When Ignorance Attacks

I generally keep my toes out of the murky, scum filled, depths of political debate.  But when the military is conjured up as a prop to back someone’s argument, I feel obliged to comment. I’m a military professional whose job is to enforce good order and discipline and train Marines on professional conduct. As such, I figure I might have something to offer on the matter discussed in the below clip.

The topic was women, sexual assault, and their right to protect themselves with firearms. Toward the end Zerlina Maxwell invokes women in the military: 

“If firearms were the answer, then the military would be the safest place for women and it’s not.”

This ridiculous statement presumes the U.S. military is an armed camp and we walk around strapped with firearms twenty four hours a day. Seriously? The only time I’ve been armed every moment of the day was in combat. I wish folks would actually take the time to learn something about us before spouting off such nonsense. Unless you’re in a combat zone, all the weapons are locked up in the armory and accounted for every day. Bases have closed their gates and shut down when it has been reported a weapon was unaccounted for. Within the lexicon of terms which cause joy and elation in our world, the term: “Site count is up!”, meaning all weapons are accounted for, is second only to liberty call.  Entire units of Marines have sat on their hands waiting to go home until this wonderful exclamation was pronounced.

Since Maxwell decided to drag the military into the conversation I feel the need to comment on some of her other remarks.

“I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.” She went on to say: “We can prevent rape by telling men not to commit it.”

Based on my over 20 years of service, I can assure everyone merely telling people not do something doesn’t prevent it from happening.  For instance, at nearly every opportunity I tell Marines not to drink and drive. Yet, magically, I’ve still had to deal with those who get DUIs.

Maxwell goes on to claim if we train men not to rape women then women will no longer have to face sexual assault situations. Basically, if we train men not to rape, we will prevent rape.  As much as we’d like to think this logic would work it simply doesn’t. How do I know? Well, every licensed driver in America is trained not to exceed the speed limit, yet police still write numerous speeding tickets daily. Speaking of the police, wouldn’t it be cool if we trained everyone to simply obey the law. We’d no longer need a police force! Or prisons! Clap your hands if you believe in fairies!

I can’t count the number of hours we spend training Marines on subjects like Sexual Assault Prevention and Reporting, Unit Victim Advocacy, ethics, core values, moral courage, and the like. Whenever I talk about substance abuse I remind Marines the number one date rape drug is alcohol. Whenever I give a liberty brief I talk about conduct, not drinking and driving, not abusing women. Basically I remind the Marines we all signed up to be the guy on the recruiting poster. If we set out to be the warrior who is dedicated to defending others, why would we threaten the very citizens we are sworn to protect with drunk driving and sexual assault? I know without a doubt I have made an impact on the conduct of the Marines within my sphere of influence. Despite this, there are always the few who refuse to get on board and do whatever they want despite the number of hours they’ve been lectured and trained.

As concerns sexual assault training, on any given military base there are posters everywhere pointing out: “Sexual assault is a crime!” Never once have I seen a service member attend training or look at one of those posters then suddenly face palm himself exclaiming: “If I had only known!”

I attended a number of leadership seminars on sexual assault prevention. In one we were informed there is no sexual assault prevention program in the United States which has been found to prevent sexual assault. This confirms my belief that all the training in the world does not repair a fundamental character flaw or prevent self centered, evil intent.  As a matter of fact, our training focus has been shifting from “rape is bad” to addressing bystander behaviors. 

Steve Thompson, of Central Michigan University, has created a great program called No Zebras. I had a chance to listen to his presentation and speak with him during a sexual assault seminar.  His main focus of effort is to encourage victims and bystanders to recognize then intervene in sexual assault situations.  Imagine that, the foremost expert on sexual assault is encouraging possible victims to recognize predatory behavior in people they know and avoid being assaulted. Bystanders are being encouraged to recognize it and intervene.

I find it hypocritical we have a culture dictating women should not be encouraged to defend themselves from assault yet embrace the battlecry:  “Women kick ass too!” We encourage women to advance into combat after all.  How can Maxwell and those like her believe American women can defend their country yet not themselves?

Semper Fidelis!
America’s SgtMaj

Some of my other posts on sexual assault in the military:

Thoughts On Sexual Assault Prevention.
More Thoughts On Sexual Assault.
What Did They Expect?


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  1. “How can Maxwell and those like her believe American women can defend their country yet not themselves?”

    You ask a critical question. Leaving out the situation where there is disparity in rank – which is a separate issue – there seems to be a real conflict here. Assuming that the female service member is being assaulted by a fellow male service member (even if not in the same unit), why doesn’t she just fight him off? It seems to me that either she chooses not to (in which case, is it rape?) or is not able to (more probable). If she is incapable of fighting off one of her fellow service members, what likelihood is there that she will be able to fight off an enemy soldier? If she’s unable to fight off an enemy soldier – what is she doing in the situation where fighting off the enemy is a probability??

    In other words, it seems to me that the fact that there is rape committed is a clear indication that women should not be in combat units.

