Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau


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  1. leftwingpatriot

    leftwingpatriot GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    Mel, you’re dwelling.

  2. Linguist

    Linguist said, over 4 years ago

    Perhaps, the good principal would like to bury his head in the sand? So many others have done so.

  3. simpsonfan2

    simpsonfan2 said, over 4 years ago

    So just shoot him then, they do have access to guns in the military.

  4. Chrisnp

    Chrisnp said, over 4 years ago

    Actually victims do not have to report through the chain of command (although that is an option if the perp is not part of the chain of cmmand). GT usually does better research than this. Rape is a crime, and the victim can go directly to the military police. She can also go to the military hospital, report it through there, and request confidentiality. Eventually the matter is turned over to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, who assigns a Victims Advocate. All of this is because the military knows that victims need a recourse when the chain of command is not the answer.

  5. Pacopuddy

    Pacopuddy said, over 4 years ago

    And once again a serious issue is avoided because men don’t want to know.

  6. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, over 4 years ago

    Hierarchical power structures which emphasize inter-group loyalty, being a ‘team player’, and protecting the group from scandal and outside interference — rarely have a good record for policing themselves, though they may spend a lot of time putting up the facade of policing themselves.
    This can be true of governments in general, but especially government departments like the military and the police, with their strong esprit-de-corps and in-group, out-group distinctions. Not to mention the Roman Catholic Church. These are authoritarian bodies, and rape is all about power and authority, even more than about sex.
    Nobody likes to talk about it, but one of the reasons it took so long for women to gain some equality in the work place, and people didn’t want to see their daughters and wives in the workplace, was because of the prevalence of rape, or quasi-rape. From the Hollywood ‘casting couch’ to department store salesgirl who had better put out to the floorwalker if she wanted to keep her job, power corrupted and was abused. Women at the bottom of an all-male power structure are at a disadvantage that goes beyond that of other employees. Even if 9/10 of the men involved would never dream of personally abusing their authority. Sometimes, especially if 9/10 just have a hard time believing that the 1/10 are ‘really so bad.’

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  7. Jeanette Carne

    Jeanette Carne GoComics PRO Member said, over 4 years ago

    It’s time everybody knows what the service women defending our countries and our streets go through at the hands of their male, and often jealous, colleagues. It’s time it was stamped out and more perpetrators were dealt far more harshly, and not excuse them by saying they are suffering from the stress of their work or because the men are so far from their families and loved ones. Just punish them for their crimes, men who treat their female colleagues like this, are not heroes!

  8. Larry

    Larry said, over 4 years ago

    Off subject- Remember the USS Liberty and its brave Sailors and Marines who were murdered this day in 1967 by the Israeli military. I am an American Jew who was in ASA working for NSA just like these men who were in NSG. I have not celebrated my birthday since.

  9. Alabama_Al

    Alabama_Al said, over 4 years ago

    According to Melissa in the Doonesbury strip of two days ago, 20% of women soldiers have been assaulted. Since the U.S. Army currently has approximately 85,000 women soldiers (15.5% of the total active-duty enlistment, not counting reserves) we are talking about (among the current enlisted) 16,800 incidents of – what? Forcible rape? Improper touching? Lewd remarks? Making a pass? Being talked to harshly? We need some definitions here. (I’ve done some Google research regarding a description of “Sexual Assault.” Definitions differ widely. Some advocacy organizations by their definition sets the sexual assault bar, in my opinion, fairly low – an unwelcomed request for a date could qualify.)
    Gifted storyteller he is, it’s not always obvious just where Garry Trudeau aims to take his characters, but I’m wondering if the character Melissa “Mel” Wheeler is turning out as he originally intended. Maybe Melissa is supposed to be an example of a self-reliant woman soldier overcoming adversity in a hostile environment. Instead, I see the character as basically a self-pitying martyr with personal issues that undoubtedly predated her sexual assault. Let us not forget that Melissa is in her current position voluntarily – Trudeau did have his character reenlist after the post-assault counseling. If Melissa were a real-life person, we should all be grateful that in Afghanistan she was in a rear support team and not in a position to hold an automatic assault rifle.

  10. ossiningaling

    ossiningaling said, over 4 years ago

    gmartin997 – young adults (and children) are more open to harsh information than regular adults. This IS an appropriate outlet for this discussion. The grown-ups are the ones that are freaking out.

  11. HectorGonzalez

    HectorGonzalez said, over 4 years ago

    At least she’s not bringing up the “suicide a day” among active duty troops.

  12. Doughfoot

    Doughfoot said, over 4 years ago


    Some folks see all victims wanting justice to be “self-pitying martyrs.” How many of our soldiers suffer years of untreated PTSD because of the culture of “suck it up and take it” and because they don’t want to be seen as “self-pitying martyrs.”

    I know someone who has some personal issues, some baggage, that would ensure that if she were raped it would be a lot harder on her than even on the average woman. So what?

    To say that Mel’s problems are not due to her rape because she had ‘issues’ before she was raped, is like saying you are not to blame for blinding a man, because you only hit him in one eye, and had no idea or way of knowing that he was already blind in the other eye.

  13. wdgnas

    wdgnas said, over 4 years ago

    alabama al: If Melissa were a real-life person, we should all be grateful that in Afghanistan she was in a rear support team and not in a position to hold an automatic assault rifle.
    if melissa were a real life person, her perpetrator is the one that would grateful she is not in a position to hold an automatic assault rifle. though i do not condone murder, the weapon could discharge while it was being cleaned…

  14. ramonesfan

    ramonesfan said, over 4 years ago

    This is an excellent argument for why military women should only be nurses or secretaries. Guys aren’t going to change, unless you only allow eunuchs to join up.
    A few years ago, I knew an 18 year old girl who went to the Naval Academy, who was an "8"or “9”. Pretty face, 36-24-36. She had to transfer to another college because of the wolfish behavior of her classmates. What do you expect? She was hot looking, and these were normal American boys. In other words, horny as hell.

  15. Marshalldoc

    Marshalldoc said, over 4 years ago

    Kudos to Trudeau for putting this issue front & center!

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