I Hate To Ask the Obvious

Over breakfast I was just reading about how there’s been a ‘minor’ but ongoing problem with military recruiters raping or otherwise having improper sexual relationships with their underage female recruits and I have some questions.

My main question is, when we’re all sitting around in feminist indoctrination camps and girl-power pow-wows, hearing from each other our stories of being assaulted, almost raped, raped, hit on by bosses, leered at by teachers who lowered our grades if we seemed to mind, and when we’re spending years telling each other, “Hey, it’s not your fault. You went along with what you had to go along with in order to get by.” who is sitting down with the boys and saying, “Hey, don’t have sex with girls who haven’t clearly consented to having sex with you. No, coercing them into saying ‘yes’ doesn’t count. We’re talking about affirmative consent, a delighted ‘Hell yes.’ Don’t have sex with minors. And don’t have sex with your subordinates, whose future job or school success relies on you being pleased with them. Also, a lot of teenage girls are really fucked up and can seem very much like consenting adults who are delightfully saying ‘Hell yes’ to having sex with you, hence the reason you don’t have sex with minors or with people you have authority over.”?

Let’s just set aside the instances of obvious rape. I think most of us can agree that forcing someone to have sex against their will is wrong. Holding out the promise of future success based on current sexual performance is wrong. Etc.

Instead, let’s think about this poor idiot:

Shedrick Hamilton uses the same phrase to describe his own actions that landed him in Oneida Correctional Facility in upstate New York for 15 months for having sex with a 16-year-old high school student he met while working as a Marine Corps recruiter.

Hamilton said the victim had dropped her pants in his office as a prank a few weeks earlier, and that on this day she reached over and caressed his groin while he was driving her to a recruiting event.

“I pulled over and asked her to climb into the back seat,” he said. “I should have pushed her away. I was the adult in the situation. I should have put my foot down, called her parents.”

As a result, he was convicted of third-degree rape, and left the service with an other-than-honorable discharge. He wipes the collar of his prison jumpsuit across his cheek, smearing tears that won’t stop.

“I literally kick myself … every day. It hurts. It hurts a lot. As much as I pray, as much as I work on it in counseling, I still can’t repair the pain that I caused a girl, her family, my family, my kids. It’s very hard to deal with,” he says, dropping his head. “It’s very, very hard to deal with.”

See, y’all, this is tragic to me. Here you have a girl who has clearly gotten the message that a woman’s real power over men is in her ability to manipulate them through sex, who’s trying it out on a guy who holds a lot of power over her. It’s fucked up but it’s understandable why she would want to even the playing field. How many of us, when faced with someone who holds a great deal of power over our futures don’t look for ways to feel powerful in return over them?

And this shmoe? Yes, he should have known better. He should have looked at this 16-year-old girl and seen a child playing with fire and refrained from being the one to burn her. But he also comes from a culture–ours–in which women are portrayed as being constantly willing and available for sex, in which girls, no matter how young, are portrayed as, at least, up for sexualized scrutiny, and in which men are expected to follow their penises, even when their brains should know better.

I’m not trying to excuse Hamilton. He’s in prison, serving his time, where he should be.

I’m just saying that, when a sixteen year old puts his or her hands on a grown person, that grown person should have sense enough to see that for what it is–fucked up–and not free reign to have sex with him or her.

But I’m worried, when I read what appears to be genuine sorrow and contrition on the part of folks like Hamilton if the problem isn’t, in part, that we rightly spend a lot of time outlining for girls what inappropriate behavior is in hopes of preventing them from becoming victims (or remaining victimized) but little if any time talking about what boys and men can do to keep there from being more victims.

Short & Fat is totally my internet boyfriend today for this post, which reads, in part:

However, as I don’t have much choice today, I am once again confused as to how dudes my age get caught crackin’ with high school girls. Why? Sitting across from me are two girls, both reasonably cute, but clearly young enough to be my daughters (if some girl had let me impregnate her when I was 18 or so). The conversation was wretched. I don’t think it could be less intelligent if they tried. I mean I could see tapping an attractive mute, but these airheads are making my penis soft and I’m this close to jabbing out my ear drums with a plastic fork.

35 thoughts on “I Hate To Ask the Obvious

  1. So what do you think she would have done had he rebuffed her? If he’d called her parents and told them? Odds are it would get just as ugly if he’d said no.

  2. W., you cannot possibly be using "I’m going to get in trouble anyway, I might at well fuck her" as an excuse for this dude’s having fucked a child.Maybe we need to include that in the things we teach boys–if you’re in a hole, the first step is to stop digging.

