Scandal!

This country loves a good scandal. We foam at the mouth when Michael Jackson has a sleepover. We squeal with delight when someone tortures Iraqi prisoners. We revel in delight when Bill O'Reilly picks up his phone for a little chit chat with his female employees. We debate, analyze, get distant relatives' opinions, take sides and argue over them even though they have nothing to do with us. It's part of our culture to get so excited about mostly trivial things. And on Super Bowl Sunday, we got a doozy.

No, it wasn't an exposed nipple at halftime, it was Deanna Allen; a 19 year-old National Guardswoman serving in a prison in Iraq. It seems Ms. Allen and some of her friends engaged in a mud wrestling match at Bucca detention center in Iraq. She also flashed her breasts to a crowd of male soldiers and pictures were taken. Ms. Allen was demoted in rank and she is, according to her mother, "very tearful, very upset." But why?

I know why, because the media is going to make an example of her. The days when a woman was allowed to have fun and do what she wants are coming to a close as we slip back in an ultra-conservative, 50s-style approach to gender roles. Women will be respectful and inhibited and nobody, male or female, will show any inclination to enjoying sex or anything that comes with it. The media and the culture critics will put this poor girl on a pedestal and judge her for her actions but maybe, before they do that, the country needs to take a step back and consider all the circumstances.

Here is a 19 year-old girl that, by powers beyond her control, is serving her country in a hostile land. Not only that, she is assigned to guarding prisoners who – and I'm going to go out on a limb here – don't want to be there. Now, what did she do? She had a few drinks, did a little wrestling in her underwear and flashed a camera. Other than the prison part, that sounds like a pretty standard spring break story. Except Deanna Allen isn't allowed to go on spring break because she is busy fighting President Bush's war.

The media needs to stop sensationalizing crap like this. Maybe they should thank Deanna Allen for putting her life on the line instead of making an example out of her. She did nothing more than try to enjoy herself in a shitty situation, something everyone can relate to. I for one hope our soldiers are finding ways to relieve some of the stress that comes with knowing people right around the corner are trying to kill you. Maybe the emotional toll on them won't be so bad if they are allowed to let off a little steam now and then.

So, to you Deanna Allen, don't worry what FOX News and Bill O'Reilly will say about you. Don't worry what some Iowa housewife thinks of you. Don't worry about what the military will say about your actions. You will be called a "disgrace" and an "embarrassment," but don't let it get to you. You did nothing wrong in the eyes of any level-headed, rational American. You may not be a hero for it, but I'm sure Vince McMahon will have a sweet WWE deal waiting for you when you're discharged. Hey, look at it this way, at least you weren't making your prisoners get in naked pig piles!