    Note: I define a “combat unit” as one which is expected to close with the enemy. I understand that there are units in which women serve which _do_ contact the enemy at times, but which do not come into direct with the enemy on a regular/expected basis. (intel units, for example. I’m sure there are others)

  2. Excellent essay, Sarge.

    Unfortunately, being a liberal, feminist turd means never having to acknowledge facts. Rather it’s all about emotion and feelings. Political correctness and fascist idealism are not based on factual arguments.

  3. First of all, screw you, Anonymous, and your gross sexism. Grow up and join the modern world.

    Second, the argument that females not being able to fight off a rapist means we should rethink or doubt their ability in combat doesn’t make sense, because male service members get raped too. Following that logic, should we also doubt their ability to fight in combat? I don’t think so. A rape is not comparable to a battle.

    Thirdly, many women do not fight back against a rapist because of the threat of greater harm. Fighting back often means you get hurt worse, without stopping the rape. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t a “real” rape.

  4. Suek, questioning the service of women in the military wasn’t the subject of my post. Sexual assault isn’t a rapist squaring off with a woman in a cage match or a even a battlefield. My understanding is predators often get past their victim’s defenses by using a date rape drug (most often alcohol). My point wasn’t to equate the two situations. My point was it is idiotic to train women (or anyone) to defend a nation yet not allow them to protect themselves.

    Anonymous, her political leanings aren’t the focus of my post. Her moronic statements as they apply to the military were. I blasted a conservative woman’s remarks in a post titled, What Did They Expect? It is linked at the end of this current piece. Being a turd isn’t an attribute solely owned by any one group on the political spectrum.

    a female Marine, true, men have also been raped in the military and often under the same circumstances as women. Interestingly, I’ve never heard of a case of male rape where someone asked why he didn’t fight harder.

  5. 1. Ms. Maxwell is not engaging in discussion.
    2. She is a well paid, capable and productive political operative.
    3. Her statements have one goal: accomplishing the ends of her paymaster.
    4. If she speaks lies, slander or calumny, that is of no consequence in the political arena.
    5. Vice President Biden and several members of the Colorado, New York and Connecticut State legislatures have been trumpeting similar statements.
    6. In another venue, Representative the Hon. Maxine Waters announced that the sequester and other evil Republican maneuvers cost the country 170 million votes.
    7. When it was pointed out that there were only 130 million jobs in the USA, she stared at the person and went on to the next topic.
    8. The implication was clear: that person didn’t get it. Political rhetoric doesn’t have to have a base in fact; it just has to be trotted out on stage for effect.
    9. Saw a fair amount of chest and tub thumping in some of the third world crap holes I was sent to.
    10. A half bright six-year old wouldn’t buy into most of this stuff, but it still seems to work.
    11. In this case, Ms. Maxwell stepped on your feet, trashing the military.
    12. Her statements were inaccurate and disrespectful.
    13. She would not debate you on this issue: she has no facts to support her.
    14. Doesn’t matter because it was never about any truth.
    V/R JWest

  6. “… questioning the service of women in the military wasn’t the subject of my post.”

    Nor do I question it. But I question the wisdom of those who would place women in combat units.

    “My understanding is predators often get past their victim’s defenses by using a date rape drug (most often alcohol).”

    Understood. That is a different issue. I was assuming forcible rape. Do you know if there are any statistics in connection to this? I don’t think I’ve ever seen any…

    “My point was it is idiotic to train women (or anyone) to defend a nation yet not allow them to protect themselves.”


  7. There is a rather significant portion of our population that has been so thoroughly indoctrinated into an incompetent view of humanity that there is no reasoning with them on any level.

    This was done, largely, through our education system as it has been taken over by those who preach/teach this incompetency.

    It’s no one’s fault but our own. We all sat on our hands for the last few decades while this happened.

    Now we get to reap the whirlwind we allowed to be sown.

    Good folk did nothing. Now good folk have to suffer for it along with the bad.

    – Grimmy

  8. “If firearms were the answer, then the military would be the safest place for women and it’s not.”

    I read a similar statement by someone claiming that since firearms didn’t prevent the 2009 Ft. Hood shootings, guns were ineffective in self-defense situations (wish I could find the reference, but I can’t).

    Like you said, people spout off regarding things they know nothing about. When I was stationed at Ft. Hood weapons – both military and personal – were secured. The entire post was essentially a gun-free zone.

    As for saying that telling men not to rape women will prevent sexual assault, that is possibly the most ludicrous statement I’ve heard a politician make (and that covers a lot of territory).

    Recruits have to pass background checks and test of metal ability to be accepted into the military. Too bad we can’t impose the same on people running for public office.

  9. If the Left can create more Virginia Techs, Columbines, Newtowns, and Ft. Hoods, it would merely strengthen their case.

    It’s what happens when the enemy is in actual fact your leadership. One cannot marshall power against the enemy when the enemy is oneself.

    Evil has a strange way of reproducing itself through more evil, chaos, and destruction. What good spent a decade building, they can destroy in one day.

    Gun free= death by guns. Just as slavery=freedoms. One votes for freedom by making more slaves. This is in actual fact, how it works. How it is working.

  10. 1. Line six in my previous entry should have been “jobs” not “votes.”
    2. My minders caught it and told me I shouldn’t be posting stuff if I don’t proof it.
    3. Sorry.
    V/R JWest

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