Fuck you, body image. I’ll be healthful tomorrow.
Trigger Warning: mentions of rape, sexual assault.
That sexism and misogyny is still rampant in the military is not in itself surprising, but we were shocked to discover just how bad it is:
“There are three types of women in the Army,” says Rebecca Havrilla, a former sergeant and explosive-ordnance-disposal technician. “Bitch, dyke, and whore.” During the four years that Havrilla was on active duty, she was called all three—by fellow soldiers, team leaders, even unit commanders. Once, during a sexual-assault prevention training, the 28-year-old South Carolina native claims, she watched a fellow soldier—male—strip naked and dance on top of a table as the rest of the team laughed. While deployed in Afghanistan, Havrilla spent four months working under a man she alleges bit her neck, pulled her into his bed, and grabbed her butt and waist—on a daily basis. When, on the last day of her deployment, she alleges she was raped by a soldier she considered a friend, it was, she says, “the icing on the cake.”
Havrilla and 16 others filed a lawsuit yesterday charging none other than Def. Sec.’s Robert Gates and his predecessor Don Rumsfeld with violating their Constitutional rights by failing to deal with the problem in any substantial way. Turns out, the military is above the law—literally—when it comes to sexual harassment and workplace equality:
“For lots of reasonable historical bases, the military has a level of civil immunity in our society which is quite high,” investigator Rohman says. “There’s a downside to that: their lack of external accountability means that they have not had to adjust in the way the rest of society has.” In particular, a 1950 Supreme Court ruling, known as the Feres Doctrine, places the military beyond the reach of workplace laws regarding sexual discrimination and sexual harassment. To make matters worse, charges are usually investigated within the immediate chain of command. “There’s no investigatory training. They don’t tell you to look for evidence,” says Greg Jacob, who spent 10 years in the Marines and rose to the rank of captain. Instead, they hand over a manual for courts martial, which explains, among other things, that the investigating officer should consider, first and foremost, “the character and military service of the accused.” Jacob says that essentially means weighing each soldier’s past and future value to the unit.
Catch that part? It’s the equivalent of being raped by a coworker, and having your boss decide who’s right and who’s wrong simply by deciding which one of you is worth more to him. Horrifying. Read the rest.
And they wonder why more young people don’t want to join the military. Sickening.
Sickening. Upsetting. Wtf.