3 June 1997

The Strains Of Accepting Women In The Armed Forces

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

In the wake of the Lt. Kelly Flinn, USAF affair, a new and even more disturbing event has come 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, [and] Army Counsel Probed For Harassment.”  I am specifically referring to the allegations leveled 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) ”
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” of totalitarian regimes; i.e, equality is defined by those in-charge. Today’s hypocrisy surfaces as we see that women and men are morphed into personhood. That is, they are gender-normed by replacing their labels of man and woman with the single label, "person." However, the gender norming--sameness--process ends with the label of, "person": The former women are given "assertive" training--an attribute historically associated with men; and, the former men are subjected to "sensitivity" training--an attribute historically associated with women. This is a transparent attempt to excise an inherent attribute from one group and transplant it in another group--male MACHO becomes, in a word coined by actress Katherine Hepburn and expressed during a "60 Minutes" interview, "FACHO." The neo-egalitarianism is then realized: female person superiority through assertiveness/aggression over the now emasculated--sensitive--male person.  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 a means of protecting women from sexual coercion. In practice, as in the example of Mr. Coleman, it is a vise for squeezing off men’s constitutional freedom of expression. Once again, Mr. Coleman’s crimes were: TOLD and 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 ways, 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)