It’s not my intention to belabor the topic of sexual assault in the military so I’ll try not to beat this horse into the ground. If you don’t think I take the subject seriously feel free to read my other posts on the subject.
The article starts off claiming sexual assault in the military is intolerably high. Can’t argue with that. One assault is intolerable in my eyes. What the article fails to do is compare numbers with institutions outside the military, say college campuses, or the regular workforce. The author doesn’t do this because then he wouldn’t be able to insinuate your military is comprised of sex crazed savages moments away from raping their next victim. Sure would suck to accidentally dispel a myth by using hard facts.
What, you say? The article clearly states: “…an estimated 17 percent of women in the general population become victims at some point in their lives…” This is erroneous. Data out of Central Michigan University estimates 56% of all women will be confronted or hurt sexually. This would indicate to me sexual assault in the military is far lower than the average. Again, those hard facts sure do ruin wishful thinking.
The article goes on to say there aren’t enough prosecutions within military courts either. Perhaps the idea is to insinuate the military as an institution is complicit in sexual assault because of this fact. Thing is, as I understand it, prosecutors nation wide have a hard time prosecuting these cases. According to Stephen Thompson they are the weakest link in the system actually. Notice again this is in society at large not just in the military. But hey, it’s easier to turn a blind eye to a societal issue by claiming it’s solely a military one.
As much as I was disappointed in the article I was amazed at some of the comments and the ignorance displayed therein. I quote some below:
“In the moral stasis in which soldiers place themselves to kill, not to mention the extreme agitation that combat produces, it’s hardly surprising that (mostly) women might be attacked (mostly) by men.” Moral stasis? Seriously? If anything moral values are stressed more than in regular society. And since when does having been in combat cause an inability to know right from wrong? Here’s a clue, it doesn’t. What this person is really trying to say is: “I’m not surprised because you have to be a morally corrupt individual to be in the military in the first place.” Folks, combat does not turn you into a monster. I know some of you really wish it did but I’m here to tell you it is simply not true. Sorry. I also doubt that a willingness to risk your own life to confront the enemies of your nation is somehow a sign of evil intent. Despite recent events, those in the service who conduct themselves less than honorably and without compassion are an aberration not the norm.
“Our volunteer army collects too many from the bottom of the class, too many seeking employment, too many losers. And it is not democratic.” Bottom class? I guess it gives them an excuse to look down their nose at us if they assume we are socially beneath the average citizen to begin with. Every Marine I know would invite you to the parking lot to discuss which of you is the loser. By the way, last time I checked, having a job makes you NOT a loser.
Perhaps you are unconvinced your military isn’t comprised of low brow groundlings incapable of critical thinking. There are studies which showed post 9-11 war time recruits were in fact better educated than their civilian counterparts. Heresy I say! It also dispels a few other myths and is worth a look.
Not democratic? Combat is not a democratic process. I can see it now: “Marines, by general consensus we have voted against conducting a bayonet assault today. All in favor of smoking dope in the barracks instead, say ‘aye’. ” We’d have never made it past the revolution that way.
“Soldiers must be obliged to fight, not chosen from those so desperate they enlist.” I have NEVER met a Marine who joined up because they had no other choice. By the way, the article I link to above also notes most recruits are wealthier than their civilian peers.
“All things equal, the armed forces, with its very low pay and job requirement to go and do violence, is not a preferred career choice, on average, for anybody who is pacific or is better educated… don’t you think?” I think if you actually believe this statement you are an uninformed bigot. Yes you are. Funny how on one hand we are low paid thugs on one hand yet on the other completely overpaid and need our funding cut. Please make up your mind. Compared to the civilian sector we actually get paid a little more if I am not mistaken. As concerns education I have met a number of enlisted types with masters degrees. Many Marines earn a degree while serving in the military. Imagine that! Working your way through school! I know, you’d rather take out a bunch of loans then demand the government wipe out your debt and hand you a job.
“I think we need to understand that in the present context, there will be more sexual violence (than in the greater society) in the armed forces.” Based on what evidence may I ask? This lie is predicated on the lies that military members are less educated and inherently more violent than the more educated, classier, enlightened citizens they protect. Also, the numbers aren’t necessarily greater in the military. The service actually has more avenues to report sexual assault than in regular society.
“I would imagine that if our troops feel free to assault other troops, the freedom they feel to assault civilians in the countries they are stationed is high as well.” Your imagination sucks. This is just another lie based on a lie. We have what are called Rules Of Engagement. This means we have to follow rules in combat that the enemy doesn’t. So we are not “free to assault other troops” at our pleasure nor do your Marines blatantly assault civilians without consequences. Many times we are the ones preventing the civilians from assaulting each other for heaven’s sake.
Do people in America really think this way about us? Seriously? It disappoints me to see a society supposedly open minded and dead set against prejudices, stereotypes, and such would cling to such misinformation. Of course, if you point your finger at someone else and scream loud enough, maybe no one will see how screwed up you are.
In the end my blood was only left simmering. I’ll leave it to you folks at home to blow your tops.