  3. But B, he DID know all that stuff and did it anyway. By his own admission, he ‘should have pushed her away. I was the adult.’And yet he didn’t act like one, and is paying the price. Of course he’s sorry now, wiping his big crocodile tears on his prision jumpsuit. He got caught. He GOT the message, he just chose to ignore it. Wah, wah, fucking wah. Cry me a river.

  4. Yes to what Peggasus says. But I wonder how much his conditioning as a human being (sex between adults and children is BAD) was over-ridden by his conditioning as a Marine (hierarchy must always be enforced–sexual domination is a way of enforcing hierarchy). The armed services of our country are, unfortunately, riddled with sexual harrassment. I’ve had students who were veterans reading All Quiet on the Western Front and identify intimately with the picture of military pettiness and spite EXCEPT that they noted there was no sexual harrassment in it–their experience was that the harrassment was always a part of life in the army.

  5. I wondered about that, too–sexual domination as a way of enforcing hierarchy. I mean, I thought it was an interesting oversight in the article that there’s no talk about whether it’s a good idea to leave boys alone with military recruiters.Hey, maybe this tells us something interesting about why gays in the military is such a problem. If sexual domination is a way to enforce hierarcy, even among men, then the easiest people to dominate with the threat of being seen as "fags" or "pussies" are people who really desperately don’t want to be seen as such.I know that’s obvious, but I think that letting acknowleded homosexuals into the military may very well be a threat to military order if military order is maintained by people with power threatening to–or really doing it–sexually abuse their subordiates. If the subordinates might enjoy it, the hierarchy is overturned.

  6. In the military, especially among recruiters, there is a culture of preying on young, impressionable girls that is only comparable in its insidious creepiness to the relationship between male college professors and their female students.

  7. Yeah, I wasn’t trying to go that way with it. There was more to that comment but it got screwed up. I was going a different way and decided to not comment at all. Long story, but it involves wine last night and going to work on a Sunday morning.

  8. "I think that letting acknowleded homosexuals into the military may very well be a threat to military order if military order is maintained by people with power threatening to–or really doing it–sexually abuse their subordiates. If the subordinates might enjoy it, the hierarchy is overturned. "B,Are you actually saying that gays in the military might ENJOY being sexually abused by their superiors? Is this much different from your taking W to task for his comment?

  9. B., I’ve always thought the attempt to keep gays out of the military worked slightly differently. If you enforce hierarchy by calling people "fags" or whatever (and implicitly threatening to reject them if they don’t shape up), then gays are bad. And you don’t want them in your troop. If your training has taught you that gays are weak, clumsy, ineffectual–well then, naturally you don’t want to serve with people like that.I mean, it’s clear that it’s not necessary to pick on (absent) gays to cement loyalty. The Sacred Band seems to have managed quite well, for instance. But I’m sure they picked on someone else.

  10. No, anonymous. You misunderstand me. I’m actually attempting to make a point closer to nm’s point, which is that heteronormativity among young men is reinforced by a shared imagining that the worst thing that can happen to you as a Man (in the stereotype sense of the word) is to have some dude’s penis in your butt (which of course brings us back to why that might be so bad–probably because real men stick their penises in places and only pussies, real and metaphorical, get penises stuck in them).Being a pussy is bad–it’s a sign of weakness and thus a sign that the other people around you can’t depend on you. So you don’t want to be a pussy, you are socialized to not be a pussy, and the threat is clear that, if you don’t perform as expected, you are a pussy. Couple that with some folks taking advantage of "men can stick things into people who are weaker than them" to abuse their subordinates, and you have a hateful mess, but a mess that builds unit cohesion.I would argue that the presense of men who openly prefer a sexual expression that most famously involves a penis in a man’s butt undermines this method of building cohesion not because he would enjoy being sexually assaulted where as other male soldiers would not, but because his very presense and visible existance disproves the notion that real men, real soldiers (yes, I know soldiers are only in the Army, but ‘troops’ lacks oomph) don’t behave that way because it’s ‘weak.’If your whole method of making men out of these boys involves reinforcing their great fear of being weak by implying that weakness is equivalent to them being gay, strong gay men undermine that method.

  11. What a load of liberal, ivory tower crap.First of all, ANY sexual relationship between a superior and lower ranking soldier, is considered rape by the military. There are no exceptions. You fuck a lower ranking soldier, you get court-marshaled.I am continually amazed at your ability to NEVER assign any responsibility to the woman. Even at times when the woman is the aggressor, you assign her as the victim. Doesn’t this viewpoint portray the women as mindless children? Doesn’t feminism expect women to be intelligent beings?

