Tag Archives: military rape

Rape, Patriarchy and the Bomb

By Robert C. Koehler
COTO Report

Every sperm is sacred . . .”

Todd Akin could have worked on the script for the 1983 Monty Python movie, The Meaning of Life: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

But wait, there’s more. “But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something,” the Missouri Senate candidate said in his recent, now infamous TV interview. “You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be at the rapist and not attacking the child.”

This is where I heard the bell toll. He hypothesizes that the rape is “legitimate” but the woman manages to get pregnant anyway. So punish the rapist, he says, not “the child” (i.e., embryo) by, presumably, allowing it to be aborted. Who hovers in utter irrelevancy in this scenario? The woman. She’s no more than a fertile medium for the rapist’s “child” and has no say in what should happen next.

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Saluting Rapists

Holiday season cycles around again, and my book, Courage Grows Strong at the Wound, could be the right gift for someone who looks at life deeply and reflectively, or who seeks the miraculous in the commonplace. More info below.

By Robert C. Koehler

Remember that awkward silence that fell across the nation back in ’94 when Bill Clinton’s surgeon general used the M-word?

Jocelyn Elders, speaking at an AIDS conference at the U.N. about reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease, said that masturbation “is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”

Clinton, rather than defend frank, honest talk about sexuality at the national level and condemn its opposite, caved under the weight of the gasps and titters and fired Elders, explaining that the outspoken surgeon general’s comments reflected “differences with Administration policy and my own convictions.” Differences on masturbation? A couple years later, the Monica scandal erupted and things were a little clearer — oh yeah, this is how we talk about sex in America.

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Rape and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Jamie Leigh Jones, left, a former employee for the military contractor KBR, told Congress that she had been gang-raped by co-workers in Iraq in 2005. Mary Beth Kineston, also a former KBR worker, said she was sexually assaulted by one driver, groped by another worker and fired after complaining. Left, Andrew Cutraro; right, David Ahntholz; both for The New York Times

By MoveOn

In 2005, Jamie Leigh Jones was working for a private contractor in Iraq when she was brutally gang-raped by coworkers.1 Four years later, Jamie is still being denied justice. Jamie can’t file U.S. criminal charges because the rape took place overseas, and a fine-print clause in her contract takes away her right to file a lawsuit in the U.S.2

Why? Because big corporations, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have worked for years to prevent workers from suing their employers in almost any circumstance, even sexual assault.3

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