Interesting interview with Roy Scranton and Jake Siegel, two military veterans who served in Iraq who wrote about their experiences in a book of short stories “Fire and Forget.” I was struck by this portion of the interview because it mirrors my own frustration with the seeming desire of most Americans to avoid any personal responsibility for the actions of their government and military. We don’t live in a dictatorship or a monarchy. If you’re an American, you enjoy a huge degree of freedom, but that freedom comes at a cost - the cost that’s a result of believing in and benefiting from a government by the people, for the people and of the people. If we value that government, then we must accept responsibility like adults for the choices our government makes, and sacrifices of our military. Instead, most people become like children and whine and complain when confronted with the painful realities of the wars that we participate in. There’s no excuse for it:
"… . I think the basis for it is that there’s obviously a ravenous appetite for the most dishonest, simplistic kind of accounts of war - and on both sides. And so I think there’s this continuous media appetite for war as narratives of daring-do and of heroism - which is part of it. And then there’s an appetite for war where soldiers are just pawns in various political polemics. And it’s all for people who often to the soldier seem like they don’t have any genuine interest in what it’s really like. They just want to be entertained or have their opinions validated. And they’re interested in your story in so far as you’re giving them something titillating or you’re giving them something that confirms their point of view. But the full accounting of it, their own complicity in what the war was like - assuming that they’re Americans - their own complicity in it, rarely seems like, you know, it rarely feels like anybody wants to sit down and really take all of that in. And I think there’s always a feeling among soldiers that what you bring home with you and what happened overseas maybe is something that only you or your group will understand, and that any attempt to bring it to a larger audience or to tell the story of it is in effect a cheapening of it and a way of selling it, rather than sharing it.
Now, I’m a writer, I tell the story, but I do feel that I just feel it along with other, you know, conflicting feelings. And I feel it along with the urge both to tell the story and the urge to tell other people’s stories and make a broader experience understood.”
"If more men spoke up before, during, or after incidents of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by their peers, they would help to create a climate where the abuse of women—emotional, physical, sexual—would be stigmatized and seen as incompatible with male group norms. That is, a man who engaged in such behavior would lose status among his male peers and forfeit the approval of older males.
Ultimately, this would cause a shift in male culture such that some men’s sexist abuse of women and girls would be regarded—by other men—not only as distasteful but as utterly unacceptable. In this new climate, individuals would be strongly discouraged from acting out in abusive ways because of the anticipated negative consequences: loss of respect, friends, and status, and greater likelihood of facing both legal and non-legal sanctions.
In fact, if men’s violence against women truly carried a significant stigma in male culture, it is possible that most incidents of sexist abuse would never happen. This is because contrary to popular myth, the vast majority of boys and men who assault, harass, and bully girls and women are not sociopaths. They are average guys. Many of them see the sexist treatment of women as normal."
Jackson Katz, Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help (via wretchedoftheearth)
Can I marry this guy?
"[They] are not sociopaths. They are average guys."
One of the most important things to remember about rapists and rape culture. Rapists aren’t usually very different from their peers.
Most men I know rarely speak up against sexism. I’ve given up expecting that they will. Most of the men I know are “good” men, men who in theory believe in equality, but they’re a consistent disappointment.