Thursday, October 31, 2013

You're a Very Bad Person

I've already written a piece covering my position on some aspects of Army-Wife Culture and why I find a good lot of it fucking abhorrent, and then yesterday I happened across a particularly shiny little polished-turd that made my jaw drop. I found this Print-Screen/Copy/New-Document/Edit-Paste monstrosity via the Overly Sensitive Military Wives Facebook Page, of which I've been a devout fan of for quite a while. No, seriously, this is un-frikkin-believable...

Oh, your precious HUSBAND is offended by women being in the military, is he? Maybe he shouldn't be an Officer anymore, then! 

No, you don't deserve any more "pats on the back" because the only reason that you agree with your undeserving husband's point of view would either be because you are inexperienced and ignorant  of what the lives of military women are like, or possibly he verbally/emotionally/physically beat it into you. Really, like military MEN don't pack on a shit-ton of weight for seemingly no reason? Aside from this entitled parasite's complete dismissal of male service-members' who also steal credit for false accomplishments (I actually DID go to Combat, BTW: In two wars with no definable "front lines" whatsoever, combat finds YOU whether you want it or not) yet again she seems to think that a spouse serves a role in their service-members' actual career: NEWS FLASH, unless you picked up an M-16 and got on the plane WITH THEM, no the fuck you don't!

After 22 years of this person supposedly being an Officer in the American Armed Forces (and no, lady, Post Security doesn't count) HE really should know better. In all honesty, our military has seen administrative, tactical/strategic, policy change out-the-ass over the last two decades and you honestly mean to tell ME that he's either too full of himself, too stubborn, too stupid or (possibly after that long) too fucking senile to recognize and comprehend that while the military may not WANT it's female service-members but that they do in fact NEED THEM? 

Every Officer has SOMEONE supervising them and governing over their actions, I can't help but wonder how they would feel if the entirety of America knew what a misogynistic sack of crap they have representing them...

I HAVE been to Combat, I HAVE seen some pretty horrible shit when I was in Iraq, I HAVE come home with some fucking problems, and yet despite all of the experiences I've seen and survived (for good or ill) I wouldn't trade ONE MEAGER SECOND of it for the life of a bottom-feeding Dependapotimus whom, rather than get off the couch, go out into the real world & actually doing the shit yourself, settle for little more than the occasional "pat on the back" from a domineering over-lording dictator of a husband who demeans his own fellow Soldiers: Regardless of the organs they were born with, he wears the same flag and uniform as THEY DO, and if he's "offended" by the idea of serving with women, then it's time for him to take it off and hang it up. I DO NOT want someone who thinks of me as an inferior being in charge of me in a combat situation, I would sooner shove someone like that in front of me once the bullets start flying.

You don't deserve a "pat on the back" for being a misogynistic parasitic Haus-Frau, you deserve a cold-hard (proverbial) kick-in-the-teeth and an ice-bucket wake-up.

And don't hand me that "women can't be misogynists" bullshit, Case-In-Point: Sarah fucking Palin. You have no idea how truly far-reaching the consequences of your husband's hatefulness and Vaginaphobia can go, do you? Did you ever think for but a moment that posting his bigotry and endorsing it publicly on the internet, with your name attached, couldn't possibly reach the eyes and ears of whoever his unfortunate superiors are? Were you completely fucking oblivious to the SENATE HEARINGS concerning the plague of violence against women in our military that out-dated mind-sets like his contribute to? Did you REALLY THINK that female Soldiers and Veterans weren't going to be royally pissed about your misguided statement categorizing us as little more than lazy brass-grabbing sluts in uniform? IS THE CONCEPT OF CONSEQUENCE COMPLETELY LOST UPON YOU?

What the flying fuck would you really know about military women anyway? The last thing you "served" was probably a sandwich to that undeserving fucktard you're married to. Well good for you, precious, as long as you insist on vicariously living your life according to someone else's deluded opinions, that's all you'll ever amount to in life: Another Bragg-Bagger Dependa who's too chicken-shit to actually take any real steps to experience her own life, but instead whines and squeals from inside the belly of whatever unfortunate host you decided to latch your hideous parasitic-self onto and expect us to give you a "pat on the back" for it.

If you're still reading this, granted that you can read at all, then I hope you understand by now EXACTLY how wrong your situation really is.

Yes I curse like a Marine, my Dad was one, deal with it. I'm a grown-up who uses adult language, I "defended" my right to Free-Speech and I'm GOING to use it as I see fit: Women like you give women like you an even worse reputation than already previously sunken down to, but for YOU especially...

