The Heavier Side

The search for sex in Iraq blog-quest started in a lighthearted spirit, but the more one thinks and reads about it the more the real answer looks rather dark. “I was trying to understand how being a woman fit into both the war and the psychological consequences of war,” writes Sara Corbett in her New York Times Magazine cover story on women in the Iraq War, “the story I heard over and over, the dominant narrative really, followed similar lines to Swift’s: allegations of sexual trauma, often denied or dismissed by superiors; ensuing demotions or court-martials; and lingering questions about what actually occurred.”

Helen Benedict did a piece for Salon on woman soldiers’ allegations of rape in Iraq. When you think about it, you’re really looking at the worst possible mixture of circumstances, institutions, and political inconvenience here. I bet when this war finally ends we’ll learn a lot more about what was really happening and it’s mostly going to be very ugly.