Tag Archives: sexism

Women in Combat: A historical and political analysis of “change” in the U.S. Armed Forces  

By Kathy Johnson and David Gespass

Published in the Winter 2015 issue of On Watch

Despite dramatic changes in social mores and subsequent legislative reforms, capitalism generally, and the U.S. version in particular, has shown a remarkable ability to adapt and morph in the interest of self-preservation. Sometimes, the changes lead to more openness and democratic rights. Other times, they increase repression or deception. At all times, they are intended to insure that the rich stay rich and get richer, sometimes by increasing the income of U.S. workers (generally at the expense of others around the world), more recently by concentrating ever-greater wealth into fewer and fewer hands.

Career Ender: Sexual assault or sexual harassment complaints still prevent advancement

By Jim Klimaski

Punishing the transgressor addresses half the problem. Where is meaningful assistance for the victim? 

The Tailhook scandal occurred over 20 years ago. At least 83 women and seven men were identified as having been sexually assaulted at the Navy/Marine Corps Tailhook Association Convention held in Las Vegas in September 1991. There were over 4,000 active, reserve and retired service members in attendance, including several Flag officers.  What occurred at this gathering soon became public knowledge and calls by members of Congress for an investigation started a long battle between those in the military who wanted to sweep the matter under the rug and senior officials at the Department of Defense who wanted a thorough and complete investigation leading to changes in the military’s attitude toward women in uniform. This struggle still continues with some success, but the victims of the harassment and assault continue to find themselves ostracized, their military career at an end. None of the sexual assault victims from the Tailhook scandal were able to continue their military careers.

With a strong push by Congress, the various military services have begun to take a hard line on prosecuting the alleged perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment. Each service claims it has established a special teams of experienced prosecutors aided by victim witness counselors who help the complaining victim through the court martial process. But outside these legal proceedings little is done to assist the sexual assault victim should they wish to continue their military career.