The following is a guest column written by Col. Barbara Mucker.
The Army has experienced a massive surge in sexual assaults recently, with an almost 300 percent increase in just five years. While there is significant debate over whether the numbers can be partially explained as an increase in reporting versus an increase in actual incident, this is, at best, a secondary topic.
It distracts from the real threat to the Army: A lack of diversity among assailants.
As a lieutenant stationed in South Carolina, several of my soldiers were sexually assaulted. At the time, I thought nothing of it, but now that I am a colonel, I look back over my career and realize that the same pattern has held true throughout. Whether the target was male or female, the assailant was almost always male. I know of no formal study into the matter, but through informal interviews and extrapolation, I put the amount of male attackers as high as 95%. To make matters worse, the tiny number of female assailants tend to focus their affections on other females — not only excluding male soldiers (which is discriminatory) but also creating the impression among those males that they are undesirable.
The Army has many classes, PowerPoint slides, posters, pamphlets and other resources to assist targets of affection and also to discourage male attackers from their activities. We have even created an MOS position in many headquarters units to do this job full time. I find it hard to believe — and a little unsettling as a woman — that none of that budget money or managerial effort has gone toward encouraging more females to excel in this endeavor.
The Army is the bleeding edge of American society. We lead the way on social change, and always have. From racial integration to the normalization of adultery and divorce, we shape and usher the culture of America. It is crucial, then, that we continue that leadership and display not only the intent but also the reality of an equal-opportunity workplace. We must have more female rapists.
To effect that change, I am suggesting an equality campaign to reach out to prospective female rapists.
First, a communications blitz, from posters to emails to letters from the Sgt. Maj. of the Army. From small, effeminate 90-pound admin clerks to butch EOD techs, we must encourage all sexually aggressive female soldiers to act upon their impulses. We have to enable the success of prospective female assailants.
Second, we must create the conditions for their success. Open bay showers, co-ed barracks, and lots of SHARP briefs to remind these females that they are desirable and have needs just as much as their male peers. And we must act immediately to integrate women into every formation in the army. Equality among rapists is only possible when male-only restrictions for certain units are corrected. “Separate but equal” did not work for racial equality; similarly, it will not work for sexual assault equality.
Third, all leaders — but particularly female — must lead from the front and set the standard for their younger and more junior female soldiers. Female officers and senior NCOs must aggressively and visibly assault male soldiers, perhaps even in informal counseling or “sensing” sessions with the unit’s female soldiers. And male leaders must make themselves not only available, but desirable. More PT for flabby leaders, and perfect hygiene is a must.
Nobody wants to assault a flabby, smelly fellow soldier.
Lastly, we must nurture this program by keeping careful statistics and retraining where necessary. Accumulating proper statistics, and keeping them in the proper context, is a must in order to correct our azimuth from time to time. My fondest goal is that, in five more years’ time, and after a further 300 percent increase in sexual assaults, the stats will show that the amount of rapists is now 50 percent female.
That end-state will prove to America and to our servicemen and women that we care about equality, and that we are still the cultural leaders of the nation.
Col. Barbara Mucker is a U.S. Army colonel and non-residential fellow at both The New School in New York and the Gender Academy at Yale. She is the project director of the Chicks Invading our Line Units, the Last Bastion of Masculinity in America, Initiative. Barbara is part of a class-action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of common sense. She is, of course — OF COURSE — a West Point graduate, a fact of which she reminds everybody she fucking meets or even sees briefly on the subway. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in whatever the fuck “conflict resolution” means at New York University’s School to Overcharge Army Senior Officers for Bullshit Birdcage Liner Degrees.
This article represents her own views and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Army, the Department of Defense, or Duffel Blog.
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