Fox pundit says women in the military should “expect” to be raped

Think Progress has the scoop on what Fox News Contributor Liz Trotta said about rape in the military:

TROTTA: But while all of this is going on, just a few weeks ago, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta commented on a new Pentagon report on sexual abuse in the military. I think they have actually discovered there is a difference between men and women. And the sexual abuse report says that there has been, since 2006, a 64% increase in violent sexual assaults. Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact, the whole airing of this issue has never been done by Congress, it’s strictly been a question of pressure from the feminist.

And the feminists have also directed them, really, to spend a lot of money. They have sexual counselors all over the place, victims’ advocates, sexual response coordinators. … So, you have this whole bureaucracy upon bureaucracy being built up with all kinds of levels of people to support women in the military who are now being raped too much.

Really? “Bureaucracy” to provide support to survivors of sexual assault creates more sexual assault? The logic is just unbelievable.

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  • Mary

    I don’t want to exist on this planet anymore.

  • Brüno

    When the military gears up for war, the media and military is all like, women be awesome, we need women, join up ladies. When the military is downsizing, they are all like, B*tch you gonna be rayped.

  • Alanna

    What the hell does “raped too much” even fucking mean? As if there is an accepted limit to the amount of times someone can be raped and it’s cool? After that number then whoa, watch out. Backlash. These people make my head hurt.

    • Annalea

      You took the words right out of my mouth! ‘Raped too much” – that is disgusting!

    • Brüno

      Maybe he means more than women in the civillian world.

  • Terry

    Bureaucracy doesn’t rape. Rapists rape.

  • Terry

    I’m still confused about why we have soldiers on the front lines who attack our own soldiers by raping them. That seems counter intuitive to the whole military objective.

    • Jacqueline Hentzen

      That’s because we don’t have an effective filter for ‘Sees women as objects’ when you join up in the military. A lot of people join up for the money, or the healthcare, or the other perks, not because their heart is filled with the desire to do the right thing or any of the cliches we see in the ‘Join the military’ ads. People who join the army come from all walks of life, and, sadly, that means some of them are f***ing mysogynists.

  • Sarah

    It is honestly heartbreaking and enraging at the same time to hear people talk like this. And a woman no less.

  • Olivia Forsyth

    So, wherever men and women are in “close contact” women should expect to be raped? Does Trotta expect and accept rape in her workplace?

  • Sue Nugent

    so does this negate Santorum’s belief that male soldiers would be too protective of women soldiers on the front lines? Clearly, the military is where males act out with out any worry of prosecution–but more importantly (I think) it is a place where they learn and are almost encouraged to behave like this.

  • John

    I haven’t seen the report so I can tell you whether the increase is in reported sexual assaults or if it is in convictions. I suspect that it’s in reported sexual assaults. I don’t want to put words in her mouth, but I think that she is alleging that the increased support system for women claiming to have been rape and if I remember correctly, the military put in a policy to automatically transfer people who allege sexual assault has resulted in an increased incident of false reporting.
    It may be a sexist stereotype on my part, but I suspect that most women who joined the military didn’t join for the opportunity to fight. I think she has incorporated this stereotype and added it to the enhanced victim services to argue that the increase is a result of false accusations though she phrases it very badly. It brought up memories of a case where a woman got pregnant to avoid the death penalty to jail. It was many years ago so I don’t remember, but I found a similar link

    That led me to this article

    Where it states “Under the new policy, troops expecting a baby face court martial and a possible prison term – and so do the men who made them pregnant.
    And the rule applies to married couples at war together, who are expected to make sure their love lives do not interfere with duty.

    “Usual US Army policy is to send pregnant soldiers home from combat zones within 14 days. But Major General Anthony Cucolo, who runs US operations in northern Iraq, issued the new orders because he said he was losing too many women with critical skills. He needed the threat of court martial and jail time as an extra deterrent, he said.”

    I’m not saying the theory is right, but it kind of makes you wonder.

    • Jenny


      I think the idea ‘that most women who joined the military didn’t join for the opportunity to fight’ is most definitely a stereotype. Regardless, speculating upon the REASON that motivates a woman to join the army is a moot point. Given that there are increased victim services for individuals in the army, it’s a result of the need for enhanced victims services, especially for women, was finally recognized. Moreover, once this need was recognized and services were put in place, more women felt comfortable coming forward. Get it?

      Now I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know I laugh when I see a random article from the gossip-drama-loving country of England cited as a supposedly reputable document. Further, we’re talking about an article written in London about a woman in prison in Laos. The laws are not equatable to Canadian laws… there may be a myriad of issues at play – corruption, bribery, ect.

      What does the last article ‘kind of make you wonder’? Makes me wonder who made the rule, because the average WOMAN I know would not have made such a rule that, as usual, constrains the choices a female can make.

    • Julie MacSween

      Hey John, I think you’re completely reinforcing negative stereotypes about women who enter into the military, and just because you acknowledge it doesn’t mean that it’s okay to continue using them to support your so- called claims about women who join the military. Just because women are not usually physically stronger than men does not mean that they are inadequate members of the military or any other male dominanted profession. I think it’s really dangerous to make assumptions about anyone, especially when it comes to reports of sexualized violence/ rape. I work for an on campus anti-violence organization at my university and we spend a lot of time supporting women (and men) who have faced sexualized violence. On of the first things we learn is to recognize myths about victims and perpetrators. One of them is that women lie about being raped or sexually assaulted to get attention, revenge on their exes, etc. This it NOT TRUE. Although there may be the odd case that it’s happened, I think it is extremely problematic (not to mention insulting and disrespectful) that you think it’s appropriate to assume that most women would lie about being raped. You have no idea what it’s like to be a woman in this patriarchal society that objectifies, harrasses and violates women’s lives on a daily basis. I don’t discourage any male being active in feminist discourses, but I think it’s really important that you check your privilege as a male and recognize that you DON’T know why women choose the choices that they do, and that includes why some join the military.