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July 08, 2010

Navy: Men Have "Duty" To Protect Women From Themselves? Really?

This is so incandescently idiotic - on so many levels - that I don't even know what to say about it. Sometimes the stupid is just overpowering:

The U.S. Navy wants commanders to "feel very uncomfortable" about sexual assaults, happening at a rate of more than one a day, military officials said.

"My goal is to make every single commander that has a sexual assault occur at their command feel very uncomfortable and wonder, 'Why is this happening in my command?'" Vice Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert said in a speech in San Diego.

Gee, I don't know. Perhaps these things happen because the men and women in your command have what is euphemistically termed a "casual attitude towards sex"?

Most sexual abuse cases at the Naval Academy are not rapes, but personal encounters that have turned sour.

Generally, documents show that three factors play a role:

Alcohol abuse.

Broken relationships.

One-night stands.

In examining roughly 3,000 pages of documents obtained by The Capital under the Freedom of Information Act, it became clear that some midshipmen - male and female - can be careless about themselves, their careers and with each other. It also seems apparent that many of these young men and women - perhaps like their counterparts nationwide - have a casual attitude toward sex.

When it comes time to assign blame for misconduct, however, the male is nearly always the one that gets kicked out of the Naval Academy during the time frame examined, according to the documents.

Women cannot have it both ways here: either they are equally capable and intelligent (and therefore equally able to obey military regulations) or they are fragile combat flowers who must be followed around 24/7 by their employers on the off chance that they may voluntarily choose to render themselves helpless:

Assault victims are mostly women, ages 20 to 24, in the lowest four ranks of service, the Navy said. Attacks typically occur on weekends, with alcohol driving most of them.

"If you see a young lady from your ship, and she's at a bar doing Jell-O shooters, and you understand that it looks like her judgment is impaired, you have an obligation to her to step in and in a polite way and a nice way and a non-threatening way say, 'Hey, we've got early duty tomorrow,'" Jill Loftus, director of the Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office, said at a Navy "bystander intervention" seminar in San Diego, a pilot program also done in Virginia and Hawaii.

"Not only are you protecting the sailor who might be a victim, you are also protecting someone who might be a perpetrator who's using bad judgment," The San Diego Union-Tribune quoted Loftus as saying.

This type of arrant nonsense is what happens when faux diversity and politically correct doublespeak supercede the mission. If real rape is going on, commanders should be more than just "uncomfortable". Real rape isn't "bad judgment" - it's a crime. But if, in addition to being held to a stricter standard of behavior, military men are now expected to protect off duty servicewomen from their own fecklessness and irresponsibility, shouldn't men be paid more than women of the same rank?

Equal pay for equal work, I always say. I can hear Jane Harmon's head exploding already.

Posted by Cassandra at July 8, 2010 08:07 AM

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Comments

Well, the latter suggestion sounds good to me.

I don't see anything wrong with teaching young men that they have a responsibility to look out for -- and, yes, protect -- young women. Indeed, that's a perfectly noble thing for a young man to believe he has a duty to do.

I also think that a commander ought to feel some responsibility for the moral health of his command. Sailors will drink and curse, and so forth! They shouldn't take advantage of each other. If a young woman insists on rendering herself helpless in spite of her shipmates' attempts to protect her, it ought at least to be some civilian who rapes her, and not a shipmate. And if her shipmates instead stand by her until she's helpless, and then help her home, they're doing the right thing.

Heck, that's not even a different standard, really. If you have a male shipmate who's getting smashed at the bar, you shouldn't leave him to weave his way home in a dangerous neighborhood. Looking out for him is part of your duty. He's one of yours.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 11:29 AM

Actually, it's teaching the young people how to take care of one another. I have observed that young people do not really misbehave worse than older people, so much as the groups of older people restrain their members better.

I have often observed an adult in the early stages of over-drinking being casually and cordially diverted, or a developing confrontation dissipated, by a friend. Grown-ups are good at restraining their friends. It saves a lot of heartache.

Posted by: valerie at July 8, 2010 11:33 AM

I don't see anything wrong with teaching young men that they have a responsibility to look out for -- and, yes, protect -- young women.

I agree, Grim. What bothers me here is the "not holding women accountable for their actions" piece. That, and the refusal to recognize that the way current regs are written it is far too easy to accuse a man of sexual abuse.

Logically, any time a man is alone with an intoxicated woman (as he would very likely be if he were to intervene and try to get her home safely) he's leaving himself open to the possibility of a baseless accusation. That doesn't mean he shouldn't try anyway - after all, drunk men often become combative and even violent when their friends try to get them to go home.

There's always an interpersonal risk but I don't think additional legal risks are warranted here. We all have a right to self defense.

I don't think that right can be involuntarily delegated to others, though.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 11:39 AM

It has long been an unwritten rule among sailors that you watch out for your shipmate (in my case the other oarsmen connected to my leg chains). It's a good rule, and very appropriate in the case of Seaman Clamity Jane of the USS Jello-Shot. However, I am getting the sining feeling that, in the New Navy, a prudent sailor must now also "watch out" for his shipmate in ways that cannot not be good for unit cohesiveness and morale.

Posted by: spd rdr at July 8, 2010 11:42 AM

High risk behavior is present regardless of whether you are man or woman.

The Navy is attempting to mitigate, create a safety net, and make women dependent upon the service for protection. This isn't making women dependent upon men for protection, but making women dependent upon the people who say that men aren't allowed to protect anyone else. Since at the same time this promotes moral hazard among women for engaging in high risk behavior, it also eliminates moral behavior from men and substitutes it for "whatever the bureaucracy deems right".

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 11:43 AM

What? You never got that "sining" feeling before?

Posted by: spd rdr at July 8, 2010 11:43 AM

Logically, any time a man is alone with... he's leaving himself open to the possibility of an baseless accusation.

This is a general truth about America, however. It's not specific to the military. It's not even specific to intoxicated women: we have the same special danger for men any time they're alone with a child. Or a woman, intoxicated or not.

My father always advised me to choose a career where I would never be alone with children, because of that very risk. He knew a man he greatly respected whose life was destroyed by such an accusation, never proven, but the accusation is enough.

Is there a way around that problem? I've never thought of one.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 11:45 AM

I get your point Cass, if these young women are so helpless and out of control that they can't be held responsible to exercise good judgment, but that we expect the young men to exercise BETTER judgment, then since those delicate flowers are to be held to lower standards, they should expect lower compensation for what they do.

It's logical and fair but ultimately, you know as well as I, doomed to be "sexist" and "discriminatory". The irony of which is dripping. There are two competing premises here:
a) women are equal to, as competent as, and as responsible as men and thus should be treated the same
b) women are incapable of self-control, good decision making, innocent victims who must be protected from both their worse natures and the lustful advances of evil evil men by those very same men

You cannot have it both ways. I prefer the former, personally. And that's how I operate. That's not to say I won't engage in double standards where my women-folk are concerned, but I'm a neanderthal that way.

Posted by: MikeD at July 8, 2010 11:47 AM

What? You never got that "sining" feeling before?

Did someone call me? :p

Posted by: Dr. Zigmund Freud at July 8, 2010 11:47 AM

It's logical and fair but ultimately, you know as well as I, doomed to be "sexist" and "discriminatory".

And yet, men putting women on glass pedestals was called by the Left to be chauvinistic and sexist itself. But it isn't the patriarchy in the Navy trying to push this venue. It is the peace time officers, the Casey "diversity" Gods, instead.

They, who have spent decades destroying and subverting classical gender roles, stereotypes, and duties, now want men, brought up in an all sexes are equal culture where sex is equally divided between male and female poles, to now all of a sudden use their quintessentially male judgment to prevent the worst consequences of female decisions.

Social engineering has never been as reckless, nor as profitable.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 11:50 AM

That's not to say I won't engage in double standards where my women-folk are concerned, but I'm a neanderthal that way.

Most women I know do this, too. Women definitely hold other women to a higher standard than they hold men. Case in point: when their man - or any man - cheats women almost always blame the other woman, even if she happens to be single (and therefore wasn't "cheating" but only fornicating).

When I was dating I was always mystified by how many girls would blame another girl for "stealing" their boyfriend (as though he had no ability to resist temptation), even if the other girl didn't like the boy back and didn't do anything to encourage him.

Incroyable... :p

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 11:52 AM

You cannot have it both ways.

The Left can and has.

They pushed for equal rights for women. In reality, the Left despised all weaklings, which included women and children. Given a choice between a power seeming man like Kennedy or Obama, and a weak woman being victimized, even if she has some power to equalize the playing field, they choose the men: always.

In point of fact, they hijacked the equal rights movement for women and purged the founders' ideals. Instead, they replaced equal rights with victim rights. And you can't say women have rights, unless they are victims. The Left didn't set out to free women from bondage but simply put them under a different regime.

As some women neo-cons noticed about their friends and comrades concerning women in Afghanistan, they got real quiet about women's lib once Bush invaded Afghanistan and actually improved women's lot there. The Left can't stand actual improvement amongst the victim classes. It is so horribly threatening to them.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 11:54 AM

This is a general truth about America, however. It's not specific to the military. It's not even specific to intoxicated women: we have the same special danger for men any time they're alone with a child. Or a woman, intoxicated or not.

I think it's important to separate the risk of indiscretion or unwise interpersonal relationships from legal risk.

You're right - the interpersonal risk has *always* been there. The legal risk, on the otter heiny, has increased exponentially. The power of the State is a heavy counterweight to the risk inherent in accusing someone of a crime. When you start to see this many false accusations, you know it's too heavy a counterweight.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 11:57 AM

When I was dating I was always mystified by how many girls would blame another girl for "stealing" their boyfriend (as though he had no ability to resist temptation), even if the other girl didn't like the boy back and didn't do anything to encourage him.

It demonstrates that the primary competition perceived are other women, not men. They are competing with other women for high status males, not competing with males for high status males.

In point of fact, women have just as much competitive drive as men, but there are certain areas where this doesn't manifest itself. Primary, relationships between women and men won't gear itself towards competition between the sexes. Culture also emphasizes this point. Instead, most of the competitive urges from puberty onwards are invested amongst your same gender peers.

It's why men will often accept a humiliating and disadvantageous deal from beautiful women, whereas they would have felt insulted if a man had offered them a deal only slight disadvantageous. It's why women will find a man attractive when she sees other beautiful or high caste women around him, when she wouldn't have noticed him without the wing women.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 11:59 AM

The problem Grim is not that the Navy is imposing a duty on one shipmate to lookout for another shipmate.

No problem with that.

The problem is that this duty apparently only goes one direction.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 8, 2010 12:08 PM

I'm only talking about the risk of facing a false accusation, not the risk of actually engaging in 'an unwise interpersonal relationship.' This is a standing issue for men in American society, and one we run every time we allow ourselves to be alone with a woman or a child.

Your example about boyfriend-stealing is, perhaps, reflective of the other side of this issue; but it is certainly the case that if a man is accused by a woman or a child of something improper, few will assume he is right and the woman or child is lying. The normal assumption will be that he is guilty until proven innocent, which he won't be because it will be his word against hers.

So, yeah, pay the guys more: we expect them to run the extra risk of getting Ms. Jello-Shots home OK, and yet we expect to take her word if she accuses the male sailor of something bad, even though we know she's given to abuse of alcohol as a regular thing (and that he's the kind of upstanding guy who will interrupt his evening to get a drunken shipmate home safe). We really do expect all that, so we might as well reflect that preference in their pay.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 12:08 PM

I understand the problem, Y-a-G. I just don't think it's going anywhere. What I am trying to demonstrate is that this is not a problem arising from this policy; it's a problem we see throughout American society. That being the case, it's a reality we have to live with, not something that can be fixed by a better policy at the Navy level.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 12:10 PM

I'm only talking about the risk of facing a false accusation, not the risk of actually engaging in 'an unwise interpersonal relationship.' This is a standing issue for men in American society, and one we run every time we allow ourselves to be alone with a woman or a child.

To be fair, Grim, women face a similar risk every time we allow ourselves to be alone with a man. The risk is bi-directional.

Yu-Ain nailed the problem with the Navy's policy: it uses command pressure and the threat of unequal punishment to formalize what ought to be a voluntary cultural practice.

As with so many well intentioned policies, though, it is likely to have precisely the opposite effect - far from encouraging men to be supportive and protective of women, it puts men at odds with women even more than they already are in today's society.

I've seen precisely the same in my own husband - a guy who, when we married, routinely called women "ma'am" and offered to help women has learned that it is unwise for him to do so.

That's a damned shame.


Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 12:35 PM

One more point:

I'm only talking about the risk of facing a false accusation, not the risk of actually engaging in 'an unwise interpersonal relationship.'

These risks are inextricably intertwined.

It used to be that both men and women were taught to be selective in their associations. A man can safely be alone at any time with a woman of good character and vice versa.

It's when a man or woman chooses to be alone with a person of poor character that we see problems.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 12:37 PM

Isn't this why we used to have chaperones, and why women of good family were simply never permitted to go anywhere alone? It's hard enough to protect the helpless little darlings if you can keep them locked up in purdah. It's really not going to work if we let them go out in the cold world, and yet feel a continuing responsibility to follow them around in case they stumble into a dangerous situation.

If women demand extra protection in situations where men always have been considered capable of fending for themselves, they will viewed as a burden in those situations, and rightly so. It will therefore follow that they will be excluded from those situations, or subject to huge resentment if they are allowed in.

If we want in, we're going to have to pull up our socks. I'm not saying a women's comrades shouldn't look after her when she's incapacitated the same way they might for a falling-down-drunk man. But no one enjoys a comrade who's constantly so drunk that he needs to be bailed out, and the same will go for women if the rule becomes that they have to be cosseted day in and day out. There's a reason you don't let toddlers wander loose on the factory floor, too.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 8, 2010 01:04 PM

When I was dating I was always mystified by how many girls would blame another girl for "stealing" their boyfriend (as though he had no ability to resist temptation), even if the other girl didn't like the boy back and didn't do anything to encourage him.

One of my college roommates (from my first attempt at higher education) shocked us all when he posited that if you catch your significant other in the throws of passion with another man, your anger should not immediately be directed at him. This was a revolutionary concept and we all vociferously disagreed with him until we heard his logic.

You see, in his opinion, the man may (if he is indeed a stranger to you) not know that she was your significant other. In fact, she might even have lied to him and said she was single. YOU DON'T KNOW. She, on the other hand, DOES know, and is wholly accountable for the transgression (quoth he). "But what if the guy is your best friend?" asked another. "Oh, then you beat his ass."

But the fact is, Cass. This is not women holding women to a higher standard, any more than men hold men to a higher standard. I think it's more that we want to give a pass to our significant other. The only one in a cheating tryst who unequivocally DOES know better than to engage in said tryst. The enabler of the cheating MAY know better, but cannot be assumed to know any such thing. but human nature is, we want to believe the best of our loved ones, and blame the interloper for the entire transgression. And we do this to the extent that four college aged young men were shocked to hear it posited that catching your best girl in the arms of another man did not require stomping a mudhole into his favorite behind.

Posted by: MikeD at July 8, 2010 01:09 PM

You believe that women face a risk of having their career destroyed -- and possibly being cast into prison -- by a man's false accusation that they came onto them, or sexually assaulted them? That's possibly true for teachers of primary and secondary education, but it seems unlikely to prove out among adults.

As for character, I agree that it is important to be selective in your associations. However, a large part of the business of military service is building character in younger recruits. In the young men, precisely the right lesson happens to be: "You are responsible for your shipmates as well as yourself. If you see one engaging in self-destructive behavior, you should try to take them aside and bring them home intact. If it is a female, you are NOT FREE to consent to any offers of sexual favors she offers while drunk, and you are not permitted to make any advances at that time either."

The next lesson -- that it is not a good idea to engage in public drunkeness -- is also taught by the military, but in another context. The military offers a lot of protection for young people who are learning this lesson, but it also offers a lot of guidance to them, and support for learning the lesson once they decide to learn it. (Aside from the constant AFN spots on the subject.)

I mean, I recognize that this is a case where male/female treatment is at variance. However, (a) it seems like that reflects actual American cultural attitudes, and as such it would be hard for the Navy to do it otherwise; and (b) it doesn't seem like unreasonable practice in any case. We really do want young men to learn that they have a duty to protect young women, and helpless people in general. We need, and want, to teach them that they have a duty not to take sexual advantage of a woman in this situation.

Teaching young women not to make themselves helpless is likewise an important lesson, but one that needs to be approached after we deal with the current problem of Ms. Jello-Shots being really drunk right now. The lesson we would want young men to learn seems to be exactly the one being taught.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 01:10 PM

Or, I should say, the "don't render yourself helpless" lesson should be taught both before and after; but it is beside the point, in the situation where she has, in fact, already gotten smashed. We will need to return to the lesson later; for now, the important thing is getting her home safe.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 01:13 PM

In the young men, precisely the right lesson happens to be: "You are responsible for your shipmates as well as yourself. If you see one engaging in self-destructive behavior, you should try to take them aside and bring them home intact. If it is a female, you are NOT FREE to consent to any offers of sexual favors she offers while drunk, and you are not permitted to make any advances at that time either."

The problem for me, Grim, is that there is no reciprocal onus placed on the young ladies. Indeed the "counter lesson" you posit is infact, one that assists in the original, NOT a reciprocating lesson. The young squidettes are not being taught to look after their drunken male shipmates, escort them home, and to refuse any inebriated offers of sexual favors along the way. They are being told, "don't make yourself a victim" while the men are told "don't make them a victim."

While both are good lessons, it's the hypocrisy of stating "women are inevitably the victims here and need to be protected" while insisting all the while that they're every inch the equal of their male counterparts. It's patent stupidity of the first water.

Mind you, I agree that a gentleman should protect and defend a lady. I think it quite fitting and proper. I also believe that a woman CAN put herself in that defender's role. But once she does so, then she has moved from the "protected" class to the "protector" class and should be treated with all the rights, responsibilities and duties of the latter, and NOT only those which she wishes to take on.

Posted by: MikeD at July 8, 2010 01:19 PM

Well, indeed they are not, Mike. That's because "if you see a drunken sailor, you should take him home" is not a wise lesson for a young lady to be learning. This needs to fall on other male sailors; a female sailor should do it only if she has others to accompany her, because the male will almost always be physically overpowering (and drunk!).

So, it's just a reality about human life. Men and women are different, and we have to accept that. It's right to have different standards when there are relevant differences in the situation.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 01:25 PM

"...you have an obligation to her to step in and in a polite way and a nice way and a non-threatening way say, 'Hey, we've got early duty tomorrow,'" Jill Loftus, director of the Navy's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office, said.

The polite and nice and non-threatening interventionist should also be prepared to hear, "If I had duty tomorrow morning, I wouldn't be here doing Jell-O shots. So, unless you're buying, go flake off."

Posted by: BillT at July 8, 2010 01:51 PM

You believe that women face a risk of having their career destroyed -- and possibly being cast into prison -- by a man's false accusation that they came onto them, or sexually assaulted them?

Other risks, not under the legal system.

In the same way the legal system doesn't protect men from some actions of women, the same is true for women when they need defense from men's actions.

This is why high risk behavior is called high risk. The law is not going to save you from the consequences of your actions or inactions.

Somebody that goes sky diving and forgets to have a backup chute, not really much the law can do about it if the primary malfunctions. Sue the whomever? Maybe. Not going to help the crater the sky diver just made tho.

However, a large part of the business of military service is building character in younger recruits. In the young men, precisely the right lesson happens to be: "You are responsible for your shipmates as well as yourself. If you see one engaging in self-destructive behavior, you should try to take them aside and bring them home intact. If it is a female, you are NOT FREE to consent to any offers of sexual favors she offers while drunk, and you are not permitted to make any advances at that time either."

The US Navy hasn't had a blue water war in some time. The Army, which has had a primary battlefield presence for a few wars or skirmishes, has Diversity Casey to show for it, Grim. How much more would the rot have taken in the Navy's normally "peacetime" operations.

The point is, if the Navy suffered 50% casualties, they would change their policies to be more effective. Just like when Casey's "iraqi face" strategy blew up in his diversified face, Petraeus got slotted in and improved things. War tends to demand results, not "face paint".

No war, no need for results. The pilots flying planes off the carriers are the only ones that need to show results to make the Navy look good. Everything else can be "socially engineered" according to ideological or political priorities. That can be diversity, it can be gays, or it can be something entirely different and new.

Wonder when they will start on the nuclear ballistic submarines. That'll be fun to see when the left starts yapping on and on about being tough on nuclear deterrence.

Teaching young women not to make themselves helpless is likewise an important lesson, but one that needs to be approached after we deal with the current problem of Ms. Jello-Shots being really drunk right now.

These policies are not designed to solve anything.

The lesson we would want young men to learn seems to be exactly the one being taught.

