desertvixen: (sexism)

 ... but Comcast had our cable down again (this is the second Friday afternoon in a row). 

 First seen in [personal profile] soldiergrrrl's jourunal.  I posted awhile ago about PFC Monica Brown becoming the second woman since WW2 (and second in this conflict) to recieve the Silver Star here.

And now they're pulling her out of her unit because, oh yeah, women aren't allowed in combat.  Sure could have fooled us.

Silver Star Recipient Removed From Combat

It's a long article, so I'll present some excerpts:

KHOST, Afghanistan -- Pfc. Monica Brown cracked open the door of her Humvee outside a remote village in eastern Afghanistan to the pop of bullets shot by Taliban fighters. But instead of taking cover, the 18-year-old medic grabbed her bag and ran through gunfire toward fellow soldiers in a crippled and burning vehicle.

Vice President Cheney pinned Brown, of Lake Jackson, Tex., with a Silver Star in March for repeatedly risking her life on April 25, 2007, to shield and treat her wounded comrades, displaying bravery and grit. She is the second woman since World War II to receive the nation's third-highest combat medal.

Within a few days of her heroic acts, however, the Army pulled Brown out of the remote camp in Paktika province where she was serving with a cavalry unit -- because, her platoon commander said, Army restrictions on women in combat barred her from such missions.

"We weren't supposed to take her out" on missions "but we had to because there was no other medic," said Lt. Martin Robbins, a platoon leader with Charlie Troop, 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, whose men Brown saved. "By regulations you're not supposed to," he said, but Brown "was one of the guys, mixing it up, clearing rooms, doing everything that anybody else was doing."

In Afghanistan as well as Iraq, female soldiers are often tasked to work in all-male combat units -- not only for their skills but also for the culturally sensitive role of providing medical treatment for local women, as well as searching them and otherwise interacting with them. Such war-zone pragmatism is at odds with Army rules intended to bar women from units that engage in direct combat or collocate with combat forces.

Military personnel experts say that as a result, the 1992 rules are vague, ill defined, and based on an outmoded concept of wars with clear front lines that rarely exist in today's counterinsurgencies.

"The current policy is not actionable," concluded a Rand Corp. study last year on the Army's assignment of women. "Crafted for a linear battlefield," the policy does not conform to the nature of warfare today and uses concepts such as "forward and well forward [that] were generally acknowledged to be almost meaningless in the Iraqi theater," it said.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, noncombat units in which women serve face many of the same threats that all-male combat arms units do and are performing well, commanders say. "Army personnel were consistent in their perception that a strict adherence to the Army policy would have negative implications" and that the policy should be revised or revoked, the Rand study said.

So, she pulled her weight, performed exceptionally well, did her job and saved her buddies.  But she's a girl, so she can't be in danger.  Because that's what the reg says.  Just not what's happening in actual reality,

Never mind that with no clearly defined front lines, this policy isn't so useful.

For the record, I think women should be allowed into combat arms, provided they can meet the physical requirements.  Having a Y chromosome doesn't make you a better fighter, a better soldier.  While it's not a choice I would make for myself, there are women I have worked with who would have done it if they were allowed.

I know, I know - what if the men fail to do what they need to do because they're trying to protect the woman?  Well, I would have to say, THAT'S THEIR OWN FAULT.  They have to work to overcome it.  The women who break into combat units aren't going to be pulling stupid "I broke a nail" BS.  Thye're going to want to be there.  They're going to want to prove themselves.  And they will prove themselves.

To quote [personal profile] soldiergrrrl, "it's still very hard to be treated as second-class because of things we have *no* control over."

Americans may not be ready to see its daughters coming home in bodybags, but THEY ALREADY ARE. 

