In response to allegations of a staggering rise in the already all too high rate of sexual assault in the military, the military released this statement:
Sexual assault is a crime and is incompatible with military values. It inflicts incalculable harm on victims and their families; it tears at the very fabric of civilian and military communities; and it destroys trust among individuals and faith in our institutions.
Our policy has three major components: prevention through education and training; enhanced treatment and support of victims to speed their recovery; and accountability measures to ensure system effectiveness.
I wonder, however, if the instances of sexual assault in the military, rather than being "incompatible with military values," isn't instead the natural consequence of some of the values of the military - especially a particularly patriarchal concept of "masculinity," and a belief in the power of violence.
These values are not exclusively military values, and their insidious impact on the violently sexual behavior of those who hold them is not confined to active duty military personnel. In fact, such behavior is too often also commonplace in the male sports world, where once again aggressive masculinity, the prowess of power, and the potency of violence are held as ideals.
In any event, a male-dominated world in which violence is encouraged and one's talent for violence rewarded is not a safe place for women. This, at least, is not news.