The War on Men

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

taranto-waronmen1As a male who met his wife at age 36, I had many years as a single male and many relationships with women. While being experienced sexually the idea of forcing myself on a woman was not only repellant, but emotionally I was and am unable to understand why men would do something like that.  Emotionally even as a fantasy, on film, or in literature I find nothing the least bit stimulating, or manly about forcing oneself upon an unwilling partner. Yet I understand it very well intellectually as a power trip having little to do with sex and much to do with an innate hostility towards women.. One of the places where it seems rape and sexual assault has run rampant has been the military.  A recent AP story has related that one third of fired military commanders were canned for sexual misconduct. Congress is discussing harsher military penalties for rape and sexual molestation. This is a disgraceful situation in my opinion and a continuance of women being treated as second class citizens.

In May, the Department of Defense released its “Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military,” which found that up to 26,000 service members may have been the victim of some form of sexual assault last year, up from an estimated 19,000 in 2010. The report also found that 62 percent of victims who reported their assault faced retaliation as a result. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel responded to the report by calling the assaults “a despicable crime” that is “a threat to the safety and the welfare of our people,” and General Martin Dempsey affirmed that sexual assaults constitute a “crisis” in the military.

I find that the figure of 26,000 service members being victims of sexual assault this past year appalling. Almost all of those victims were females. Yet as we shall see there are some who minimize this behavior and seem to excuse it as just the natural workings of the male libido. I’ll explain.The following story came from this past week and appropriate linkages are provided:

“In an effort to address this longstanding problem, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has blocked the promotion of Lt. Gen. Susan J. Helms, who granted clemency to an officer found guilty of sexual assault, in an effort to obtain more information about why the officer was effectively pardoned. As The Washington Post reported, an Air Force jury found the officer guilty of sexually assaulting a female lieutenant in the back seat of a car, and sentenced him to 60 days behind bars, a loss of pay, and dismissal from the Air Force.

Helms’ decision to effectively pardon the officer “ignored the recommendations of [her] legal advisers and overruled a jury’s findings — without publicly revealing why.” The Post explained that McCaskill has not placed a permanent hold on the promotion, but is “blocking Helms’s nomination until she receives more information about the general’s decision.”*

It goes further regarding McCaskill’s reasoning:

“But McCaskill is not trying to re-litigate the case; she is trying to determine why Helms ignored her legal advisers and overturned a jury of five Air Force officers. As the Post explained, advocacy groups charge that “any decision to overrule a jury’s verdict for no apparent reason has a powerful dampening effect,” contributing to a culture in which the majority of sexual assaults in the military remain unreported.

The Department of Defense report on sexual assault found that while 26,000 service members said they were assaulted last year, only about 11 percent of those cases were reported. The findings listed several reasons why individuals did not report the assault to a military authority, including that they “did not want anyone to know,” “felt uncomfortable making a report,” and “thought they would not be believed.” The report also noted that concerns about “negative scrutiny by others” keeps many victims from reporting their assaults.”

“The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto dismissed the epidemic of sexual assault in the military, claiming that efforts to address the growing problem contributed to a “war on men” and an “effort to criminalize male sexuality.””

This is a transcript of Mr. Taranto’s interview” from The Wall Street Journal’s webshow Opinion Journal Live.

“MARY KISSEL (host): President Obama is fond of talking about the war on women, but what about the war on men? We’ve got Best of the Web Today columnist James Taranto here to talk about an especially perverse example of this war. James, who is Lieutenant General Susan Helms and how is she a victim of a war on men?

JAMES TARANTO: Well Susan Helms was a female pioneer, she was the first American military servicewoman in space. She graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1980, became an astronaut in 1990, flew on the space shuttle six times, four times as a crewman and twice as a passenger en route to the international space station, where by the way she set, along with a male astronaut, the record for longest space walk. She was working on a docking device known as a pressurized mating adaptor. And they were out in space for 8 hours and 56 minutes. 

KISSEL: I see. But your op-ed in the paper today says that she’s somehow a victim in a war on men? How is that?

TARANTO: That’s right. Well, this goes back to the effort to combat, the political campaign against sexual assault in the military. And this seems to be turning into an effort to criminalize male sexuality, much as we see with sexual conduct codes on campus. And so what happened was, the general exercised her authority to grant clemency to an officer under her command, a man named Captain Matthew Herrera, who had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault, in a case in which the factual underpinnings were quite thin. The general wrote a long memo explaining why she made this decision and it’s very convincing, and Senator Claire McCaskill has put a permanent hold on the general’s nomination. She was nominated by President Obama to serve as vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. Claire McCaskill says she’s not going to let her through, because she wants to callattention to this problem of sexual assault in the military.

KISSEL: So the women are always victims, regardless of the facts? 