SPC Lori Piestwa, first Native American woman killed in combat
Marine SGT Jeanette L. Winters - first female Marine killed in a hostile fire zone
1LT Tamara Archuleta, a pilot killed during a medical airlift mission
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Sharon Swartworth, killed in a 2003 helicopter crash in Tikrit
PFC Holly McGeough, 19, killed by an IED
SPC Isela Rubalcava, mortar round
SGT Cari Gasiewicz, IED - The building that houses my husband's unit HQ is named for her, as she was a Vigilant Knight
2LT Emily J.T. Perez, IED - first minority female to be the command sergeant at West Point, first female West Point graduate to be killed in  
MAJ Megan McClung, public affairs, killed while supporting combat operations

These are not all of the names.  There are more, and there will be more as long as women choose to enlist and serve.

Mothers, daughters, wives, sisters - and Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and Marines.

This site is dedicated to our fallen sisters-in-arms : The Women Who Gave Their Lives
desertvixen: (nights rest)

 So, while I was browsing the news today, I found this:

(Yes, for the record, I am a news junkie at work.)

Money worries may hinder tax rebate spending

Some plan to save money, others say it will go to everyday bills

desertvixen: (feminine intuition)

In a historic but little-noticed change in policy, the Army is allowing scores of husband-and-wife soldiers to live and sleep together in the war zone — a move aimed at preserving marriages, boosting morale and perhaps bolstering re-enlistment rates at a time when the military is struggling to fill its ranks five years into the fighting.

*** *** ***


Personally, for myself, I'd rather we deployed separately so that someone is here, providing stability for MV. Also, I think I would spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not we were presenting an image that would make people jealous. I also think the no-PDA rule would be very hard.

desertvixen: (SGT icon)

Female medic earns Silver Star in Afghan war

19-year-old only second woman to receive valor award since WWII

Image: Spc. Monica Lin Brown
Rafiq Maqbool / AP
updated 12:41 p.m. ET, Sun., March. 9, 2008

CAMP SALERNO, Afghanistan - A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second woman since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.

Army Spc. Monica Lin Brown saved the lives of fellow soldiers after a roadside bomb tore through a convoy of Humvees in the eastern Paktia province in April 2007, the military said.

After the explosion, which wounded five soldiers in her unit, Brown ran through insurgent gunfire and used her body to shield wounded comrades as mortars fell less than 100 yards away, the military said.

"I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there," Brown said Saturday at a U.S. base in the eastern province of Khost.

Brown, of Lake Jackson, Texas, is scheduled to receive the Silver Star later this month. She was part of a four-vehicle convoy patrolling near Jani Kheil in the eastern province of Paktia on April 25, 2007, when a bomb struck one of the Humvees.

Treating 'patients' under fire
"We stopped the convoy. I opened up my door and grabbed my aid bag," Brown said.

She started running toward the burning vehicle as insurgents opened fire. All five wounded soldiers had scrambled out.

"I assessed the patients to see how bad they were. We tried to move them to a safer location because we were still receiving incoming fire," Brown said.

Pentagon policy prohibits women from serving in frontline combat roles — in the infantry, armor or artillery, for example. But the nature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with no real front lines, has seen women soldiers take part in close-quarters combat more than previous conflicts.

Four Army nurses in World War II were the first women to receive the Silver Star, though three nurses serving in World War I were awarded the medal posthumously last year, according to the Army's Web site.

Brown, of the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, said ammunition going off inside the burning Humvee was sending shrapnel in all directions. She said they were sitting in a dangerous spot.

"So we dragged them for 100 or 200 meters, got them away from the Humvee a little bit," she said. "I was in a kind of a robot-mode, did not think about much but getting the guys taken care of."

No time to be scared
For Brown, who knew all five wounded soldiers, it became a race to get them all to a safer location. Eventually, they moved the wounded some 500 yards away, treated them on site before putting them on a helicopter for evacuation.

"I did not really have time to be scared," Brown said. "Running back to the vehicle, I was nervous (since) I did not know how badly the guys were injured. That was scary."

The military said Brown's "bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat."

Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, of Nashville, Tenn., received the Silver Star in 2005 for gallantry during an insurgent ambush on a convoy in Iraq. Two men from her unit, the 617th Military Police Company of Richmond, Ky., also received the Silver Star for their roles in the same action.



desertvixen: (evil kitty)

 Yes, Fundies Say The Darndest Things (FSTDT) is on my daily reading roll.

 There were several goodies today:

It's a preclude to the one world religion. When the pope (Catholic) and the Muslims create a permanent dialog (meaning they are going to try to relate to each other's religion, or basically say they tolerate each other), that is two religions merging into one.

No, it means DISCUSSION. 


Given the choice between a man who believes in Creationism and a man who believes in socialism, I'll always side with the former. Socialism is a demonstrably false religion aimed at enslaving mankind. Socialism is the opiate of the masses.

Please to not be semi-plagiarizing Marx and turning the idea inside out.



desertvixen: (thorny)

Here's the headline:
Born-again virgins claim to rewrite the past
Through spiritual or surgical routes, women give their first time a do-over

Victoria Watts, a 23-year-old single mother of two small children who lives in Canton, Ohio, lost her virginity at 16 with her high school boyfriend.

She was the granddaughter of a Pentecostalist pastor and the daughter of an assistant pastor, and she believed sex outside marriage was wrong. “I felt really bad from a religious standpoint,” she recalls of the experience. “My thoughts were really clouded because I was so emotionally bonded with my boyfriend. That overshadowed my religious world.”

Though the relationship lasted for seven years and produced two beautiful children, a part of Watts always felt guilty. She wished she could step back in time and recapture her lost virginity. Thinking of how “I could have ruined one of greatest fulfillments of my life,” the first time having sex with a husband, she wanted to “have that opportunity again. I know my [future] husband deserves a whole person.”

So Watts engaged in a lot of prayer and thought, and now declares herself a virgin once again. “The most important thing was to realize what my values were and what I want in the future and the bigger goals in my life," she says. "That’s why I can call myself a renewed virgin.”

I have nothing wrong with a woman (and I am going to talk about women because this is what this article focuses on) who has been sexually active deciding, for whatever reason, that she no longer wants to be sexually active. I just don't get why one has to invoke the v-word. I mean, obviously men are going to know she has had sex - she has children. Shouldn't what she wants include a man who believes she is worth caring about, sexual status aside? I mean, she's not losing all her sexual knowledge, so it won't really be like a first time. You know, with the usual awkwardness? What kind of gift is that?

Across the country, "revirginization" appears to be gaining steam. Spiritual efforts to reclaim virginity emerged back in the early 1990s and now, prompted by abstinence-only school courses taught to thousands of girls nationwide, and by religious teachers, there are reports of more and more young women like Watts attempting a sexual do-over.

Again, nothing wrong with becoming sexually active, and then deciding not to be. I'm not going to buy that you're a virgin. You have had sex. Your virginity is over. (I DO NOT apply this idea to women who did not choose to become sexually active, such as rape victims.)

"Have you already unwrapped the priceless gift of virginity and given it away?" asks the Web site for the Pregnancy Resource Center of Northeast Ohio, where Watts began working part-time after she reclaimed her virginity. "Do you now feel like 'second-hand goods' and no longer worthy to be cherished? Do you ever wish you could re-wrap it and give it only to your future husband or wife? Guess what...? You can decide today to commit to abstinence, wrapping a brand-new gift of virginity to present to your husband or wife on your wedding night."

I have a problem with this idea. A woman should not be made to feel like "second-hand goods" because she has had sex. And yes, this is a concept applied to women far more than to men. Women who have a lot of sex are sluts, men who have a lot of sex score.

“The first time we are aware of that muddling, the first explicit mention or discussion of what people called ‘technical virginity’ that I have found is in 1920s,” she says. “It referred to people who were doing ‘everything but sex,’ and what was defined as losing your virginity for most people was having vaginal intercourse.”

Technical virginity is another thing that annoys me. Sex is more than vaginal penetration with an erect penis. If you're performing/recieving oral sex, you are having sex. If you're having anal sex, you are having sex. Fooling around, to me, is exactly that - fooling around.

