The Thinking 

Our Sexualized Military

November 2, 2012


Sgt. Jennifer Smith

SEE this astounding headline in The New York Times:

Military Has Not Solved Problem of Sexual Assault, Women Say


Why would anyone expect that a coed military would ever solve the problem of sexual assault? It’s much more likely that the problem has just begun. Also, might we ask, why women who are trained aggressors are not able to deal with aggression from their fellow soldiers? Someone who cannot defend herself against other service members is hardly in the position to defend herself against committed enemies.

Here is my working definition of a woman in traditionally male military positions. A female solider is someone who joins the military not to defend her country but to fight her country. Even if she has patriotic feelings, even if she has done her job well, she is, unless in some crucial role that can only be served by a woman, effectively at war with her own country to the extent that she approves of, seeks and fights for equality in the military. America depends on a male fighting force and on the relative cohesiveness, simplicity and camaraderie of a male force.

Illustrating this point, the women interviewed here are outraged that men made improper comments or physical contact. And it’s true these actions are improper. But the idea that they could ever be eradicated is delusional. There is a quite easy solution: minimize the number of women in the armed forces, making it as close to none as possible.

The Times piece speaks of the experience of Air Force Sgt. Jennifer Smith. (Look at the anger and resentment on Sgt. Smith’s face  in the accompanying photo. Is that a woman who joined the Air Force to serve her country and to fight its enemies? Whom is her rage directed to: us or them?) We learn the following:

Sergeant Smith’s written administrative complaint filed with the Air Force notes that she has consistently received high marks in performance reviews. She joined the Air Force in 1995, out of high school in Salamanca, N.Y. The next year, during her first overseas temporary duty assignment at Sembach Air Base in Germany, she was assaulted by a master sergeant in his room after a night of drinking, she said. Male co-workers who came to the rescue warned that the sergeant had a reputation for preying on young enlisted women, she said.

Assaulted in his room after a night of drinking? Might it have been better if Sgt. Smith not only declined to go to a master sergeant’s room after a night of drinking, but also declined to join the military altogether?

—– Comments ——

Terry Morris writes:

Normalizing female soldiery is a bad idea altogether: I was working in a home a couple months back, where the owners had their television tuned to the Ricky Lake Show. Lake’s main guest for the show was a young female, ex-military, whose mission was, on behalf of her comrades, to convince the viewing audience of the necessity of doing more, much more, to make sure there is living-wage employment available for these women once they leave the military.

Toward the end of the segment, Lake offered the young woman the opportunity to explain, in a few words, what it is about these women that make them such desirable employees and potential assets to employers. The woman barely got started before she began sobbing uncontrollably. But through all of the blubbering and consoling (by Lake and the audience), she managed to speak of their “tough-mindedness,” that they are “extremely capable, self-starters;” of their “fearlessness,” “adaptibility,” of their extraordinary “dependability and loyalty,” and etc… In short, that they out-class their male counterparts in each of these areas, yet do not receive their just rewards outside of military service. It was, in a word, pitiful. But I can’t decide which was more pitiful – her barely intelligible, tear-filled plea, or the in-studio audience’s disgusting admiration for her intrepid bravery in fighting for her cause?

R.A. Martin writes:

In consideration of the nature of women in general, as has been discussed here, in my view, women join the military not to secure and protect our country, but for security and protection. I do not believe that the vast majority of women join the military with being placed in combat situations or being shipped overseas far away from family and children in mind. On the contrary, I believe that most women join the military with what the military offers in the way of personal security; a steady income, housing, the G.I. Bill, etc. This came to mind when I read the comment by a reader named Alyce on the post entitled “Is There Any Greater Abomination than the (Ideal of the) Female Soldier?” posted on your site on October 12, 2012. In her comment post, she commented that her father had broken his back and could not work. Eventually, she goes on, he was sued by a hospital around the time she graduated high school. No one could blame her for taking the opportunity that was offered her. Unfortunately, our culture tends to want to turn a blind eye to common sense and the nature of gender in the name of “equality.” This idea of “equality” is not based upon logic, as logic dictates that no one is “equal,” but upon rationalizations that fly in the face of logic. When one obtains a “freedom” in this manner, another becomes a slave to the so-called “freedom.”

Jill Farris writes:

Several things glared at me from the article on this woman. She endured insults, gropings, rape etc. for 17 YEARS? Her military career was apparently the priority to her. She did have the choice not to reenlist didn’t she?

Also, the incident when she was insulted and leered at with her husband at her side. Why didn’t he lay into that man with a right hook? Instead, he left with his wife and they complained of it later on. Apparently the feminist married a wimp. My husband would have punched out anyone who harassed me, even if it was a senior officer (he might regret it later but he wouldn’t tolerate it in person).

Some of the incidents in the article sounded like something that any enlisted man might endure i.e., being duct taped with another soldier, being swept up into a bar… of course those experiences would be scary for a woman but it sounds the sort of mean initiation type treatment many young men go through. They don’t like it but they take it for what it is; testing newbies to see what kind of stuff they are made of.

Men and women are different. A woman in uniform who walks, talks and acts like a man soldier is still a woman who was created with a deep need to be cherished, protected and loved. Women are relationship oriented, sensitive and emotional; all wonderful characteristics if they choose to change the world by raising up the next generation of children but really dangerous characteristics for someone who is supposedly protecting our country.

Laura writes:

Good points.

Also, the incident when she was insulted and leered at with her husband at her side. Why didn’t he lay into that man with a right hook?

Astounding, isn’t it? Also, as I said, shouldn’t she be able to handle these offenses on her own?

Any woman who spends time with large numbers of other men is going to need protection. And the American military is going to be increasingly devoting energies to protecting service members from other service members.

Mr. Morris writes:

That photo of Sgt. Smith shows that she is either about to go for a flight on the airplane, or she just got back from a flight when that photo was taken. See how ecstatic she is in the picture. My assumption is that it’s a pre-flight shot. These are called incentive flights, as I recall, and they’re very rarely given to junior enlisted personnel.

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