The only lesson of practical value here is that more misbehavior is being generated by the policy as it prevents.

One of the issues of fraternization is favoritism. The enlisted, for them to obey commands, must recognize the authority from whence those commands came. They will not recognize such authority, especially in battle where their lives are on the chopping block, when they believe command has a nasty case of favoritism. That they are favoring this person over another, for any variety of reasons.

Then those who obey orders are more in favor of kissing up and trying to get some of their own favoritism, than ascending to any such 'high standards' of conduct.

you have an obligation to her to step in and in a polite way and a nice way and a non-threatening way say, 'Hey, we've got early duty tomorrow,'"

Non-threatening, Grim? By whose standards. The drunk's? Yes, that would seem likely.

Sailors are not given the tools to lead any such woman to safety. The policy commands it, but the policies are run by drunk idiots and peacetime officers.

As such, it violates a core principle behind combat command. Don't give an order you know won't be obeyed. Cause it just distracts people and gums up the works even more.

It would be a far better order to simply sequester people who have been disciplined over alcohol abuse, so that they can't get any more alcohol. Leave punishment of behavior to the chain of command. Or else don't even bother.

Unless, of course, this policy thinks it can order enlisted to move female superiors to safety over her objections and not think something bad will be in store for them later.

Men and women are different, and we have to accept that.

It's the belief that men and women cannot be on par in terms of combat or personal lethality quotients.

Since the military is based upon training, not innate warrior skill/talents, this is an counter standard. Because if men and women are so different that they cannot be trained to handle the same situations or fight well in the same war, then what you have is a caste system. Women are non-combatants and men are combatants.

That, is of course, neither historically valid nor even valid in contemporary times.

It's also counter-intuitive. If a female shouldn't lead a male to home because the male is physically overpowering relative to the female, then no male that is not physically more powerful than another male, should have leadership, control over, authority over, or the presence of mind to lead them to safety, the drunk.

But that's not tolerable, because it's ridiculous. That standard can only be applied to women because women are neither expected to train to overcome such disparities nor are they expected to win should they attempt to do so.

The low outcome results of low expectations. It's a good excuse. They aren't trained to fight, because nobody expects them to train as they would fight. Cause they won't be fighting.

The Iraqi Army under Casey didn't need to be full of women to scatter and disappear like fog when it came for their first action. I suppose "differences" between Arab and American military traditions could have been used to justify such lack. But it would have been invalid there, and it is invalid here.

High standards are either high standards for everybody, or you have a social program, not a navy.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 01:52 PM

If women demand extra protection in situations where men always have been considered capable of fending for themselves, they will viewed as a burden in those situations, and rightly so. It will therefore follow that they will be excluded from those situations, or subject to huge resentment if they are allowed in.

BINGO.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 02:01 PM

You believe that women face a risk of having their career destroyed -- and possibly being cast into prison -- by a man's false accusation that they came onto them, or sexually assaulted them? That's possibly true for teachers of primary and secondary education, but it seems unlikely to prove out among adults.

No. Not at all.

I believe (I know, in fact, from repeated personal experience) that any time a woman is alone with a man there is a very real risk that he may make unwanted advances and further, that he may not take her seriously if she indicates disinterest.

Men of good character will not do this, but not all men are of good character. The risk of rape is no less serious than the risk of baseless accusations of rape.

Fortunately, most men and most women don't behave badly but you can't get away from character.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 02:06 PM

..."if you see a drunken sailor, you should take him home" is not a wise lesson for a young lady to be learning. This needs to fall on other male sailors; a female sailor should do it only if she has others to accompany her, because the male will almost always be physically overpowering (and drunk!).

I suspect you all will not like me for saying this but being drunk is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

Ever.

If I don't excuse women for getting so drunk that their judgment is impaired I *certainly* am not going to excuse men for doing the same thing.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 02:08 PM

...I agree that a gentleman should protect and defend a lady. I think it quite fitting and proper. I also believe that a woman CAN put herself in that defender's role. But once she does so, then she has moved from the "protected" class to the "protector" class and should be treated with all the rights, responsibilities and duties of the latter, and NOT only those which she wishes to take on.

Spot on.

While I'm on the subject, women can and often do act in precisely that role: they protect men from uniquely male frailties. I've done it.

I know guys are more likely to make certain mistakes and women are more likely to make others. If you care about someone, you don't put him or her in a position where his/her vulnerabilities can be exploited by others. You also don't put someone you care about in a position where temptation may cause them to do something they later regret.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 02:13 PM

"feel very uncomfortable" ??!!!


I'm sorry, I want those working for me to "feel furious" about this; "blind righteous rage" is over the line, but only a little, and if rationally acted upon, probably acceptable.


Now I'll go to the doctor (different, minor, matter), calm down, and then read the rest of your post.

Posted by: htom at July 8, 2010 02:14 PM

"BINGO."

The alternative to that "bingo" is that men take a certain pride in being protective -- the best men do, in any case, and the sort we ought to want to create. Rather than resentment, it may be what they will feel is pleasure in having the chance to perform a core function. This is what men are for. Doing what you are "for" feels good: it's a kind of that flourishing we were discussing yesterday.

Ymar,

I don't think I agree with anything you just said. But I especially don't agree with this:

"[T]he belief that men and women cannot be on par in terms of combat or personal lethality quotients.... Women are non-combatants and men are combatants."

That's neither true nor relevant. "Lethality" and "combat" have no place in this discussion, unless it is to avoid them as much as possible. We're talking about two sailors, who are on the same side, but one of whom is drunk and irresponsible. Any solution that posits killing that sailor is worse than the problem we are trying to solve.

A woman with a handgun can be quite as lethal as a man, if she wishes. However, one thing that is worse than Joe Sailor getting smashed at the bar is Jane Sailor shooting him because they got off alone and he, drunk, tried to overpower her. That (a) wouldn't happen with a man (although post-Don't-Ask, who knows?); and (b) the physical disparity means she'd have to use more lethal forms of self-defense if she did need to do so.

We've talked about how the male sailors are learning exactly the right lessons about their duties both as sailors and as men. The lesson you are proposing to teach the female sailors is: "You have a duty to the safety of your shipmates; but hey, feel free to kill them if they get out of hand."

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 02:18 PM

I suspect you all will not like me for saying this but being drunk is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior.

Ever.

Of course not. The need to train people not to render themselves helpless should also be about personal responsibility; drunk or sober, you must be responsible for what you do. In addition, it is never a good idea to get really, really drunk. I agree with all that.

However, once in a while one finds that young people who are still learning about alcohol get smashed. This is a standing issue for military units of any type. The question before us is what should their unit do about this, and what should their unit mates do if they find them in this condition. We agree that the unit needs to keep training them toward responsibility; and that their unit mates should try to get them home safely.

However, we have to recognize that a drunken male is dangerous to a female in a way that a drunken female is not dangerous to most men; and that means a wise policy will ask different things of men and women. Perhaps the women should be told to call for help, rather than trying to escort them personally; but we have to admit the difference, or we're setting people up for a bad situation. As you note yourself, alcohol is a persistent factor in military sexual assaults. Since we know the male is drunk in this case, we're inviting trouble if we add a woman and get them alone.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 02:26 PM

...we have to recognize that a drunken male is dangerous to a female in a way that a drunken female is not dangerous to most men;

Is this really true though? I don't see much difference between a woman getting drunk and consenting to sex she wouldn't have consented to if in full possession of her faculties and a man getting drunk and hitting on/having sex with a woman he wouldn't have, if in full possession of HIS faculties.

The danger for the woman is pregnancy/a sexual incident she regrets/disease.

The danger for the man is: pregnancy/a sexual incident she regrets/disease AND the possibility of a rape charge.

Mind you I'm not talking about violent rape here, but the more common alcohol induced bad judgment scenario.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 02:33 PM

Well, that's a major part of the difference -- I am thinking about the danger to the woman principally in terms of rape: I mean not rape in the sense of "a stalker who attacks a woman with pre-meditated intent to rape her" but "a man who is drunk enough that he has a degraded ability to control his impulse to sex, accept 'no' for an answer, or restrain himself from physically insisting."

In terms of consensual "but regretted later" activity, that's a good reason for the sober sailor to be trained to believe they can never accept consent from a fellow sailor who is drunk. That seems like an issue where there may be male/female parity, where there is not in terms of physical dangers.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 02:51 PM

We're talking about two sailors, who are on the same side, but one of whom is drunk and irresponsible. Any solution that posits killing that sailor is worse than the problem we are trying to solve.

I'm talking about the statement you posited that a woman should not walk a man home, not because there is some situational issue at work, because that is the "nature of men and women".

It is not the nature of men or women for men to be capable of physical violence, effective killing, and for women to be the natural victims. Statistically, they are, but that isn't the same thing as "human nature" or "laws of nature". There is no law of nature that says a female with a brain cannot deal with a drunk man. It is simply a lack of capability, training, skills, and preparedness.

Thus the reason why you say there is a "difference" between men and women, that this then means women should not be advised to take men home, is because you don't think women can be trained to be as lethal and as prepared to defend themselves as physical force as a man is or could be.

Has nothing to do about killing drunk sailors, Grim. Everything to do with your ideas of human nature as it applies to men and women.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 02:53 PM

I think me not waiting to not be in control is one of the primary reasons I'm not much of a drinker. I've never been "smashed", ever. Can still count on one hand the number of times I've been tipsy/intoxicated.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at July 8, 2010 03:02 PM

See, Ymar, you keep coming back to how women can be trained to kill people. If we get to that point that is even slightly relevant in this context, we've already failed in crafting a wise policy.

You're also misremembering my position from our earlier discussions, where lethal force is relevant. It is not that women are not physically capable of killing people, or that their minds aren't good enough to do it. It is that experience has demonstrated that very few will choose to use lethal force against fellow servicemembers, even at the cost of being raped. That seems to be true in spite of significant training.

I realize that you are of the opinion that women who make that choice are in some sense deficient, and need 'better training' to 'correct' them. I doubt that any of those propositions is true; but it also should not be relevant to the question of how shipmates should look out for their comrade who has gotten him/herself drunk. Again, a policy that expects that to become an issue is a bad policy from the start. There's no reason we should adopt any policy that creates situations of that type, because they are wholly avoidable in cases like these.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 03:13 PM

I think me not waiting to not be in control is one of the primary reasons I'm not much of a drinker. I've never been "smashed", ever.

I felt that way about hard drugs, MLB. I grew up in the 70s and had friends who used drugs. More than once I ended up "babysitting" friends who ended up stoned out of their minds. All this did is confirm for me that I never wanted to be that way.

I did drink, and not just a little. Still, I was very careful never to get to the point where I was passed out or helpless even when I was a teen or in college and I was never what I'd call particularly cautious.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 03:22 PM

I guess my problem is with the assumption that the male, drunk or sober, is infinitely more responsible and accountable that a woman, drunk or sober. And that's what is getting my goat (and seems to be getting Cass'). If a drunk woman cannot be held as equally culpable as a sober or drunk male in a sexual interaction, then why is a drunk male held fully culpable in a sexual interaction?

I'm not talking potentials or capabilities here, I'm talking responsibilities and culpability. The Navy's line seems to say "a drunk woman is a victim regardless of the choices she makes" while stating at the same time "a drunk male is ALWAYS responsible for his actions." Mind you, I've got no beef if you want to punish behavior of drunks as equal to if they were sober. but if we're going to claim that drunkenness absolves responsibility, then that needs to be equally true, regardless of gender.

The most obvious solution of course would be to forbid the use of alcohol, yet tellingly, with the exception of units deployed in the "Southwest Asian Theater" (and I suppose, ships at sea), no one seriously considers it.

Posted by: MikeD at July 8, 2010 03:23 PM

It is that experience has demonstrated that very few will choose to use lethal force against fellow servicemembers, even at the cost of being raped. That seems to be true in spite of significant training.

I think this is very true, much as I wish it weren't. The hardest thing to overcome is the natural reluctance to hurt someone but the second is (I think) that unless a woman is being threatened with violence (and coercive sex isn't always violent) she is not likely to respond with violence.

To me, though, that only argues even more for women to exhibit a bit of situational awareness. If you know you're uncomfortable with the use of force you need to be extra careful not to place yourself in a position where you'll be called upon to use it.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 03:26 PM

I guess my problem is with the assumption that the male, drunk or sober, is infinitely more responsible and accountable that a woman, drunk or sober. And that's what is getting my goat (and seems to be getting Cass'). If a drunk woman cannot be held as equally culpable as a sober or drunk male in a sexual interaction, then why is a drunk male held fully culpable in a sexual interaction?

Exactly. Either it's a valid excuse or it's not. It can't be valid for the woman but invalid for the man.

That's just wrong, and even more so when you stop to realize that no one forces you to be drunk. On the same note, women also have to be aware that men are perfectly capable of deceiving and tricking them.

When I was in college it was common knowledge that frats spiked the women's drinks - they were a good 2-3X stronger than the drinks they poured out for male students. I had boys warn me about this and female students knew it too.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 03:29 PM

Maybe the problem I'm having is that we started off by coming out against the idea that commanders should feel responsible for (or "uncomfortable about") sexual assaults in their command. It seems right to me both that the commander have some responsibility for the moral health of his unit (within reasonable standards of custom and tradition: we're talking about sailors, not saints); and that shipmates should look out for each other on those occasions when, as will happen with sailors and especially young sailors, one of them gets a few sheets in the wind.

If you're OK with both parts of that, but only want to revamp standards about having sex while drunk, I'll be happy to hear suggestions for what set of uniform standard might improve the situation! I'm not sure what they would be, though; neither punishing female sailors more harshly and often than we do, nor punishing male sailors less than we do, seems very promising as a means of fixing the problem. Punishing women more harshly ups the incentive for them to claim it was rape; punishing men less harshly lowers the bar that is protecting women from actual rape.

It's a wicked problem.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 03:49 PM

If you're OK with both parts of that, but only want to revamp standards about having sex while drunk, I'll be happy to hear suggestions for what set of uniform standard might improve the situation!

Here's my problem Grim.

Rape is a serious crime. Accusations of rape are likewise extremely serious as they can result in not just loss of liberty but the loss of reputation and career (not to mention a criminal record!).

It seems to me that the burden of proof must always be on the accuser in such a situation but in a misguided effort to "make things easy" on legitimate victims of rape, that burden is currently too low. Sadly, if the women chooses not to struggle she has zero physical evidence that the sex was coerced.

As harsh as that reality may be, I think it reflects reality and if women are presumed to be equally capable and responsible then they need to live in the real world and not some fantasy land. If she doesn't struggle but DOES report the attack right away she'll have evidence that sex took place but not that it was non-consensual.

If the sex was with a superior, she has the necessary grounds to go forward with a complaint and that's as it should be.

If the sex was with a peer... well, I think it's reasonable to say that when a person voluntarily decides to accept employment and that employment involves living/working in close quarters with men, the possibility of unwanted advances is a known risk.

Therefore, if a woman CHOOSES to subject herself to that risk, the onus is on her to conduct herself in such a fashion that that risk is minimized. And if a peer presses his attentions on her, she needs to resist - forcibly if need be - no matter how personally uncomfortable that may make here.

There is a parallel with men. Submissive men are often bullied, both in the military and in real life. It does happen. Rape is really just a particularly unpleasant form of bullying and just as guys need to learn to handle danger, so do women.

That's just what I think.

Women already have a way to address violent or coercive sex if inflicted by a superior. If it's a peer, the onus MUST be on her to:

1. Look out for herself.
2. Prove it was in fact rape and not consensual sex.

Alcohol shouldn't be an excuse for either party.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 04:07 PM

I've been thinking about this a bit more, and it seems to me that we have part of the answer in front of us.

We started by noting that men (in America generally, but also in the Navy) are in special danger of being falsely accused of harrassment/rape/etc when they are alone with women or children.

However, you also noted, women are in special danger of actual harrassment, rape, etc., when they are alone with men.

So, we should want a policy that:

1) Protects men as much as possible from false charges, and,

2) Protects women as much as possible from actual affronts.

Now, it strikes me that the policy we have in place does that.

A) By making women less susceptible to punishment for having consensual sex, it removes an incentive for them to claim they were forced.

B) By instituting severe punishments on men when there is any claim of force, it makes even questionable consensual behavior very costly.

So in that sense, this policy works: it actually does address the two problems. They are different problems, so there are different solutions; but it makes sense to have two standards if you're trying to solve two different problems.

Now, it may be that we need to work on (1) by increasing the cost of false accusations substantially. However, there's a balance point at which you raise the danger of (2) by doing so.

I'm not sure I agree that "rape is really just a particularly unpleasant form of bullying," however. To take gender out of it, prison rape and prison bullying seem like two different problems. One isn't just "more unpleasant" than the other (although, presumably, it is indeed more unpleasant).

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 04:20 PM

That seems to be true in spite of significant training.

There is no significant training on this matter in the armed forces. That may be because there is almost Zero of it in civilian life too, so nobody even asks the right questions.

Significant training is very different from what military members have. Just as is the case for Army combatives. Is that "significant" training in learning how to kill barehanded? Not particularly. And why should Army combatives, such as it is, train women on how to defeat rapists, whether tactically or preventively? There's no reason why it does or has.

Navy combatives? Is there even such a thing...

See, Ymar, you keep coming back to how women can be trained to kill people. If we get to that point that is even slightly relevant in this context, we've already failed in crafting a wise policy.

This is an old argument of ours, Grim. Of course we will go back to old ground. That's just basic pathfinding sense.

You're also misremembering my position from our earlier discussions

I'm not sure which portion you think I'm getting wrong here, but if something has changed or become clarified, I'd be happy to know. So far, everything you have said lines up with my memory. Except, maybe, the word "significant" before training.

I realize that you are of the opinion that women who make that choice are in some sense deficient, and need 'better training' to 'correct' them.

That's not especially true of women. It was only brought up because they were the target population. And I seem to remember having told you this before, Grim, that they did not have a choice. People without choices, don't make choices. They have circumstances forced upon them. In point of fact, that is what makes rape, rape, and not simply "youthful indiscretions". This is not something you should forget about, Grim, because it's very important not to mistake choices made for what people do when they have no viable alternatives.

You already mentioned "significant training". The argument is whether this training does any good vs other training. This includes non-lethal solutions as well. What are "deficient" are the instructors. The students all start at the same place, mostly. Even men, who do not start at the same place as women, are the same when it comes to being instructed. They got all kinds of bad habits, erroneous ideas, and other things that aren't necessary to get results.

Actually, that was a recent change. I wasn't up to date on the social solution sets, only the asocial solution sets, back when I was talking about that with you. Thus it made sense to focus on the lethality portion over all else.

There's no reason we should adopt any policy that creates situations of that type, because they are wholly avoidable in cases like these.

Policies can try to make rape avoidable. It'll work about as well as the "significant training" you mentioned worked to train people to kill at melee range without orders and without their weapons in their hands.

Only individual decision making and the training that allows individuals a free range of options and choices, sourced from strong foundations of capability and power, can avoid rape.

The idea here isn't that somebody else, whether the Navy or male sailors, can save women. The idea here is that the person most at risk of violence, is the one that has to react first to trouble to deal with it or avoid it. If they can't do that, they can't do that and will suffer the consequences, whether man or woman. Regardless of whether they wished it was otherwise. The Navy can make all kinds of things look good on paper about policies and orders to male and female sailors. The reality may not change much, if at all.

As a side note, lethal force and telling a woman she shouldn't go with that drunk sailor alone, aren't the same thing, you are right. That's because I focus on individual choice.

A person choosing to use lethal force in a situation and a person choosing not to go with a drunk man alone to his home, are the same thing, however. Because it is one person, making one choice, about future ramifications to that person.

A woman does not have the resources to deal, alone, with rapists until she

1. can handle the social environment using avoidance and situational awareness. This means avoiding high risk behavior, such as getting drunk amongst other drunk males, while female. Or getting drunk while in gang territory. Or getting drunk and then starting a fight in the bar. Or joining in one.

2. can effectively end the encounter using effective strikes, not hitting designed to "communicate displeasure".

3. can teleport to the asocial (from the social) and immediately end the threat, i.e. the person.

Now tell me, Grim, which part of this did Army and Navy train their female members in? And how?

If a female doesn't have all three, she is not fully capable of dealing with all kinds of "situations" that can develop. The Navy can make policy, but it relies upon the people on the ground to apply it. If they are not qualified, if they are not trained and competent, they cannot apply policies well. A wise policy has to take this into account first.

If you want the Navy's policies to do something effective, Grim, you might want to look at the training of individuals that is going on. Or not going on. So far, I see no training. Not even incompetent training.


Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 04:30 PM

How about this:

I'm not sure I agree that "rape is really just a particularly unpleasant form of PHYSICAL bullying,".


re: By instituting severe punishments on men when there is any claim of force, it makes even questionable consensual behavior very costly.

