie and saddened to how the women in our US military have been treated by their male peers as well as their male superiors. I am horrified by this truth. The enemy here is not Osama Bin Laden or Saddam Hussein but our own soldiers as well as the institution, US Military, who have been given the task of protecting our nation and its people. How can they be given the task of protecting our nation when they can’t even protect their own (female) soldiers from this cruel and inhumane treatment?
A person who decides to join the military is already willing to put their life on the line to fight for our freedom. I doubt they all got in line and went through all of the paperwork to sign up to be raped or disrespected in this disgusting way. The last thing these individuals should be worried about is being raped by their peers. According to the movie, half a million women have been assaulted in the US military. A guy with drugs gets 5 years while a rapist only gets 2 weeks punishment. Reporting rape isn’t taken seriously. Instead, women are immediately labeled as the problem or worse labeled as “easy prey” for the next rapist to take their turn. Men charged with rape were still allowed to enlist in the military as long as they had a waiver. It was terribly difficult to listen to one woman after another tell their story of how they were raped and mistreated. Unfortunately for them, the worst part was not listening to a woman’s rape story but having it be a part of one’s life and dealing with the effects of this traumatizing event.
For me, the worst part of the movie was the female doctor/psychologist who was hired by the military to find a solution to this problem. Her solution was to arm the female soldiers with knowledge such as practicing the buddy system, being aware of your surroundings, never putting oneself in harm’s way, etc. This solution places the responsibility on the victim(s) rather than changing the behavior of the predator(s). As a woman, I am appalled and embarrassed for her and her so-called solution to this problem.
What is the real solution? The real solution is to change the behavior of the predator(s) and to teach men how to respect women. Women are not placed on this earth to be a part of a man’s amusement. We were placed on this earth to be companions (with consent) and equals. Women are to be respected and protected. As I was compiling my thoughts for this blog post, I came across a video (A Needed Response– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZxv5WCWivM) that was created in response to the Steubenville rapist case. The content in this video is simple yet powerful. Hopefully, the female doctor/psychologist from the movie sees this video, learns from it and creates something similar in order to provide the military and its soldiers with a more powerful solution than the buddy system.