Are women safe in the US military?
Would you encourage a woman to join the US military in light of Congress' refusal to move out of the chain of command the issue of sexual assaults?
No, I would not. Apparently, we are in the minority among our allies in retaining this insistence on keeping these assaults and other serious crimes in the chain of command where judgment is subject to cronyism and other unfair influences. Conviction of someone in the unit may reflect badly on the unit commander too, which would no doubt influence his or her decision.
Yes, I don't think that it is fair for one gender to so intimidate another as the other voluntarily denies themselves opportunities and challenges, once that happens then the adversary wins. While women conitinue to enlist, we will just have to ratchet up the scale of conflict with intransigent authories and bureaucrats.
I'm a woman and I would not encourage a woman to join the military for a long list of other reasons and this is just another valid reason for them to not join. At least in the private sector a woman who has been raped or sexually harassed has a decent chance of getting justice without reprimand, harassment, or worse.
Right now, I wouldn't encourage anyone of any age to join the military. The sexual assaults on men in the military since the end of," Don't ask don't tell," have increased significantly. The New York Times had a article on it.
Sexual assault is not the biggest concern.
The government has left the military out to dry. They are sending troops into the middle east without back up. Who are the rebels in Syria? Last count there were three different factions, none of them too friendly to us.
You think there are assaults in the military, send women to the mid east and they will see assaults the likes of Lara Logan in Egypt.
I would neither encourage nor discourage to join the military--but I would certainly do my best to EDUCATE anyone close to me regarding conditions in the service, be they female, male, gay, straight, or an alien beaming in directly from Pluto.
However, education is the answer only insofar as ignorance is the problem. If you've got someone sincerely wanting your input, that's awesome (and a big responsibility), but if the person's mind is made up, who listens to good advice, anyway?
Case in point: My first wife's brother joined the Marines when he was 17. Both I (who had by that time completed my 2 years of draft-required Army service) and his father (who was not a veteran but was also nobody's fool) attempted to dissuade him. We knew his personality was not going to "cut it" in the military.
Which it did not. He did survive boot camp but was booted from the Corps after something like 6 months of time in service. His "mental block" was illustrated perfectly by one of his statements to his parents after he'd been in boot for a while:
"I can't believe they're actually teaching us how to KILL people!"
From what I've seen and experienced during my time in the military, I can safely say that, in my opinion, women are not "safe" in the United States military as far as sexual advances or sexual abuse.
I was dating a girl who was stationed in the same base as me, and every time I saw her she would show me vulgar, disgusting, abusive text messages from her superiors who kept harassing her. Some of them (ranging from the rank of Corporal to Gunnery Sergeant), went as far as telling her that if she wanted to score a promotion she would have to perform certain sexual favors in return. Unfortunately, she admitted to being only one of many girls who experienced the same treatment from their superiors or members of equivalent rank. None of the girls ever reported these incidents out of fear that they would be considered "snitches", "unworthy", "whores" (excuse my French) etc...
I have a few close friends of mine who are females and plan on joining the military, and I am doing everything in my power to convince to choose a different career path.
I would suggest it all depends on where you are stationed or located. I can't believe rapes and sexual assaults happen military wide. I am sure there are some places (generals) who do not put up with that. And then there are places (generals) who look the other way. It all depends on the leadership at each base.
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