3 June 1997

The Strains Of Accepting Women In The Armed Forces

Major Anthony F. Milavic, United States Marine Corps, (Retired)

In the wake of the Lt. Flinn affair, a new and even more disturbing event came to light. On 31 May 1997, I read in the Washington Post of actions that suggest that our government is taking on the trappings of the 13th century Inquisition or a totalitarian regime: ”Admiral, Army Counsel Probed For Harassment.”  I am specifically referring to the allegations against the Army’s general counsel, Mr. William Coleman III that constitute “sexual harassment.” Reportedly, he has had three charges levied against him: [emphases mine]

1) ”TOLD offensive jokes in public”

2) ”LISTENED to rap music with offensive lyrics”

3) ”TOUCHED a subordinate in an offensive manner at an office luncheon.”

These are not reflective of a government that finds its roots in freedom of speech and expression; these are indicative of totalitarianism. 

Let’s look first at the behavior under indictment. The author of the Washington Post article, Dana Priest, writes: “...experts inside and outside the services believe it reflects the strains of a still-evolving acceptance of women in the armed forces.” Well, whoever those “experts” might be their observation is, at best, a half-truth. Women served in the U. S. Marine Corps during the two World Wars and became a permanent component in 1948. The other Services had similar experiences. During my 25 years service, I don’t recall any “strains” in accepting them; that is, accepting them as women. The “strain” came with the advent of a manifest hypocrisy camouflaged in a policy popularly known as “political correctness.” 

Central to this “political correctness” is egalitarianism staged  through the neutering of the sexes--everyone is a person. The hypocrisy here finds its roots in the standard “first among equals” coined by totalitarian regimes; i.e, equality is defined by those in-charge. Today’s hypocrisy surfaces as we see the woman person “gender-normed” and the man morphed into personhood. That is, the gender-normed are being trained to be “assertive” and the men persons are being deprogrammed of aggressiveness--as in MACHO. One might say that this is an attempt to excise an inherent attribute from one group and transplant it in another group--male MACHO becomes, in the word of Katherine Hepburn, female FACHO. The neo-egalitarianism is then realized: female superiority through assertiveness/aggression over the now emasculated male.  However, brainwashing in and of itself, does not assure the subjugation of its target group; that’s how we get to the “strains.”

Federal legislation against “sexual harassment” was advertised as protecting women from sexual coercion. In practice, as in the example of Mr. Coleman, it is a vise for squeezing off dissent by limiting men’s constitutional freedom of expression. Once again, Mr. Coleman’s crimes are: TOLD, LISTENED, and TOUCHED someone once in a public place. Ah, but they were “offensive” acts. Note: Ms. Priest does not suggest that the accused was attempting to sexually coerce anyone. She writes only that his actions were “offensive.” I ask, “How many ways are there to be offensive?” The more people counting, the more ways there are! How can anyone function with the ever present threat that someone will construe his words or what he listens to as offensive and subject to federal punitive action? THAT is strain!


Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC(Ret)