Derbtown

The Sexual Harassment Panic

June 13, 2013

So I’m going to leave you to browse those 1,803 pages for yourself—enjoy!—and to learn such things as (page 23):

Estimates derived from the rates of [Unwanted Sexual Contact] in the 2012 WGRA suggest that there may have been approximately 26,000 Service members who experienced some form of USC in the year prior to being surveyed.

My work here aims to be constructive: to apprise the US military of some true facts that might assist them in pushing back against the USC tsunami:

(1) When you want to get anything done, there is much to be said for institutional segregation by sex. An American friend recently asked me how, in spite of having a not very scholarly temperament, I come across as well-educated. I put it down to having attended an all-boys’ school from my 11th to my 18th birthdays. I really don’t see how teenage boys can learn anything with girls in the classroom.

(2) If healthy young adult males and females are assembled in units dedicated to a common purpose, in sex proportions much different from 50-50, and walled off from the general population, then strong sex-related emotions—notably sexual jealousy—will inevitably manifest themselves, corroding unit effectiveness.

(3) Women are strongly attracted to higher-status men. If male officers are in command of units containing women, human nature is placed under severe strain.

(4) Men who join the military are responding to widespread, innate male urges—the urge to break things and kill people, for example. Women who join the military are, by contrast, outliers in their sex. They are eccentric and prone to behave eccentrically. As a designated victim group, they are especially susceptible to the associated pathologies, e.g., victim hoaxes for attention, spite, or cash reward.

(5) The terms “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault” are ambiguous and open to manipulation by unscrupulous lawyers. It is not, for example, the case that sexual intercourse comes in precisely two clearly distinguished varieties, consensual and nonconsensual. There is an entire continuum of consent, ranging from forcible kidnapping/rape, to drunk-and-I-don’t-know-what-I-was-thinking, to licensed connubial bliss. (In this context I once asked a respectably married lady friend whether in her days of premarital freedom she had ever taken a man to bed and regretted it afterwards. She: “Afterwards? How about during?”)

(6) I hate to distract the attention of our senior military brains away from their labors on “Strengthening Military-Civilian Community Partnerships to Respond to Sexual Assault” (page 43) toward the distasteful business of fighting wars, but there may be some of that in our future, and it may bear some hard thinking all by itself—if not perhaps 1,803 pages’ worth.

 

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