Fuck you right in the eye with a burning snake-turd.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Bullet Burgers

Even as I'm sitting in my bedroom typing this on my lap-top, I have my Smith & Wesson 442 loaded and holstered outside the belt of my maroon corduroy pants. I'm only up one cup of coffee so far and I'm already anticipating a potential "situation" that I'm employed for the specific purpose of diffusing: Unwelcome guests. I'm not a cop, I'm no longer a Soldier, you could say I'm something like a security guard that lives where I work.

I'm care-taking a 700+ acre cattle-ranch that has been in my employer's family since 1860, there are a few bad apples in the bunch that want to go "Scavenger Hunt" inside the very house I'm being paid to live in and protect.

Realistically, I'll likely never have to use my chosen side-arm for that specific purpose: More of an annoyance than a real threat, but better to have it close to me and ready to use in case of a REAL THREAT which is still quite legitimate. Though people living in very rural parts of the US aren't as likely to be robbed at home as those in the sub-urbs, when IT DOES HAPPEN it takes the cops & paramedics a ridiculous amount of time to respond, and by the time they DO arrive it's too late. I quite literally do not have time to wait for the cops to show up if someone actually does try to break in here, the nearest "town" to speak of is 45 minutes away (and that's WITHOUT traffic.)

But aside from potential human threats, which are not as likely but still just as real for anyone else in the United States, every night I fall asleep to the howls of what must be at least a hundred coyotes reverberating through and across the outer Ozark Mountains where I am currently situated. While they're more likely to get into my garbage-bin than inside my house, they're still dangerous and I don't want them near me or the property I'm working on. There's also a family of rabbits bouncing around where I intend to plant my vegetable garden come Spring, so THEY have to be dealt with by then because not only do I not want rabbits feasting on my soon-to-be red peppers, I don't want to have to clean up after coyotes feasting on red pepper stuffed rabbit.

At least 3 or 4 times a week, I drive my truck around the perimeter of the property where cattle are grazing to check the fences: I take my AR-15 with me every time.

Why? Aside from the fore-mentioned coyote threat, who seem to love little more than waiting for a mother cow to give birth and tear the throat right out of the newborn calf as soon as it pokes it's head out, on rare occasions past my employer has also had encounters with human trespassers during hunting season. Unlike my home State of Maine, where you have to have "No Trespassing" signs posted at a specific distance around the perimeter of your property if you own more than a certain amount of acreage, here in Arkansas you aren't legally required to put up any signs at all (but it's still recommended) so most people out here don't bother with actual signage as long as they have a stable fence up.

I have yet to encounter another human being out on the land other than my own husband and most of the fences have been repaired within the last year, so while I doubt that I'll ever encounter the world's dumbest tourists out on the range, there's almost no street access for a squad car or ambulance to come if things ever do get out of hand.

Though I've been a vegetarian for many years, without me & my AR-15 protecting the cows from predators and thieves, your BK Whopper would go for about $30 due to covering cost of raw materials (in this case, beef)

An armed vegetarian ranch-hand? On 700+ acres of open field with plenty of grass and even a creek running through the property, I'd much rather see cows that are in good health and living in conditions such as these than in a crammed feed-lot where they can barely walk around even if they weren't knee-deep in their own shit. Given that the average American consumes up to 4 times more beef products than the rest of the developed world, I find it astonishing that people are completely fine with sacrificing quality for quantity and getting upset with people like me who just don't want to participate.

So what does all of this have to do with owning guns? Not only would I be out of a job (and without a place to live) but my employer could be out of trade-able assets within the scope of a year, enjoy your $30 Whoppers. Honestly, I know that no reasonable American wants to grab up every gun in the country, but there are a few groups of people that actually think they guns are solely used for committing crimes, ESPECIALLY the "dreaded death-machine" that is apparently the AR-15.

If you're pro-gun control and you eat meat, ANY MEAT AT ALL, you have two choices: Re-consider your positions on who can have or use the types of firearms that I do as part of my job, or go vegan. Guess which is easier?

While few and far between, the people that DO WANT TO grab up all of the guns have no fucking idea how far reaching the consequences of doing so could be. Even fruit and vegetable farmers out here keep a variety of fire-arms to keep local wild-life from eating up their crop, so while meat is such a common commodity here in the United States, it's not the only one that needs the kind of protection that people like me can offer.

