Monday, December 28, 2009

More Ava Than Britney

This article from the New York Times tells us that one Lily Burana is teaching the wives of deployed US soldiers how to do burlesque strip teases for their returning husbands. I kept waiting for the article to get on my goat - to say or imply that this burlesque, and the improved sex life which will surely follow, will be enough to save the marriages of returning soldiers. The article pretty much stayed off my boat, pointing out that a little burlesque is unlikely to save a marriage, and that the lessons were mostly aimed returning "a little bit of that sexy feeling" to the lives of wives of deployed husbands.

So why was I left a little weirded out at the end of the article?
On one hand, veterans do have a divorce rate higher than civilians, and I am all for using burlesque, or whatever else helps, to spice up a failing marriage. So what is it? The unwritten truth in this article is that veterans' higher divorce rates are just a tip on the iceberg of troubles experienced by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Veterans experienced increased levels of alcohol abuse, depression, and even suicide. The anxiety these women feel about what it will be like to have their veteran husbands back is justified, and they and their husbands need more help and support than a striptease class, and much more help than the VA currently gives.

So I guess, yeah, maybe the New York Times should be able to write an article about a woman who gives burlesque classes to the wives of soldiers without discussing mental health care for veterans. But maybe it shouldn't, and this is an issue that seems like it could be uncontroversial in a Democratic/ Republican kind of way, and should maybe be taken care of.