TARANTO: Well here’s what happened in this case. It was a drunken sexual advance in the backseat of a moving vehicle, involving Captain Herrera and a female officer who was a lieutenant. They differed on whether it was, on who initiated it and whether she consented. She claimed that she fell asleep, woke up to find her pants undone and his hands on her genitals, he claimed that she undid her own pants, he touched her and she responded to the touch by putting her head on his shoulder. Now the officers in the front seat didn’t even hear this going on. But the officer who was driving, the designated driver, who was also a woman and by the way the only one who was sober, on several other disputed points corroborated his testimony and contradicted hers. In addition, there were text messages exchanged between the accuser and the defendant, after the incident. She claimed only a couple of times, then she changed her testimony when they looked at the logs of the text messages. And it turned out there were 116 of them, of which 51 were sent by her. So, it was pretty clear that this guy was overcharged, he would have ended up on a sex offender registry for the rest of his life if this had stood, he was still discharged from the military. 

KISSEL: What a perverse outcome here. So you have this really accomplished woman, in this lieutenant general who’s up for promotion, and getting held up by another woman because of the war on men. James, when did this war on men begin? Can you pinpoint a starting point?

TARANTO: Well, it all goes back to the beginning of contemporary feminism in the early ’60s. You know, women wanted to be equal to men, they wanted to be able to do all the sort of professional things including the military that men could do, and —

KISSEL: Was there anything wrong with that, though, James? I mean, that sounds —

TARANTO: Well, that’s too long to go into now, the question of what’s wrong with that, but in addition they wanted sexual freedom. Well what is female sexual freedom? It means, for this woman, that she had the freedom to get drunk, and to get in the backseat of the car with this guy. There was another woman who accused him, he was acquitted in this case, of sexual assault. This so-called assault happened in his bedroom, to which she voluntarily accompanied him, even the jury said that was consensual.

KISSEL: James, 30 seconds left. Is there any chance that Senator McCaskill’s going to reconsider this hold?

TARANTO: Well I certainly hope so, I mean that’s why I wrote the article. But I hope that her constituents will turn up the heat. Because Lieutenant General Helms lived up to her oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. She really gave this guy the protection that anyone accused of a serious crime deserves. And McCaskill took the same oath, and she ought to uphold it.” And:

So is this an example of “The War on Men” as Mr. Taranto describes it? Or is it the same old male hypocrisy justifying women as sexual objects created by God as Man’s playthings?  I’ve written in the past about the importance of female equality so you know where I stand.

Just like FOX News though I’m giving you the facts, you decide. Is there a war on men?

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest Blogger

88 thoughts on “The War on Men”

  1. Shoot, a fella’ could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff

  2. nick

    if you ever get a chance try a v cubed cocktail. 1 vicodin, 1 viagra, 1 vodka.

    never try alone.

  3. Apparently there is a different Standard Operating Procedure for each hair color

  4. Nick,

    I defended you because of the circumstances in which you were placed in moderation…. Don’t mess with folks and you won’t have any issues….

  5. Mikey, You’re really gunning for me today, maybe because you know I’m sedated. You accuse me of kissing ass on the water thread, being half assed insincere here. I’d say up the Prozac and get some exercise. You’re more negative than usual today. I’m going out to dinner w/ some friends. Got any?

  6. lotta, Thanks. I had this cyst removed twice by GP’s years back. My current GP said go to UW and have a surgeon do it. They had to cut through scar tissue and dig deep. It’ll be fine soon.

  7. Great story Mike. This Taranto character needs to open his eyes to the sexual assaults that are far too commonplace in the military. To try to turn this into a war on men reminds me of Bill O’s war on Christmas. Just insane.

  8. “lotta, These pharmas are strictly for medicinal purposes.”

    Aren’t they all? 🙂

    I hope the pain lets up and you get better soon.

  9. “If I did something offensive or bad, I apologize. I was and am just trying to understand something that seems counterintuitive to me. and something that just smells fishy.”


    I respect your intelligence too much to think that this is anything but half assed sincerity. You know quite well what your motives were and it’s sad you can’t even accept responsibility for them. Then I guess your excuse is the vicodin made me do it.

  10. lotta, These pharmas are strictly for medicinal purposes. However, I need both ice and the vicodin to keep the pain controlled But, I’m trying to watch the Brewer’s game and I feel like I’m back in the 60’s fading in and out. I just drank a cup of coffee which I never do after 10am. But, we’re supposed to meet some friends for dinner and I don’t want to pass out in the soup and drown!

  11. AY, Thanks. I’ve never been to the site. I’ll check it out.

  12. Personally, I’m waiting for the War on The War On.

    It imposes a military mindset to problems that are not always solvable by a military mentality.

    And yes, I do realize the apparent circularity of that statement, but I’ve never let that stand in the way of a good joke coupled with a valid observation.

  13. Nick: ” If I did something offensive or bad ….”

    what you did offensive and bad was announce on this thread and others that you were under the influence of pharmaceuticals and not offer to share. In some circles you would be persona non grata for that kind of behaviour. I’m still considering being insulted by it.

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