For someone who's so pro-war, commentator Liz Trotta sure has trouble figuring out who the enemy is. On Fox News over the weekend, she belittled proponents of women in combat and derided "feminists" who complain that uniformed ladies "are now being raped too much" by male soldiers. As evidence, she cited a recent DOD report that assaults on women had risen 64 percent in the past six years. "Now, what did they expect? These people are in close contact," she told anchor Eric Shawn. Here's part of the exchange via Media Matters (video below the jump; watch at your own risk):
SHAWN: Well, many would say that they need to be protected, and there are these sexual programs, abuse programs, are necessary—
TROTTA: That's funny, I thought the mission of the Army, and the Navy, and four services was to defend and protect us, not the people who were fighting the war.
SHAWN: Well, you certainly want the people fighting the war to be protected from anything that could be illegal.
TROTTA: Oh, look, I mean, that's—nice try Eric. This whole question of women in the military has not been aired properly, and it's the great sleeping giant.
I've got three takeaways here:
1) Did Trotta just suggest that women who defend this country should expect to get raped as a matter of course, as routinely as wearing a uniform and getting up early? Yes.
2) Did Trotta just suggest that men who defend this country are monsters who can't stop themselves from raping women in close proximity, and shouldn't be expected to? Yes.
3) Is Trotta a complete hypocrite? Yes! Besides her obvious slut shaming, her argument rests on a fundamental hypocrisy: She was for women in combat before she was against it. While shilling for her memoir in 1991, Trotta claimed (dubiously) on CSPAN that she was the first female journalist to cover combat in Vietnam. Far from fearing a sexual assault, she claimed US GIs in Vietnam were part of "a real age of heroism. I hadn't really seen America and America's men and appreciated what they were until I saw them at war."
She discussed taking fire in a helicopter and participating at a "cut-off at a special forces camp near the border," where she was trained to evade and escape unfriendly forces. Nowhere in her reminiscences does she suggest that her presence distracted male soldiers, made them feel overprotective of her, or tempted them into raping her. So either her opinion of military men and women has dropped like a stone since Vietnam, or she's just plain making stuff up.
But why would she do that? There's another clue in her Vietnam memories. Complaining about coverage of the war by less hawkish journalists, she told CSPAN, "The anti-war opinion was a theatrical opinion. It was an opinion that got you on the air and into the newspapers." Perhaps Trotta's struck upon a lucrative theatrical monologue of her own, and she performs it to great effect for Fox. Previous performances have included calling for President Obama's assassination and comparing Occupiers to the Unabomber. For her latest encore, all she had to do was sell out women... and the armed forces. Bravo, Liz.