Christmas Miracle: General Rescinds Order to Punish Pregnant Soldiers

This is the awesomest news graphic I have seen in a long time:

Hilarious pregnant soldier graphic

But, really, this is a Christmas Miracle: Top U.S. General in Iraq, Countermanding Subordinate, Rescinds Order to Punish Pregnant Soldiers

The top U.S. commander in Iraq rescinded a controversial order by a subordinate general intended to punish soldiers who became pregnant while serving in a war zone.

Gen. Raymond Odierno has drafted a broad new policy for the U.S. forces in Iraq that will take effect Jan. 1, but which does not include a provision issued last month by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo that disciplined both soldiers who became pregnant and their military sex partners.

The “discipline” would include court-martialling and possible jail time. For being pregnant in a military rife with rape and very supportive of rape culture and rapists.

But Cucolo is unrepentant:

“Anyone who leaves this fight early because they made a personal choice that changed their medical status — or contributes to doing that to another — is not in keeping with a key element of our ethos, ‘I will always place the mission first,’ or three of our seven core values: loyalty, duty and selfless service,” he continued. “And I believe there should be negative consequences for making that personal choice. “

I don’t know about you, but personally, I love the “punish the sluts with a baby” school of thought.

Senators spoke out in a letter to Cucolo:

“We can think of no greater deterrent to women contemplating a military career than the image of a pregnant woman being severely punished simply for conceiving a child. This defies comprehension. As such, we urge you to immediately rescind this policy.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

Oh, and in case you were wondering:

Cucolo said the Army does not provide emergency contraception or abortive services and does not intend to start.

There’s “only discussion about appropriate behavior and consideration of the impact of getting pregnant, of getting someone pregnant,” he said. “That’s the only discussion that’s taken place. Nothing about pills.”

So, if his only concern is keeping troops on the ground, as he claims, why not provide EC? Oh, right, because his real concern is shaming women, not “supporting the troops.” Huh.

Asshole.

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4 thoughts on “Christmas Miracle: General Rescinds Order to Punish Pregnant Soldiers

  1. As someone who has been in the military, I can tell you women regularly get pregnant to avoid deployments or get sent back home when deployed. As a result the missions suffers, as do the male and female members of that person’s unit.

    When I was in Iraq this happened several times in my unit and before the second deployment we had bets on the number of women who would get pregnant before we shipped off. One or two is a coincidence, but when you hit double digits it’s obviously something different.

    And the military women who I have talked to about this agree with the regulation. Because the vast majority don’t try to escape their duty, and they are stuck in Iraq having to bear additional workloads as result of being short-handed when other women in the unit get pregnant, in addition to being stigmatized because of their behavior.

    Men and women in the military understand these issues. Spoiled, arrogant, and rabid-minded individuals such as yourself don’t.

    And for your information, the military is not rife with rape nor does it support rape culture. I’ve served 8 years as a soldier and never once did I hear any soliders joke or laugh about rape or do anything that was in any way supportive of it.

    Your observations are offensive, though sadly not unexpected considering you are an ignorant feminist.

    Enjoy your day.

  2. @A Military Observer:

    If you wish to post on this blog, do not use personal insults. “Spoiled, arrogant, and rabid-minded” and “ignorant” are personal attacks. Do it again and you will be banned.

    It sounds like you were not raped during your time with the military. That is wonderful and should be the standard experience. However, you are not a woman, and are not qualified to speak about women’s experience in the military. Women come forward all the time to discuss their sexual mistreatment by fellow military members. Perhaps you should read up on the subject before making sweeping pronouncements based on emotion. (One more article.)

    Women’s biology allows them to get pregnant. Punishing all women for pregnancy because some individuals suspect that a subset of women get pregnant to avoid duty is wrong and illegal. Especially considering, for instance, that about 5% of rapes result in pregnancy, and rape is rampant in the military. Simply the possibility of punishing a woman for being a victim of rape should be enough to make any reasonable person see the wrong-headedness of Cucolo’s policy.

  3. I am so sick of hearing about supposedly there are all these women out there (in the military or not) who just decide to get pregnant to get what they want (marriage, taken out of active military duty, whatever it is). Funny how I do not hear it from these supposed sneaky women, but from others who apparently are experts in this area (usually men, who are not the ones in this situation). Please do not assume you know people’s motivations or their own bodies.

    Men are also responsible for pregnancy, lets not forget. Interesting how they often are left out of this discussion in specific ways (especially the blame game part of it).

    Taking bets on the number of women who would possibly get pregnant is rather offensive. This supports/encourages a hostile, sexist environment.

    I just have to highlight again that speaking for others should be kept to a minimum. I hear too often “oh, well my female friends said x y z so it is okay.” Let individuals (especially those whose voices are typically not heard) speak for themselves about their own thoughts and experiences.

    I apologize for being emotional, but since this is an emotional topic and women’s voices are frequently not heard, allow me to lend my own as just one. I by no means speak for any other women, this is just my own experience. I have never served in the military, but I have had numerous friends and several partners who have been in the armed forces. I will not speak for them, but I will speak about my experiences with them. My first significant partner spent 5 years in the military and I frequently was submitted to sexiest jokes, including rape jokes, from him and his friends. In high school I was drugged and raped by a “friend” in the military. In college I was stalked by a former partner in the military who frequently made sexiest jokes that often included rape jokes. I was threatened that I would be killed and chopped into pieces by a student of mine in the military who has told me countless sexist comments, including many rape jokes. A groups of students in the military proposed a research project that involved getting women at bars drunk and raping them to see how many drinks it took before they could get them drunk enough to have sex with. Several of my students in the military make similar sexist jokes that often include elements of rape.

    These are just some of my experiences. They by no means indicate that ALL males in the military act this way or promote rape culture. I just have personally experienced a pattern in my own interactions. Again, let me stress that this is MY experience for actions done to ME.

    To get back to the main point – providing birth control (including emergency bc and abortion) is essential and to not do so demonstrates a lack of caring about women’s reproductive health and instead shows an interest in shaming women. The use of “personal choice” is curious since becoming pregnant is not always a matter of personal choice. And, again, this “choice” involves more than one individual. This other individual, due to biology, will not be as apparent as being involved in this “choice” and thus will have a very easy time escaping punishment. Making it the woman’s responsibility to call out the man/men involved puts the woman in a very difficult position (a rather lose-lose position).

    If they truly believe in “placing the mission first” then I would expect to see bc provided and true steps taken to put an end to rape in the military. But, no surprise, the burden is placed on the women.

    Please, respect my personal stories/experiences and do not insult me for them. Thank you.

  4. ShanAm:

    Thank you for being willing to use your painful personal experiences to enlighten readers who don’t, won’t or can’t recognize rape culture and how it thoroughly penetrates the military.

    There are those who will deny deny deny no matter how much evidence they are presented, because they know that if they accept reality as reality, well, someone would have to make some changes around here to STOP THE RAPE.

    And change is hard. And scary. And involves work.

    So… no rape here!

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