This does *nothing* to protect men from the threat of false accusations, though.

What you've done is make consensual sex cost free for women and potentially costly for men. That's wrong. To the natural risk, you've added the risk of being railroaded on no evidence for something you didn't do.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 04:30 PM

Reading through the thread I come to this:

"I suspect you all will not like me for saying this but being drunk is not an excuse for unacceptable behavior."
Not knowing if you've received any flak for saying so M'lady, I'm gonna say that I'll stand by that one with ya.

If you can't control <Insert-appropriate-it-here>, don't start <Insert-appropriate-it-here>.

Posted by: bt_know-when-and how-to-say-NO_hun at July 8, 2010 04:34 PM

By making women less susceptible to punishment for having consensual sex, it removes an incentive for them to claim they were forced.

I think you have the incentives (from a woman's point of view) all wrong, Grim.

I don't think women currently fail to report actual rape for fear of being punished for consensual sex.

They may fail to turn themselves in for consensual sex out of fear for being punished for consensual sex but that's another matter entirely. The problem identified in the NA article is that even when an encounter was determined to be consensual, men were disproportionately punished and women (more often than not) suffered no repercussions whatsoever.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 04:50 PM

There is a parallel with men. Submissive men are often bullied, both in the military and in real life. It does happen. Rape is really just a particularly unpleasant form of bullying and just as guys need to learn to handle danger, so do women.

My preferred outlook is to eliminate the opportunity for crime.

There needs to be 3 things for any crime, including rape, to happen.

Intent, Opportunity, and Capability.

Without any side of that triangle, there is no triangle, and thus no crime.

What the Navy policy ostensibly addresses is Opportunity. But, they can't eliminate opportunity entirely. Because opportunity isn't what most people think it is. They think there's no opportunity to commit a crime when they are in a room, and everybody else is outside. That, actually, is opportunity. You are alone, in a secluded spot, away from potential help.

The policy isn't going to give people knowledge so that they can make better choices. Thus, the policy isn't wise so much as it attempts to be micromanagement orientated. Not the most effective way to deal with a unit wide rot.

I prefer to knock out Capability. Without the capability to physically control a woman, rape cannot happen.

Intent is trickier. It is based upon opportunity and various other factors, like vulnerability. A person may not have been intent on rape, but he got in close with a female he liked and he started making his moves, got rebuffed, continued, got hit, then got angry and now thought of raping her (cause they were alone, and they were alone because couples usually seclude themselves when they want to continue their courtship in private). Intent is harder to control for, so I tend to ignore it.

The bonus is that a woman that knows how to eliminate a criminal's capability to control or attack her, also knows how to get rid of the opportunity factor as well. It's a pretty closely related skill set. However, a woman that knows how to avoid offering opportunity to be attacked, Cassandra mentioned awareness, does not necessarily know how to eliminate the criminal's capability to commit the crime itself.

You don't know what you don't know, sadly. And the time to learn isn't when trouble comes knocking.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 04:51 PM

Cass:

In my above post, I titled these things (1) and (2), with solutions (A) and (B), but I see I did not make clear that (1) was meant to be addressed by (A), and (2) by (B). So, yes, (B) does nothing for problem (1), and (A) does nothing for problem (2). However, the two-pronged approach does address both problems to some degree.

What you seem to want is stronger protection for men, by making false accusations more costly. That's fine; all I'm trying to say is that this undermines some of the protection offered by (B) against problem (2).

By the same token, making women more accountable for bad sexual decisions makes problem (1) worse, because it raises incentives to claim coercion where there wasn't any.

If we do both things you are suggesting -- increase accountability for women, and punish them more harshly for lying -- we end both increasing the incentives for women of low character to lie (because it's important for them to get out of trouble), and undermining the protections against legitimate rape/assault (because reports that aren't backed up with evidence become cause for punishment, meaning that women who really are raped will be less likely to come forward if they aren't sure they can prove the case).

Achieving the right balance here is difficult. The optimal solution, in such a situation, may still result in significant injustice.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 04:56 PM

Without the capability to physically control a woman, rape cannot happen.

The really thorny problem here, Ymar, is that in an awful lot of these cases there is no physical control. IOW, either mental coercion (threats of retribution) is sufficient to overcome resistance OR the requirement for the accuser to prove "intent" is dispensed with entirely.

That's not right. Signs of violence are good evidence of intent to have sex with a woman against her will. After all, you had to hit her or hold her down in order to get her to submit.

But a threat is a he said/she said situation. IMO, this isn't good enough. "Have sex with me or I'll end your career" should be met by a firm "NO" and an immediate report up the chain.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 04:58 PM

Also, considering Cassandra's remarks about the threat of false rape accusations against men, what makes anyone here think male sailors will follow the policy guideline to escort drunk female soldiers home?

Don't you think, maybe, that this would be good evidence for her to wake up in the morning and have the opportunity and capability (but not intent) to say she was raped by who all the witnesses saw was with her last night?

Of course, the males can be smart and bring his buddies with him as alibi. But again, who wants to feel protected from false rape charges by bringing his buddies, when he is thinking about helping a drunk female sailor? Some, yes. Many? No. Young males? Especially no. Too much hassle. Better to just speak to her about it, and if she isn't entirely and publicly in favor of it, leave, alone, with your male friends.

Policy effectiveness? Not zero. But getting close.

I don't think women currently fail to report actual rape for fear of being punished for consensual sex.

Grim may have meant "falsely" charge, though. Not sure on that given the small details.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 05:00 PM

What you seem to want is stronger protection for men, by making false accusations more costly. That's fine; all I'm trying to say is that this undermines some of the protection offered by (B) against problem (2).

That's exactly what I want and I think my prior comment acknowledged that:

"Women already have a way to address violent or coercive sex if inflicted by a superior. If it's a peer, the onus MUST be on her to:

1. Look out for herself.
2. Prove it was in fact rape and not consensual sex.

Alcohol shouldn't be an excuse for either party."

IMO, the evidentiary requirement CANNOT be waived without making the risk unacceptably high for men.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 05:05 PM

IOW, either mental coercion (threats of retribution) is sufficient to overcome resistance

The control here is the physical control he has over the career or paperwork or reports or chain of command. Otherwise the threat is meaningless. The threat is meaningless without the capability to back it up.

I gave one example of capability, physical control, but it's not the sum total of everything.

If a woman believes he has the capability, then has the capability, by merit of her belief.

Signs of violence are good evidence of intent to have sex with a woman against her will.

I don't mean evidence-intent. When police talk about motivation and intent, they're talking about proving it. Well, that's one way to look at it. The thing is, it doesn't really matter in our case, whether the police an prove it or not. Either there is intent or there isn't. The police may care about evidence because they want to prove something, but we don't need court level proof. We can use something else, a lower level of proof, like sense or reason. Or even logic. Intuition and gut instincts also work. The point is that at the time, that's all we need to know something is wrong. Court level evidence belongs in the courts, not in the tactical moment.

None of that is necessary. Either a criminal has the intent or he doesn't. And if he doesn't, we don't need to worry about it much. So for all intents and purposes, all we need to do, without being able to read their mind, is to assume there is intent already. That just means knocking down either Opportunity or Capability.

If someone does not the capability to affect you, at all negatively, he has no power over you and thus no ability to commit a crime. Take identity theft for one example. They don't have physical control over their victims, do they. They don't even know their victims face to face. So how can a crime have been committed? Because they have power. Their capability rests in their ability to use your identity to trade in your name.

That's capability. Just as good. I'm not talking about going to the police and proving that guy had capability to issue threats and carry it out. I'm talking about the woman, personally, not allowing the man to have any power over her. Not "will not" hurt her but "can not" hurt her. That can mean defeating him personally. Attacking him using the chain of command. Or something else entirely.

The reason why this isn't all that common, is because criminals interview potential victims. If you pass the interview, they will strike. Because criminals are looking for easy marks. They don't want to have to fight. If you look like you are going to offer any resistance, they'll look for easier prey, most of the time. Unless they are desperate or it is personal.

No matter what the law or chain of command does about rape allegations, they cannot stop it from happening because they cannot be there to prevent people from being interviewed and then attacked. And criminal interviews are mostly correct. They do target the weakest link and their victims really do not fight back. That's what they were looking for.

Because I focus on capability, I'm looking for what will increase the ability of women to effectively knock down Capability in the crime triangle. By boosting the strength of every potential victim of rape, that includes women and other people, this is a protection that extends to everyone. There will be no one that can be easily picked up. Or rather, we will know which females are most vulnerable and that makes prevention much easier. For them and the command chain.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 05:20 PM

"IMO, the evidentiary requirement CANNOT be waived"
Shouldn't that be the entirety of that statment?

Watch out for your shipmates, male or female as you would for family, or for anyone in a bad situation.
Do the right thing.
Live your life such that your character can not be questioned.
The burden of proof is on the accuser.

Sheesh. Bureaucrats and their need to continually formulate new/improved policy. It's the middle/upper management equivalent of grab a broom and look busy.

Posted by: bthun at July 8, 2010 05:32 PM

The question isn't one of waiving the evidentiary standard; it's a question of how much (or what kind) of evidence is sufficient.

Ymar's model closely mirrors what police do, which is look at Motive, Method, and Opportunity. Do we have Motive? Well, yes; men like to have sex with women. Do we have Opportunity? Yes; they were alone together. So really, all that the evidence has to establish is Method.

Now, her word in the form of a sworn statement is evidence (not, perhaps, proof). So if she gives an uncontradicted sworn statement, that's enough evidence for a conviction even in a court of law.

Now, if her statement is contradicted, you still have evidence of Method, but not proof. If the threat was allegedly mental (or she was just really drunk, and couldn't say "No," -- but also couldn't consent), Method may be very difficult to prove or disprove.

If you say, "There must be hard physical evidence in addition to her word," you end up establishing a strict standard that will be hard to meet even in many genuine cases of assault or harassment. If you say, "Her word is enough by itself," you're setting up a standard that is unacceptably prone to false reports.

That's why I think this is such a difficult problem, and so hard a balancing act. Everything you do on one side of this, to make it fairer to one sex, creates a greater problem for the other sex. I don't see any way to reach justice by applying a single standard to both sexes, either, because there really are two separate problems ((1 and (2)), not just one problem. Since the problems are different, the solutions have to be different also -- that means the standards have to be different.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 05:33 PM

Remarks as given by Chief of Naval Operations

Admiral Gary Roughead

Department of the Navy Sexual Assault Prevention Summit

September 8, 2009

There is also no question in my mind that the reports that we receive are significantly underreported. You ask me what the right number is, I can’t tell you, but I can tell you that it is underreported. Although that’s my Naval Academy days, and as we would go forward with a case that involved a sexual assault I knew, I absolutely knew, and it was proven time and time again that if that case was not prosecuted in a way that ended in a conviction, that we would be going silent for months there after.

I think that’s something that we need to try to figure out how to crack that nut, because it requires again great courage for someone to come forward. If they fail that does not go unnoticed and it can affect things for months, perhaps indeed years after that. I applaud the move that the Secretary has made to bring Jill [Loftus] in as the point person in the department that is going to allow us to have a more coherent view of how we go with the policies and the programs that we have to have in place. I think that that will allow us to get a more focused way forward and coordinated way forward and I look forward to working with you, Jill, and I speak on behalf of my staff and the support that you’ll get as we do go forward.

What this doesn't tend to mention is how much the fear of not successfully punishing even allegations of rape would have on the "chilled" rape cases afterwards.

There seems to be a perception that there is more rape than can be accounted for by the rape charges on the books. But if that's the case, are the admirals now simply assuming a rape charge is valid, absent the evidence? For fear of either not prosecuting or not getting a guilty verdict, which in turn would harm the "coming forward" process?

Seems overly extra-legal on a very legal subject. This isn't Mast afte rall.


Link

According the Admiral, Grim, it is the same problem, along one axis for both genders.

There is no question too in my mind that we can never not think of this as a crime. It is a crime and it’s something that we, as a group of professionals, should absolutely not tolerate. I also believe that for us to consider this as a woman’s issue is missing the mark wildly. It is not just a woman’s issue, it is everyone’s issue. And it is applicable to both men and women. And if there is one thing that I have seen at least in the reports that I am privy to in my current capacity, is an increasing number of male-on-male assaults that take place. Anecdotal, to be sure when you look at the data that I have, but it is a function of that crime being perpetrated male-on-male.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 05:44 PM

Now, her word in the form of a sworn statement is evidence (not, perhaps, proof). So if she gives an uncontradicted sworn statement, that's enough evidence for a conviction even in a court of law.

No, no, no, because the evidentiary standard for crimes is "beyond a reasonable doubt", not "more likely than not (preponderance of the evidence).

A sworn statement is an allegation and nothing more. It is not "proof" of anything.

You are removing the burden of proof from the accuser and placing it squarely on the shoulders of the accused and that could not be more wrong. Just as the accuser has an interest in accusing, the accused undeniably has an interest in denial. If it's his word vs. hers and there is no physical or other evidence, she has not proved her case and the accused must be acquitted.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 05:48 PM

Do we have Motive? Well, yes; men like to have sex with women.

With the repeal of DADT, the men will just say they are gay. At least some will try it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 05:51 PM

A sworn statement is an allegation and nothing more. It is not "proof" of anything.

I think Grim is talking about the "chilling" effect of rape accusations, not just on men, but on women too.

Which means higher initial requirements tend to "chill" so to speak.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 05:51 PM

If you say, "There must be hard physical evidence in addition to her word," you end up establishing a strict standard that will be hard to meet even in many genuine cases of assault or harassment.

Yep. Too damned bad. If you don't bother to resist physically, you have raised a legitimate doubt that coercion was used. The presumption is that the accused is innocent, NOT that he is presumed guilty.

There is almost no way an accused man can "prove" he did NOT force a woman except to point out that there is no evidence that she resisted and that he used force to overcome her resistance. Talk about a burden that's impossible to overcome!

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 05:52 PM

If a woman swears, "he forced me" and the accused swears "I didn't force her", there is no legitimate reason to privilege her word over his.

None. Equal "evidence". To tip things over into "beyond reasonable doubt" the accuser needs to do more than present exactly the same "evidence" the accused does.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 05:54 PM

At least the worms are out and crawling about on the table rather than being trapped in a can.

Comparing the problems to worms, not those discussing the problems.


In the young men, precisely the right lesson happens to be: "You are responsible for your shipmates as well as yourself. If you see one engaging in self-destructive behavior, you should try to take them aside and bring them home intact. If it is a female, you are NOT FREE to consent to any offers of sexual favors she offers while drunk, and you are not permitted to make any advances at that time either."

Is blatantly sexist. How about:

In the military, precisely the right lesson happens to be: "You are responsible for your shipmates (or whatever your unit members are called) as well as yourself. If you see one (or more) of them engaging in self-destructive behavior, you should take them aside and attempt to bring them home intact. If a fellow service member offers such aid, you should accept it. You are NOT FREE to consent to any offers of sexual favors offered while drunk, and you are not permitted to make any advances at that time either."

It's not really an easy problem; and I'm not sure there is ever going to be a solution. Lowering the standards of proof will increase the accusations, false or not; raising the standards of proof will decrease the allegations, true or not. Set the standard where it should be to determine real ("mens rea") guilt, have a comparable crime of bringing a false accusation with equally high standard, and realize that the guilt (or not) of one does not imply the innocence (or guilt) of the other. It's possible that you could have both: he raped her and she falsely accused him (different crimes, she didn't remember the first, the second didn't happen.)

Gotta go again. Doc says my knee is going to be fine. :)

Posted by: htom at July 8, 2010 05:59 PM

That's why I think this is such a difficult problem, and so hard a balancing act.

What makes this difficult is that you are attempting to solve human problems using the court system.

The courts have a lot of power, but humans run it and humans are fallible. That means either men or women can get caught in the gears and ground into mush.

And the more you try to tilt the balance around, the more people get ground up as the gears move towards women then men then back again. Or they go towards women and make a whole revolution around.

It's far better to resolve the issue before a court is required to address it. Then you don't have to worry about evidence. No crime, no need for evidence.

However, so long as men and women are vulnerable to high risk behaviors, and so long as they keep acting in total ignorance of potential dangers, with a fig leaf of a cover from the "Admiralty", things are just going to rush into the courts for them to solve everything.

Here in Georgia, if you couldn't carry your knife, your gun, or whatever around with you to stake out your space in a lawful zone, there'd be tons of cases for the courts to resolve. And that's the best case scenario. The worst case scenario is Chicago, where crime happens and nobody reports it at all, because they know the courts can't and won't do a damn thing about it.

It's hard to prove rape cases. Perhaps even harder to prove it was a false charge, a knowingly false charge. That's because usually, unlike fights, this doesn't happen in public.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 05:59 PM

Ymar's model closely mirrors what police do, which is look at Motive, Method, and Opportunity. Do we have Motive? Well, yes; men like to have sex with women. Do we have Opportunity? Yes; they were alone together. So really, all that the evidence has to establish is Method.

This is the wrong standard.

What police do to try and infer criminal intent is a FAR lower burden than the one required to prove criminal guilt in court.

Evidence supporting the elements of rape MUST be presented BY THE ACCUSER. Only after she has proved the elements are present does the accused have ANY duty to present evidence in mitigation or to refute her evidence:

By using force: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by using force against that other person.

By causing grievous bodily harm: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by causing grievous bodily harm to any person.

By using threats or placing in fear: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping.

By rendering another unconscious: That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by rendering that other person unconscious.

By administration of drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance:

(i) That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act by administering to that other person a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance

(ii) That the accused administered the drug, intoxicant or other similar substance by force or threat of force or without the knowledge or permission of that other person; and

(iii) That, as a result, that other person's ability to appraise or control conduct was substantially impaired.

Aggravated sexual assault

By using threats or placing in fear:

(i) That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act; and

(ii) That the accused did so by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person would be subjected to bodily harm or other harm (other than by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person would be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping).

By causing bodily harm:

(i) That the accused caused another person, who is of any age, to engage in a sexual act; and

(ii) That the accused did so by causing bodily harm to another person.

Upon a person substantially incapacitated or substantially incapable of appraising the act, declining participation, or communicating unwillingness:

(i) That the accused engaged in a sexual act with another person, who is of any age; and (Note: add one of the following elements)

(ii) That the other person was substantially incapacitated;

(iii) That the other person was substantially incapable of appraising the nature of the sexual act;

(iv) That the other person was substantially incapable of declining participation in the sexual act; or

(v) That the other person was substantially incapable of communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual act.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 06:02 PM

Case in point: divorce courts. Love those.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 06:05 PM

What police do to try and infer criminal intent is a FAR lower burden than the one required to prove criminal guilt in court.

I would like to make the note that it has to be a lower standard. This is mind reading, essentially, and only has an incidental effect on court verdicts. Motive is all nice and good to have evidence for. Better to have evidence that "he done it".

The crime triangle is used by officers to ascertain suspects and what happened. The crime triangle is used by civilians and citizens as a first response tool when crime is about to be committed, against them.

In court, evidence about Who Done It supersedes all of the aforementioned points.

In cases of where the court lacks evidence, then we get nasty. Character assassination. If you have the facts on your side, argue the facts. If not, argue character.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 06:10 PM

Why do we even allow women in the Navy then? They're just so bad at judgement calls they need their male shipmates to chaperone them. Really?

If they have the judgement enough to go into harm's way, willingly, then they should be treated as equal adults who are prepared to face the consequences of their actions.

Talk about infantilizing women. Sheesh, you can see handwringing written all over this one. It has to work the same on both sides of the street.

"Cowgirl up! Or, are you going to lay their and bleed?"

Posted by: Allen at July 8, 2010 06:17 PM

Why do we even allow women in the Navy then? They're just so bad at judgement calls they need their male shipmates to chaperone them. Really?

To be fair, the Admiralty and the Sexual Assault bureaucracy is what is setting that policy here. Don't think it came from the grassroots women enlisted in the Navy.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 06:19 PM

If a woman swears something was done, and a man refuses to counterswear, and there is no other evidence, that is what I mean by 'adequate evidence to convict.' You say this is not so, but I'd like to see the jury that would fail to convict in a rape case where the defendant produced no evidence at all, and would not testify on his own behalf.

However, remember we're talking about accusations primarily -- not convictions. A man's career is ruined by the accusation, often enough, even if nothing is ever proven.

So, we're saying to the women one of two things:

1) To make an accusation, you must have proof "beyond a reasonable doubt."

2) To make an accusation, you must have experienced rape.

We can agree to punish false accusations, but here these two standards lead to different conclusions. I'm going to do the A/B thing again, lining up with 1/2.

A) You will be punished if you cannot back up your words with evidence beyond a reasonable doubt.

B) You will be punished if your accusation is proven false.

