Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Navy wants my daughter, I'm not a fan

Recruiters face challenges without an independent, objective and unbiased military justice system. 
The Navy called yesterday. The man calling asked to speak to my daughter. I said she wasn't available. In reality, he was calling on my cell phone, I was at work. My daughter was at her work. If he had this number she didn't want to talk to him.

I told him I would let her know he called, but based on our conversations, she was not interested.

Instead of asking when a better time to call to talk to her might be, he launched into his script. He wanted to schedule an interview. He wanted her to know what the Navy offered.

Since I knew she wasn't interested, and I could easily imagine what the Navy offered women, I asked how he got this phone number.

He said he was going through old records and it could be she filled out of form asking for more information (not likely), or it was a number received from her high school (more likely).

Then I launched into my script, “As a mom, I'm not sure I want my daughter to go into the service, based on how they treat women,”

The surprise in his voice was palatable, “Why? What have you heard?”

Now it was my turn to be surprised, “Don't you read the news?”

Take a second. Do a Google search. Page after page appears with stories about women in the service who have been assaulted by men in the service and their superiors who refuse to condemn this reprehensible behavior. They protect it. “Boys will be boys.”

I say, “Girls will be moms,” and this mom says, “Based on your reputation, you don't deserve my daughter.”

Your community hasn't earned the right to interview my daughter. First, invest in efforts that criminalize behavior that assaults, harasses, and creates a hostile work environment for the people you are trying to recruit. A career in the military shouldn't mean that women, or men, are unsafe from their fellow service personnel. It shouldn't mean a recruit is subservient to self-serving criminals who continue to assault. It shouldn't push victims into servitude to higher ups willing to cover up abuse.

In an interview with MSNBC, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said one in five military women – and three percent of men, experience unwanted sexual contact. Gillibrand's Military Justice Improvement Act, legislation to assign sexual assault cases to specially trained military prosecutors, fizzled.

The Department of Defense (DOD) released a report in December 2014 on sexual assault in the military. The DOD claimed success because only 19,000 people were assaulted, a whopping 7,000 less than those assaulted in 2012. Digging a little deeper into 2012, shows that of those 26,000 sexual assaults only 3,374 were reported and only 302 were brought to trial.

If you want brilliant people to serve our country. Stop endorsing a playhouse for boys.

Grow up.

Become men.

Clean house.