Thursday, June 20, 2013

Misogyny in the US Armed Forces

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.

. . .

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?



Cameron said...

I felt my spine straighten and his words weren't even directed at me. Good on him. I hope that the higher ups in the U.S. learn from this.

Anonymous said...

dont you understand that in this country football is the equivalent of the roman gladiator to be worshiped and adored who can do no wrong god forbid

said with all the possible sarcasm

Rev. Paul said...

Our military is too busy chasing its own tail at the direction of Congress, which is morally responsible for the ongoing wussification of the armed forces. We don't produce many leaders like that, anymore.

trailbee said...

It took some "down-under" guy to meet this head on. I am in awe of all the women who knowingly sign up and work through a maze of a male-oriented war culture, and actually get something done.
However, I am also disgusted by the feminazies who coerce/force our Military into allowing females into certain situations for which they don't have the body strength or size to successfully complete a mission, and instead, risk unnecessary lives.

PapaMAS said...

This is a little more complicated because the lefties are trying to prove that military folks, males in particular, are dishonorable cretins. So they make up some stats to exaggerate a real problem.

Absolutely right that no one should have to put up with that crap. Anyone doing stuff like that to my troops would not have to worry about what anyone else would do to them because I would be first in line to take 'em down. So, I have no problem with the message of demanding our troops treat each other with respect.

That being said, I do not believe there is a huge amount of misogyny in the US Armed Forces. I have personally seen some many years ago - not any recently. Over the years I have asked females I served with about sexual assault - has it happened to them or do they have direct knowledge of it happening to some one else. The answer is always not only, "No" but they always have said stuff like, "I don't know where they are getting these statistics." The recently touted figure of 26,000 DoD personnel assaulted last year is a complete fabrication.

So, yeah, our troops need to be good to one another. But don't buy into this nonsense of all the men just waiting to rape the women.

Scott said...

Dang, he's *pissed*! (and no, not in the sense of 'drunk') I expect to see some heads mounted on pikes outside his office in the near future.

The 26,000 figure comes from a VA survey of vets just leaving the service. IIRC, the question is phrased "during the time you served, were you ever..." So even if there have been 26k sexual assaults or incidents of sexual harassment (question includes both categories) reported in that year, you still need to correct that for number of years served.

The other question is what's the US rate in comparison?

There are roughly 2.3 million active and reserve members of the military, giving a rate of 11.3 per thousand, assuming 26,000 rapes/year.

From the FBI website ( ), "The rate of forcible rapes in 2011 was estimated at 52.7 per 100,000 female inhabitants."

That would indicate that a woman in the military is twice as likely to be raped as a civilian. Assuming that the 26,000 number is good.

Again, I remember that question including unwanted sexual attention and sexual harassment at any time during the troop's enlistment, with NO further clarification in the questionnaire.

Will said...

To some extent, this problem is exacerbated by the military's refusal to allow any weapons of any sort to be possessed by their members at any time. Truly stupid. Idiotic, even. The occasional body bleeding out on the floor would be a real damper on this sort of problem.

My thinking is they are all soldiers, and should be armed 24/7. No matter where they are located. If they can't be trusted with arms, then they shouldn't be in the service. And, any leader who disagree's with this should be dismissed. Fort Hood, anyone?

Stu Garfath said...

Orright, I'll start from the start.
Morrison is the bloke that WE have all been waiting for, to 'front up', represent us, in this circumstance. General Peter Cosgrove, Úncle Pete', is held in TOTAL regard, but in VERY different circumstance.
Never the less.
They BOTH speak for us Digs,(Diggers/Soldiers) they're 'fair dinkum'. (they don't bullshit to us).
They know us, They're US.
Comments on the comments?....
CAMERON-I would have him as my 'Boss'!!.
PapaMas. Mate, 'Shite goes on, but, you are clearly 'true to your lights', watch and protect as you do.
SCOTT. Bloody Oath He's 'pissed'. SEVERELY, BLOODY DAMN SEVERELY!-, F**KIN annoyed.
I would not want to annoy an individual of his calibre.
Dude, I see where you're coming from, I'm Australian, the Government TOOK away pretty much all 'legal'reasons to have a firearm here in Australia, - bitchin'.