Sexual Harassment and Discrimination in the Military

3046 Words Apr 7th, 2002 13 Pages
Women in the U.S. military have always had a "tough row to hoe"; those women who literally broke ground, opened doors, and made the choice of a military career easier for those who followed, were the beginning. Today the fight is continuing. Inequality and sexual harassment towards women continues to persist, because the military¡¦s leadership when faced with the option of ill repute or justice ignores justice.
Women deserve fair treatment, a non-hostile environment, and a chance to further their careers on an equal footing with man. The fact that harassment, discrimination, and sexual assaults are still occurring in our esteemed military in such numbers is appalling. The military¡¦s overall treatment, lack of respect in handling sexual
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¡§By precluding women from the core functions of the military, they define women as marginal service members, thereby fostering sexual harassment [and discrimination]¡¨(Tailhook Incident 92).
In 1994, the annual Navy wide Personnel Survey included questions on women¡¦s role for the first time. Some 65 percent of officers and almost 50 percent of enlisted respondents said they did not think women were fully accepted in combat roles. While approximately 80 percent said harassment was not tolerated at their command, almost half of all respondents disagreed that everyone is treated equally in promotions and advancements.
Some of this is based on the presumed physical and psychological characteristics of women, which may interfere with their performances in combat rich situations. For example: the physical strength of women. People believe that women are not strong enough to lift and carry heavy equipment or wounded fellow soldiers and that they lack endurance to perform these tasks over a lengthened period. In addition, there is the idea that women cannot perform strenuous tasks quickly, like loading heavy shells into a weapon. Moreover, combat is not for the weak and slow. Although allowing women in combat remains a top priority, women are now serving in virtually every other occupational capacity in all four branches of the
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