Many of Dr. Red Alinsod’s patients are not looking for a new state of mind, they want a new hymen. They come to his clinic in Laguna Beach, Calif., and pay $5,000 because their honor, and sometimes their lives, depend on it.

This idea, while the necessity of it disgusts me, is one that I can understand.

Alinsod’s typical patient may have been born and raised in the United States, but with significant family in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan, India, the Middle East. Without evidence a new bride is a virgin, she risks being rejected, or, worse, the victim of an “honor killing.”

one patient gave her virginity to her husband in the Asian country in which they lived and then came to the United States to study medicine, staying for several years. Though she remained faithful to her husband, when it came time for her to return to her country, she felt as if their lives were about to begin again. She wished she could be revirginized, too.

This is just nuts to me.

Once in awhile, Baker says, she’ll get a patient who just wants to give a present to her husband. “One patient of mine gave it to her husband as an anniversary gift," says Baker. "She was not a virgin when they got married so we re-attached her hymen to reproduce that experience.”

I think this is actually more nuts. A hymen for an anniversary gift? What the hell?

When Carpenter did a study about what she called “secondary virginity,” she found wide disagreement not only about the plausibility of secondary virginity, but also about whether “virginity loss should be understood as a physiological or an emotional-experiential phenomenon.” Interestingly, of the 61 women and men interviewed, “three-fourths of men adamantly declared secondary virginity to be impossible, compared to about one-fourth of women,” though men sometimes declare that they are born-again virgins, too.

While we may not agree on what virginity means, or even how we lost it and if we can get it back, it does have meaning, Carpenter insists. “If virginity did not mean anything, we would not have movies like 'American Pie.' It does matter. The content or the definitions may change, but the need or desire to mark the transition to being a sexual adult persists.”

I agree that it is both physical and mental. It means something to lose it, but it does not and should not mean everything. It should not mean a diminishment of a person because they are "missing" something.

And we do have at least some baseline definition of sex. “We are not so flexible that we say masturbation or sex toys count,” Carpenter says. Her research has found that almost everybody agrees that sex involves genitals and another person.

Someone making sense here.

There is actually one thing I would count as a secondary virginity - and that would be if a person who has previously had relations with the opposite sex starts having sex with a person of the same sex.

desertvixen: (schroedingers cat)
Cross-posted to [ profile] womenwarriors:

Article about mother and deployments.

Some interesting numbers in the article:

** The willingness of women to serve in the military has dropped faster than that of men in recent years, from a high of 10 percent among 16- to 21-year-olds in November 2003 to 4 percent last July, according to periodic youth surveys on "propensity to serve" conducted for the Army.

** Nearly 40 percent of women on active duty have children.

** Women make up about 15 percent of today's military, and about half of them have deployed for the anti-terrorism campaign at least once since 2001,

** More than 25,000 are deployed in that fight now.

** About 10 percent of women in the military become pregnant each year, and an estimated 75,000 military offspring are younger than 1 year old.

** (Major General) Pollock said last summer that she had proposed that the Army double the time women are exempt from deployment from four to eight months, noting that she would prefer 12 months. "That addresses the need for breast-feeding that is important for health, and also allows for optimal bonding time," she said. So far, Army policy remains unchanged, spokeswoman Cynthia Vaughan said this month. Senior Army officials declined requests to explain the reasoning behind the current policy.

** Other services grant longer exemptions, and all have generally shorter deployments: The Navy exemption is 12 months, and the Marine Corps's is six months, and deployments average seven months for both. The Air Force has a four-month exemption, but its deployments average only four to six months.

** Maternity leave in the military is 6 weeks. Women can take extra leave assuming they have the days and their commander approves it. I took an extra three weeks.

It's a pretty decent article, if a touch depressing.

Yes, another of the reasons I (and a lot of other people) are getting out of the military.

desertvixen: (amusing)
Oh, hell, I give up and I'm joining the comm.