If you are able to produce only a sworn statement, because the threat was mental or psychological rather than physical, you may be in case type (2). If we are saying that you may not even bring the accusation without proof, that's substantially unjust.

However, while adopting standard (2) is just for the women who were raped but cannot prove it, it is unjust for the men. They may not go to jail, in the absence of proof, but their careers and their lives may be destroyed by the accusation alone.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 06:30 PM

Too much alcohol is bad on the reflexes. There have been reports that a control mechanism, say arm behind the back, pressure applied at shoulder joint to pop it, is enough to control people and prevent them from moving (or else pain).

Drunks have like a 5s delay in their neural response times. So even if you stop applying pressure there, they will still feel the pain, like a phantom limb. Maybe you can even dislocate somebody's shoulder simply because they won't say uncle, cause they literally aren't feeling the pain... yet.

People who rely upon their own capacity to use violence, whether that is gun, stick, knife, or bare handed, will not knowingly intoxicate themselves past a certain "limit".

You don't want your reaction cycle slowed down by more than .25s. Anything more than that, and well, you're degrading your own capacity and that is dangerous. (Check out McChrystal's staff party in France, the land of backstabs, if you want an example)

I wouldn't want to fight off attackers, control other people's behaviors, or recognize/escape dangerous situations, with that kind of signal lag. Be like moving through jello.

Then again, if nobody taught women or men what it means to to be able to fight off attackers, then obviously they might not have all that much reason to watch what they take in. They will depend upon "others" to safeguard them. Trust in the societal pack. Sheep, Baaa.

Right....

They don't even know how to recognize danger signals. And so when that trust is betrayed? Shock! Trauma! Like that was unexpected.

All they had to do was get some proper training. Recognize the danger. Get out of there. Can't get out, then end the threat.

If males are worried about false sexual charges, video tape, with timestamp, her agreement. Or voice tape it with your cell phone. Anything that serves as deterrence against casual-sex false rape charges, could be useful. More useful than a lawyer at court, even.

No intent, no ability, no opportunity, then no crime. Find a way to get rid of one them. If you recognize two of them where you are at, stop and scan. If you see somebody trying for the triangle, get out of there immediately. Don't let them pre-empt you. Hard to do when you're drunk.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 06:34 PM

Actually, the best trick is to avoid casual sex encounters while serving a military track. Avoid people in your school, at least. Maybe the edifice is unfair, but if they're gunning for rape charges, might as well avoid the issue entirely.

The hook up culture is pervasive. And it was intentionally designed so, as a bribe to the young generations, to distract them from more worthy pursuits and causes.

Men should be told a couple of things that they don't know in the hook up culture. So should women.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 06:39 PM

If you are able to produce only a sworn statement, because the threat was mental or psychological rather than physical, you may be in case type (2). If we are saying that you may not even bring the accusation without proof, that's substantially unjust.

I'm not saying they can't accuse to their heart's content, Grim.

What I AM saying is that a mere accusation is not proof.

It is well established that unless the accuser meets the basic burden of proof, the accused need not even answer because a cause of relief has not been established.

I think that's fair. But more importantly, it's a just process (which doesn't in any way guarantee a just result).

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 06:43 PM

Grim said: "The alternative to that "bingo" is that men take a certain pride in being protective -- the best men do, in any case, and the sort we ought to want to create. Rather than resentment, it may be what they will feel is pleasure in having the chance to perform a core function. This is what men are for. Doing what you are "for" feels good: it's a kind of that flourishing we were discussing yesterday."

I'd just answer that, granting that the best men may do this, there are far two few of them to build a policy around, or for women of good sense to count on receiving that treatment. They need to prepare for the real world, not Prince Charming.

Re whether women will use lethal force to prevent themselves being raped by a fellow serviceman, I'd ask this: would male service members use lethal force to prevent being raped by a male service member? I don't want to see military women murdering a male comrade over a highly disputed situation where sex might or might not have been considered consensual, or where either party was totally incapacitated. Nevertheless, a sober man who's clearly trying to rape a sober woman should certainly fear the risk that she'll kill him if she can, and that (if she's a service member) she's very likely to be able to.

Cassandra is of course correct that if you don't want to be held responsible for what you do when you're drunk, you shouldn't get drunk. I do think that the culpability for whatever you end up doing while dead drunk may not be quite what it would have been if you'd done it sober, at least the first time you get into trouble with drink. After a certain number of incidents, though, the two kinds of culpability tend to merge.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 8, 2010 06:44 PM

Your second instinct is the better one, but let me suggest a small revision: "Avoid casual sex encounters." Full stop.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 06:45 PM

I'd like to see the jury that would fail to convict in a rape case where the defendant produced no evidence at all, and would not testify on his own behalf.

Juries don't just get to decide whatever they want Grim. The defense atty should move to dismiss the charges if there is insufficient evidence to convict.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 06:46 PM

Re whether women will use lethal force to prevent themselves being raped by a fellow serviceman, I'd ask this: would male service members use lethal force to prevent being raped by a male service member?

That's just the point: IT DOESN'T NEED TO BE LETHAL FORCE. It only needs to be sufficient force that he has to forcibly hold her down or hurt her to get her to submit. That leaves marks, guys.

I know. I bruise very easily.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 06:48 PM

"there are far two few of them..."

Surely there's more than two of us! :)

"[W]ould male service members use lethal force to prevent being raped by a male service member?"

I think any man would gladly kill another, if he could, to prevent that. The problem with prison rapes is often that there's no capacity to do so; the weak are at the mercy of the strongest.

"...should certainly fear the risk that she'll kill him if she can..."

Indeed. That seems to be a point of general agreement; the only problem is that the evidence is that women don't, in fact, do this. This seems to be true even among those women who have self-selected as soldiers, who are trained to use a weapon in self defense, and who are currently armed with the weapon they have been trained to use (as they always are in Iraq). Yet we still have numerous forcible rapes, and almost never is lethal or potentially lethal force employed to resist.

It's one of those cases where the world doesn't live up to our ideals.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 06:50 PM

... granting that the best men may do this, there are far two few of them to build a policy around, or for women of good sense to count on receiving that treatment. They need to prepare for the real world, not Prince Charming.

Exactly.

I was the most trusting and naive person out there but when I was a teen even I hoped for the best but prepared for the worst. This isn't brain surgery folks.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 06:50 PM

Oh, and by the way I've actually had someone try to rape me.

I didn't even hit him, but I ended up with bruise marks all the way through a tweed blazer, a sweater and a blouse.

So you really do not need to fight all that hard for there to be physical evidence that you resisted.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 06:52 PM

...or for women of good sense to count on receiving that treatment. They need to prepare for the real world, not Prince Charming.

If the concept is that men will resent having to protect women, I think the real world includes plenty of men who have the opposite reaction. To me this seems to be true in matters large as small; when was the last time a man grumbled about a lady at work asking him to help change her tire? Of course he was glad to do it.

I have only been asked to do so once, back in high school; but I still remember how flattered I was that the young lady had picked me to ask, out of all the young men she might have asked for help.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 07:02 PM

Yet we still have numerous forcible rapes, and almost never is lethal or potentially lethal force employed to resist.

Grim, you need to read what you just typed.

If no force was required, then it wasn't forcible rape. Period.

Psychological pressure may have been employed but that is NOT force. Different offense.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 07:04 PM

What kids don't understand is drinking isn't a sprint.
It's not a race to see how fast and how bombed
you can get. It's a marathon. Drinking is something
you use to enhance a long night of fun.
An old bartender

Reduced Capabilities

It's hard to avoid being raped, beaten and robbed if -- through drugs and alcohol -- you've reduced your capacities to out maneuver, out think and resist an attacker.

Now a great many moralists will be offended by this page. Because their attitude are:
Don't drink underage.
Don't do drugs.
Don't associate with the wrong people.

Yeah, right like that advice is going to be followed...

The difference between us and the moralists is that we know young people are going to do these things. Because face it, that kind of behavior is fun.

Putting it mildly, in his past Marc not only raised hell, but he propped a rock under it. And since he hasn't donned the cloak of a repentant sinner about his past, he has absolutely no claim to telling people that they shouldn't do it when it comes to having a good time.

However, at the same time, he will tell you "TANSTAAFL." (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch).

There's benefits of breaking the rules, but there are also costs ... as well as dangers. And if you choose to break the rules by going out where the wild things play, then you'd better accept, that
a) you're not in Kansas anymore
b) you can't pick and choose which rules other people will decide to break
c) that there are some nasty people in this world who will -- without hesitation
hurt and abuse you if you give them the chance
d) incapacitating yourself around them is a flat-out dangerous idea.

They may not have the right to hurt you, but they certainly do have the intent -- especially if you give them the opportunity by getting so blasted that you can't take care of yourself.

Now the bad news about breaking 'the rules,' there are still rules.

Here are some basic rules of partying that if you don't want to find yourself sobbing in a police station or in the hospital, you might want to guide your partying by...

Don't get so tanked you can't come back when something goes wrong

Don't get blasted any place you aren't going to -- and are comfortable with
-- spend ing the night

Don't get baked around people you don't know AND trust

(Him not having raped you 'yet' does not constitute being 'trustworthy.' Here are some danger signs of people you shouldn't get blasted around)

Recognize a pending pass-out and crawl off and hide

When you crawl off to go to sleep, lock the door

Eat something before partying

Don't mix sweet drinks

Know what drugs to avoid You + ? = bad combo

Designated driver/ guardian and then listen to her when she says "time to go."

Surely there's more than two of us! :)

The issue was always that however many there are, they can't be everywhere. Even in families, they can't be everywhere. Case example, one guy was deployed to Iraq. Came home and his wife, couple of children, and the girlfriend of his wife, all got stabbed to death by some maniac that got in the house. The women put up some fight. Didn't help. They lacked what is available to the rest of us. Some of us, at least. And they lacked it because nobody told them that it was available, that they had a choice to get it. And thus circumstances took the choice out of their hands, for good.

In such circumstances, the mother would have used deadly force had it been available to her. But because she wasn't trained to a sufficient standard, that option wasn't available to her.

Grim, you should ask why those service members in Iraq did not use lethal force. I think you would find the answers an interesting explanation of why your model didn't work as intended there. I believe you think they had a choice to do so, but didn't. I say that they didn't have a choice, that it wasn't available to them due to a number of factors. What are these factors? That depends on the individual cases, now doesn't it. I am not aware of the details, but you may be, Grim.

who are trained to use a weapon in self defense

For such to be actual training in self-defense, it has to contain some part of what I quoted above. Does it? Which part, since when?

and who are currently armed with the weapon they have been trained to use (as they always are in Iraq)

And were they also trained to understand that a rifle or handgun loses almost all its effectiveness within a certain range?

Yet we still have numerous forcible rapes, and almost never is lethal or potentially lethal force employed to resist.

To utilize Occam's Razor, that is more easily explained by successful use of the "interview" tool in the hands of criminals. Anything else requires evidence, additional evidence to justify.

For example, male police, with their sidearm in the holster, find it sometimes very difficult (up to being killed by it) to draw their sidearm against a charging knife wielder or committed perp. Without sufficient H2H training, nobody is going to get a chance to draw any firearm in H2H range against a determined attacker. If you do draw it, you won't be able to aim and fire it given the grappling or stabbing going on.

Your second instinct is the better one

They are all options. It's up to the user to decide which is best. Since I'm not the one that is going to pay the price for their failure, they are.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 07:19 PM

BLockquote doesn't work past one paragraph too, it seems. Whatever.

Everything above the first bold, of my last comment, is a quote from my favorite site about using violence in social and anti-social circumstances.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 07:20 PM

If no force was required, then it wasn't forcible rape. Period.

I think he means no force was required to resist forcible rape, rather than no force used to subdue victims.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 07:32 PM

Uho. Used, not required.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 07:32 PM

Grim, I think you seriously underestimate the resentment of men in general against women who enter male-dominated arenas and then expect men to rescue them from situations a man wouldn't have needed rescuing from. I think it's lovely that you yourself wouldn't resent it, but that's not the real world. It's not something women can ask for without being prepared to be marginalized.

Even on this site, which is unusually chivalrous if only because you're present (one of "two few"! I hate it when I miss typos), you'll find many men willing to say the women hadn't any business being there in the first place if they needed special treatment, and many of us women will agree.

So now we get to the part where I describe an ideal world and you object that it's not realistic. If a woman could have used lethal force to protect herself and didn't, I'd question whether it's truly rape. Of course I recognize in many situations a women might be so surprised and overpowered (or comatose drunk?) that no defensive lethal force was possible. I don't expect an overmatched woman to risk being beaten to death if she can't get to a weapon. And I'm not talking about situations where consensual sex goes too far and a woman has trouble shifting gears and saying "stop," because that's not an appropriate situation for lethal violence. I'm talking about predatory rape.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 8, 2010 07:35 PM

Training in rape prevention is constant, Ymar. The military expends endless energy on it, because they take all this very seriously. I never knew a female servicemember who wasn't aware that she was at some risk when alone, or at night, etc. Most carried knives in addition to their rifle or handgun, which indicates an intent to defend themselves with force; or at least, a bluff. The question is whether they were trying to bluff potential attackers, or themselves.

There's no real solution except to go back to single-sex service, with no homosexuality permitted. Instead, we've decided to do the opposite: co-ed units as far as possible, and open homosexuality.

Then people say, "Commanders must be doing something wrong -- shouldn't they feel uncomfortable about this climate?" Well, yes, as far as they are able they should do what they can.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 07:39 PM

I think you seriously underestimate the resentment of men in general against women who enter male-dominated arenas and then expect men to rescue them from situations a man wouldn't have needed rescuing from. I think it's lovely that you yourself wouldn't resent it, but that's not the real world. It's not something women can ask for without being prepared to be marginalized.

I think so, too.

A person who habitually goes through life hoping to encounter only the ideal is asking for trouble. That's not adult behavior.

There are a lot of things women don't talk about because it doesn't change anything. Don't mistake that for never wishing the world were a better place than it is. I choose to focus on the good even though I've seen plenty of bad.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst will rarely steer you wrong.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 07:42 PM

"...have used lethal force to protect herself and didn't, I'd question whether it's truly rape."

OK. I accept your right to question their claims, certainly.

However, I am also aware that the brain science demonstrates that female brains operate differently in one crucial regard: male brains think with either the left or the right half at any given time, but women's brains do both at once. My theory is that men are very good at turning off their emotions long enough to execute violence, and can then deal with the fear and disgust (or excitement and glory) later. Sometimes this ends up being harder on the men than dealing with it at the time; but it is a facet we know that men can do.

I suspect the experience of trying to deal with sudden force, the desire to defend yourself, the fear, the anger, and the fact that you have a fellow soldier doing it, often creates a moment of hesitation in female soldiers. She who hesitates is lost.

My belief, then, is that you have many real forcible rapes in which female soldiers could have used lethal defensive force, but did not. This does not cause me to question their competence as soldiers, because I think they would have been able to decide to use force in the instant if they had been facing an enemy instead of a fellow servicemember; but one gets only an instant, many times.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 07:47 PM

"A person who habitually goes through life hoping to encounter only the ideal is asking for trouble. That's not adult behavior."

We didn't start off talking about 'expecting only the ideal,' but about training the young. The ideal may not be what you ought to expect to encounter wherever you go: but it surely is a good standard to hold up when you're trying to show the young what they ought to aspire to be.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 07:56 PM

Funny how we only hold up ideals when it favors women.

Men, here, are not presented with the ideal that the accused is innocent until proven guilty:

In examining roughly 3,000 pages of documents obtained by The Capital under the Freedom of Information Act, it became clear that some midshipmen - male and female - can be careless about themselves, their careers and with each other. It also seems apparent that many of these young men and women - perhaps like their counterparts nationwide - have a casual attitude toward sex.

When it comes time to assign blame for misconduct, however, the male is nearly always the one that gets kicked out of the Naval during the time frame examined, according to the documents.

So a woman who drinks too much or exhibits bad judgment gets off scot free. A man who does exactly the same thing is fired.

Some ideal.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 08:10 PM

...you have many real forcible rapes in which female soldiers could have used lethal defensive force, but did not.

Once again you pretend there are only two alternatives: lethal force or the total lack of resistance.

Wrong. If a woman only tries to get away but doesn't try even to injure her attacker, she will sustain physical damage because she can't even be detained (much less deprived of clothing and penetrated) unless force is used.

There is absolutely NO requirement to use lethal force but if you choose not to try to get away at all then the rape was NOT forcible, by definition.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 08:13 PM

The military expends endless energy on it, because they take all this very seriously. I never knew a female servicemember who wasn't aware that she was at some risk when alone, or at night, etc.

Endless time and energy, I can believe given certain political influences. Until I see the actual training and do a review of how their students' usageor what they retain, I can't sign off on it and say "they did everything they could as instructors".

Human problems are not things that can be solved simply because people get exercised about it. We kind of know that by now, with government. People need more than just motivation. They need solutions. Real solutions and resources. If they don't got it, if they aren't giving this out like candy to the students, then they got a problem. An objective standard is results. Are they getting the results that they think they should get? If not, why not?

I'm not in a position where I can only say "I have no alternatives". I got plenty of alternatives, better ones even.

My theory is that men are very good at turning off their emotions long enough to execute violence, and can then deal with the fear and disgust (or excitement and glory) later.

And yet, you can see any number of soldiers or civilians that freeze, panic, go hysterical, and so forth in potentially violent encounters.

Male brain chemistry obviously didn't do much for them.

Also, the thing about violence, is that most people still use their social limiters when using violence. Like say, bar fights. Objective isn't to hurt or kill people. Just monkey behavior of chasing people you don't like off your territory.

The people that can teleport to the asocial and use violence to simply end the encounter, by ending the threat (the functonality of the person) are loosely classified into

1. Serial killers, sociopaths, psychopaths

2. Killers

One has a conscience, the other doesn't. It may not be a very comprehensive conscience, of course. It may be a very tribal conscience. Brain scans have some issues detecting such. Maybe cause the sample population is pretty low. Academics usually aren't well known or trusted by these groups.

you'll find many men willing to say the women hadn't any business being there in the first place if they needed special treatment

I am trying to remember whether I have said that or not. I don't think I have, it seems. Which, ironically, puts me closer to Grim's position than the average, perhaps. Which is funny, really.

The question is whether they were trying to bluff potential attackers, or themselves.

That question can be answered if you know how much time they spent training the way they would expect to fight (off rapists that is). That would answer what they were "trying" to do. But it would not answer, yet, whether it was effective enough. Actually, failure to use it may be its own answer, but the failure may have come from other sources than the training.

It also means that the ones that successfully bluffed or whatever, potential rapists off, aren't in the record, Grim. That's why records of criminal and victim rolls are, at heart, a very selective criteria. Using it to judge general population trends is not something I would recommend. Criminals do not go out of their way to pick on victims that they know are confident, assured, deadly, and able to take care of themselves. If they did, they'd wipe themselves out pretty fast. Isn't that what AL Qaeda figured out. Better to torture and blow up civilians than kill themselves attacking Marines.


because I think they would have been able to decide to use force in the instant if they had been facing an enemy instead of a fellow servicemember; but one gets only an instant, many times.

I can agree with that. But what does that mean? It means, where is their training? Training that makes them prepared to fight an enemy, is not self-defense training for fighting "everybody" or "criminals".

So what has the Army been doing, exactly, to mentally train people to bridge the gap here? They, presumably, know of the problem. So what are they doing about it.

Also, there's a problem with having a firearm. Having a firearm does not give you the intent to kill or harm people. The ability to obtain that intent is acquired through different training. A firearm only requires the intent to aim and pull the trigger. The gun does most of the work. It is too easy to rely upon the gun to do most of the work, and not obtain sufficient intent and dedication to the attack. Also, the gun is seen as automatically lethal, which isn't the case. Chances of surviving a single gunshot wound is pretty good, actually. Especially with military doctors on site.

Did the service members in Iraq know this little fact too? How can they be worried about killing, when they knew gunshots normally don't kill without multiple bullets in the body cavity?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 08:14 PM

I submit, gently, that the man who learns to live up to this ideal, by being held to it, is also favored. And not only in the one moment, but for his whole life.

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 08:15 PM

Exception is high calibers, such as .45 or .50. Chances with those are somewhat higher, given the hydrostatic shock wave. Can damage a large area, including organs. Don't know how much higher, but higher than 9 mm.

So what calibers were the service members wearing, Grim? And how much did they know about guns or train with them, do you know.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 08:17 PM

I mean somewhat higher with pistol caliber .50s. Obviously vehicle mounted .50s will tear off parts of you body. Which probably isn't very good for your health.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 08:22 PM

9mm Berettas or M4/M16 rifles, Ymar. Standard military kit. As for training, they get regular briefings on the subject. There is also the attention of their commanding officer, who meets with women in his unit periodically to assess safety concerns and try to find solutions for any concerns they raise. In other words, the problem of rape is brought to their attention very often, and they are encouraged and taught how to maintain situational awareness and to prevent themselves being in dangerous situations. Furthermore, commanders listen to their complaints and take concrete steps to solve problems they raise.

