Somewhere, some time ago, I read this: “Can you imagine the world without men? It is the world with no wars, and a lot of happy, fat women.” I am inclined to agree. Sadly, even if war has always been men’s business, the women suffer, too.
Mothers have to part with their husbands and sons who were drafted and have to rear their children without their fathers’ guidance. And if the soldier does not come out of the war alive, the woman then bears the responsibility of taking care of the family as a single parent.
A less talked about the impact of war involves the rape of the women. And at this point, we can reflect on how wars, historically speaking, are associated with the flourishing of the so-called oldest trade: prostitution. Notice how I am basically putting rape and prostitution under the same category; to my mind, unless a woman can in fact claim that she chose to engage in prostitution out of the many options available to her, which represents 99% of the cases as far as I’m concerned, then this is not something I would like to call a job, but a tragedy she found herself in.
Where the US military maintains bases, there is going to be a line of establishments that condones, if not aggressively promotes the sale of women. As an article in Politico Magazine entitled, “My Body Was Not Mine But the US Military’s” shares, “…Women haven’t just washed the laundry, cooked the food and nursed injured troops back to health. Women’s sex work has long been used to help keep male troops happy—or at least happy enough to keep working for the military. Today, commercial sex zones thrive in tandem with many U.S. bases around the world, from Baumholder in Germany to Fort Bragg in North Carolina.”
Officially, the US military explains that it explicitly forbids its personnel to engage in prostitution. But this prohibition is contradicted by many other actions. For example, many communities have become home to brothels and nightclubs frequented by enlisted personnel for their R&R or rest and recreation. Women “working” in these facilities are regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases by medical staff operating under the auspices of US authorities. Moreover, soldiers always, always somehow find access to prostitutes, which can only mean one thing: Whatever rule the US military claims to have against engaging prostitutes is not being implemented well.
For more, you can check out Rick Kimball’s War, Peace and Freedom Blog.