Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jamie Leigh Jones

Usually I try to keep this blog about positive stuff. I feel that there are enough news sources out there covering all the stuff that sucks about being a woman and I want this to be a site that shows all the women who prove that there are some pretty awesome things about the whole 'female condition'. Yet, there are times when something really needs to be said about the shitty stuff and I think this is one of those cases.

Recently 30 Senate Republicans voted against a bill proposed by Senator Al Franken to keep the US government from contracting with companies that don't allow their employees to sue if they are raped on the job. Four years ago, twenty year old Haliburton/KBR employee Jamie Leigh Jones was working oversees in Iraq. She was drugged and brutally gang raped by several of her co-workers. She awoke with "lacerations to her vagina and anus, blood running down her leg, her breast implants ruptured and her pectoral muscles torn‚ which would later require reconstructive surgery." When she reported the rape she was then locked in a shipping container without water, food, or medical assistance, with armed guards stationed to make sure she couldn't get out. She was in there for about 24 hours. Jamie Leigh eventually managed to convince one of the guards to let her borrow his cell phone. She called her Dad back home and he contacted their state representative who managed to get government agents to find her and take her out of KBR custody. Her rape kit and the evidence of the rape was "lost".

So according to KBR/Haliburton protocol you can't sue the company, you have to go into arbitration with them and settle it out of court. Another example of corporations existing above the law. So it seems like a no brainer that the US government shouldn't be doing business with companies that won't even allow their employees to sue. After all House and Senate just voted to defund ACORN for not being pro-active enough about turning in prostitutes and human traffickers. That's a whole other blog post that I'll hopefully get to at some point. Yet, its interesting to note that both cases have to do with the female body and payment....however in the Haliburton/KBR the violence was very real and plenty of the rich(Haliburton) just keep getting richer, while with ACORN the theoretical discussion of sexual abuse get them defunded ,,, which in turn leads to the poor getting poorer.

Honestly just hearing the description of Jamie Leigh after the rape made me completely disgusted at the fact the 30 Senators voted against the bill! Thankfully the bill did pass overall because Jamie Leigh has been fighting for this for four years which is fairly torturous in its own right.

Here are the best clips about the issue:

Al Franken proposing the bill.

The Daily Show take on the whole thing.
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Rachel Maddow calling out bullshit on the Senators and giving Jamie Leigh a voice.

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