If It Were Men Being Raped, Then I Bet The Military Would Take Sexual Assaults Seriously

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey

I’m so sick and tired of this double standard in our society.  Women being treated as second class citizens, even in 2013, with absolutely no legal basis for doing so.

It’s equally as infuriating when panels of men are chosen to “rule on women’s rights.”  Why groups of men are determining issues on women’s health and bodies is beyond me.

So when I read about this lackadaisical approach to the escalating problem of sexual assault in our military, pure disgust simply engulfs my body.

The nerve of these arrogant military commanders that oppose legislation which takes sexual assault cases beyond their power is stunning.  Now, I have been a proponent that while in the military individuals are subjected to different laws and rules then ordinary citizens—but rape is rape.

A commander, worried about their own career, shouldn’t have influence over criminal matters which transcend the military.  Someone who has no qualification to make a legal determination of mild improper sexual contact like a slap on the butt or full-on sexual assault, has absolutely no business determining what is — or isn’t — criminal behavior.

These commanders wanting to keep full authority over these criminal matters only show their fear that the more sexual assault victims who come forward, the more negatively it will impact their ambitious careers.  I can’t imagine it looks good on a resume when you’re up for promotion that you presided over men who accounted for multiple sexual assaults while in your command.  It’s a lot easier to keep that on the down-low when they control the definition of “rape” based on what they felt happened.

It’s obvious the predominantly male leadership, both in our government and our military, over the years has failed to take the problem of rape and other forms of sexual assault seriously.

I promise you this — if men were being raped (or sexually assaulted) with such frequency, this wouldn’t be an issue, because it would have already been solved.

But as more women have been voted into the Senate, and a record number of women sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the pressure has been drastically amplified on the military to take the severity of this escalating problem seriously.

It’s like what I’ve always said about abortion;  if men got pregnant, they’d sell the Morning-After Pill in every bar and gas station right next to the condoms and the abortion rate would skyrocket.

And you damn sure wouldn’t have a legal debate on whether or not abortions should be allowed — they’d be legal and widely accepted.  Hell, they’d probably sell ads for abortions during every sporting event around the world.

So, it comes as no surprise, the fact that sexual assaults in our military have mostly been swept under the rug as men have dominated our government and military, while these assaults have mainly happened to women.

As of 2012 only 3,374 reports, of the Pentagon’s estimated 26,000 cases (12%), of sexual assaults were actually reported.  Beyond just addressing the sexual assault problem in our military, I feel we must take much broader steps to curve the intimidation (and retaliation) many females fear if they are to ever come forward against their perpetrator.

Imagine of one of these women were your wife, daughter, mother or sister — is this right?  Hell no.

The women of our military serve proudly, and bravely, just like their male counterparts.  It’s time we put an end to this disgusting behavior—right now.

Prosecutions for sexual assaults in our military should be swift and harsh.  Every person found guilty of these acts should be made an example of to ensure women can serve our country bravely, honorably, equally and without fear.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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