In addition, there is quarterly EO training for soldiers, and so forth.

Nobody's at fault for being ignorant of the problem. The question is whether they make up their mind to kill people or not. Now, Cass says they shouldn't have to -- any sort of physical resistance should be enough to establish evidence. (Maybe; I think I could restrain someone without causing any bruising, but then again I taught jujitsu for some years.)

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 08:25 PM

But women aren't favored by being held to the same ideal?

Why? Are we inferior? Not capable of virtue? Not capable of responsible behavior?

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 08:28 PM

There is absolutely NO requirement to use lethal force but if you choose not to try to get away at all then the rape was NOT forcible, by definition.

I don't think Grim is much concerned about arguing over the definition of whether it is forcible or not. From my opinion.

After all, did he claim the women used no force to resist or just no lethal force?

So a woman who drinks too much or exhibits bad judgment gets off scot free. A man who does exactly the same thing is fired.

Some ideal.

That's not the ideal Grim is talking about, of course. If Grim had his way, there would be all male units and all female units, probably. Sort of like Sun Tzu had. In fact, I think all female and all male actually increases competition. There's none of the desire to accept humiliating deals from the opposite sex that tends to go on in mixed gender company. Thus no hurt feelings over it by the young and inexperienced.

Plan for the worst, hope for the best? That's what I told Grim about Obama!

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 08:29 PM

Why? Are we inferior? Not capable of virtue? Not capable of responsible behavior?

Hold, Hold on.

Take some time. Getting too exercised.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 08:30 PM

I'm not exercised at all.

It's a legitimate question. If being held to a hard standard is good for men then why isn't it good for women?

Especially when, if you accept the arguments Grim has made over the years, it's actually easier for the woman to conform to the standard than it is for a man to do so?

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 08:46 PM

I didn't mean to suggest that rape should not be provable against a man unless the woman used lethal force to stop him. It's rape if you prove lack of consent, even if the woman used no force at all to defend herself. She has no legal obligation to do so, any more than she has an obligation to use lethal force to stop someone from robbing her on the street or burglarizing her house.

But for a woman to be permitted to be part of the military, I think she should be prepared to defend herself against rape by lethal force if that is a practical possibility under the circumstances. Any other choice means that she expects the military to guard her as if she were less capable than a man of taking care of herself. It exposes her entire gender in the military to a different standard and makes it impossible that they can ever be equal members of the military.

Would a man bring charges against another man in the military who had raped him, with the explanation that he could have stopped it if he'd been willing to kill or maim the rapist, but declined to do so because it seemed too harsh?

Posted by: Texan99 at July 8, 2010 08:52 PM

After all, did he claim the women used no force to resist or just no lethal force?

Doesn't matter really.

What I have said over and over is that a mere verbal accusation is insufficient evidence, since the man may refute it by mere verbal denials. It can never prevail in court (absent other evidence) unless you inexplicably privilege the woman's word over the man's and that makes no sense. Nor is it just to do so.

Nor does that conform to the normal legal standard in such cases (presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty, not presumed innocent until accused).

If we deprive male defendants of their jobs or their liberty without due process we have committed injustice. The burden of proof has ALWAYS been borne by the accuser in criminal matters (and rape IS a crime). The desire to allow women to pretend the world is different than it really is, or to allow them (but not men) to escape the consequences of their own freely made decisions, is no reason to turn this longstanding principle on its head.

We have the freedom to make unwise choices. We do not have the right to force others to pay for them.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 08:53 PM

You may be right, Ymar. A break for the evening might be best. I suspect there was a shift in terms a moment ago that one of us (myself!) did not notice; the ideal I thought we were discussing was specifically about how men should treat women who are in traditionally male areas, and therefore does not have a female equivalent in terms of the military. ('Prince Charming may be the ideal, but not the reality' etc.)

Since we need to pause and clarify where the shift in terms happened, we can easily pause for the night and pick it up tomorrow. :)

Posted by: Grim at July 8, 2010 08:54 PM

9mm Berettas or M4/M16 rifles, Ymar. Standard military kit.

Interesting, thanks for the answer. Of course, this is in the field. They can't exactly have non-authorized arms: I forgot.

9mm. Probably FMJ even, not JHP. Can shoot somebody three times with that and chances are they won't die unless they bleed out due to a lack of blood for a prolonged period of time. Just doesn't do enough organ damage to cause that systemic failure effect (something like one organ shuts off, then another, then another) in the torso.

Heck, I'd be worried that the gunshot won't hit the CNS and disable the person. Not that he would get "dead". They can shoot him in the head if they want to kill him for certain. Not many shooters with that kind of confidence to take that shot, even at close range.

I'm not sure what they are worried about, but a lot of it can probably be alleviated if they just ask the right questions to the right person. But, they have to know what the right questions are.

The more I think about it, the more I don't think it is hesitation due to their unwillingness to shoot that prevents the shot fired. Or rather, if they are hesitant to shoot to kill, they can shoot as a warning or as an alarm to others nearby. This isn't recommended, but it is better than nothing in my view.

The hesitation, that is the key I believe, rather than the indecision to shoot. If they don't know how to maneuver and operate firearms when people are that close, and if they remember their training NOT to point any weapons at fellow soldiers wearing camo/uniform, then you got a double dose of nasty. They simply are left with no time to figure this out on the fly. They are left with melee or H2H solutions. And that can be the point failure source if they thought they could rely upon their weapon for protection.

I would personally have told them that this wouldn't be the case. They cannot rely upon any firearm for protection. Especially close range protection. I would have favored teaching the backup plan, just in case they have to use it.

Not being confident is bad. Being over-confident is also bad, because when it hits the fan, over-confidence leads to an absolute drop in confidence when people realize that they can't handle the situation. I would like to see them learn all this via body mechanics, not just lectures or power point slides. They need to be comfortable being on the ground, upright, ambushed from the back, and so forth .They need to have confidence that what they are being taught works, because their body has gone through the motions and they can feel it working. They need to know "exactly" what to do, in what order, if they are prone, on their backs, sideways, close in, far apart, on top, etc.

As for training, they get regular briefings on the subject.

That is... not so good. They need training on the mat, with real physical bodies in opposition. This can't be relied upon just with lectures or words. People simply will not stake their safety on words. They have to believe. Their body has to feel secure enough to do what the brain is telling it to.

If they wish to use a handgun in this role, they need to train with one. Practice the mental decision cycle. Have opponents attack you and grapple with you, while you attempt to draw and fire your gun. And do that as many times as it takes for it to become muscle memory. Then work on your disarms, so that you know how you can be disarmed and prevent it. Then work on your H2H strikes, in case you got no firearms at all or knives.

Without that, lectures are lectures. Words are cheap. If they want to be able to do it in reality, they need realistic training.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 08:56 PM

That's okay.

I got most of the answers I wanted to get on the subject of rapes in Iraq and what the military was doing about it.

If they really want to hammer this issue down, they might want to contract TFT group and fly them over. Tim Larkin would probably be the name known in some circles. Better than them trying to develop everything on their own. Larkin's done some work with law enforcement and military circles. They can ask those people for a review.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 09:00 PM

. It's rape if you prove lack of consent, even if the woman used no force at all to defend herself.

Yes, but absent witnesses who saw the women rendered unconscious or saw her being forced, how is this essential lack of consent to be PROVED?

Evidence, that's how. Expecting a woman to put up at least a token resistance is hardly an onerous burden. If she does so and the man lets her go, she will not be "raped".

If she does so and the man must use force to keep here there (and further, keep her still enough that he's able to get her clothes off and rape her) there is more than likely going to be some injury to her person even if he never hits her.

The guy who tried to attack me never hit me. All he did was grab me by the upper arms and all I did was pull away as he tried to prevent me from getting away. I doubt very much that he meant to hurt me and at no time did I even try to hurt him. Yet I ended up with bruises that lasted for weeks.

Even physical evidence like bruises is not "proof" of non-consensual sex but it sure beats an unsubstantiated "he made me do it"! It all adds up. So does testimony from a friend that you called them crying, or told them immediately, or that you sought medical help or called the police.

I can't think of another serious crime where a court would consider the uncorroborated word of an accuser enough evidence to deprive the accused of liberty or his job. Even if she happens to be female and he happens to be male.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 09:03 PM

What Y is describing sounds to me like exactly the training a proposed new subset of servicemen should be getting once you conclude that (1) they belong there, (2) they are necessarily the potential objects of a particular kind of attack, and (3) you have enough respect for them to assume that they should and can defend themselves against it individually, before the cavalry can arrive. I'd say the same whether the proposed new group was women or say, members of an ethnic group who were expected to be resented and targeted for abuse.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 8, 2010 09:14 PM

Would a man bring charges against another man in the military who had raped him, with the explanation that he could have stopped it if he'd been willing to kill or maim the rapist, but declined to do so because it seemed too harsh?

I don't think it is the case that women refuse to do so. It's complicated, but the simplest answer is that lecture hall and power point slides are not enough to prepare women to handle rape attacks. Especially if they are worrying about handgun, rifle, friendly fire, etc. on top of personal harm.

I think there was a story awhile ago about some former military man that said a Democrat Congressman had sexually assaulted him. He went to the Congressman's home to talk with him, was refused entry. Then this guy got some gun and went out and killed the Congressman.

That's what I remember, but my memory is sketchy on this specific story.

My instructors at TFT made a note of something which I found interesting. A lot of training programs talk about how you can take the eye (out) if that is required, but they don't train people to physically do it, on the mat, using conditions that are similar to real life. Or as similar as it can be without harm done.

If you don't physically move your hand to slam into the eye socket and jelly it up, just like you would in a real situation, and if you don't learn it often, in different combination, the brain literally will stall if you try it in an adrenaline infused state. Freezes. Hesitation. All that good stuff.


You can't literally stab your finger into another person's eye socket in training. What you are doing is familiarizing your body, your mind, and your eyes to what it looks like, feels like. Every muscle you move, in slow motion, is the same muscle you would move in real life. Except faster. Where you stand or get into position is where you would have to do in reality. How you would strike the eye socket. How a person's eyelids feel. How their brow feels. How your body feels when your hand is right there.

If you don't know all this, by touch and sight, beforehand you won't have time to figure it out in a real fight. What if you are on the ground? What if your leg is broken? What if you got ambushed and stabbed in the back, but didn't know it? How are you going to get into position to take the eye. If you don't know that answer right off, from training, there will be no time in a fight to figure it out. No time to think.

This applies to all defensive tactics. Gun, knife, hand, don't matter. To have the option available to you, you must train with it, extensively. Ain't nobody learned this sitting on a chair reading or hearing words about it. A principles lesson is important, but takes about 20 minutes. Rest of the 5 hours: mat time.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 09:20 PM

Didn't Special Forces take like, I don't know, some odd time each day to maintain their marksmanship skills?

And this is for combat, yes, where hesitation is death?

Why does anyone think this is different for H2H conflicts, then.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 09:25 PM

I'm not going out of my way to give offense to those involved in anti-rape programs in the Army, for one thing. In fact, I wish them any and all resources that they would need.

What I am hostile to is something else entirely. I simply cannot believe that regardless of what people's motivations are or how good their material or feedback system is, that this is even half way sufficient for the mission goal they purport to have. This, being what Grim has described concerning how the Army handles rape or rape prevention.

they are encouraged and taught how to maintain situational awareness and to prevent themselves being in dangerous situations.

The information on avoidance is useful, but only crucial if you can control your location. In the Army, you don't have much control over that, if at all. Thus, the critical factor must be H2H training. That must be emphasized over all else, even above firearms training to resist or kill attackers.

But the Army isn't very good at effective H2H training. The SF is a lot better, I hear, but SF isn't training the Army service members most vulnerable to rape attacks, are they?

A civilian can avoid many dangerous areas. Women in the Army, deployed to Iraq, can go where, exactly? If you don't like someone in your unit, you can go where, exactly, to avoid them permanently? Avoidance and situational awareness is only a temporary solution, if you have to be around high risk individuals eventually.

Also, the acquaintance effect increases the risk of rape, because most rapes happen with people the women know and thus let their defenses down around. Not something that can be avoided on an Army base permanently, but again, if you guarantee effective H2H training, you completely secure the person using the person. Not just some time, not just in some parts of the base, not just around certain people, but around everyone. Will take a suicide bomber to get past her defenses.

Army individuals are not ignorant on this matter. But they do lack some resources on this matter that they would find of use.

More resources are always good. Especially in a war zone, I would think.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 8, 2010 09:58 PM

What BillT said.

Doesn't matter if it's right or wrong, since it flat out won't work in the first place.

Well, philosophically it matters, but on a practical level? The gal who's busy getting hammered will at best tell the guy to piss up a rope.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 8, 2010 10:26 PM

"What Y is describing sounds to me like exactly the training a proposed new subset of servicemen should be getting once you conclude that..."
I was going to go on a tear about a father's responsibility to train his daughters about the facts of life. Such as individual responsibility. That not all people are honorable, no matter what they say, or how purty they talk. Of the necessity of situational awareness, and that ultimately the responsibility for one's safety and wellbeing rests within, not without. Of the importance of training and mental conditioning, or at very least, thinking through possible scenarios, always think.

Ah well, M'lady Cass, Grim and Ymar seem to be covering all those points right well. Including the whole defending the vulnerable, equality either is or isn't, and innocence until proven otherwise ethos.

But I can't seem to get my head around either victims or predators being specific to a gender. It must be another case of my age getting the best of me.

I think I'll just call it a night.

Tommorrow the Hun hovel gets new zoned AC and heating units installed. I need to be fresh in order to properly wield the cat-o-nine, on or about the contractors.

Avast ye scurvy dogs, put yer back into that condenser! Heave to! Belay that ducting!

Posted by: bt_know-when-and how-to-say-NO_hun at July 8, 2010 10:39 PM

I can't seem to get my head around either victims or predators being specific to a gender.

Me neither, bthun. Good luck with your contractors!

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 10:55 PM

Two things, and I'm gone until tomorrow. First: several times we've been presented with a false dichotomy, that she has proof beyond a reasonable doubt OR she's making a false allegation. The allegation may both be true and not have proof beyond reasonable doubt. That's why we have trials. Because you're found "not guilty" does not mean you are innocent. (Oh, because you are innocent does not mean that you cannot be found guilty, either!) You need two trials, one on the allegation, one on the falsity of the allegation. And I can imagine cases where justice would require both verdicts to be "guilty", and both to be "not guilty". (Consider the case where he did not rape her, but she was raped by someone else, and confused him with the rapist.)

Second, there's another factor in the "didn't fight"; the surprise of the betrayal of expectations. Could have, would have, fought, but did not recognize the need until it was too late.

The other day, my tai chi chuan instructor was talking about self defense against grabbers, simple moves to make that the goblin probably would not be expecting. The whole class, mostly women, it seemed, just went into eyes-glazed-over mode. Full denial, so she asked me to grab her for a demonstration, to try to break through the "not going to think about it happening" thinking. "He might get hurt!" was actually muttered by someone, and "non-violence" by someone else. "Yes, ma'am", I said, and she said "Any time", turned her back to me, and when I picked myself up off the floor, I pointed out that the violence started when I grabbed the instructor, not when she threw me. "You're so big and strong and we're so little!" Well, yes, and the instructor's even smaller, and most of the women were still really not getting the point.

It's the size of the fight in the fighter, and the ability to bring it. Surprise and betrayal can slow the needed response to the point that it's ineffective. Practice, practice, practice. You need to have the training drilled down into the amygdala, so it will surface as it's needed, not after you've thought about it for a while. Not that you should always do what your amygdala suggests....

Oh, Prince Charming ... it was easy for a while to treat all of the young ladies like princesses, but then reality intervened and I came to my senses. Some of them are not, and must not be so treated.

Posted by: htom at July 8, 2010 11:37 PM

Cass states: "We have the freedom to make unwise choices. We do not have the right to force others to pay for them"

After reading the entire thread, going back over many points, agreeing with much, and having my brain stuffed with with the terrific dialogue on this thread . . many things jump out at me.

However, Cass's point I've quoted above resonates strongly, along with the quote in the article regarding casual sex, and the concerns outlined in the thread that try to discern between casual sex and rape. This is really not an easy subject!

But it does go to something else that Cass has noted before and I've discussed with many of my friends. We do have a freedom to make unwise choices. But we absolutely do not have the freedom to go and shift the blame onto others for our unwise choices.

Don't get me wrong - in now way shape or form does a person (I don't care what sex) who goes out drinking and gets plastered then deserve to find themselves in a situation where, due to being impaired, are unable to fight off their attackers whether muggers or a rapist. There is an aspect of responsibility of their buddies/team/unit/friends to then look out for that person. It goes to character, therefore . . .

While I haven't served I know others who are, who have, and I was raised by one who did and is a 4th generation Western man to boot. The code that I was taught and that others I know were taught (and their service had much to do with that) involves personal responsibility. To wit: The men and women in the Navy (for the sake of the issue under discussion) took an oath. IMO that oath should extend to all parts of their lives. That oath is a pretty solid - I looked it up and part of the oath involves striving to do the right thing and excellence as each person's standard. Pretty strong stuff - but well worth the effort to live by.

Yes, we are all human so there will be glitches along the way . . but I don't think that oath precludes the allowance that anyone can abdicate their own responsibility and character when they feel like it all the while knowing that someone else is going to pick up the slack for them.

I think its very sad that a venerable organization such as the Navy feels that they now need to tell the men that an additional duty of theirs is to take responsibility for some of the personal choices made by the women - yet there doesn't seem to be a push requiring the women to step up to the plate as well.

Posted by: Nina at July 8, 2010 11:52 PM

the size of the fight in the fighter, and the ability to bring it. Surprise and betrayal can slow the needed response to the point that it's ineffective. Practice, practice, practice.

I have read several times that criminals are quite good at detecting who will fight back and who won't. Moreover, most rapists will go after someone they think *won't* fight back. Simple things like walking with your head up, making eye contact instead of ducking your head, etc. are enough to discourage most attackers. They'd rather go after the easy prey.

Of course there's always the exception.

Posted by: Cassandra at July 8, 2010 11:53 PM

One problem at a time. We'll get to Levi Johnston soon enough.

hey, how close would you let Levi get close to one of your daughters?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 12:16 AM

"You're so big and strong and we're so little!" Well, yes, and the instructor's even smaller, and most of the women were still really not getting the point.

couple of points about pacifism and non-violence here

I went and collated some videos. People will be interested to note the videos of female police officers dealing with assailants at the link. This, if you are not experienced in H2H situations, will help you understand what the constraints people are operating under, especially those that need to worry about rape.

Let us state unequivocally that de-escalation works better when he knows he can't successfully attack you. Superior firepower is an invaluable tool when entering into negotiates. This means a reliable defensive tactics program must be the back up for the negotiates. Without this ability you aren't necessarily begging him not to attack, but you are definitely trying to trick him into not attacking. And there's a good chance he will know that. This increases your chances of being attacked. That's because someone who doesn't believe that he/she could 'take' the violent person will display non-verbal cues communicating this to the violent person. This non-verbal leakage is not something that the person doing it is aware of, but it IS happening. And it tells the violent person that you are afraid of him -- even if you are doing your best and loudest command presence display.

As the threat of violence is immediate, so too needs to be your ability to counter if the perp decides to attack. When you can do this you are not begging or tricking someone into not attacking someone that he know he could take. Look closely at that last part. Never think that a violent person doesn't know who he can and can't safely attack. A large part of successful de-escalation is making sure he knows you are in the "not safe to attack" category. Therefore, the other alternatives you present him are more appealing.

You can see an example of ineffective command presence in the tazer video at the link. Pay close attention to the tone and number of attempts the female police officer says "stop" or its variant.

The thing is, all these techniques for police work just as well if not better for civilians. They just don't want to talk about it, because they got huge issues with making it work for police. They don't want to get made to look bad if civilians started being better at dealing with troublesome people than officers of the law.

For a more effective presence, see the bottom most video about the drunk being kept in a holding room.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 12:41 AM

Heh, on the whole women-aren't-violent thing-- we've got a thing up here with a gal on tape assaulting a cop who is about her size, her buddy is also about her size, and an annoying number of folks after seeing the whole thing still talk about how the cop had no cause to respond at all, since a woman can't hurt you.

No, really, they said this. Generally while claiming to be bruisers from way back. /headdesk

Posted by: Foxfier at July 9, 2010 01:09 AM

This is for the martial arts fans of throws

The God of Judo shows some of his coherent abilities.

Btw, isn't Tai Chi an internal, soft style in MA?

