Q Syndicate🇫🇮 Mar.16, 2017
For once, a cartoon I drew on Sunday night wasn't old news by Wednesday. Although it aged tremendously by Thursday, thanks to John Miller's leak to Rachel Maddow of Donald Joffrey Trump's 1040 the one year out of the past twenty when he actually paid taxes—a leak intended to distract the media from the attacks from all sides of Paul Ryan's sorry excuse for a health care plan and the cluster fork of the White House defense of Trump's lies about President Obama ordering "wire tapping" of Trump Tower.
🇫🇮Anyway, if you can remember all the way back to Tuesday, the Senate held hearings on the revelation that U.S. Marines were sharing nude photos of female soldiers on line in a private Facebook group, Marines United. Facebook shut the page down after the scandal broke, but as is the way of the internet, several secret pages sprang up to take its place.
The Marine Corps had known about the Facebook page for years (it had some 30,000 or so followers), but had done nothing about it. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) scolded Marine Gen. Commandant Robert Neller, recounting stories of some of the marines victimized by their peers:
“We have countless victims who have come forward — and they’re not just being harassed online,” Gillibrand said. “Once their name, face, where they are stationed is posted, do you think the harassment ends online? It doesn’t. I spoke to a civilian yesterday who has continued to be harassed in her community because her ex-boyfriend exploited her online. ...
“Who has been held accountable? If we can’t crack Facebook, how are we supposed to be able to confront Russian aggression and cyber hacking throughout our military?”The "cultural problem" is something everyone was warned about when the decision was made to integrate men and women in the military. "Pin-up girls" were a staple of military life long before Al Gore invented the internet; they were an accepted fact even in a more sexually repressed era not just because "boys will be boys," but because a greater number of those boys than their counterparts today would not be coming home.
Neller replied calmly that he agreed the Marine Corps has a cultural problem and then added: “I’m responsible. I’m the commandant. I own this. You’ve heard it before, but we are going to have to change how we see ourselves and how we treat each other. That’s a lame answer, but ma’am, that’s the best I can tell you right now. We’ve got to change. And that’s on me.”
But those "pin-up girls" posed willingly (well, more or less) with the full knowledge that they would be ogled by strangers. The girls could consider it their contribution to the War Effort.
One of the most memorable scenes in the film MASH, carried over into the TV series, was Major Margaret "Hotlips" Houlihan's shower scene: engineered by Hawkeye Pierce and his buddies, the walls of Army careerist Houlihan's shower tent fall away to expose her to every man in the camp. The sexual harassment is played for laughs, and you are not intended to have any sympathy for her as she tearfully threatens to quit the Army, to a commanding officer who peevishly dismisses her with "Goddamit, Hot Lips, resign your goddamn commission!"
If the men of the 4077th matured greatly over the 11-year course of the TV series, it was because attitudes of society in general were progressing ahead of them. But the boys' club of the military services has lagged behind even as all but a handful of U.S. military occupations are open to women.
For the sake of unit cohesion, leadership has to come from the top and be reflected in every level of command down to the sergeant and corporal. Fortunately, the military is excellently structured to make that possible.