Sexual harassment rocks the Canadian Armed Forces (again)
The CBC’s daily podcast, Front Burner, spoke recently to Glynis Rogers, one of the lead plaintiffs in a settled class-action lawsuit about sexual misconduct in the military. It’s worth listening to.
The interview comes during a month of revelations about allegations of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces that go straight to the top of the organization. And with those allegations, questions of who knew what — and when.
Glynis Rogers reflects on the news and what she thinks needs to change.
We invite you to consider the question: Can the military rid itself of sexism?
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7 replies added
Sure it can as once it’s recognized we have to work on moving ahead and help these people heal. Both the victims and those guilty.
We must move ahead to life and what I desire from life.
The military is mostly about macho activities from plain killing, to death by enforcing US sanctions which kills at arms length. It is hard to imagine woman filling this bill. (or for that matter a man with a conscience). Non of which condones sexual harassment.
Our current global ruler has dropped an average of over 400 bombs a day for the last 20 years, that’s the crowd we are in with.
Of courses it can! This culture of male misogynism has had its way with women and girls for centuries while leaders, both in and out of the military, abdicated their responsibilities, are equally responsible with the abusers and need to be brought to account. Men and boys who abuse women and girls usually bring their ignorance with them from home with the misguidance of probably their fathers and their fathers, that this makes a man of them, when in fact it makes a common bully and coward of them for a lifetime. It takes genuine leadership by both men and women, but particularly men, to change the culture and make it stick or severe consequences follow. I don’t want to hear any more idle lip service, I want to see real change from real leaders.
How can an institution predicated upon its members’ willingness to obey a command to attack and kill without question ever even want to cultivate empathy and reduce its dependence on hostility to The Other? If women are eventually spared sexual attacks and demeaning insults, that mentality fostered by an institution that demands unthinking obedience will simply migrate to another source of victimization. There is no cure for the cultivation of the mindset of hostile hierarchy.
The purpose of the military is to kill people and destroy things. That is what they train for throughout their careers. Lately they have been expected to be perfect gentlemen and ladies as well. Is that a contradiction?
The military is an outdated boys club that became obsolete at the end of WW II. An entity that trains people to first dehumanize others to facilitate murdering them en masse later, can only perceive sexual harassment as some kind of boys will be boys fun activity instead of the crime it really is. As justice in the armed forces serves little else but sustaining the status quo, abused women in the military face the same uphill battle as abused children in the Catholic Church. Many men in systems based on archaic male hierarchy are incapable of treating women as equal human beings. As military justice is an in house affair, to protect their own in sexual harassment cases, it either meters out token punishment at best or tries to cover up these crimes at worst.
Sadly an institution dedicated to death and destruction should not surprise anyone that it also harbours abusers of all kinds. We train the young to kill and couch it in all kinds of heroic terms and then are mystified that they behave with brutality to others. It does not take too much thought to realize this is a formula for violence all around. Time to do away with the military once and for all along with antiquated models of law enforcement that secure the rich and oppress the poor and the racialized. This is our society the military/prison/surveillance industrial complex!
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