"Virgin Martini" - hahahahahahaha

desertvixen: (sexism)

I lurk at Feministing a lot, but I had to pass this gem along:

Most people believe not only that the 19th Amendment permitted women the right to vote but that since women serve in Congress, the courts and other offices of government, the office of president of the United States has been de-genderized.

Not true. This important legal question exists now and has not been constitutionally addressed. The language and syntax of the 19th Amendment merely removed the barriers that prevented women from voting. It did not identify women to be qualified to become elected president.

The language is clear. The 19th Amendment says: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

We cannot read into the amendment something that is not there. Now, had the amendment said, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote or hold public office shall not be denied," it would have accomplished what the feminists think took place.

That would be because what HE thinks needed to happen is incorrect. 

Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution states the requirements for becoming President: “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States”

Today's feminists believe the election process is an evolutionary process, legalized by common practice and that someday a woman will be president. They are convinced that since women have run for the office, the male-gendered presidential office has been neutered .

Not so. They will be challenged, and a Supreme Court ruling on the language will be necessary. At the very least a constitutional amendment to change the language will be required.

Clutching at straws, just a little bit here?  I think so. 

I must confess, I just do not understand why there is such FEAR of a female president.  I can understand not wanting to vote for Hillary, or not wanting to vote for a particular candidate, but I do NOT understand this.

desertvixen: (whatever)

 [personal profile] soldiergrrrl linked to  [community profile] customers_suck, and it is hilarious.

Short form: Strawberries as a secret weapon of the Gay Recruiting Agenda!!  ZOMG!!

Do yourself a favor, and finish your drink before you read this.

desertvixen: (schroedingers cat)

WASHINGTON - The checks aren't in the mail, but they will be soon. President Bush signed legislation Wednesday to rush rebates ranging from $300 to $1,200 to millions of people, the centerpiece of government efforts to brace the wobbly economy. First, though, you must file your 2007 tax return.

So, we'll get $1500.  $1200 because we're a couple whose joint income does not exceed $150,000.  $300 because we have the MV.  And we've filed our tax returns, and gotten our refund.

More than 130 million people are expected to get the rebates, starting around May.
I wish they had more details on the how the rebates get distributed.  Also, "around May" is more like "summer" to me, not spring.

Congress, Bush, the Federal Reserve and Wall Street are hoping the money will burn such a hole in people's pockets that they won't be able to resist spending it. And the spending is supposed to give an energizing jolt to a national economy that is in danger of toppling into a recession if it hasn't already.

We'll spend some of it.  But not a lot of it.  I mean, I enjoy stimulating the economy and all, but there's also that pesky future planning thing.  We're in a place where we can afford to plan for the future, and I feel like it would be stupid not to.  But... if we don't all spend money, what about economic stimulus?  (Leaving aside how much of what we buy is NOT made in America)  It seems like if you wanted to do something for your local economy, the best thing to do would be go out to dinner (and stimulate the restaurant and your server's wallet) or go buy groceries, as opposed to going to say, Target or Wal-Mart and spending a bunch of money there.  Please remember:  I am NOT an economist, nor do I even pretend to be one.

Whether people actually spend the money remains to be seen. A recent Associated Press-Ipos poll indicates most people have other plans. Forty-five percent said they planned to pay off bills, while 32 percent said they would save or invest it. Only 19 percent said they would spend their rebates.

 So, it's not just me thinking this.

The emergency plan marked a rare moment of cooperation among political rivals fearful that an ailing economy during an election year would invite voter retaliation.

The IRS will send out rebates — by mail or by direct deposit into your bank account — through the late spring and the summer. The rebates come in addition to any regular tax refund.

So, sounds like however you opted for your refund will be how you get your rebate.


desertvixen: (few good men)

Election season humor for the children of the 80s.

Pretty good, although the guy's voice is not quite like Chris Latta.

desertvixen: (schroedingers cat)
Cleaning out my email box... some random links.

This one is about stress and schiziophrenia, and a possible link during pregnancy.

