Does Buck McKeon Actually Think Rape Is An Occupational Hazard For Women In The Military?
Buck McKeon-- not a laughing matter for women
For one of the most misogynistic members of Congress, Buck McKeon, the decision on whether or not to have an open hearing on rape in the military was easy. No! That’s been the answer given to Protect Our Defenders (POD) and Lt. Paula Coughlin-Puopulo, USN (ret.) who delivered 10,000 signed petitions to McKeon asking for an open investigation into the sexual assaults at Lackland Air Force Base. Some may remember Lt. Coughlin as the whistleblower in the Tailhook Scandal in the early 1990’s where 83 women and 7 men were sexually assaulted in a Las Vegas Hotel. A statement from POD read, “More than 20 years ago, 87 servicewomen were sexually assaulted while serving in the U.S. Navy, in what became known as the “Tailhook scandal.” Paula was one of the 87. The former Naval aviator reported the incident to senior officers, but they did nothing. So she went public. Today, Paula is going public again demanding Rep. McKeon open a congressional hearing about Lackland and then legislate fundamental reforms.”
A closed briefing was held instead and one general reportedly asked McKeon not “to hobble base commanders” in determining how to handle sexual assault cases.
Military sexual assaults have been put back in the spotlight after 38 female Air Force recruits came forward with complaints of sexual assault or rape by instructors at Lackland AFB. Fifteen instructors have been implicated and two already found guilty. One awaits sentencing and another given only 30 days’ confinement and a reduction in rank-- a punishment criticized by POD asserting the military doesn’t take these crimes seriously.
A new movie, The Invisible War, by Oscar-nominated director Kirby Dick (trailer below) exposes the epidemic of rape in the military by telling the real stories of victims. The Invisible War won at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Even the preview is enough to anger any American who values our troops.
Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) introduced H.R. 3435 last year and it is languishing in Rep. McKeon’s Armed Services Committee. We can help Protect Our Defenders by signing their petition here. And, as always, you can help to get that misogynistic carbuncle, Buck McKeon fired by supporting his opponent Dr. Lee Rogers, a doctor outspoken on women’s issues and on the myth that women are doing just fine and shattering the glass ceiling without any help from anyone. Rogers has two young daughters and he and his wife are raising them in a spirit that doesn't recognize any glass ceilings or Bronze Age patriarchal taboos. In his book, The Fifteen Biggest Lies About The Economy, Joshua Holland also takes on that myth, explaining that although the gender pay gap doesn’t appear immediately, right after college, when young women earn pretty much the same salaries as their male counterparts and that now more women than men are earning college degrees, the glass ceiling is still very much in play in the U.S. There's a widespread belief that once women achieve a critical mass in the lower echelons of corporate management, they’ll begin to move up the “pipeline,” eventually achieving something like parity in the nation’s executive suites, writes Holland. "According to the theory, senior management is just that-- senior-- and even if women hold very few of the top positions today, the next generation of movers and shakers will naturally be a more diverse crowd. But in 2010, a major study by Catalyst, a nonprofit business consulting group, suggested that the pipeline that many have been counting on is in fact a myth."
Rather than look at the average salaries of all men and women... researchers Nancy Carter and Christine Silva studied the subset of the population that is most likely to end up becoming tomorrow’s corporate leaders-- “high potential women and men MBAs for whom much was paid and from whom much was expected.” They were the “best and the brightest,” having gotten advanced degrees “at twenty-six leading business schools in Asia, Canada, Europe, and the United States” between 1996 and 2007.
What they found was that the women in this rarified group fell behind the men right away and stayed behind during the early years of their careers:
Among this highly talented group, women lag men in advancement and compensation from their very first professional jobs and are less satisfied with their careers overall. Furthermore, women are more likely to have left their first post-MBA job because of a difficult manager and to have paid a penalty for pursuing a nontraditional career pathway, such as working in the nonprofit, government, or education sectors; being self-employed; or working part time before returning to work full time in a company or a firm.
The researchers found that even “after taking into account number of years of experience, industry, and global region,” women “still were more likely than men to start in a first post-MBA job at a lower level.” Right out of business school, men were given more responsibility and earned an average of $4,600 more than their female counterparts did.
When men and women started at similarly low positions, men got promoted faster and had an easier time moving up the ladder. And whatever their starting salaries, men saw greater increases than women did in their first years after earning an MBA.
It’s been argued that men and women have different aspirations and exhibit different degrees of ambition. Yet the researchers found that the results were the same even when they looked only at those who said they aspired to be CEOs. And they adjusted for childbearing, finding that the pattern remained the same when they looked only at men and women who hadn’t yet had children.
After testing every possible explanation for the differing outcomes, what they were left with was old-school sexism. “I was shocked,” Catalyst CEO Ilene Lang told ABC News when asked about the findings. “This really ate away, undermined my confidence that important change had taken place.”
Lang called the study an important wake-up call for young women who thought the battle for equality in the workplace had been fought and won by their mothers. “We’ve raised them to think they can do anything,” she said. “There are still a lot of inequities. They need to be armed and vigilant.”
And, yes, Buck McKeon has voted against equality of pay for women at every opportunity he's had. This chart-- his votes on the left, the pro-equality votes on the right-- pretty much sum up exactly what Buck McKeon thinks about women getting paid the same as men for the same work:
UPDATE: None Of This Is Funny... Except This:
The awesome Santa Clarita blog, The Buck Stops Now, reported on McKeon hosting his annual War On Women conference.
McKeon has consistently opposed legislation supportive of women, including the very first bill President Obama signed into law, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which makes it easier for women to sue their employers for discrimination.
McKeon voted to weaken the Violence Against Women Act, by denying legal protections for Native American women, immigrants, and LGBT individuals who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
McKeon refuses a hearing on rapes in the military.
McKeon voted to repeal the law which requires insurance companies to cover Women’s Preventive Services such as mammograms, well-woman visits, support for breastfeeding equipment, contraception and domestic violence screening-- without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.
McKeon voted to repeal the law which allows college students to be covered under their parents’ health insurance until the age of 24.
McKeon voted twice to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds, which would have denied millions of Americans access to contraception, cancer screenings, and other basic medical care.
McKeon voted to allow hospitals to refuse to provide emergency abortion care to women who could die without it.
No wonder McKeon received a rating of 0% from the American Association of University Women, an organization that promotes “equity for all women and girls, lifelong education, and positive societal change.” That’s zero percent, nada, nothing.
McKeon has no credibility on anything remotely connected to women’s issues, and for him to pretend otherwise is insulting.
And they published the agenda for Buck's conference. Recall, that last time he held one of these he was forced to apologize for demeaning women by introducing successful executive-- unlike himself, a failed and bankrupted executive-- Carly Fiorina as someone who had been "successful for a girl."