Why are practitioners of an internal style, if that is what it is, still going on about "size"?

One of the valuable lessons I got from TFT was the mechanics of throws and joint breaks. Why they would work, how they would work, etc. It makes deciphering various throws a lot easier, because you can simply see where the force was generated, even if Mifune doesn't even move much. Other throws are harder to decipher. The force tends to flow out of sight through the body instead.

The force is generated from something other than your muscles, for one thing.

Those that believe their power in moving another human body comes from their strength or size should see the first part of this video.

Link

Nothing like monkey sees, monkey do.

claiming to be bruisers from way back.

Something obviously bruised their brains.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 01:21 AM

I tend to agree that if young men have to do the jobs that their opposite sex co-sailors are appear unable to do, should get paid more. Yet, my real solution to sailors drinking out of control: Shore Patrol. A little time in the cooler will bring a lot of perspective to many a young female with idiot notion that they are in not in collage but in the freakin' U.S. Military.

Posted by: Foxx at July 9, 2010 04:51 AM

Yes, tai chi chuan is a "soft, internal" art, but size is still size, and you can still use hard and external moves. Most of the class is there for health benefits, it's the instructor who keeps bringing up martial applications, and for that class, "get away, run screaming 'fire'!" is the primary technique taught -- and I think she's right. The throw was a showy, attention-getting, confidence-building device to show that a tiny person can get away from a giant attacker. It seems to have worked, just took a while, there are now sometimes questions about applications of parts of the form.

Posted by: htom at July 9, 2010 08:13 AM

Once again, I enjoyed your links, Ymar. Especially the one about faux-pacifists ("You're not a pacifist; you're just afraid of physical violence") who rev up a situation verbally, hoping their antagonists won't go to the next level. They're trying to exploit the self-restraint of their opponents. It's often a successful tactic, but it never can lead to a partnership in which they're respected as equals.

What a contrast with Judo master Mifune, who at the age of 70 and suffering from serious illness is physically weaker than his opponents, but has perfected a means of fighting that takes full advantage of his particular strengths, and uses it unhesitatingly.

I have been thinking about the awful Oscar Gates/Johannes Mehserle case in Oakland, in which ex-Officer Mehserle was just convicted of involuntary manslaughter yesterday. A near riot on the subway platform in 2009 developed into a tense, terrifying attempt to subdue one suspect who resisted being handcuffed. Mehserle was stretched to the breaking point and, at a horrible crucial moment, seems to have meant to Tase the suspect but instead pulled his gun and shot him dead. Witnesses say he then clapped his hands to his face and said "Oh, my God." The jury believed that he did not mean to kill the suspect, and I'm assuming that's true. What I'm seeing is an officer not in control of a violent situation, a suspect who thinks he can afford to kind-of-fight and kind-of-not, a scary crowd, and panic leading to tragedy. It's an example of how dangerous it is for people to be integrated into a violent profession without quite being expected to internalize the tools of violence.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 9, 2010 09:58 AM

I'm not familiar with that case Tex, but generally speaking, I'm of the opinion that any fool who incites violence with an LEO and is shot during the ongoing act, or imminent threat, of violence called the grim reaper down on his own thick-as-a-brick arse.

Case dismissed!

Same for a person escalating conflict while hoping their bluff stands the other person off. If their carcass is stomped as a result of starting/escalating conflict, so be it.
Pay the court when you get out of the hospital.

Hmmm... I wonder why I've never been called for jury duty?

Posted by: bt_hang-em-high_hun at July 9, 2010 10:35 AM

Mehserle would have benefited greatly from some training I have in mind. But the point is, if you don't get the training, it's kind of too late when it hits the fan to say, "maybe I should have gotten more resources in training".


All the Leftists goons, their union goons protecting their protection racket monopoly (well in this case, the unions didn't have much interest in protecting Bart security, since there's little money there) isn't going to do any of the spear holders any good.

They talk about "better training". The Left's idea of better training is to use tazers and shoot to wound. That's their idea. Non-lethal force. It's not even competently used non-lethal force. And for the various unions around the country, SWAT is also a big income sector, and SWAT uses high end lethal force. So they are neither well trained in non-lethal force, nor lethal force, because they aren't really focused on the job. They're focused on making money. Good PR. Race relations. Bureaucratic turf wars.

All the grunts at the bottom, that work in police and so, they see this stuff and they get scared. They get scared enough to join unions and pay more dues. Which ends up paying for more Democrats. Which ends up raising race tensions. Which ends up getting more police officers killed.

Repeat cycle until mega rich and powerful.

What I'm seeing is an officer not in control of a violent situation, a suspect who thinks he can afford to kind-of-fight and kind-of-not

And the city tax payers have to pay 1.5 million to the deceased's daughter. Which sends the message that, yeah, you might get dead, but your family and friends who are with you, will be making big bucks.

Then you have the Sharptons and Jacksons, who smell the money, and you know where they will be sniffing.

Given current economic times, the Democrat voters have a viable interest in "challenging" authority and getting a free slot at the lawsuit lottery.

Neither the public nor the police understand what 'better training' even is.

It's an example of how dangerous it is for people to be integrated into a violent profession without quite being expected to internalize the tools of violence.

They have no means to internalize the tools of violence. Because the police, the city, the law, and society does not give even the police adequate defense tactics that work. Because the police know it doesn't work, they rely upon lethal force or tazers to end the encounter. But if those fail, they got no backup. They have zero H2H ability. They have zero melee weapon proficiency.

The ones that do, are never attacked, because unless the criminal is so delusional that he is living in another reality, he understands that there are people he can take on and there are people who he can't take on. But if you send the wrong signals, the criminal gets the idea that he can make it and get check from the lawsuit too if you go out of control. But if he thinks you are going to terminate him, he's not going to take the chance. He'll comply or find some weaker prey.

Course, what the criminal thinks and what will happen are two different things. The criminal may think he can take the cop and his buddies. Cop then blows him away. Oops. Whatever.


Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 10:37 AM

An LEO can't always control a violent situation, trained to the hilt or otherwise.

Their judgment and training can and should help them recognize what is and what is not controllable. So unless the LEO has a history of being a thug with a badge, I'll always lean towards giving them the benefit of any doubt.

The LEO is there and facing the threat at that moment. They are doing so without a color commentator or personal adviser. It's just their butt on the line having to make the call, without the luxury of reviewing the situation via instant replay.

Posted by: bt_hang-em-high_hun at July 9, 2010 10:48 AM

Yes, tai chi chuan is a "soft, internal" art, but size is still size, and you can still use hard and external moves.

The thing about internal arts, is that it is a prerequisite for both center of gravity throws, such as trips or falls, as well as maximizing striking force.

That's not how most other MA practitioners see it, of course. I get the sense, apart from some specialized individuals with either a lot of experience or a open philosophy, that people see the internal styles as being like yoga or something. Which probably explains the women are there in abundance.

The fact is, only with a proper internal structure of spine, head, shoulders, leg, and internally locked bones and joints is a person able to transmit force adequate enough to break bones, damage organs, and knock people off their center. It's easy to do so if they are prone and can't go anywhere to deflect a downward strike. But it is a different matter on the horizontal plane where simply kicking somebody isn't going to set up the combos to make critical damage a certainty.

The external arts tend to use rotation or speed in place of this, but it isn't as reliable nor as easy to use or learn as proper internal structure. For example, there are students of various striking styles who keep asking why they need to tuck their butt in when punching. If their instructor knew what the point of internals was, he would have told them why.

Which is why I'm surprised that students of a internal style would still think in terms of size. Size, strength, and speed matters little to the fighting aspects of internals. Then again, that wouldn't be much important to those that want to take a yoga class.

who rev up a situation verbally, hoping their antagonists won't go to the next level. They're trying to exploit the self-restraint of their opponents.

That was what Grim was talking about with "in your face" confrontations.

However, the law does not recognize words as being the same as physical violence. Some laws in states like Georgia, have "fighting words" legislation but that's not federal legislation.

Even if the law recognized verbal violence to be violence like physical violence is violence (not legitimate) then you still have the matter of justification. Is a person justified in using violence or escalating the situation? Did they use reasonable force to get what they wanted? Instead of politely asking them to get out of your face, did you simply knock them to the ground?

If the law recognizes verbal violence as real violence, then physical violence can become justified in escalating and ending the encounter. Because everyone has a certain public safety right to not have violence inflicted upon their person. And if verbal violence is included in physical violence, then the entire panoply of the law can be brought to bear on behalf of citizens fighting fake pacifists.

Since most fake pacifists are Leftists, you can expect major outcry and abuse from Democrats to prevent such a thing. Which brings us to another topic. I heard on Sweetness and Light that shops in NYC that opened their doors to try to get people inside the air conditioned interior away from the hot outside, was fined a few hundred dollars or so for well... I guess environmental wastage.

Green economy people voted for right? The Constitution allows serfdom and slavery if people vote for it right? Hope and Change. As in, you better change your behavior or hope you don't have an "accident". Chicago speak.


An LEO can't always control a violent situation, trained to the hilt or otherwise.

That's what backup is for. In cases where you lack the qualitative force, you just go get a more quantitative force. In this case, we have multiple police officers involved. What happened was that the police officer mistakenly used his pistol draw muscle memory instead of his tazer draw muscle memory. The tazer was strapped somewhere other than his holster, but he drew and fired his holster weapon.

Still, the chances of a fatal wound should have been low. He must have hit a vital or something. Which is bad luck for him. If it was simply an accidental or negligent discharge and wounding of a suspect, people couldn't have went after him the way they did. But you have police officers protected by the Chicago Union thug brigade that were torturing prisoners held by the police some 15 years ago, and they didn't bring any charges against them until now, after they had been retired. On lesser charges, because of statue and limitations for abuse and torture of prisoners.

How convenient. The black community are quite well aware of this going on in Chicago. But of course, who do they blame? Republicans and the White Man. Who do they keep voting in? Democrats like Daley.

What a nice plantation setup.

The LEO is there and facing the threat at that moment.

Which is exactly why they need far better training then what they have. If they want to risk their lives for peanuts and with crappy defense tactics, it's not going to be me caught in the crack. If they know it, they should do something about it. Oh wait, that's assuming they are allowed to do anything about it. They aren't.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 11:10 AM

As I've admitted, I am not familiar with the particular case Tex mentioned, so thanks for fleshing out a bit of the story for me.

As far as backup goes, it's not always readily available when needed.

One of my best friends is an officer in one of the local, large metro departments.

When he worked the streets, alone BTW, he often found himself in very bad situations without any readily available backup. Now he's a right big fellow, about 6'5" and maybe 250 lbs. He's been shot, beaten, and one time had to wrestle with a young, strong buck of equal size on an overpass over I-75. Due to the situation, he was unable to pull any weapon and had to rely on hand to hand. When the perp tried to toss him off the bridge, the perp went off instead. Training and judo. =8^}

The point being, my bud did what he had to do to go home that night and I can't imagine anyone arguing otherwise. Other than the young thug's friends/relatives.

Posted by: bt_hang-em-high_hun at July 9, 2010 11:29 AM

When the perp tried to toss him off the bridge, the perp went off instead. Training and judo. =8^}

The point being, my bud did what he had to do to go home that night and I can't imagine anyone arguing otherwise.

What I'm talking about is review and After Action Reports. People need a self-correcting mechanism to fix their problems, otherwise they will get even more problems later on.

Video is one tool in getting improvements.

Without the video of what a police officer is doing, I won't comment. With the video, I can make a judgment based upon the facts.

I don't claim that anyone else attempting to do the same, has a stool to stand on, however. I haven't seen their review, for one thing.

I'm not really worried about issues where police officers get into a fight and come out okay. We have circumstances where they lose. And that is what I am focusing on. Because that translates directly to women's ability (or inability) to resist rapists, assaults, and physical violence. Which translates to the Navy's top down policy of trying to prevent rape. It ties together after awhile.

There's no video evidence to review for rape attacks. Or rather, most of it is in police hands. But there is plenty for H2H conflicts. Or situations where people need to draw their gun (in the case of armed service members in Iraq) to fight off attackers. These provide an objective reference point. Not just for those that are observers, but also participants in the conflict itself. They need to see how their actions look externally, not just from the inside out. It's one way to improve.

What a contrast with Judo master Mifune, who at the age of 70 and suffering from serious illness is physically weaker than his opponents, but has perfected a means of fighting that takes full advantage of his particular strengths, and uses it unhesitatingly.

Btw, Texan, did you see the little child throwing around the adults there at the last link on Mifune? Pretty funny. That'd be a pay per view if we set up the child vs Michael Moore. How long do you want to bet before his stomach explodes?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 11:55 AM

"I'm not really worried about issues where police officers get into a fight and come out okay. We have circumstances where they lose. And that is what I am focusing on. Because that translates directly to women's ability (or inability) to resist rapists, assaults, and physical violence. Which translates to the Navy's top down policy of trying to prevent rape. It ties together after awhile."
Ah! Ok. I may have wandered off into the weeds.

I'm watching a gang remove the 23 year old furnace from my attic right now and prepare to install a new furnace. Then they will repeat the process in the basement. Afterwards they will install two new AC condensers outside the hovel.

With all the banging around, I may be a bit distracted. Especially in this heat!

Posted by: bt_hang-em-high_hun at July 9, 2010 12:09 PM

Don't let the EPA find out, Bt. They may do that environmental tax and regulation thing on ya.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 12:16 PM

I demand my energy saving, green, eco-friendly, Al Gore approved, Gaea loving tax credits! From,
from...
Oh I don't know,
from the Obamastash!

Posted by: bt_4-a-cap-on-tax_hun at July 9, 2010 12:27 PM

You got O give hm some arse to kick though.

That's his tax demand.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 12:28 PM

Better be careful about the Gore approved stuff. Last time his masseuse found out that "Gore approved" didn't mean what she thought it meant.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 12:30 PM

Video of cell phone bart shooting

I'm of the opinion that any fool who incites violence with an LEO and is shot during the ongoing act, or imminent threat, of violence called the grim reaper down on his own thick-as-a-brick arse.

I put up 3 links above up, one of them presents an example of that scenario, but it is in moderation until Cassandra approves it.

In the meantime, you can take a look at the audience cell phone coverage of the BART incident. I suggest you mute the volume. news commenters always interfere with objective analysis of video.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 12:44 PM

So, if the Navy has a duty to protect wimmen from themselves, why haven't they done something about Lady Gaga?

And yes, I read the comments. I am working on next week's auditing problems and getting more grumpy by the minute over Sarbanes-Oxley.

Posted by: Cricket at July 9, 2010 01:11 PM

Close in and better quality

I hope the police, even if they are security for a train or whatever, have auto recording cell phones attached to their harnesses. Because it makes a lot of sense to record these incidents and play them back for the officers involved.

Police officers are just like regular civilians in this one aspect. When they are new and young, they often don't have experience operating in an adrenal state. That means they are not used to the lightning speed and peculiarities of operating in this altered consciousness.

A person that is calm, even if he mistakenly takes out a gun instead of something else, will realize it by grip, feel, weight, and sight. In an adrenalized state, your reflexes are much faster, your muscles move much faster. If you have conditioned your muscles to draw, aim and fire, and you send that signal, you will have little to no time to stop yourself "to check".

That is why if you have experience operating while under fear, adrenaline, or rage, you do not give the order for your trigger finger to fire until you absolutely believe it is necessary. Even if you have trained for hundreds of hours on the range to do just that. Your body does only what your brain tells it to do. But under adrenaline, your body is faster than your brain sometimes. It is fast enough that your brain won't be able to stop yourself if you are doing something wrong to correct a mistake. Sometimes, of course.

People simply do not fight or do anything requiring dexterous ability as well while full of adrenaline, because everything about your body and mind is slightly out of wack. It functions differently. Things go faster than you think it goes. You are not used to that speed. Complicated movements tend to be harder. Ingrained reflexes tend to be faster, but conscious reflexes are slower. So fast you may not even realize you did it, until after it is done. So slow your brain may be seeing things move in slow motion but you body can't catch up.

That's where training comes in. Or experience. If you have felt and experienced all this, then you have some warning ahead of time. You know some of the things that can go wrong. You know how your body and mind operates while under stress, fear, and adrenaline.

Anecdotal example. Some police when they are on the range, shoot a revolver, then pick up the fallen rounds and put them in their pocket. They do this every time they are on the range. In a firefight, these police officers spend valuable time policing up discarded shells, while being fired at. Instead of reloading and firing, they were spending valuable time picking up discarded shells. Think about that for a second. Are they stupid? Suicidal? No, to both. Their body simply did what they trained it to do. If your training is faulty, it'll show up in live fire.

If the officer that discharged his firearm in the BART shooting had realized just how fast his body moves when he is under that special state, he may have taken the critical extra second to wait until he gets a good aim at the target before ordering his body to pull the trigger. If somebody had told him and trained him that unless the situation is dire enough that it requires absolute speed, that he needs to calmly assess the situation and then make his decisions, the officer in question may have been able to stop himself once he realized that he is not holding his tazer in his hands. If the officer felt safe and secure enough to wait and be patient, to rely upon his H2H training to handle any attacks, he could have afforded, in his own mind, to go things a bit slower. But that didn't happen for any number of reasons.

The situational looks under control from an ignorant observer's position. But what is going through people's heads, in such situations, is a lot of stuff. Fear, stress, worry, anger perhaps, adrenaline. Everything designed to dump all sorts of chemicals/hormones into your system. Tunnel visioning. Sweating. All kinds of physiological effects. Judgement is impaired or at least altered. Your body doesn't quite move the way you want it to. It's too fast, too jerky. You tell your arm to take a coin in front of you, and your hand shoots out and hits the coin away from you, before you can even realize that your arm is moving faster than it should have.

This is what can happen to people under the adrenaline state. It takes experience, control, and training to learn how to do ordinary things while adrenalized to the max. Otherwise, you aren't in control of your body.

This is only part of what "good training" means. And it is a basic part too. People experience different things under adrenaline. It's not the same for each person. Grim, for example, tends to have perfect memory recall, as he once noted. I tend to have time distortions, discrete but not continuous. Meaning, depending on the circumstance, time either slows down or I get "blank spots" where I can't remember anything. I've never had too much difficulty moving. I have experienced the general benefits of adrenaline, such as amazing pain tolerance, strength, endurance, and speed. Not too much loss in dexterity, although I haven't tested it by flipping coins or anything.

In the end, there's no need for a man's entire life to be ruined by one avoidable mistake. One hour a week, for the 2 years he was in service, would have been enough. Even 1 hour a month. Fighting evil doesn't just mean blowing up bad guys in my opinion. It also means saving people who can be saved. And that's not always the guy that died.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 01:22 PM

I don't think I'm going to re-enter this debate after all. On review, there are so many threads crossed that it would take hours to draw out where we began to talk at cross-purposes.

Rather, I'll close out by reference to one of T99's comments.

What Y is describing sounds to me like exactly the training a proposed new subset of servicemen should be getting once you conclude that (1) they belong there, (2) they are necessarily the potential objects of a particular kind of attack, and (3) you have enough respect for them to assume that they should and can defend themselves against it individually, before the cavalry can arrive. I'd say the same whether the proposed new group was women or say, members of an ethnic group who were expected to be resented and targeted for abuse.

I've spoken at some length about the difficulties of balancing these kinds of issues. It appears to me that this is another clear example of that difficulty.

It's a wonderful idea to train female soldiers in hand-to-hand combat. However, do we not also wish to train the male soldiers -- especially those in the combat arms, but anyone who is going into theater -- in just these same techniques?

If we do, we end up restoring the imbalance that the training was supposed to equalize, for the women. If we don't, we are denying crucial training to male (or white) soldiers who are going into danger, on the grounds that they need to be handicapped in order to help protect the female (or ethnic) soldiers. We're now training our soldiers to fight each other, instead of the enemy!

The point of all of this is not to suggest that the situation is fair, or that things are everything we could hope for them to be. The point is, rather, that the Navy's done a better job of balancing the interests of all parties than it is being given credit for doing. There are severe competing issues here, and I don't think a truly fair or universally just resolution is possible.

Finally, I'll note that the application of the label "Prince Charming" to the position of respect and cultivated virtue is unwise. First of all, I hope that I have proven that it is possible to hold to these standards in reality, so they are not limited to fairy tales.

Second, if you surrender what is best even as an ideal to train towards, you're surrendering too much. We should want young men to hold the values of chivalry in their hearts. We can't get there by waving them away as fantasy: perfection may never be achieved, but we each have a duty to ourselves to strive for it.

Posted by: Grim at July 9, 2010 01:37 PM

Grim, I think you seriously underestimate the resentment of men in general against women who enter male-dominated arenas and then expect men to rescue them from situations a man wouldn't have needed rescuing from.

I think this really boils down the issue.

It is true that many a man will feel flattered by the woman in the parking lot who asks him to change a tire for her.

