Friday, April 10, 2009

The Lonely Soldier by Helen Benedict

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the SAAProgram has all kinds of goings on....
check out our current events page on the CWG website.

We're all reading The Lonely Soldier by Columbia Journalism Professor and author Helen Benedict in preparation for her visit on:
Monday, April 20
Filene Auditorium
Moore Psychology Building

We can't put the book down! Helen Benedict has exposed the absolutely appalling conditions that women in the armed forces are facing given the behaviour of their fellow [male] soldiers matching or even out-doing that of the enemy.

Then, just yesterday NOW (the National Organization for Women) sent out a call-to-action in support of H.R. 840 which was reintroduced on Feb. 3, by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) H.R. 840 is the Military Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Response Act. According to the email:
"The bill works to reduce violence against military personnel and their families
by enhancing programs of prevention and deterrence, improving victim
services, and strengthening provisions for prosecution of assailants."
Just this week President Obama described the Afghani law that legitimizes marital rape as "abhorrent". Yet our military has created a climate for women in which rape and sexual assault are sanctioned. It is no small irony that we are sending troops in to Afghanistan to fight for freedom for people there when we are not even concerned with promoting the same freedoms in our own military institutions. I call that abhorrent too.

I encourage you to come to Benedict's event on the 20th. For more on the event, also see the article in the Book section of today's Valley News.

Peace & Sisterhood

Xenia Markowitt
Center for Women & Gender
Dartmouth College

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