View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Thu May 14th, 2009 05:06 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 30th, 2006
Location: Florida USA
Posts: 1021

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Fascinating discussion. It certainly covers many aspects of the subject of rape both in the military and out of it.

What a horrific story of the woman POW who was raped while suffering from the thoes of cholera! I guess the dumba** who raped her didn't think he would get it too. I certainly hope he did!

I have considered this problem and thought perhaps some of the women who entered the military would not have been enticing tragets for rape being that at least some were mannish in aspect and deportment---cursing, gambling, drunking and brawling. But others were said to be very comely, even beautiful. The biggest "sins" they committed were wearing men's clothing and developing deep tans from constant exposure to the sun.

I suspect the reason wearing men's clothing was considered such an affront is that it meant a "lowly" woman was wearing the markers of a privileged class--males. It would be as if a slave had somehow dyed his skin white and was "passing" as the putative "higher" class of slave owners. Thus a woman suddenly became entitled to the rights and privileges of a man, but all she had done to earn these rights was change her clothes! After all, the males had earned the right by dint of having been BORN males.

I laughed at references to women being arrested for the crime of wearing men's clothes. That was the only charge their captors could think of. Why would it be a crime? Only because a woman was falsely assuming a higher rank in society's scale of human value. That is what I surmise.

Another possible reason a woman in the military was less subject to being raped than in today's military (If indeed that was the case) is that the men of those times thought twice about raping a woman who had unquestionably demonstrated that she could shoot, swing a sword, ride horseback in cavalry charges, shoot artillery and possible field dress foraged live stock. Men weren't accustomed to a woman's possessing such martial skills then. I imagine it gave them pause.

But I also imagine that rape was greatly under-reported in Victorian times to "protect" the victim from others knowing she had been violated. In those times the shame of rape was very much on the woman, just as even now when people still are known to comment of a rape victim,"She was asking for it. Look how she was dressed. Look how she behaved. She was drunk. She was a skank," and so on.

Thank you Ms Larson for taking the time to post all that research material. I learned a lot. It was all food for thought.

Last edited on Thu May 14th, 2009 05:08 pm by CleburneFan

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