Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why is Sexual Assault Considered a Benefit for Men?

Discussion of sexual assault in the military is gaining steam. Now we are wondering why officers want to allow commanders to ignore allocations of assault.  The conversation is still focusing on justice for women, which is important, but does not address the problem, only the result. Let's talk about the cause of the problem - the culture that makes men believe that attacking women benefits them.

Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, said that the crisis has grown so dire that he could no longer recommend a young woman to join the armed services. Hummm...women (the lower group on the hierarchy) have to again change their lives and lose opportunities because men (the higher group) are not being held accountable in real ways.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-New York, told the military leaders that not all commanders are committed to dealing with sexual harassment and assault. Some, she said, do not welcome women in the military. Others don't "differentiate between a slap on the ass and rape because they merge all these crimes together." Hierarchical techniques of violence and assault have always helped to create an elite club (in this case of men), and measures to let women know they are not welcome are encouraged. Is that what men are trying to accomplish?

This conversation needs a new focus. In hierarchies, people on top act in ways that they perceive is to their benefit.  SO...why do men really believe it is to their benefit to attack women?