I use an AR-15 for my job because criminals and coyotes are too smart for traps and snares, and too dangerous NOT to be dealt with.

By the way, I've been a card-carrying Democrat since the first day I've been eligible to vote.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Army Wives

On many of my past ranting sprees about life as a female Soldier, one thing I catch a legitimate amount of flak for talking badly about is the "Real Army Wives" stereotype: Because in at least half of the cases I've PERSONALLY witnessed & dealt with, it's completely true. Now to be fair I'm perfectly well aware that, as with ANY stereotype, there are going to be a large group of people that the shoe won't fit. For the rest of this post, however, I'm going to be specifically addressing the ones that the beer-stained pink Crocs DO fit and why they make life miserable for other military spouses and service-members alike.

There's an unflattering term for this kind of spouse, the Dependapotamus:

Not the kind of wife who tries desperately to manage the house and family while you're away, but the kind who desperately tries to vag-cram her way into EVERYONE ELSE'S as fast as possible before you get home. Not the kind of wife who tries to be your rock of support when your PTSD starts controlling and destroying your life, but the second you start having issues she divorces you and takes half your deployment pay with her. I'd like to be able to honestly say that these are few and far between, but they're just not. I think there might be a reason for this, though, just like the military life itself creates a culture swarmed with it's own horrifying problems: The atmosphere that many military spouses, male and female alike, have to live in is creating a culture of trying to pull "Silent Rank" and ridiculous entitlement complexes. 

Many of us Veterans recall the story of the famous FRG Meeting held by an officer, the specifics of the story vary greatly by there person telling it, of course (Fort Bragg, Fort Gordon, Fort Huachuca, Rammstein, etc..) but the basic story is something like THIS: An officer orders a group of Army Wives to form up by rank, they shuffle around each other like a herd of angry cats and just before they start tearing each-other's hair out the officer screams at them to STOP! "You don't have any rank!"

This may sound mean-spirited, and the story itself is likely exactly that, but unless you're enlisted/commissioned yourself, YOU DON'T HAVE ANY RANK. Struggles at home while your spouse is deployed are nothing to look down your nose at and trust me, I understand that! My Dad was in the Marine Corps until I was 8 years old, I saw what time away for many many years can do to a family. My own husband had shit he had to put up with both while I was deployed and when I got home, and I'm all the more grateful for his support now that I'm out of the Army. BUT...

Military Spouses have ZERO SAY in Military Procedure or Policy.

When our government FINALLY lifted the ban on female Soldiers in "combat roles" (not that we haven't always been there anyway) one common argument against letting women serve as grunts & gun-bunnies was that the wives of the men object to having to deploy with other women: Get the fuck over it! Do you think MY HUSBAND had issues with me being surrounded by males while halfway across the planet? Of course he did! But did any of his complaints or concerns mean jack and/or shit to my Unit or to the Army at all? NOPE. So what makes YOUR INSECURITIES so special that I have to put my career on hold because you don't trust your spouse? YOUR marital problems are not MY hindrance, they are exactly that: YOUR FUCKING PROBLEM.

When I was deployed I was told I had to keep my voice down while a squad-mate was on the phone with his wife because she'd flip out at him if she so much as heard me speak. Bitch, I don't want to be here any more than HE DOES! But I still have a job to do, so you can stuff your sexist bull-shit and get the fuck out of my way! Unless your spouse is wearing the same uniform that I once did, carrying the same rifle that I once did, dodging the same bullets and rockets that I once did, she's not qualified to lick the filth from my government issued boots if she thinks she can try to tell me that I can't speak to my squad-mates from the other end of the Globe just because I so happen to be assigned to the same unit as her husband.

Unless you are enlisted/commissioned yourself, you ARE a civilian. PERIOD.

In a conversation I had with a friend many years ago, who is herself a military spouse who also has concerns about life as such, she once made the suggestion that perhaps female service-members should have to meet-and-greet with the wives of the Soldiers/Marines/Etc that they'll be deploying with as a way of re-assuring them. While membership isn't mandatory in most cases, there's already a kind of organization that does that: The FRG (stands for Family Readiness Group) and they're supposed to include all service-members' families who choose to join. However in my friend's case, her husband is a Reservist and they get next to zero actual support because of it, even though Reserves and National Guard deploy more frequently than Active Duty personnel do.

