January 21, 2010

Dumb Generals, Irresponsible Presidents

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:56 pm by Gina

“It may be his prerogative to be dumb, but that’s really not a very good idea.”
-Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women.

This quote completely caught my attention while flipping through an issue of TIME magazine. O’Neill is referring to a US Army general in Iraq, Anthony Cucolo III, who directed that female soldiers who become pregnant, as well as the male soldiers who impregnate them, be punished.

Ok, I know what you are thinking- “oh here come the wrath of the feminists.” Which, it seems isn’t so inaccurate, but that is not why I am posting this quote. There are many sides to this argument and many more points than would immediately come to mind. For one, you can’t punish someone for conceiving a child! On the other hand, taking an oath as a soldier means to fulfill extraordinary duties that span the length of your deployment- getting pregnant and unavoidably being sent home shatter that oath.

A Post commentary article that takes a slightly opposite side of O’Neill quotes Cucolo as saying,

“I appreciate the inflamed – I got it. Here’s the deal. I’m the one responsible and I mean this sincerely and I mean this with – I hope I’m not sounding – it doesn’t matter. I am the one responsible and accountable for these 22,000 soldiers. The National Organization for Women is not. Critics are not. I appreciate – I will listen to critics, and they add thought. But they actually don’t have to do anything. I have to accomplish a very complex mission, very complex.”

Apparently he doesn’t care how he sounds, and he means what he says. The author of the article mentioned above also points out that Cucolo’s order is equal for both men and women and does not punish women who are impregnated as a result of rape.

What do you think? Do you think it is a “dumb” idea as NOW does or do you find it brilliant? In-between? Terry O’Neill was criticized as the president of the “National Organization of Irresponsible Women” after exclaiming this about general Cucolo- do you agree? Tell me your thoughts!



  1. Jessica R said,

    I’ve read about this before and while it is harsh, I have to say I agree with it. There is a huge problem with deployed women getting pregnant presumably so they can go home….because that’s what happens, they get sent home…not without punishment already though in most cases. It’s not just a “ok, see you when you’re maternity leave is up.”

    I think that since women and men know when they are becoming soldiers they are subject to this rule, there’s a simple answer: wrap it up, take your pill, abstain, pull out, do all/any combindation of the above.

    Also, who’s going to take care of this baby when mommy and daddy have to go back to work? Work being war. What kind of a life is that for these kids? Not that I don’t appreciate the sacrifice these soldiers make, but it’s becoming and excuse to get out of war..and I hope these babies would have existed otherwise and aren’t just more government bonus babies. We have enough welfare mommas.

    Sure, accidents happen, but I think knowing that they have the extra punishment to enforce it will help deter those “accidents” and especially the ones with quotes.

    Hopefully I haven’t offended anyone with my thoughts, and I really am all for the soldiers, their families, and babies…but when you take an oath, you take an oath.

    • I should have done some research to see the percentage of women who do that….. if they have statistics like that. Anyway, valid points Jess! 🙂

  2. Julie Mussio said,

    Gina,gives me lots to think about,Mom

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