There have been far too many reported incidents of misogyny, discrimination and outright abuse of women in the US armed forces. The most recent, reported yesterday, involves three midshipmen at the US Naval Academy.
In that light, I can only urge the top brass to follow the example of Lieutenant-General David Morrison, Chief of the Australian Army. He pulled no punches in a recent televised message to everyone under his command. As Salon reported:
In a video released Wednesday, a clenched-jawed, simmeringly furious Morrison says, “Those who think that it is OK to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have NO place in this army … Female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian army … If that does not suit you, then get out … The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others … The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” Holeeee. Efffing. Crap. It’s brilliant.
The words are powerful. But the utterly credible fury is what nails it. It is a validation of the frustration and anger a whole lot of people who have been on the receiving end of that “toughness” have been enduring for a very long time. And it says, yeah, you’re right. This is goddamn outrageous.
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In the U.S. and Australia and around the world, the plague of abuse needs to be openly addressed and firmly dealt with. And in a culture of rampant aggression, it needs more leaders like Morrison, who are willing to express their contempt for offenders. Leaders who are willing to demand, of “every one of you,” to “Show moral courage and take a stand.”
There's more at the link. I don't usually agree with Salon's point of view, but I'll gladly make an exception for this article. Recommended reading.
Here's General Morrison's address. It's worth your time to listen to it in full.
OK, US military leaders - how about following his example?