For all the reports, hearings and commissions about taking sexual assault in the military seriously, The Washington Post’s recent article about a radio show that has been broadcast to troops in Iraq paints a picture of blatant sexism and disrespect for women. According to the WaPo, Freedom Radio’s Morning P-T show has been entertaining troops with gems such as,
“What’s the most important physical trait a woman can possess? According to a magazine: a pretty face. You have to be able to look her in the face.”
“That can be fixed by a coupla drinks and turning the lights off.”
There has been funny business: An on-air deconstruction of Britney Spears’s anatomy and behavior, a sermon about feminism and the emasculation of the American male (note–you really need to click this link and listen),
Not only does the military apparently think this is entertaining, but the WaPo itself thinks it is “funny business”. Ha ha, we’re not laughing and we can assume that this hilarity not is uncomfortable for women serving in the military and some of the men as well.
The article quotes Quality Control Officer Sgt. Don Dees as saying,
“Some of us more advanced in rank and age sometimes bristle at [Prickel and Townsend’s] methodology, but their intent is to reach their target audience, and they know where the line is.”
No, apparently they did not get the memo about treating women with respect and have no idea where the line is, because guess what, get a clue–when you disrespect and objectify women, that makes them more vulnerable to sexual assault and other forms of violation. What this charming story about entertaining the troops tells us is that sexism is alive and well and tolerated in the military and the Pentagon is not yet walking its talk in this regard.