USNA/18 May stories on alleged Academy bias

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Capt MJ, May 19, 2009.

  1. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/top/2009/05/17-25/Academy-justice-was-tilted-toward-women.html

    Interesting series of articles on hot-button cases over the last few years. In the he-said-she-said situations, it's hard to sort out what really happened. There's a lot of political pressure from external groups to award immunity to women for misconduct offenses so they will speak out about sexual harassment and assaults. Drives me crazy when people of either sex are not held accountable. Also drives me crazy when people who do have a legitimate complaint are reluctant to come forward because of the people who claim assault/harassment as a way out of a situation where they are guilty of related misconduct. A murky pool, and a lively source of comment and criticism from alumni, the community and the services.

    For those parents of inbound women to any of the academies, please look at these cases as few and far between. Thousands of fine, upstanding men and women attend the academies who treat their shipmates as you have raised them to do, with courtesy and respect. The dozens of female midshipmen we have sponsored over the years have had good experiences, and form strong bonds which get them through the occasional bumps in the road. Sadly, there are some really stupid things that happen, often in the fog of alcohol, hormones and lack of impulse control. The same things that happen at Civ U get drawn into the spotlight because of press interest and the higher standard to which midshipmen and cadets are held.

    I have to say I was appalled at the one lawyer who advised Academy men to steer clear of the women, out of fear of getting into situations where they will come out the loser. What a way to polarize the work place! I use "work place" quite deliberately. Midshipmen have a job to do: obtain their college education while learning and exercising the military professional skills with peers and juniors to prepare them for a commission. The Fleet and Corps have men and women working side by side, as does the civilian work place, so "see and avoid" doesn't do much good. Common sense and a strong moral compass should help mids and cadets avoid those situations with potential to go bad.

    These were difficult stories to digest about the alleged clay feet of a favorite institution, which by and large does its best to execute its mission.
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Thanks Capt MJ. And of course, this does not only apply to USNA, it is a debate that happens at each service academy. I had nothing but respect for my female classmates. These cases are few and far between, so do not let it "scare" you away.
     
  3. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    I agree that this kind of thing sometimes happens at all the academies but I do believe women are safer at the academies than at civilian colleges.

    I went to a parent’s club meeting on Sunday and a female 2008 USMA grad spoke to us. She talked about what she got out of the academy experience. One thing she talked about was how she always felt safe there. She acknowledged there are always a few bad apples, but for the most part the men and women are very respectful of each other. She believes that this goes back to attending an institution where moral standards are taught and expected to be upheld; whereas at a civilian college there isn’t the same, if any, emphasis on teaching morals.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Thanks for adding the positive comments. Exactly right about there being protections in place at the military academies. Many of our sponsor daughters bring over guys who are like brothers, good friends to hang out and study with, and they value those supportive relationships. There could be hundreds of stories about great midshipmen and daily kindnesses, but those aren't the sex-drugs-rock and roll stories that make the headlines.
     
  5. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    It is sad but true. I have heard it from many active duty friends. There is a huge double standard and all it takes is a woman acusing you of sexual assault/harrassment and it doesn't matter what you say, you're guilty. :frown:
     
  6. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Interesting 'expose' from Hometown Annapolis. CaptMJ thanks for posting and thanks for your comments.

    America's Finest I hope you really plan on "steering clear of women". Here's why: Women will make up one of every five or six of your classmates. They will be in your Company and platoon during beast and in your classes during the academic year. If you choose to try out for and make the Sandhurst team you will have one or two women on your team. You may be assigned to work with women in academic projects and in military training. There may be women in the clubs you join.
    It will be very awkward for you and perhaps even detrimental to your West Point career to "steer clear".

    I don't think that the vast majority of men have anything to worry about and I think that Rempt is taking a bad rap here. USNA is not alone in having a policy that promises immunity for those who are victims. Many civilian colleges also have an immunity policy - yes, it's increasingly possible to be kicked out of a civilian college for violating rules such as drinking in the dorms.

    In a nutshell, Sexual Assault is a problem in the military. Just google it. It has become more of a problem since we are at war and while some men have the opinion to just bring the women home - that's not going to happen.
    Getting women to report sexual assault is a huge problem as well. I know that I don't want men who rape women to continue their careers and get promoted and I would hope that most men who are law abiding don't want that either.

    I agree that immunity for alleged victims is controversial and a double edged sword - the potential is there for abuse of the policy. While I was not present nor in the courtroom for the Lamar Owens and Kenny Morrison cases - it is clear from the reporting in the Hometown Annapolis and Baltimore Sun that neither men were completely "innocent". Above and beyong the sexual assault charges they broke many rules and regulations and violated the UCMJ. In other words - without the sexual assault charges they very well could have been kicked out anyway.

    I would be interested to hear of a case where there was no wrongdoing by the male and he was set up by the female and found guilty.
    I only know of one case where a male was apparently "set up" and the investigation completely cleared the male. No charges were brought and there were no repercussions against him.

    The real moral of this story is for both young men and young women to realize that it's okay to just say "no" to misbehaving.
     

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