I love football. I really do. As I went to meet a friend to watch the Cincinnati Bengals- Atlanta Falcons game, I wondered if it was wrong that I was excited for the game, given the NFL headlines regarding Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson. The issues at hand go far beyond the field of play and my hope is that eventually, professional football can live up to the aspirations and adulation bestowed upon it by fans.
If you want to be energized, watch this performance of Sojourner Truth’s famous “Ain’t I a Woman” speech from 1851, by Alfre Woodard. I take great pride in the fact that I teach at a school founded in the same year, founded to provide women an education because The University of Missouri didn’t allow them to study there. Indeed to teach at a place created for all the ‘Ain’t I a Women’ is something very, very good.
The Department of Defense reports that in 2012, military sexual assaults rose to over 26,000– an increase of one-third since 2010. This comes on the heels of the disgusting irony that Lt. Col. Jeffrey Kruskinski, who himself led the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, was charged with sexual battery on Sunday. This disgusts me. In all of the talk of honor, valor, and pride in the United States military, the glut of sexual assaults, reported and unreported, is a blight of arrogance, privilege, and dishonor. This February, the documentary The Invisible War vied for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, putting too many faces to these crimes. This issue of military assault cannot be ignored.
Please contact your Representatives in Congress and the Senate to help enact measures like the Ruth Moore Act of 2013 to forge a solution to this scourge on the dignity of our servicemen and women.