Saturday, March 10, 2007

The private war of women soldiers

This is pretty bad - but a perhaps not unexpected unanticipated effect of integrating women into the armed forces.
I have talked to more than 20 female veterans of the Iraq war
in the past few months, interviewing them for up to 10 hours each for a
book I am writing on the topic, and every one of them said the danger
of rape by other soldiers is so widely recognized in Iraq that their
officers routinely told them not to go to the latrines or showers
without another woman for protection.
The article goes in in some detail. As I read I couldn't help but think "failure of leadership". When the troops know that the C.O. is firmly against crap like this .. it just doesn't happen.
I am not claiming that sexual persecution is universal in the military,
or that it is inevitable. Several soldiers I interviewed told me that
if a commander won't tolerate the mistreatment of women, it will not
happen, and studies back this up. Jennifer Hogg, 25, who was a sergeant
in the Army's National Guard, said her company treated her well because
she had a commander who wouldn't permit the mistreatment of women.
This is true for an amazing amount of shenanigans, not just rape or sexual harassment.
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