Rape-blaming: You probably won’t like what I have to say

If you missed the Stuebenville rape, a 16 year old girl got so drunk that she essentially blacked out and was raped by two high school football players, who also took pictures/videos of their vile act(s) and disseminated them via social media outlets.  Serena Williams was quoted by the rollings Stones (which I am quoting from http://www.celebuzz.com/2013-06-18/im-not-blaming-the-girl-but-serena-williams-weighs-in-on-the-steubenville-rape-case/  ) as saying 

“We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV — two high school football players raped a 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know. I’m not blaming the girl, but if you’re a 16-year-old and you’re drunk like that, your parents should teach you — don’t take drinks from other people. She’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky. Obviously I don’t know, maybe she wasn’t a virgin, but she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”

Today I had the privilege of being educated about Sexual Assault Prevention and Response for the Navy and Marine Corps; essentially, the effect of sexually-based crimes on victims, units and the service itself.  The problem I saw with the training, which is the same problem I see about all the criticism of Serena, is that nobody is telling the victim how to avoid being a victim.  Notice I said avoid; it can still happen, and in no way did I assign blame to the victim.  I’ll provide two analogies:

If you’re a Marine in Afghanistan and in a firefight decide to stand up while rounds are coming up range and going down range, you increase the likelihood that you will be killed.  You didn’t pull the trigger that fired the round that ultimately killed you, but you stood up and made yourself an easier target for an enemy rifleman.  Conversely, when you get so intoxicated, voluntarily or ignorantly (by accepting a drink from someone else, a drink that could be drugged), you have increased the likelihood that you will be victimized.  You could still get killed in a firefight even if you keep your head down and do everything right; you could still be raped even if you stayed sober, was never alone with any person, and made frequent use of communication devices to confirm your status.  

Targeting for predators is a complex process; even if it is a subconscious process, they will select a target that will allow them to achieve their goal.   A target with a group of friends, not drinking alcohol, refusing drinks handed to them or not consuming liquid at all will make a harder target to attack.  

Analogy 2: you can drive your car as safely as you want, but a person who is careless or with malice cause a vehicular collision; either their car with your car, your car with someone else’s, or you car with other objects and terrain.  If you encounter a driver with road rage the safest thing to do is call the police and follow their instructions; if you engage the driver in your own version of road rage, you’re making yourself vulnerable to injury or death over your own sense of pride.

So in summary: certain things you do, or fail to do, will increase your odds of being victimized by a man, woman, or group of people.  This may not have anything to do with sex at all; could be identity theft, asset theft, or general mischief.  This doesn’t make you at fault for their criminal acts.  The Marine Corps has learned since 1775 that if you stand in the open in front of your enemy while he’s shooting at you, you’re going to get shot, and it has subsequently evolved the style of warfare it practices in accordance with the missions it is tasked with accomplishing.  If you want to go drinking, go with trusted friends, have a security plan, have contingency plans, and have a limit.  If you don’t feel right, call an ambulance.  

You cannot carelessly blow through life thinking that everything is everybody else’s fault and that everybody else MUST take responsibility for themselves so that you can get black-out drunk; YOU need to watch out for YOU.

Moving on

Just finished a semester of classes, while simultaneously starting another semester 2 weeks ago.  The last two weeks have been hell, trying to figure out how to pay for groceries, doctor appointments and gas to go to work with.  This plus all of the school work I’ve been doing.  Today was quite a scare; I had a proctored final exam, and my proctor waits until he and I are at the meeting place and time to tell me he hasn’t received the proctoring information.  Holy shit.  It’s a saturday, 10AM at that point, and the university staff are in California, so they probably aren’t even awake and active yet.  It took me 45 minutes to get to the meeting site.  AARRRRGHHH!!!!  So I send an email out and a couple of hours later the testing coordinator says that’s not the email she has on file for him, so she’ll resend it.  I’m thinking: great, she just resent it to the one he doesn’t have access to on the weekends.  I ended up being able to get it done.  It was fucking rough trying to get it done.  I also turned in an 11 page, plus title and works cited, research paper and got a 100% on it.  I was quite surprised, not because I thought I did a BAD job or a less than 100 job, but because this semester a good writing grade had been so elusive to me.  