My issue with her suggestion is that, and at the time I don't think she thought of it that way, it implies that I have to preemptively apologize for being in the same unit as their husbands and that if THEY did something that jeopardized their own marriages, it would somehow be MY FAULT even if they didn't do it with me. I'm not going to apologize to anyone for having a vagina or just reporting in for duty, again, someone else's insecurity is not my fault nor my problem. I'm going to continue to do my job and if you and your wife doesn't like the fact that I'm there, too fucking bad: When I signed up for the Army, I didn't get to pick what unit I'd be assigned to or who my squad-mates would be, the Army decided that FOR ME and, just like you and your wife, I had to be a grown-up and deal with it.

My other problem with this suggestion was that it was solely one-sided: Not one of the male Soldiers in my unit made any effort to greet my husband and re-assure him that none of them were going to try and rape me (and one of those, who was himself married at the time, DID TRY & FAILED) but it implies that female service-members somehow bare that burden alone. At this point in time I'd like to point out that not once had I nor my husband been invited to a single FRG function when I was in the Army, and I would never have gone because I genuinely hated the people I had to report to and still want nothing to do with them.

I'm so glad that I have reasonable and smart friends, they help me see things objectively: Once I (much more politely and calmly) explained these quandaries to her, I think she saw the flaws in the idea and dismissed it immediately. 

I didn't sign up to serve my buddies' wives or girlfriends, or in some cases husbands or boyfriends. And on that note, just to serve as a reminder, women in America's armed forces are vastly out-numbered by men so singling out female spouses is not intentional discrimination, merely a matter of numbers. I wore the flag of the United States of America on my right shoulder, not a picture of your lady-friend. Conversely, since she's a civilian and a Soldier isn't, she is under no obligation to salute THEM and they are under no obligation to salute HER.

In case you need a (not very polite) diagram...

Proper respect for rank is one of those pivotal ideas that many credit for keeping a functioning military unit in good order. Rank, be it among enlisted or officers, determines (albeit superficially) a service-member's position in the leadership scale: A Sergeant outranks a Specialist, Specialist outranks a Private, a Private and a 2nd Lieutenant are only on the same level intellectually but at least the Private knows they don't know what the fuck they're doing. Without rank to tell them apart, you'd have a bunch of people with weapons all yelling at each-other. "Silent Rank" as many military spouses call their station in life, are "Silent" because they don't fucking exist. I don't care if it hurts your feelings, unless you actually stood front-and-center at your own husband's Article 15 hearing right next to him, "Silent Rank" is just a catch-phrase put on t-shirts at Clothing & Sales so you'll buy them: Nothing more.

Now please don't misunderstand me, running a house-hold practically by yourself is no joke. Seeing a person who used to be the man you loved transform into an anger-panicked wreck because of PTSD is also nothing to be taken lightly. There are times I look back at how John and I somehow managed to survive with the ass-load of issues that I had to wrestle with when I go home from Iraq, were it not for some serious effort and communication emphasis I don't know where we'd be right now. Your suffering and struggle, however, does not trump ACTUAL rank or time-in-service.

Being married to a service-member is not the same as actually doing a job, if it WERE you'd be getting up at the ass-crack of dawn and going to PT Formation with the rest of the Unit.

As previously mentioned, I'm not in the Army anymore. I actually ETSed in the summer of this year. I wanted to stay in, I had every intention of re-enlisting. Then after an unexpected spinal injury and all the nonsense that followed just trying to find a competent doctor, I had a good long hard think about what four more years of being told that I'm a lesser being than the guy next to me would really do for me: I did my time, played in the sand-box with the big-kids, I'm done.

Rank does have it's privileges, but only if it's YOURS.

Shout-out to Overly Sensitive Military Wives fan-page, Represent.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Feminists vs. Sex Workers

Aside from the usual "Fuck Atheism+" uproar, my Twitter feed has been a-buzz with more cyber-warfare raging between two very different opponents: Self-described New Feminists attacking self-identified Sex Workers (and for the sake of this blog post, I'm including strippers, web-cammers, prostitutes and porn actors in my definition of "Sex Workers") because NFs think that all SWs are either unwary and unwilling people who are being exploited or simply must be out there waiting for their next paying client willing to participate in "destroying women..." where-as the SWs claim a distinct difference between human trafficking versus legitimate sex-work (the biggest difference, obviously, being the ability to consent to have sex with clients) and many also feel betrayed by NFs for lack of support, even though many of them are also women themselves.

Pretty Woman was a terrible fucking movie, anyway. 

