Donald Trump thinks it's a no-brainer that so many American servicewomen are raped by their fellow soldiers. This week, when the increase in these crimes is the subject of a Senate hearing, Trump tweeted: "26,000 unreported sexual assults [sic] in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?"
I normally ignore The Donald as a publicity-hound half-wit celebrity shill. But now that he's a rape apologist, he deserves a response:
The natural product of men and women together is not sexual assault. Rape is not an eventuality. It's not a method of conception as (thankfully still-a-Congressman) Paul Ryan likes to refer to it. It's not a means of god "gifting human life" like former Senator Rick Santorum believes. There's not illegitimate rape and legitimate rape as former Congressman and 2012 senatorial candidate Todd Akin felt the need to clarify.
There's just consensual sex and a felony.
Rape is a crime.
So Trump's "genius" solution would be to ban women from military service? Segregate the sexes? What about the men who are sexually assaulted by other men? Them too? If we're going to blame an entire gender for their innate rape-ability, it's worth mentioning men can also be raped.
But that nuance isn't what Trump is tweeting about. It's the idea that men are just going to commit rape, so women need to be covered, hidden, separated, escorted and armed. A burka and a Beretta: Welcome to Trump's America.
Ah yes, weapons profiteers conveniently think the cure to rape is arming all women. Well servicewomen are all armed. Try again.
The gun-dealing industrial complex, specifically the NRA, likes to Monday Morning Quarterback all tragedies. How could it have gone better? If you had their product on you. Guns are a crime panacea especially when coupled with hindsight.
Trump has basically blamed all servicewomen for being assaulted. They're culpable in their own rape because a) they're women and b) they're serving alongside men.
Instead of blaming the victims, how about blaming rapists? Instead of banning women, how about banning the perpetrators?
We are so conditioned for deference to all who wear the U.S. military uniform that it's hard to be critical. Because everyone who serves is automatically dubbed a hero regardless of whether their service is heroic or not. The idea that they could commit hideous crimes is uncomfortable. It's akin to pedophile priests. Because these are holy men whom we are taught are pillars of their communities, the idea of them being child rapists is tough to accept. We like it when there are good guys and bad guys. Not where there are purported good guys who also commit sexual assault.
We need our boogeymen not to be morally complicated for us. Just simply and purely evil is best.
In the context of rape, the victims are easier to vilify. They could have been asking for it. They could just have "buyers remorse" as former Colorado senatorial candidate Ken Buck put it. They could be lying. They could have put themselves in that position. They could have worn the wrong thing. They could be trying to destroy a good man. They could be too attractive. They could have decided to work in the U.S. military.
No wonder rapes are the most underreported crime we have -- we assume rape victims are partially responsible. Rape is something that can be avoided by a victim so the culprit is entitled to some understanding.
Separate the rapists from the military, not the women.
And bring our troops home.
Nationally syndicated columnist TINA DUPUY
is an award-winning writer and the editor-in-chief