My only real comment: Maybe if everyone kept their opinions to themselves, pregnant women wouldn't feel so much stress.

This one - that the tests they're using to check vets for brain damage might not work so well - is very not good.

The Democratic response to the State of the Union address. I liked it.

desertvixen: (DF)

President Bush, asked about the South Dakota measure in an interview with ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas, said Tuesday he hadn't "paid attention to that, to this particular issue you're talking about" but "I am not going to prejudge how the Supreme Court is going to judge a particular issue."
However, he said, "My position has always been three exceptions: rape, incests and the life of the mother." Asked if he would include the broader category of health of the mother, Bush said: "No. I said life of the mother, and health is a very vague term, but my position has been clear on that ever since I started running for office."

I know some of the discussion about the bills in South Dakota and Mississippi have included women wondering about how the distinction between a woman's life and a woman's health. I guess now we know (I hadn't seen this particular quote previously) what the President thinks.

As a woman, I'm scared, very scared. Considering that GWB thought they should keep Terry Schiavo alive as well, I guess anything up to just short of a woman hemorraging to death in the middle of delivering a baby won't count as endangering the woman's life.

So would he support forcing a woman to continue a doomed pregnancy? (Anacephaly comes to mind.) Forcing a woman to carry a child that has no chance of life - which by the way, you're now financially responsible for. Personally, I think it would either make me crazy or drive me to doing something harmful to myself.

Call me selfish, but I'm one of those people who doesn't want to live if I'm not *alive*. The quality of life is a big factor, and I think some people are starting to blur that one out.

I'm pro-choice, because it affords women the right, the basic right, to make decisions about their lives. Our reproductive life impacts on every single area of our lives, and we should be able to control it.

I think we should have access to abortion, if needed, without having to jump through flaming hoops. I think we should have access to birth control, at an affordable cost, and access to a method that works for us. I think we should be able to walk into any pharmacy and have our prescriptions filled, without worrying about if the pharmacist is "okay" with it. (BTW, if they're so concerned about our sex lives, stop selling Viagra while you're at it.) And I think we should have the right to these choices without being hounded and harrassed and disrespected.

desertvixen: (feminine intuition)

Judge eases up on woman in taped rape case
Woman initially to be required to watch video of her alleged attack

Read more... )

desertvixen: (Default)
First, this one :

I am glad to see someone realizes that it's an issue. Separation is hard on marriages. The Army is hard on marriages, period. Especially when, according to one woman in the article, "you don't really know each other that well". And yeah, 3 kids under 3 doesn't help either.

Then, I went looking for news about the Ukraine and discovered that Jerry Orbach has died. He will be missed.

desertvixen: (Default)
Check this out:

It's warm and fuzzy, and a little bittersweet... just like real army life.

desertvixen: (Default)
Let's see... first there was the briefing at 0630 on mind-numbingly boring stuff (APFT, weight control, tape test) that we somehow survived. Next NCODP (Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development) is going to be more fun, however... Open Forum for Things You Think Are Jacked Up. I have a list.

Then I had a nice little workout at the gym. Then I got to go to Barnes and Noble and pick up a gift card for my mother's birthday gift. (And, oh yeah, books for me.)

Then I had work at 1400. Verrrrrrrrrrry slow night.

Now I get to relax, watch the indignant emails about my F/LJ stuff (for the Joeland crew) pour in, and catch up on ESPN.

Ladies who Run, might want to check out this news story at Yahoo :

desertvixen: (Default)
I was enjoying my typical Sunday morning - lazing around, wasting time on the computer, and (unusual) watching my Lions not suck - when I ran upon this link :

Culled from discussion lists of people proposing awful names for their children, and sarcastic commentary. Whether you're thinking of naming children or not, it's pretty funny.

Bonus for fanfic writers : It's like a glossary of Mary Sue names!

Unfortunately, I have to go off to work in about half an hour. :( Taping the end of the Lions game and the Boston Legal episode tonight.



desertvixen: (Default)

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