I wasn't alive during the original Feminist Movement of the 1970's, but my mother was: I don't think she invested a whole lot into the idea back in those days, being a recent newly-wed and a semi-devout Catholic (and it shows, even today.) There's no reasonable way that Gloria Steinem could POSSIBLY have anticipated the needs, or even the possibility in a few cases, of transgender women publicly speaking out against violence and bigotry toward them, women in the military & the ongoing Military Rape Crisis, or even the persistent lack of women in science. Her writings and activism got one Hell of a ball rolling, but Feminism as a philosophy has one serious Achilles Heel: Aside from better life and equal opportunities for all women everywhere, which are certainly nothing to look-down-your-nose-at and I would completely agree with, there are no solidifying foundations or rules.

Essentially, if you're down with giving women a fair chance at life and prosperity, you're considered a Feminist: Which is great, on the whole, but consider this...

Is it somehow completely impossible that a woman, or even a man since we're discussing equality in general, might actually WANT to get naked or otherwise use their bodies sexually to earn their living? Surely not EVERY stripper on the pole at your friendly neighborhood titty-bar comes from a broken home or otherwise "just paying for college," is the idea of ANYONE embracing their sexual identity AND making a living from it just that outlandish that it simply doesn't happen? Certainly, if we're talking about a better life and better opportunities for people than we can't rightly leave consenting and aware Sex Workers out of that picture or else what kind of "Feminist" could one possibly hope to be?

The supreme irony of New Feminism's objections to Sex Work is that these are the very same people that can't bare the thought of Republican Congressmen/Senators legislating their bodies on their behalf, and yet here they go on trying to invalidate the needs and concerns of their "Sisters on the Streets" by doing THE EXACT SAME THING. Who is ANYONE, male or female, to tell another grown adult what they can and can't do with their own body in any capacity whatsoever? How does any organization or ideal based on empowering human beings & breaking free of gender oppression have ANY RIGHT WHATSOEVER to tell other consenting adults that being happy enough with your body to use it for your job is morally wrong or in any way deplorable?

"If you want it you're going to pay up front for it, we're going to lay down some ground-rules and NO MEANS NO" When put in terms as straightforward as these, I am hard pressed to think of a more "Feminist Occupation" than PROSTITUTION.

I've had a few conversations, mostly via the internet, with a few people claiming to be SWs: I'm not going to drop names or locations, not only to be respectful of the people I spoke to, but also because they didn't give me any. Many of those, surprise-surprise, actually enjoy what they do and regulate their own circumstances as best they can. From what I've gathered from talking to them, these are not people who were smuggled into the US in the hull of a cargo ship and sold to the Mafia, these are natural-born US Citizens (and one Canadian) who charge an up-front fee for their "services" and don't take shit from shady prospects.

These are not scared or dirty "Broken Dolls" in slums & street-corners, these are flesh and blood human beings with active social lives and a very interesting outlook on life: THEY own their bodies, not their customers. THEY draw the lines and call the shots in any given "session" and not some pimp looking to make a buck off of other peoples' hard work. Shit, I can't dance worth piss regardless of how many drinks I've had, I'm not ashamed to admit that I envy a stripper's ability to not only expose herself semi-publicly but to climb up a shiny steel pole without help (I've tried, I can't do it, even when I DIDN'T have herniated disks in my spine, that's a NO-GO for me. But I won't stop someone who honestly wants to...)

An argument I recently heard against legalizing prostitution was that "it's rarely anyone's  first choice of work." Before I joined the Army I was a JANITOR for many years! That job isn't ANYONE'S' first choice!

The lives of these SWs isn't all Kinky Boots and shiny steel poles, BECAUSE certain aspects of their chosen profession is still illegal in much of the United States, they face very real dangers at the mercy of the public: SWs are unable to report incidents of assault, rape, murder or pretty much anything else. Unless they have a solid network of amazing friends, or so happen to be Ju-juitsu Masters as well, they have little to no recourse if someone hurts them: This happens to them ALL OF THE TIME, and they get next to ZERO SUPPORT from so-called "New Feminists."

So until you're actually willing to see the other side of the $2 Bill, regardless of where it came from, NFs can shut their lying cock-holsters about better opportunities for women everywhere if that includes leaving SWs in a bad way. I'm not interested in Sex Work, that's just not for me, but I will never put down another human being for using their own body to earn their living how they see fit & without hurting anyone else.

MASSAGE THERAPISTS "use their bodies to earn a living," the same with UFC Fighters and Broadway Dancers: No one is arresting THEM (well, not for THAT, at least...) 

Be respectful to SWs, for they are ALSO human beings.