But it is also true that many a male mechanic will feel resentful towards the female mechanic who asks him to change the customer's tire for her.

To then formalize it and put it in his job description that it is the male mechanic's duty to change the female's mechanics tire for her only institutionalizes that resentment.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 9, 2010 02:27 PM

""I don't think I'm going to re-enter this debate after all. On review, there are so many threads crossed that it would take hours to draw out where we began to talk at cross-purposes."
I extend my apology for contributing to the thread derailment.

Having so many good friends who are LEO's, I instinctively assume a defensive posture wrt the mention of what LEO' ought to do and similar vectors...
Victor.

Posted by: bthun at July 9, 2010 02:32 PM

I suspect that most of the class members are there (or were initially there) for the "tai chi", and not for the "chaun"; "yoga in motion" is one way I've heard them describe it. Well, yes, you can do that ....

I get blank outs, too, under high adrenaline. I remember hearing the hammer cocking clicks, the feel of the muzzle just above my left shoulder blade, thinking "step back into the gun with your right foot ... and it is a blank, with maybe a few flashes ... and memory resumes with Bob shaking my left foot, saying "Don't kill him, Tom, we need him. Save him, what's a Corps safeword?" Three seconds, at most, that almost took a d--n fool's life. If Bob hadn't been there, both to bring me out of where ever I'd gone, and to explain to the Sheriff what had happened, that I was the victim of the armed assault ... I'd probably be a felon now.

You should always listen to your amygdala, but you shouldn't always obey it. You have to learn to be able to choose when it takes you from shop foreman to full-speed no-limits H2H. Bob said I did, that I'd pulled three killing blows to put the goblin on the deck alive. I like to think that I did, but I don't remember doing so.

I hate to say this this way, but maybe the reason that the Navy's women are not properly trained in combative skills is that those in charge of setting training goals fear women who have those skills. I can think of no other reason to deprive them.

Posted by: htom at July 9, 2010 02:36 PM

Grim, I truly apologize for the "Prince Charming" crack. I don't think it's a fantasy at all, only that it's nowhere near often enough achieved that women realistically can expect to encounter it when the chips are down. Is it a standard men should continued to aspire to and be held to? Absolutely. Should we shower honor and gratitude and admiration on the men who uphold it? Double absolutely.

But if women are to have the freedom to enter professions that require them to walk down the dark alleyway, so to speak, they've got to undertake to train themselves to be ready for what statistics tell us they're going to encounter. That doesn't mean I in any way want to give a pass to male service members who would prey on women in those dark alleys, but until all the predators disappear from the world we still have to take them into account. I know only two ways to take them into account: protect women from predators by preventing women from going where they might be (purdah), or make sure women won't fall back on cultural habits of submission when they encounter them. The other choice would be to weed completely out of the service any man that could conceivably rape a woman no matter how drunk he or she was or how frustrating or disorienting the circumstances, and I simply don't know how to do that, though I'd be all in favor of it if I did.

As for equalizing the hand-to-hand training, I wasn't suggesting that men shouldn't get that kind of training, too, only that any man who tries to rape a servicewoman should be absolutely clear in his mind that he's risking his life, and any servicewoman should have long since have overcome any early conditioning she may have received that she should moderate her self-defense in those circumstances. Otherwise she's not a soldier, she's an affirmative-action plant.

YAG hit the nail on the head: men won't retaliate resentfully against a woman on the roadside who needs help with a tire, but they won't (and shouldn't) put up with a female colleague at a mechanic's shop who expects her colleagues to take over her ordinary tire-changing duties day in and day out. Women have to choose between the damsel-in-distress deal and the access-to-traditionally-male-jobs deal. The damsel-in-distress deal is a defensible choice; it certainly gives the rescuer an opportunity for an honorable role. But every woman who demands both deals at once is undermining other women who were prepared to step up to full citizenship and equality.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 9, 2010 03:07 PM

I've led, as I've often remarked here, a sheltered life. In my entire life I can recall only one time I was threatened with violence. I apologize if I've described it here before, I can't recall. The point is, I was so utterly taken aback that I almost completely froze. Some goon grabbed my roommate from behind, right beside me on the street, and dragged her down an alley. I can barely put the events together; I have no idea how much time passed while my brain went in circles thinking, OK, at this point, surely I am supposed to scream for help? When you scream, you open your mouth, you take a breath, you make as loud a noise as you can, right? This process seemed to go on forever.

Then the goon said, "I've got a gun, tell her to quit screaming," and as far as I can tell, my brain simply shut down altogether while I vapor-locked over "should I scream again or not?" (Short story, someone heard me, a car pulled up -- Prince Charming does exist -- the goon ran, my roommate was barely injured, all was OK.)

I had NO idea what to do, no instincts, no options, no training. I was rooted to the sidewalk. I could not really take in the information that someone would try to hurt us. I'd never even been in a fistfight, never struck anyone, never been struck. (That's still true.) The way I was raised, men simply did not do these things, ever.

If women go into the armed services, they can't be that way. (Whether they can be that way otherwise is another question.)

Posted by: Texan99 at July 9, 2010 03:39 PM

However, do we not also wish to train the male soldiers -- especially those in the combat arms, but anyone who is going into theater -- in just these same techniques?

I don't have a problem with it. It's not like I learned what I knew cause only women were training in H2H. In fact, women instructors are a minority in this little field of ours. That may be due to interest or personal choice, which is okay. But for those that do choose this, they should not be blocked from it simply because of extraneous considerations.

The Army already has a combatives lesson or whatever they call it. They're just using it as a team esprit builder and cardio workout. Which is okay, if that's all that is needed. But it isn't.


We're now training our soldiers to fight each other, instead of the enemy!

They already compete against each other. They are adults, so they won't take it into Iranian mullahs vs civilian territory.

In OPFOR and so forth MOUT training, it is the same deal. You train how you fight. It just so happens that the OPFOR are Americans pretending to be enemies. So what. It's realistic training. That is what counts. How people use their training, that's for politicians and generals to decide. If politicians and generals want to tell soldiers that they shouldn't use their training to stop unlawful conduct, I'd like to see that order in writing. And I'd like to see who would sign it.

The specific scenarios for women are not all that different for other cases, say insurgents, AQ, or Taliban drug junkies. The social environment is different. People can account for social environment. They have been socialized well for several decades by now. Even those who have been trained to kill, even those who have killed, aren't sociopaths. They have a conscience. They can keep it straight. They have not been trained in H2H, however, for that long. So they need to catch up a bit.

As a side note, a consequence of somewhat unrealistic H2H training, we have a case example: service member that threw himself upon the grenade and saved his two buddies. From a digest of the AAR provided to me, what the military members on the ground there said happened was that they were patroling and got attacked by this one insurgent. The Medal of Honor winner tackled him to the ground, and they were struggling. Eventually, insurgent pulled out a grenade, which the Medal of Honor winner saw and warned the other two about.

The question raised is... what were the other two doing? They were standing around and watching, that's what. Why? Cause that's how they were trained, perhaps using BJJ. One vs One, on the ground. The idea that you should take out your side arm and blow the insurgent's brain case out at point blank range... maybe wasn't in the training list. Maybe it should have been, maybe it shouldn't have been. But it is an issue noted by AAR in that particular incident. People were standing around while their buddy wrestled and struggled with an insurgent, until grenade got pulled out.

Kind of reinforces the idea that heroes are made from a shat ton of somebody else's mistakes.

If we do, we end up restoring the imbalance that the training was supposed to equalize, for the women.

Oh, I see the problem. However, it is not an imbalance at all. At worst, you have a fight. At best, you have somebody injured that needs medical attention (not a fight). After a couple of rapists are exposed by this (cause you can't explain just injuries popping up amidst screams with "I fell, sir"), rape attempts will go down. Rapists themselves are crippled, locked up, or dead.

Currently, rapists already have an advantage, as the reports from Iraq noted. H2H training, even for all services, male and female, would still push the force advantage towards women or victims.

Right now, women don't know how to use the tool of violence to get what they want: safety. Their attackers, however, do. The attackers don't need training to get what they want, but the women do. The rapist doesn't want to kill the woman. The woman, however, will now have the option of lethal force. And if she chooses to go to that level, now you have a huge difference in motivation where size does not matter. You have one person attempting to subdue and control a woman, and you have a woman using the tools to kill, maim, disable, or render non-functional the male. I think we know what happens with that kind of imbalance.

It's a situation not in favor of the person with "lower" motivation.

Btw, it is kind of hard to kill people in H2H. It takes work. It's not like pulling a trigger multiple times. The reason why people have better results if their motivation is more violent and refined in H2H is because they aren't limiting themselves. They are going all out. And that's how people get results. Not holding back, putting everything you got into it, because you aren't afraid of what happens if someone gets hurt. You're more afraid of what happens if you fail to hurt the target.

If somebody says that they don't want to kill somebody with their bare hands, I just tell them what I was told. If you hold back, chances are that you will be the one dead or dying. You won't get knockout, crippling injuries, or injuries at all if you hold back. The best way to prevent your attacker from dying, is to stop him from resisting you. To do that, you have to injure him and render him non-functional. You can't do that if you are afraid of killing him. You will lack the motivation. And unlike guns, you need motivation behind every strike, not just motivation enough to pull the trigger. You need to want it bad.

Whether you want to be safe or not, that's up to the people at risk to decide. If they want to get harmed and don't want to use this, I can't do anything about it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 03:40 PM

I was in no wise offended, T99; I just wanted to make the point that these are not unrealistic or fantastic ideals. They are high ideals! Yet they have also been the ideals of very practical men, like Geoffrei de Charny or George Washington, men who put them into practice and made the world better.

As for training, certainly it's a good idea! I've taught many women to shoot, and a few to fight hand-to-hand, though more are interested in the former than the latter. The thing is, though -- I'll make an analogy to the famous Social Harmony piece. Why do young men on the wrong path often find themselves reformed by the Marines, but not by the prisons? It's because the Marines give them something they want -- in other words, they decide for themselves that they admire that kind of man, and want to be that kind of man, and will therefore do the work to become that kind of man.

It's the same thing in terms of combat training. You have to come to an internal decision about what you want. If you really are averse to hurting another person, I can't teach you to will it. I can show you the technical skills, but the will is your own.

Many women -- very good women -- don't have that will. Some men do not have it. Quakers, for example, may have chosen that way of life in just the same way that a Marine chose to emulate what he saw as valuable and admirable. That's perfectly OK.

It's more of a problem if women self-select as soldiers; but how, exactly, does one convey to a 17-year-old the magnitude of choosing the profession of arms? It's as hard as conveying the magnitude of the choice to be a parent, or to take the oaths of marriage. I don't know that you can really tell them what they're signing on for: it's too big for words, and an inexperienced mind.

Ymar:

There's a difference between "training against" and "training for." It's fine to "train against" fellow soldiers in martial arts; that builds unit coherence and ensures a common understanding of how you will fight.

It's another thing to "train for" the purpose of fighting fellow soldiers. That is destructive of unit coherence, and sows suspicion.

Posted by: Grim at July 9, 2010 04:38 PM

If Bob hadn't been there, both to bring me out of where ever I'd gone, and to explain to the Sheriff what had happened, that I was the victim of the armed assault ... I'd probably be a felon now.

That's a good story. I'd like to hear the details of Bob's reaction, heh, at the time. Voice tone, body posture, you know, the works.

What you experienced is what sometimes is called the fugue state or dissociative personality. For some people, they feel like a machine mind has taken over. That's why it is a dissociating of personality. You got your social personality, nice and cuddly. Then the machine ruthless killer personality. Some people have reported this. Others have reported what you described, no memory at all, no memory of control or decision or anything.

Both can be mentally disturbing. Since, at the end, it is the fear of loss of control. Of not being the one that tells your body what to do, but you are the one that will suffer the consequences.

Combat experienced individuals, experienced police or security officers, all have these experiences somehow or somewhen. They don't tend to talk about them though. Probably for the same reason why soldiers from Iraq don't tell their families what it is like under combat, killing people, and fearing to be killed. They know they won't understand, most of the time. No reason to burden them, really.

I've gone over my experiences as well as the experiences others have described, and these are some things I've concluded.

It is mostly the lizard brain in control when danger shows up, the part of the brain that controls Survival Now, as opposed to the monkey brain, the part that controls imagination, social fears, or social hierarchy thinking. The lizard only cares about survival, in the back of the brain. It doesn't care about whether you fear losing your job, whether you want a raise, whether you are afraid of killing or being killed. It wants to survive. All it cares about is Now. If it happened in the past, meaningless. If it happens in the future, also meaningless. Thus, why do you need memory? That's the point. Better to just shunt all those resources into survival. Reflexes, combat decisin cycles, targeting, strength, endurance.

You don't even need to be able to hear. You can be deaf. Route all that oxygen from those brain regions to the visual cortex. You don't even need to have short term memory. Don't need to dump what you see into your memory, short or long. Just use it as you got it, and go for it.

It is pretty efficient. The issue is trust and control. How can you trust and control that part of the mind, where you can't even know what it is doing if it is in control. How can you have enough confidence to give it control, not knowing what it can do. Well, I've made some surmises on this. If the lizard only cares about now and survival, then we have some mutual interests. I can give it what it needs and it can give me what I need. So long as we don't have a "conflict" of interest here, we don't need to fight about it. So basically, the Lizard.

Lizard: I sense there is a threat.

Me: Okay, but I want to handle it. Social and monkey politics can make threats go away without danger of dying.

Lizard: Okay... for now.

Me: *yum* *dabu* *katu*

Stranger: I said give me your money or I will shoot you.

Me: We might have an issue here. This guy seems able to hurt us.

Lizard: Live. Me. Control. Now.

Me: Okay, you handle it, wake me when it is over.

Lizard: Threat gone.

Me: did you kill him?

Lizard: Didn't need to.

Me: And if I didn't know H2H and had only a gun?

Lizard: Lack of safety means use of maximum force to preserve max survival chance.

Since the Lizard just wants to live, I'll give it what it needs. And it will not go around killing people, because it won't need to. I got all the skills to keep things under control. In the case where killing needs to be done, it will be an extreme case, perfectly legal under the law. Assuming the law is sane, at least. Good thing the lizard doesn't care about the law or even remember anything about it, so we'll deal with the law after we live.

The Lizard does not have our social compunctions or limitations that were bred into us from birth. It doesn't really care what our morality or culture says. It will survive, no matter the cost. The funny stuff happens when the Lizard and Monkey starts fighting. You should see what happens then. Course, it won't be so funny if that happens in your own head.

The point is, I was so utterly taken aback that I almost completely froze.

A freeze incident. Not uncommon. I haven't heard this story, so first time for me.

This process seemed to go on forever.

By that time, you will have experienced an adrenaline spike in your system. For people that can't tell, this is when the body basically dumps a huge amount of adrenaline into your bloodstream, along with other chemical and hormonal concoctions, in order to Jump Start your body in less than 4 seconds. It has to be a massive dose for it to affect all of your body in that short of a time. But it also means it does weird things to your brain chemistry at the same time. Things like altered state of consciousness, what drug addicts experience, is what the body's natural hormones produce too.

A time distortion, a slowing of the perception of time by the brain. For me, I can always tell when this happens when the skin on my back itches and feels hot. Then I know it is starting to work.

my brain simply shut down altogether while I vapor-locked over "should I scream again or not?"

The Observe, Orient, Decide, Act: OODA cycle.

Observe friend got snatched, Orient on the consequences of this, Decide to scream, Act to scream.

Observe threat of gun, orientate on meaning of gun, decide what to do about gun/scream, Act.

If you can't decide what to do about the gun, because you lack total meaning of the threat of the gun, then there is no act. Total lockdown. The brain just restarts from Observe, then Orientate. Observe, then Orientate. It's called the OO bounce. I think.

It's part of how people lock up in combat. Or any threatening situation. Their brain can't find a solution, so it keeps trying. It's not pretty. It is in fact, very scary for the person that is having this happen. Basically, you know you are helpless and you are desperately attempting to find a way to safety, but you are failing to do so. And every time the OO bounces around, you feel more and more urgency to find a solution.

This is how violence traumatizes people for life. If a person is stuck in this cycle for a long time, hours, days, months? They are going to get damaged. Psychologically damaged. Their brain has started defense mechanisms, like denial, displacement, Stockholm syndrome, even regression into an early state. Also multiple personality dissociation. You dissociate yourself into a personality that can handle the violence and the situation, keeping your normal personality somewhere deep, very deep, safe from harm.

Control is what gives people the way out from traumatic experiences. The mind just wants to be safe. It doesn't want to be helpless. If you cannot give it a way to escape or get back in control of the situation, it will take control away from you because it no longer believes you (the main personality in control of this mind and body) knows what it is doing. (Bet we wish we could do that to Obama now)

The boyfriend of the Republican fundraise for Jindal, in New Orleans who got her leg broken by Leftist thugs, is now recovering with his girlfriend. And she has a long road ahead of her. Because violence is not something modern American culture prepares its people to use or understand. She doesn't understand it. She doesn't know how to fight back. She doesn't know how to resolve the conflict between socially acceptable rules about peace and the actual violent thugs she had to face in reality. The boyfriend will have to face himself in the mirrow, knowing that he couldn't stop his woamn from getting hurt. I bet that hurts a lot more than his face right now.

I wouldn't say as htom said about the Army being afraid of women knowing how to use H2H. I would say, though, that Leftist organizations like Hollywood are deathly afraid of Americans that know what real violence is and how to use it. Sarah Palin with her marksmanship and hunting? They pissed their pants. Dark Lord Cheney with his shotgun and shooting lawyers? They'd jump off a bridge rather than face him. Yet Palin and Cheney are very sane, very pacific, and very rational individuals. Their capacity and ability for violence is not nearly as high as some other people's. And the Left are still scared to death of them. Amazing.


Short story

Come on, indulge me, what is the long story? After action reports from police, roommate, etc?

(That's still true.)

And that's good. Part of the reason why I train in H2H is because I don't like people who prey on those they perceive as weak. Using Jimbo's semi-favorite phrase, I like stomping a mudhole in their backsides. Pacific mudhole, though, pacific.

If women go into the armed services, they can't be that way.

The Marines say, every Marine a rifleman. They also say, the most dangerous weapon in the world: a Marine rifleman.

That's a very good standard. Right now, maybe not a realistic standard for all military members, gay, female, male, transexual, whatever. But, that just means a challenge. People getting in the way, Kick them out of the way, I say. Lead, follow, or get kicked off the cliff. That's how it should be to solve problems. None of this eternal, "let's debate about it in a committee every month" stuff. That is not going to do a damn thing to help anybody.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 04:51 PM

It's another thing to "train for" the purpose of fighting fellow soldiers. That is destructive of unit coherence, and sows suspicion.

How do you determine the difference? If people knew who the criminals in a military unit was, they would get rid of them. Thus you aren't training them for "specific people" in the military. You are simply training them to handle every and all individuals.

They just face an increased risk of meeting them while on base. That's a statistical thing. It is not something good training focuses exclusively on.

There's nothing in H2H that says this technique and principle works only against this kind of person. It either works against everybody, male or female, or it is too specialized and thus not as useful.

I'm not sure why it would be destructive of unit cohesion for the unit to understand that everybody is getting a primer on how to defend against insurgent criminal freaks.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 05:01 PM

For people to have a decision to kill or not, they must have the capability to do so. Otherwise, it is not a choice. They can't kill someone. So they don't need to worry about it. It is not something that happens because of a wish.

What's really important to understand is that people only get the motivation to kill when their life is on the line. It is only when danger comes calling that they will make that decision. If, at that time, they have not trained to a sufficient level that they can get killing and maiming done, then it won't be a choice available to them. They can make the choice now, when they are safe, that they don't need this knowledge and won't ever use it. But it is a choice made in safety, rather in preparation for a dangerous and sudden day. Perhaps not as wise as it could be. And I'll make the argument of why it isn't wise.

It is true that it is hard to convince people to take lethal force H2H if they don't want to. However, given the alternatives, a significant number will want this option.

This is safety. As safe as it can humanly be. Humans, normally, want to be safe.

We all understand how people don't feel comfortable on this subject. Heck, there are millions of Americans who fear guns. The sound of them, the sight of it, the feel of it even.

Is that cause at heart, they would never use a gun? Course not. They made their decisions based upon what their peers and friends told them. Scare stories. Untrue stories. Untrue facts about how guns are "dangerous". Guns kill people. Don't get a gun if you don't want to kill people. But who wants to kill people? Only sociopaths want to kill people... obviously. Sociopaths and Leftist eugenicists, that is.

There are plenty of neo-cons or old liberals, like Robin of Berkley, who started liking guns after being afraid of it. Did they change fundamentally? Maybe, maybe not. But their mind was changed by other viewpoints. By the truth. By personal experiences even.