  12. *I am continually amazed at your ability to NEVER assign any responsibility to the woman.*And I am continually amazed at your ability to overlook plain and obvious facts. 16=child 16=not a woman 16=under age of legal consentWhat part of that do you not get?

  13. So a 16 yearold is a helpless child concerning sex, but is mature and responsible enough to decide for herself without parental involvement abortion?Double standard?

  14. B, I am a sucker for feminist stereotypes. Though I do believe that there may be some readers and commenters here who normally agree with you, who disagree on parental consent.Red herring? Maybe. But most definitely a tangent. And Lord knows there’s never been a comment thread on this site to get off on a tangent.

  15. I don’t consider a 16 year old a child at all. It’s the age of consent in some states and countries.

  16. Ashley, in some countries, men Sarcastro’s age marry ten year olds who’ve had their clitorises scraped off and their labia sewn together, so let’s not hold up "what folks do" as the moral equivalent of "what’s right."I checked the websites of our armed forces and learned two important things. One is that the Navy’s website is impossible to navigate and surpassed in its ridiculousness only by the Marines’ website which seems to have taken words, rid them of all meaning, and slapped them over dramatic pictures.And the other is that you can’t enlist in the Army or the Airforce until you’re 17. Which, I think, means that those branches of the military consider you unable to make your own decisions about what to do with yourself until that point.Which means that regardless of what we think of grown men fucking sixteen year old girls out here in the real world, in the military, it is child fucking, which some of us call statutory rape, which means that, even if you ignore the inappropriate use of authority aspect, you cannot overlook the squicky child fucking aspect.

  17. Sar’s first comment may well be the most telling here. There are a couple of reasons the Okinawans want the military off their island, and geopolitics is one of them . . .

  18. The other reason is there a whole load of Marines with nothing to do on Okinawa, and a bunch of local girls to do it with. In 2005, 6,675 felonies resulted in arrests on Okinawa. Only 66 cases involved Americans under the SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement). And of the 4,346 people arrested for those felonies, just 65 were U.S. servicemembers, their dependents or civilian workers.Of the 1,407,613 people living in Okinawa prefecture, 42,570 — or about 3 percent — are Americans connected with the U.S. military. The 2005 statistics show 0.98 percent of the total serious crimes on Okinawa were linked to Americans and 1.5 percent of the people arrested were SOFA status personnel.Nice straw (wo)man, B. Bring on the cliterectomies!If only girls were smart enough to navigate the Navy/Marines websites…

  19. Gay college professors who carry on sordid three-way affairs with the locals and the military folks! Gay liberal college professors who aggitate for peace, mock Exador by name,and who carry on sordid three-way affairs with the locals and the military folks and who knock up their sixteen year old daughters and call me so that I can use my vast fortune to get them abortions without their parents’ consent and then enroll them in all types of feminist indoctrination camps!It is the consumate Tiny Cat Pants Strawperson! Brought to life this fine day for no good reason, just because it strikes my fancy!Bwah ha ha ha ha.

  20. Oops. I was posting at the same time as Sarcastro and didn’t see that he was also trying to give life to a strawperson. Great minds think alike.

  21. Hey, I know a gay liberal (okay, he’s actually more of a communist) professor that had three-ways with students and locals, not sure about anyone’s military status! Oh yeah, he didn’t get tenure (for as many personal as academic reasons) and can’t find an academic job to save his life right now.

  22. Well hang on Sar, since we’re discussing rape and stat rape, we’re talking about a significant number of crimes likely to go unreported (or believed).Moreover, you’re a guest, not a conquering army (anymore) so act like it. That figure as a percentage looks relatively small. As a raw number?I mentioned one, hinted at another, however there’s a third, pollution.

  23. The blood of the Gaijin dogs polluting the Nippon master race?The stat is probably an anomaly given the pressure upon the Marines to knock off all that rapin’.

  24. I don’t recall ever condoning labial stiching and clitoral cutting, but I do think many 16-year-old girls are more mature than often given credit for. It doesn’t mean they’ll always make good decisions, but they are not children. There is a huge diffence between a child of 10 and a young woman of 16. Is she a woman or a child? When does the split occur?

  25. I decided to stay away from this thread because of my misrepresenting myself in the first thread, but this is just a little much.So she drops her pants for the guy and grabs his crotch but she has no responsibility for this because the poor girl is only 16? BS. So she has no responsibility because she’s been socialized that sex is her power? BS. She knew what her power over that guy was and she exercised it. He’s the one that did wrong, and he deserves what he got. But she gets some blame spattered on herself too.

  26. I don’t know what part of "she is fucked up" you guys think is "letting her off the hook." Do you think that I’m not holding her accountable if I’m not standing over her pointing and laughing about what a nasty slut she is?

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