Arms and the man

The Pentagon inspector general reported recently that nearly 20 percent of female Air Force Academy cadets said they had been sexually assaulted since arriving at the academy. Because of related scandals, the Air Force has transferred the academy’s leadership and is looking into what has been going on.

It’s hard to determine particulars from the mist of press coverage, but the acadamy appears to be an institution that has lost its way. According to Col. Laurie Sue Slavec, an academy graduate herself and until recently in charge of cadet discipline, the issue has never been forcible rape but milder forms of misconduct brought on by widespread drinking, partying and casual cohabitation. Other indications of indiscipline include a faculty member who was having sexual relations with two male cadets, an officer responsible for overseeing cadets who was a “peeping Tom,” and special treatment for athletes that interferes with command structures.

Luckily, help is on the way. Feminists have pointed out that Slavec’s distinction between forcible rape and lesser misconduct—and no doubt worse, her reference to “contributing flirtatious activity”—is “more than disturbing. It speaks to the level of understanding of what constitutes rape.” It’s not likely the investigators will disagree. So presumably cadets will be trained in elaborate rules regarding sexual consent and an obtrusive and biased enforcement mechanism put in place. And everyone seems to agree that female cadets need more support at the academy, where there are few women in leadership positions, so two of the four officers who were fired will be replaced by women.

A more PC and feminized Air Force Academy, run by officers who in the nature of things will be ideologues or careerists—just the thing that’s needed to help it regain its soul and honor! Some people might say that if you want to train someone to lead men in combat sexual integration isn’t quite the thing, and if you turn sexual relations into a pure matter of consent you’ll get problems. We’ve clearly gotten beyond such views in the U.S. military, though. Repeated sexual scandals show where that’s taken us.

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