Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wives and War

The following excerpt comes from a current news story of American female Marines serving in combat situations. It seems they are skirting Pentagon rules, but they are functioning in an excellent role; they meet Pakistani wives over tea, form a social bridge, and meet a need men and guns cannot meet.

These female soldiers get shot at under combat conditions, along with their male compatriots. Yet, they are performing needed “community social work” as well as sometimes securing needed security information.

Of course, the military is experiencing more divorces than their civilian counterparts. In discussing the increase of military divorces, the difference becomes noted when related to wives being in the military. Lance Cpl. Sorina Langer described her divorce this way: “It was starting ahead of time, but this definitely didn’t help the marriage.”

Langer, 21, was divorced during her deployment in one of the most dangerous areas of Marja. She said of her husband, “He saw it as walking out” (emphasis added).

I found this both interesting, and challenging. “What’s the difference?” I wondered.

Yet, our culture accepts the husband, father, dad, as free to go off on a military venture while his family stays home, keeps quiet, and behaves with patriotic fervor. Little is thought of this … the extra burden simply goes with being a “military family.”

As Corporal Langer discovered, not all husbands accord that same freedom and equality to their wives. In other words, men are not as amenable to being “military spouses.“

I find this interesting; our American culture offers a greater degree of equality and freedom to women, but I think it can be safely said that few husbands will willingly be a “military spouse” while his wife serves overseas in a military campaign.

Truthfully, there are many areas in which we Americans are equally as chauvinistic as the Islamic culture. Take the girl I know that was raped on the campus of a church college. The college gave the offender more protection than the victim. First and foremost, the college staff protected its "precious reputation" with the sponsoring church. College security treated the female victim as if she were the perpetrator; she caused the man to rape her.

When my daughter went through a divorce with a man that could not keep his pants zipped, the bank refused her credit because she was "divorced" (really she was a female). Never mind that the poor credit on the account belonged to the offending husband whose bills she paid off; never mind that her paying his school bills et al gave him his good credit. Never mind that the bank in question refused to negotiate with her, considered her a poor risk, and let her husband go merrily on his way to abuse another female.

Many husbands today are scarcely aware of the discrepancies between them and their wives, unless they happen to be one of those fortunate husbands whose wife cared enough about them to help educate them. I’ve known wives that had to account to their husbands for their time, behavior, et al, although he still went out with the boys every week. I’ve known wives who had to turn their pay checks over to their husbands without even being allowed expense money for personal use, although he gave no account of "his hard-earned" money … wives that did not drive (didn’t need to) … ad infinitum …

I am one of those fortunate husbands who wife cared enough to help me see that my “male status” was not as singularly deserving as I thought it was. On the other hand, I’ve watched how the culture sometimes favored our sons over our daughters. I’ve watched churches give favored status to my “ministerial student son” and ignore my devout daughter. I’ve also watched as female church members fawned over me while ignoring my wife.

Need I go on? The list is endless; yet the treatment is often unequal.Thinking of Corporal Langer, I am personally opposed to women combat soldiers; I still open doors for ladies. If they will not allow me to do it for their “ladyness,” I will do it because I choose to be a gentleman. Obviously, I find no place for “wives” in combat. But, neither do I find patriotism in men leaving their families and going off to war.

If defense of the home is needed,both husband and wife can defend it as needed. Otherwise, this whole agenda of contemporary war is about “politics and profit” of special interests. The citizenry is always the loser.What was it Agatha Christie said about war?

"One is left with the horrible feeling now that war settles nothing; that to win a war is as disastrous as to lose one." - Agatha Christie, Autobiography (1977)

Let’s take it one step further: there are better ways of resisting terrorism; let’s bring our troops home from Afghanistan as well as Iraq and use something more effective!

From Warner’s World,

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