Friday, March 20, 2009

Semper Fi

I once heard it said that women do not have the same sense of honor as do men. It has been too many years for me to remember who said it or in what context, but it has stuck with me. That is not to say that I think it is necessarily true. Too often claims like that are interpreted to mean all women and all men and it does not define what is meant by honor, a quality which is itself very much open to interpretation.

With all that spineless qualification said, however, I now find it quite plain that western society does not hold women to the same level of honorable behavior as it does men. Yes, I am fully aware that this statement can be read in two ways. I feel secure enough in the claim to make it without reservation and rarely do we see it as plainly demonstrated as here: Marine free after conviction tossed out.

Embroiled in a nasty divorce and custody case, a man's wife claimed he "spousal-raped" her some years before. Despite an apparent complete lack of evidence, he went to jail for 17 years of which he served ten before the appeals court finally got around to reviewing the case and kicking it out. The only real novelty here is that the whole thing was before a military court because the man was and is a US marine.

A number of points leap out at me:

- Sergeant Brian Foster appears to bear no grudge against the system which, on the word of a completely unreliable accuser, took away ten years of his life. Far from it, he appears to see this as a success in that the military court eventually pulled its finger out and did the right thing. I guess this all depends on your degree of indoctrination, or what you are comparing against.

- An army prosecutor declared this to be "a black eye for the military justice system". A man loses ten years of his life and the "system" gets a black eye. Clearly, this was not a fair fight.

- This was a military court, so my guess is that the vast majority of the people involved were men. One can hardly claim, as is so often the case, that the "patriarchy" was looking after its own. Quite the reverse, in fact. The powers that be tore their victim to shreds and tried to forget about him. Was this a blatant case of scapegoating in an atmosphere of hysteria against the "rapist" male? Are we talking about a bunch of testosterone-laden men wound up to destroy one of their own by a manipulative woman? Is, in point of fact, the "patriarchy" actually the opposite of what it is supposed to be - more destructive to non-alpha males, who are inevitably the majority, than to any woman?

- The mother has lived nowhere near Fort Leavenworth, where Foster was jailed, nor Texas, where his parents live. There is no mention in the entire article as to whether Foster has even spoken to his boys during his incarceration. Indeed, no-one seems to give a damn that the mother has taken off with the two boys and completely eradicated their father from their lives, they're not even sure where she is. I don't know about you, but I call that child abduction. (Remember, this was a man, a soldier, who fought for custody of his children, not someone who wanted to walk away from them.)

- Foster hopes to get back pay, but will be happy to serve as a Marine until his retirement. “The courts," he says, "which I joined the Marine Corps to defend, ultimately made me free. It just took a little bit of time.” Frankly, the military ought to be falling over itself to give him whatever he wants.

By the way...

I have been quiet for a while. A number of anniversaries have passed. I have still not seen my son. Life goes on. I distract myself as I can. Perhaps I am a little better able to cope with the ongoing loss, but that does not make it any less of an outrage, nor am I any less committed to whatever I can do to put anything right. Like Foster, I am not fighting a fair fight.

I have received a few comments on my blog recently. Most tragically from a woman who found "How to talk to a disenfranchised father" and who expressed her gratitude for it from a woman in the same shoes. I feel for her because if there is so little compassion for a father who is shut out of his children's lives by the courts, even less will be found for a mother. This may seem odd for an institution so dominated by the idea of mother-as-victim, but the fact is that this system generates invisible victims in the form of non-custodial parents, whether fathers or mothers, at the behest of vindictive custodial parents, all in the name of protecting a meaningless concept labeled "the best interests of the child".

I've also gotten some flames, particularly and unsurprisingly, in "Feminist-bashing, a rant". I don't publish these comments in fair trade for the typical feminist's blog's inability to suffer dissent either. Nevertheless, there is a common thread in that the commentary is typically an ad hominem attack from someone who is not interested to understand my point of view and hasn't noticed that the posting is a carefully constructed point-by-point reply to a newspaper article on feminism. More pointedly expressed, the article is a long whinge from a feminist and my reply an extended "quit whining!" exhortation to grow up and out of it. Fair's fair grrlz, you complain unreasonably, you get flamed.


Boris Epstein said...

Sgt. Foster's case is incredible in more ways than one. If there was no tangible proof that the crime ever occurred how could anyone have been prosecuted for it?

Anonymous said...

Amfortas says:

One is astonished by the response of the Sgt. Is it a defective personality type that leads to such a blind devotion to a 'system' that is clearly defective?

I have sat as a 'Judge' on Courts Martial a number of times and have disagreed with my colleagues on only one occasion and that only on the degree of punishment and more to do with the unecessarily deleterious effect on the man's family. To find a man guilty when clearly there is no evidence of a crime other than an assertion is a deriliction of duty.

He should be taking civil action against the Corps. They claim to 'never leave a man behind' but here they were sacrificing one to the Goddesses of Feminism on the say-so of a civilian.


There was a distinct lack of Honour.