Rape Culture? The Military Is America, Concentrated

So listening to NPR this morning (as I write this) and reading a few news stories this week, I see that people are up in arms about the problem with sexual assault and military culture.

But as much as we claim to take this problem seriously, I don’t think the majority voices of outrage are taking it seriously enough. We aren’t facing up to what this problem means outside the military. What is going on in the military is simply what you should expect to go on in America—especially that part of America that is mostly young men raised on current standards of sexual morality and then forced into proximity with lots of fellow men their own age and a few women. “Rape culture” isn’t a problem in the Armed Forces; it is a problem in American culture.

As I write, I see that this morning’s L.A. Times headline and subheadline read: “The military’s sexual assault problem: An alarming increase in sexual attacks shows that the culture in the armed forces must change.” The L. A. Times is in denial. The culture in the armed forces is not going to change unless they start recruiting from some culture other than what they find in North America. “Rape culture” isn’t unique to the military. It is getting more and more attention as a high school phenomenon. Recent news examples are found in Torrington, CT, Cleveland, TX, Steubenville, OH, and over the border in Nova Scotia (which I think is relevant since Canada shares modern liberal values about sexual freedom with the US).

Does this culture have impact on the military?

I have driven through my own state and I know, of those routes, where there is an army base. How do I know? Not because I remember the signs. That wouldn’t stick in my memory. Rather, what I found impossible to forget was the sudden proliferation of porn shops, theaters, and strip clubs that sprang up by the highway and then dissipated after we passed the military base. I know some people will insist this can’t possibly be related, but I think a predominantly young-male-culture that is unashamed of the use of sex workers is likely to be one where the women in their midst are going to experience unwanted sexual attention to some degree. Of course, many come into the Service with better morals, but their comrades are free to recruit them as sex industry customers.

There are plenty of honorable and moral soldiers. The same is true of high school football players. But the culture of young men growing up in post-sexual-revolution America is not one that promotes respect for women, whether on high school football teams or among those recruited into the military. Feminists are busy building fantasies to deflect blame, but it is obvious that the sexual revolution has constructed an environment that is more dangerous for women.

There is no way for the military to recruit young, battle-ready, men and not be affected by this culture. They can probably do more to search it out and punish it, but they aren’t the cause of “rape culture.” Pretty much everyone since the sixties, minus a few malcontents, worked on building that nightmare. The military is just a mirror.

Furthermore, if the military tried to protect the integrity of its young men by forbidding them from going to strip clubs, there would be outrage, mockery, and court injunctions coming from the Left.