Gee you guys, why do you think sexual violence is so widespread in the US military?

Could it be because the people put in charge of preventing it are themselves committing acts of sexual violence? Last week it was the Air Force’s designated sexual violence prevention officer who was arrested for sexual violence. This week it’s the Army’s.

From New York magazine:

the Army has its own scandal as it investigates a sergeant who ran a similar program at Fort Hood for allegedly running a prostitution ring. The officer “is being investigated for, among other things, forcing a subordinate into prostitution and sexually assaulting two others,” unidentified Capitol Hill staffers told USA Today. Pentagon officials “also confirmed that the sergeant is being investigated for running a prostitution ring.” He’s accused of “pandering, abusive sexual contact, assault and maltreatment of subordinates.” 

The officer ran the sexual assault prevention program at the battalion level, for about 800 people, so it’s not quite the same as the Air Force lieutenant colonel who ran the program for the entire branch. But the accusations, if true, speak to an apparently more premeditated crime. No charges have been filed, but the soldier has been relieved of his duties.

To quote Jaclyn Friedman, “rape culture? What rape culture?”

New figures released last week show that last year, there were 26 000 acts of sexual violence in the US Military. That’s 70 assaults a day. And the guys in charge of training soldiers not to commit those acts are committing some of those assaults. So gee, you guys, I don’t know why those numbers are so damn high.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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