An ugly assumption
The writer of the June 4 letter titled “Futile mission” has an unusual take on sexual violence in the military. The assumption that rape and sodomy are inevitable in a service that includes women is very disturbing.
All over this country, on campuses and in other institutions, men of good character curb their animal instincts, and if they can’t, they are removed from normal society and incarcerated. The larger issue in this debate is the prosecutorial chain of command that seems to agree with the writer that such abuse is normal and often results in the resignation of the victim instead of prosecution of the perpetrator.
Anyone who cannot control his baser instincts is, at heart, a weakling. The mightiest military in the world is no place for weaklings. If a person cannot be trusted to restrain himself with a member of his own team, how will he represent U.S. interests at war, in a vulnerable population where there is little accountability?
There is no need for a separate military. Women have proven their ability to achieve success in any endeavor that has a level playing field. Avoiding sexual predators should not be part of their mission. Root out these sexual sociopaths, and smart, strong women will rise to fill their ranks.
We will show the country, and the world, that we do not tolerate the abuse of women, or of men.
Failure of leadership
I am rarely at a loss for words. But reading the June 4 letter “Futile mission,” all I could say was “wow.” Rape is wrong, no matter the location or setting. And failing to remind our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines and then enforcing that is a failure of leadership.
This is not a matter of a failed “social experiment.” It’s a matter of instilling values and virtues in our young men and women before and during their time in service. It’s a matter of enforcing laws evenly upon our men and women who volunteer to give their lives if need be in defense of our country.
Sexual assault has no place in the military. And to suggest that sexual assault is a natural by-product of an environment where we need our fighting units “macho” enough to whip up on an enemy is misogynistic at best.
As the father of a daughter who may one day decide to devote her life to defense of this land for this writer and everyone else, I can only hope that if she does, that this matter will have been addressed and resolved.
A. Thomas Price
Stop shifting responsibility
With the all-inclusive military of today, even if the writer of a June 4 letter, “Futile mission” got his wish of separate units, there would be problems. Maybe we could have five separate units, one for men who like women, one for men who like men, one for women who like men, one for women who like women and a unit for “others.”
I have a better idea: Why don’t the offenders (men or women) grow up, learn what’s acceptable behavior and quit blaming others?
Rochelle R. Johnson
U.S. Navy (Retired)
Harsh punishment needed
My father was a legal officer and then a judge advocate general in the U.S. Air Force. He often told me that the most frequent type of case he faced at work involved sexual assault of one kind or another. What is notable is that my father retired in 1968, long before women were permitted in combat.
The June 4 letter writer who commented on this issue thought that equal but separate units would be a good solution.
Wrong. The way to work towards decreasing sexual assault in the military is for top brass to take a strong stand against it, for victims to be heard and for perpetrators to receive quick and harsh punishment for their crimes on a consistent basis.