Also got to do go to a cookout with some neighbors down our street, 3 houses down, that we never met.  They’re really cool, and I hope to be able to return the favor soon.  

I get to stay up late tonight, sleep in tomorrow, then go to the pool and start reading and working on this semester’s classes.  I’m taking 3 classes, which is just over full time; and it looks to be writing heavy.

What a day…

The day started off innocently enough. I got to go on a 5 mile ruck with my dog over the south Jordan River bridge, and then to donate plasma to supplement my income. While I’m donating the machine is acting screwy until its time to return my blood cells with some saline solution; at that point it stops acting at all. This is a problem because if I lose those blood cells, I cant return for 56 days, which equals just over 400 bucks in lost income that I could have used. The last 3 times I donated the centrifuges that separate the cells from the plasma have had problems. This one took 3 hours to do what should have taken 45 minutes. So long that a clot formed in the line. After being stuck 3 times, and having 2 technicians LITERALLY fishing for a vein with the needle inside my skin, they finally found one but one of them fucked up and moved a tag from the machine on to the line that essentially shut the line, thus stopping the process. Fuckers. So now all I have to show for it is fatigue, light headed-ness, and two bruised  arms that hurt like hell. 

Anyways, some pictures from my ruck: on the walk up, heading east
On the bridge looking south at Portsmouth
Looking North at Norfolk
You can kinda see Virginia Beach (city) in the background behind Vanya here.
And here’s my 1911 Colt rail gun that I traded 2 pistols for. Totally worth it. Now I have 2 1911 pistols; nice standardization.

The “discovery” that led to D-Day 1


A simple phone number/email address written on a piece of paper, in the front seat of my trailblazer. I may have not ever laid eyes on it had I not decided to go to a 7/11 and get a soda. I was confused when I saw it because it made no sense; she wasn’t in school and she had no reason to email ANYTHING to ANY of her coworkers (no reason that I could fathom at the time). She had been using her phone excessively that day, and when I started to think about it she always sat, or turned the phone, so that I couldn’t see the screen. Anyways, I logged in to her email and didn’t see any unusual incoming traffic; I looked at her sent items and saw the most recent recipient had a strange email address.

That email address was a combination of her initials and the month and day of her birth. The attachments in that email were pictures of her in “sexy clothing”. Later in the evening she put the kids to bed and left her phone down stairs, so while she was with the kids I got on her phone and opened up her email app; no mystery account there. I opened the internet browser on her phone; bingo. What I saw after that was horrifying; reading the emails from men around our area trying to have sex with her, and her responses trying to do the same. I sent an email to that account from mine, something to the effect of “Hi, this is your husband, who is Shawn?”. I couldn’t wait, I let her kow that I knew while she was still upstairs. She didn’t come down for about 15 minutes.

I forgot about this phone number until I saw that bRaving had thrown some stuff away, and this was right on top. This one hurt extra special because it was a Marine in Camp Lejeune, 4 hours south of us. I work with and see Marines 5 days a week. I had his name from the emails, and with that information it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to find him after I got back to work. Maybe not literally his room, but that isn’t what I meant; he knew she was married and still pursued her, which is a violation of 2 articles of the UCMJ, which I also informed him, and that I could forward a neatly packaged gathering of evidence to his battalion commander. Why bother with company level, the real punishment starts at battalion, and regimental would be too high.

Anyways, we are struggling financially, still, but we have a better idea of what we are capable of and not capable of financially. We are arguing about the money a little bit. I feel like my perception of her intent is different than what she means, but lately it feels as if everybody is up my ass about everything, her included, and it makes me feel about as capable as a 2 year old. She keeps talking about pushing me to do things that are uncomfortable, but I don’t think she fully appreciates the person I’ve evolved in to since last year.

I don’t like being pushed because I don’t feel like I’m being given the time or space to emotionally deal with whatever it is that is causing me stress, and getting pushed in to action before I’m ready just makes it worse for me, not better.

We are also stressed due to the amount of classwork we have. She has 2 graduate level courses, I have 2 undergrad, and I just started 3 additional undergrad courses.

We are dealing with it fairly well. Arguments aren’t fights, we don’t go to bed angry or upset with each other, and we had some really hot sex the other night. Started moving stuff in to the storage unit so we can get the house ready to sell.

“I am the Master of my fate; I am the Captain of my soul.”