As the world gets set to watch the U.S. military's sledgehammer whack away at Iraq's thumbtacks, interest in the military in general is being revived.
Hence this story from today's New York Times (you have to register to see the article, but it's free). The story suggests that the military culture in parts of the U.S. (and there's no reason to think it's any different in other countries) is overwhelmingly dominated by straight men. Dominated, actually, to the point that women going into certain branches of the military ought to expect to be raped.
The article alleges that the percentage of rape cases that are reported in the military is even smaller than in the world at large. At the United States Air Force Academy, says the article, only one of 56 reported rapes since 1995 has resulted in a court martial.
Personally, I think that the military needs to be blown up, and rebuilt entirely from the ground up, if it wants to make real change on this issue. Homophobia, sexism and racism have been shown time and time again to run rampant in many militaries, and chipping away at these problems is going to take far too long to make any real difference.
Some of those who oversee this system are preparing a report on how the system has gone wrong, and what might be done to fix it. Does anyone here have any suggestions that they'd offer, if they were in a position to do so?
Visualise success, but don't believe your eyes.
-The New Pornographers, Jackie