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Women in the Military (Antelope at the Waterhole)

Categories: Opinion

Image of a crocodile eating an antelope in the waterhole.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has introduced a tough new program to reduce sexual assault in the military, according to a U.S. Department of Defense press release today.

"The defense secretary said last year, nearly 3,200 cases of sexual assualt were filed by service members.  But he said the number is vastly under-reported and that military officials estimate as many as 19,000 cases happen each year", the statement says.

The story doesn't say whether the assaults were committed by men against women, but I would bet the majority of them were.  Although I agree with Panetta that "One sexual assault is one too many", this problem is one reason I believe women should not serve in the military alongside men.  It's like the antelope arguing that they should be able to go drink at the waterhole with no interference from the crocodiles.

The bottom line is that, despite our arrogance, humans are still animals.  The belief that all of society, or even a large part of the population, can behave in a civil manner just because some members can is flawed thinking.  Attempts to suppress nature usually fail in the long run.  A more effective approach would be to periodically remind the antelope that crocodiles are a threat.

This is one reminder.

User Comments:
Jonas - May 7, 2013 03:10:35 — "Air Force staffer who led sexual assault prevention unit charged with groping" read the headlines of the FoxNews story (

"File this one under fox guar ...more
Jonas - Dec 28, 2013 02:15:17 — FoxNews: "Military sex assault reports jump by 50 percent" - kidding?  I mean, like, who could have seen that coming? - Jan 31, 2017 11:00:22 — Getting more women in the military is key to stopping crimes by men. It worked in the business world and it can work here too. Proud of you strong ladies!
Jonas - Feb 2, 2017 09:43:49 — 1) The "key to stopping crimes by men" (or women, for that matter) is establishing and enforcing laws and punishments that deter such behavior - in or out of the military, and 2) It is a costly mistake to take sound business practices and incorporate them into the military for the purpose  ...more

"If you can't say something nice, let's hear it!"   — Joan Rivers

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