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May 19, 2004



I am always leery of those who seek to protect women from hardship and suffering and war by saying "men are better equipped to handle those sorts of things."

I'm glad you posted on this. From what you said in the previous post about being uneasy when you see women rising in the ranks of the military made me think you take a position similar to the one you say you are leery of. I tend toward pacifism, but I recognize that in today's world it is necessary to have a military and often they do tremendously wonderful things.

The Letourneau case was of course huge up here (she lived in a neighboring city) and one of the things that bothered me about the coverage was that I kept hearing Vili (the student) referred to as her lover. Had it been a male teacher and a female student they certainly would not have used the word lover.


Hugo, "Both men and women seem reluctant to see boys or men as capable of being victimized. We minimize male trauma, whether it be inflicted on an adolescent (ala the Letourneau case) or on adult men in combat." I would add inflicted on a boy younger than an adolescent, too. I have often experienced this mindset in facilitating co-ed groups for survivors of sexual abuse. Women will often fail to acknowledge the depth of the mens wounding, and men will insist they were never abused. One question that often takes group to a different place is "How old were you when you had your first sexual experience and how old was your partner?" When a man who says he was never abused answers "5 or 6 years old" the silence is profound.

I have asked a retired military man, who saw combat and knew that I fully respected and cared for him, the question "What did combat do to your soul?" The silence was profound also.

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