Change is possible. Good change that is.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 05:36 PM

I see what Grim means about its being destructive of morale to have to spend a lot of time dwelling on how female service members should view their comrades as potential deadly attackers. But as Ymar says, you train them to respond instantly and effectively to any assault, and it will kick in whether the assaulter is a comrade or not. Because if he's raping her, he's no longer a comrade, he's someone who needs to be cut out of the body of the service ASAP, assuming he survives.

I don't believe people should be putting themselves into too many situations where it's fairly likely they'll need to be rescued, especially if the need is likely to arise when the rescuers were supposed to be free to focus on other duties. So, for instance, it's rotten to go surfing with a hurricane coming on, if you expect the Coast Guard or the police department to pull themselves away from already-difficulty storm duty to rescue your sorry butt when you get in over your head, as you should have known you were likely to do. Similarly, if you're going to join the Coast Guard or police department, you don't want to be a net drain on your unit.

That doesn't mean every member of the service isn't entitled to expect his or her comrades to come at need, just that each member shouldn't be constantly or unusually needy to the point of distracting people from their duties. People who have suffered a physical disability, for instance, have to work through whether they can re-integrate themselves into a dangerous profession without making life too difficult for everyone else. We want to see their comrades trying to make this work, but we also want to see them looking at the situation with clear eyes.

Grim, of course they're practical and not unrealistic or fantastic ideals, but that still doesn't make them universal or even widely prevalent, and our hypothetical servicewoman is responsible for preparing for life as she is likely to find it. As for Quaker men or traditional women who self-select a soldiers, don't they both have to find a way to get over that, or choose another profession?

Y, I'd like nothing better than to discuss that event from 35 years ago with you, because even after all this time it's enormously cathartic and fascinating to me, but not here -- I don't think it's something everyone else wants to hear. Go on over to my site, texan99.blogspot.com, maybe? I just use it mostly to noodle around with drafts. I can set up a new topic. I think I know exactly what you mean about the corrosive effect of the OO bounce. I think it's closely related to depression, for which the only cure I know of is action.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 9, 2010 05:43 PM

I see what Grim means about its being destructive of morale to have to spend a lot of time dwelling on how female service members should view their comrades as potential deadly attackers.

The thing is, remember the old gentleman's saying?

Treat everybody politely and make sure you got a plan to kill everyone you meet?

It's true.

The first or second thought that came up when I read "a female on the road side wants you to help her change her tire" wasn't "is she hot" it was "is this an ambush set up to rob or kill me".

Some people, and maybe this is mostly men, are security conscious. For whatever reasons. Their brain ticks that way.

And so long as they are not anti-social jerks about it, they are an asset to their social circle, rather than a detriment.

When women feel secure and safe, because they have firepower backing them, morale and unit cohesion goes up. Because there's no longer distrust or fear of the unknown. Similar to how it is with small units in battle.

If men are aware that anybody in a crowd can kill them, they can either deal with it or they will panic and start sweating fear. If they can deal with it, that's good. If they are part of a unit, like SF, where everybody can kill everybody, so long as trust and bonds are established, lethality is a plus rather than a minus on unit cohesion.

The code amongst lethal alpha leaders is this. I know you can kill me, and you know I can kill you. So long as we leave each other alone (and not try to fauk each other up every time one of us turns our back) everything will be peachy keen.

This is recognized pack behavior or chain of command. Men are perfectly with this understanding. It's invested in the social agreements we all were trained to live under.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 06:37 PM

Lizard: Zzzzz
Me: So you want the morning crew to ...
Lizard: That feels like the shotgun.
Me: Don't be stupid. The shotgun is locked up, and there's no one here but Bob.
Bob: Tom ...
Lizard: You do recognize those clicks?
Me: Yes. I know how to do this. Step back into the 
gun, muzzle is left side so right foot ...
...
Bob: Don't kill him.
Lizard: Sorry, boss, I hurried. I hope he's OK. You're fine.

Random things I remember Bob (ex-Ranger) saying:

Perfect, just perfect. I wish I had film of that.
I'm OK, you're OK, he's alive. Most very well done.
So that's how the Marines do that now.
I'm never thinking of you as "slow moving" again.
Why couldn't my students ever do that, that well?
In all that, you never pointed the shotgun at me ... or him!
I said "Call the sheriff!" We don't need the campus clowns.
Proof that actors are stupid f...g idiots.


There was much profanity. He dragged me over to the corner, had me sit down, kept coming back to say things like those above. Sheriff and ambulance showed up, took the idiot away. Sheriff asked what happened, I described it. He went away, my boss (AF B52 Bombardier) came and asked what happened, I told. He went and talked to the Sheriff, too, then came back and said I shouldn't worry. I sat there a long time, people coming and going. Finally the Sheriff, my boss, and Bob came and got me, Sheriff said I was free to go, Fred and Bob took me out for a few drinks.


Backstory: Theatre production that used a double-barrel shotgun (and other guns) as firing props. I was the show armorer, gave repeated lectures to cast & crew about firearms safety, no playing with the guns. Absolutely none. Idiot grew tired of the lectures, decided to "show me", told others, who didn't think he was that stupid. He broke into the storage, took the gun, LOADED it, snuck across the black stage behind me, pushed it into my back, cocked the hammers.


Couple of broken ribs, teeth, jaw, finger, and a concussion from his head bouncing off the oak floor. I "came out" kneeling on him, my knees on his forearms, the unloaded shotgun across his throat.


It's taken decades for me to come to the realization that my role was, indeed, victim.

Posted by: htom at July 9, 2010 06:43 PM

htom, I wonder if he has the slightest idea how lucky he is to be alive.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 9, 2010 07:07 PM

His dad (WW2 Navy, Pacific) thanked me for not killing him, said that his mother's money and influence had gotten him out of lots of scrapes, and he (dad) knew that someday son would do something perfectly stupid that couldn't be "fixed". Thanked me again, told my lawyer to send any bills to him, and left us. So maybe he did. Paid the lawyer's bill. Never heard any more about it. (A plea was arranged for him, some strange deal where he was in the hospital for a while in his home state, then on probation for a long period, so there was fixing after all.) I suspect he still feels it when the weather changes.

Posted by: htom at July 9, 2010 08:49 PM

Great story, htom, thanks for sharing.

kept coming back to say things like those above.

Funny. That guy must like to talk when the adrenaline is flowing. Everybody has their little quirks in the zone it seems.

Drink worthy story. A toast to victory.

"'He either fears his fate too much,
Or his desert is small,
Who fears to put it to the touch,
And win or lose it all.' - Montrose's Toast


that his mother's money and influence had gotten him out of lots of scrapes

Indeed. Young punks need to learn the laws of reality sooner or later. Can't live in lalaland forever. Not unless one wishes to become a parasite, at least.


htom, I wonder if he has the slightest idea how lucky he is to be alive.

It's like those kids sitting over the pit where the tigers are, while throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the tiger. Well, tiger got tired of it, jumped up, and mauled a couple.

People who grew up around violence know the first rule is: big fish eat little fish. Better to throw pride away than get eaten. People in richer neighborhoods tend to think they can "slum" around, and be protected by social rules in better society. Indian country does not really respect Roman laws, tho.

Marines and Rangers are great. I never get bored by them. SF beard stories included.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 9, 2010 09:39 PM

Bob was usually pretty quiet; I think he was more just checking on me while the process of sorting out what had happened. Not allowed to "help", and this kept me uncuffed and out of the squad car, which I appreciated. What the heck was I supposed to have done in that situation, what were the alternatives? I still haven't thought of any good ones, only bad, worse, or impossible ones.

Life changes, in an instant. Pay attention!

Posted by: htom at July 9, 2010 11:34 PM

I don't think of my life as being "growing up in violence", because the violence was all directed at deer, antelope, fish, chickens, turkey, pheasants, ducks, geese, elk, pigs, ... cattle; not people (well, enemy people, OK, if under orders.) I suppose compared to some it would seem to have been incredibly violent. Nature red in tooth and claw. Listen to the screams of the carrots!

Posted by: htom at July 10, 2010 12:14 AM

Sounds a little like the sociology experiment some morons did on my uncle-- they staged a broad-daylight kidnapping in front of a grocery store. Screaming college girl, black van, the works.

Thankfully, she figured out that he was going to KILL the kidnappers to save her before there was any casualty besides his bags of groceries.

I can't think of any other sane response to deadly force out of the blue, htom.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 10, 2010 01:03 AM

I mean that there are various socio-economic spheres people can grow up in.

People who grow in secure and comfortable neighborhoods, like the actor, tend to get the idea that they can fight over issues of pride and nothing bad will happen.

Those that grow up in certain neighborhoods, like say the Boulevard near Hollywood back in the day, knew that if they started a fight over an issue of pride that it can easily lead to somebody dying. So they learned early on that unless they had something really important to fight over, that they should just leave it alone.

My reference is to the actor that initiated the crime. He was ignorant of how things work in certain environments. If he had been raised in such an environment, he might still have gotten in trouble but he would have been smarter about it. Smarter as in not entirely suicidal.

What the heck was I supposed to have done in that situation, what were the alternatives?

The response was appropriate and justified. Even without an immediate testimony to the local law enforcement officer, the witness statements about some actor getting a shotgun against the rules, would have been evidence enough that this guy had criminal motives. Which would have put the case under self-defense.

The police have this expectation that people who win fights are usually the ones that started them, because that's just how it normally goes. But the evidence in your case was pretty solid, which is good, as it alleviates the need for an actual court trial.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 10, 2010 01:07 AM

I think I said something here recently about the best defense to slander being to live so no one would believe it. Even a cursory police investigation probably turned up the impression that htom was a citizen and the actor was an accident waiting to happen. When they first arrived on the scene, the police may have been open to the idea that htom got mad at somebody and beat him up, but another scenario probably took shape fairly quickly.

All I can say is, htom sounds like a good guy to have around, and it's probably a bad idea to poke him awake with a stick. Ditto for Foxfier's uncle: my kind of guy. I love hearing stories like that. And I hope the sociology students learned something important that day, too. You never know when there's a sheepdog among the herd.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 10, 2010 09:54 AM

My problem with this, in a way, is that if Suzy Sailor unleashed like that on an attempted rapist (who would well need such an attention-bringing DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN message) ... how would she be treated, by the cops, by the hospital, by the prosecutor, by her lawyer, by her shipmates (and male and female might have very different reactions) and by her line of command? My fear is that she'd be punished by them (and even if not, in her own mind, too, a variation of survivor guilt, wondering what she could have done or not done so that it wouldn't have happened.)

I, too, apologize to our hostess for the derail, it was not intended.

Posted by: htom at July 10, 2010 11:06 AM

htom-

I can't speak for sailors (I'm a female SPC), but I doubt my own chain of command would treat a woman negatively for displaying that kind of violence (with good cause). Too many combat vets, too many former infantry. They aren't strangers to violence themselves, and if prior training is any indication, they take great pride in teaching junior soldiers to be lethal.

As for guilt- violence can cause guilt, but it can also cause confidence. Add to that the fact that in a rape scenario, the woman didn't start the conflict, and she's probably smaller and weaker than her opponent. That might make it easier for a woman to come to terms with.

When I was in AIT, one of my squadmates was raped by an 09L. It was probably a good thing that the rest of us never found out who did it. She was only 17, and the experience broke her. She wasn't the same after that. Then, right at the end, a week before we graduated, we had combatives training. My squadmate wasn't going to participate at first, but then she changed her mind. She went up against an opponent who probably had 30 lbs on her, and accidentally dislocated her opponent's elbow in an arm bar. Of course she was sorry- but after that her confidence started to come back, because she realized what she was capable of. She didn't have to be the victim.

Posted by: Saker at July 10, 2010 12:40 PM

The plural of story isn't data, but... from my observation, a female sailor being charged with abusing a male would require witnesses to assault with a deadly weapon and no provocation. Women get away with bloody murder-- including screaming and unarmed assault in front of higher ranking witnesses.

The only time I saw females being punished was if it was done in a place that made the Navy look bad, or choosing a target that was too highly ranked. (Although several got away with cussing out their chief in public. *shudder*)

Posted by: Foxfier at July 10, 2010 12:41 PM

It is simply harder to prosecute women in terms of physical attacks given the chain of evidence and preponderance of force. It is always assumed that weight or muscle equals power, and those that lack it, are manifestly clear in court evidence. However, sometimes the normal wisdom gets turned around on its head.

In civilian life, there's domestic assault charges, but even those are not up to par for cases where men are claiming the victim role. In the military, I would think it would be doubly hard to get this through the courts. For one thing, the culture would make it slightly more difficult to press charges.

It would be far easier to handle administratively without the whole PC or political ramifications.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 10, 2010 09:55 PM

The fundamental reason for segregation of gays, transexuals, males, or females into their own all same-gender combat units is due to certain behavioral issues that crop up for those from different genders.

It is not even the logistical constraints or the culture shock. Rather, in a male dominated sector like the military, you have a protection instinct that isn't designed to treat females as equals. This either results in personality conflicts or it results in the service intentionally going out of its way to coddle women.

There are not enough PC and Leftist orientated military commanders around to make the Navy or Army follow the Leftist line. But it ends up close to it because you only need a little nudge to place protective instincts of males into a political mold. Lack of war burning out the bad ideas, means you have no fail safe. There's nothing there to say whether the right path to deal with women goes here or there.

There's also a certain point of irrationality when different genders deal with each other. It makes perfect sense looked at from nature's design for maximum mating success. It makes zero sense when you're talking about specialized tasks such as hunting or gathering. Those were always selectively segregated. Women doing one thing together, and men doing another thing, together with other men but not women.

Eventually, of course, as things got complicated, the genders started mixing more as survival took a back seat to civilization.

The thing is, it didn't start out that way. It developed into it over a long period of time. And it did so in an environment in which women took authority positions over women, and men had power over men, with a joint agreement between men and women as equals or semi-equals.

Currently, the various branches of the military is having men decide how to equalize the differences. And that's just not going to work out well given that there is no integrated female chain of command with its own power base over women. The military spouse network may have taken some of the slack, but their role wasn't designed to take care of what happens when a service wants to integrate women with men for combat goals.

It's going to take forever for special women to gain through the ranks, but even if they do, they will be outnumbered by the rest of the services.

Historically, there have been female commanders of armies. But integrating male warriors at the bottom with female warriors, never did have an advantage given its disadvantages.

Segregation was always the easiest and most immediate way to ensure full combat potential. Integration may be feasible later on, when females and males gain parity in terms of experience, numbers, and strength of institutional standards, but that's never happened with civilizations before.

Probably cause the birth control technology was only recently invented.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 11, 2010 03:49 AM

What an interesting idea. I'm going to think about any female authority structures I've ever been a part of, that operated in parallel with the more obvious male-dominated structure I usually think about.

I think you're exactly right about the impact of birth control. It was a fundamental change, something our culture and biology never had confronted before. Makes you wonder if the Pope is onto something.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 11, 2010 10:33 AM

In feudal Japan, I think the noble families always depended upon the women to take care of finances, the household, and the people in the household. It wasn't just housework (had servants for that).

This is in a case where the patriarchy was in full swing.

The support network of military wives allows women a way to be women, even though they have to be tough for the kids and family. It's one thing to know that you need help or more resources, but another thing entirely to knowingly make yourself or your husband look weak in front of your husband's male bosses. Women hierarchies, with its own leadership and customs, allows for a compromise that is both comfortable and successful. Cause it is not a hierarchy that reports to the male superiors in the military.


The NCO, although not gender differentiated, is also a similar relief or fail safe valve working in parallel with commissioned officers. Each has its own separate and unique chain of command, even though on paper it says that NCOs are always subordinate to officers, even the lowliest, wet behind the ear, officers out of academy.

"Integration" would mean everybody becomes officers. But you don't actually need all that many officers. By creating a parallel chain of command that does similar things a different way, you allow people to gain from having unique resources without creating dissension in the ranks.

Part of women's problems in the corporate ladder is that they don't have a separate female dominated chain of command they can talk about their troubles with. They have the corporate ladder and that's about it. There's not much they can talk about to female competitors or those in other businesses, because the former would be liable for corporate espionage difficulties while the later will have a hard time understanding the specific problems that apply to your job/industry.

Of course, the obvious solution is always something humans will refuse to consider. Until war and death has forced the status quo to change or die. That's just how humans are. They don't like change. When they do consider change, it's the "bad sort of change".

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 11, 2010 01:18 PM

Since men usually don't lose too much sleep over making me look weak in front of my female bosses or anyone else, I ordinarily don't give a lot of thought to whether it bothers them in reverse. But as Leonard Cohen said, the "duty of lovers is to tarnish the Golden Rule."

During my years in Big Law, it was fairly common for the women to consult among themselves about problems dealing with the Guys. Perhaps women's chains of command tend, however, to be more diffuse and networked than hierarchical.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 11, 2010 05:28 PM

Ymarsakar -
looking back, the women supervisors I have had HAVE all been in "male" fields (mostly because that's where I've worked...)

Maybe that's why I hate having female supervisors.

It's possible that this could change IF I ever ended up with a geek/tomboy supervisor, instead of the Alpha Bitch(generally, a self description) or a Manipulator. Not holding my breath until that time, though.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 11, 2010 08:29 PM

Part of this, especially command structure problems, comes from the hard-wired differences between men and women. Men tend to tell "topping" stories (mine is bigger faster ... than yours) while women tend to tell "equalizing" stories (mine was like that, too.) Men want to have power, women want to share power.

Yes, I'm making vast generalizations.

So trying to fit women (sharers) into men's (top down) structures is going to be difficult at best (just as fitting men into women's structures doesn't work well.) It can be made to work, if everyone understands and accepts that different internal motivators are at work, and everyone tolerates the slips that will occur.

I've had good bosses and bad bosses, of both genders. More of the very best, and of the very worst, were men; women were usually above average, but confusing, seeming to me to want to negotiate things they were supposed to be deciding.

Posted by: htom at July 12, 2010 01:19 AM

Foxfier, competing with men usually selects for certain traits in women that are not commonly recognized as calming influences on other women. Or men.

Perhaps women's chains of command tend, however, to be more diffuse and networked than hierarchical.

It's just a different sort of hierarchy. A recognized leader is only required when decisive action is required. Otherwise, things tend to be less friction prone amongst equals. It is when equals disagree and can't resolve it amongst themselves, that they need a paramount leader. This tends to be overly important in war, where one can't spend too long arguing about things before committing to an action by the entire body.

In some senses, men can have some short arguments, especially to hash out who is higher in the hierarchy or totem pole, but results in the field demand that they stop arguing sooner rather than. This is enforced by having a clearly recognizable leader, the Alpha, who all owe allegiance to and thus all will listen to, because the leader exists to take everyone's side rather than one person's side. Taking one person's side against another's, usually results in something called factionalism or what the military calls "favoritism". It's not good for discipline or unit cohesion. People tend not to devote their entire efforts to the team when they think part of the team is setting them up to fail. This lack of enthusiasm and trust, tends to condemn such teams to death in survival conditions. A military acronym: SNAFU

The gathering perspective of women tended to favor longer decision cycles. Meaning, it took longer for them to make decisions and longer even still to perceive the consequences of those decisions, which only then allows them to make corrections. This, then, makes it a strategic level decision rather than a tactical decision in the field against predators and threats.

It is not simply the biological cycle that allows women a longer viewpoint. The early roles which we mostly evolved under, the hunter for men and the gatherer for women, automatically favors instant decision making for men and longer term decisions by women.

When you're dealing with gathering food and ensuring people stay alive through winter, a longer time projection is required. Not simply the duration of one hunt or disagreement while in the field. For example, women can make snap decisions on topics like mates, food, and household requirements, but it can have a long term deleterious effect if such decisions aren't backed by adequate planning. Then in the winter, it's too late to realize that you forgot to do something you should have done.

It is somewhat similar in inter-personal problems. All women groups have just as much inter-personal friction as all men groups, but it tends to be somewhat different in what kind of disagreements. Also, the resolution to them tends to be slightly different.

Women, for example, try to spot personal problems early on, so that they don't blow up sometime in the future when the tribe's survival is at stake. Thus recognition of emotional turmoil and talking about issues factors directly into resolving the issue. Men, out on the field, don't have time to talk about problems. They just need to ignore that guy that they dislike and focus on the task at hand. If men started talking about their issues either safely at home or out on the front fighting saber tooth tigers or other humans, they'd quickly lose their cohesion of command. Presentation of personal weakness also lowers a male's ranking on the totem pole, because nobody out on the field wants to trust in the judgment of someone they and he knows is unreliable or weakened.

In some ways, that mirrors the whole PTSD issue in modern times. And the causes are much of the same instincts, even though we fight with bombs and bullets rather than spears and arrows.

Nature wasn't too concerned about men going back home and starting to go stir crazy due to repressed emotions and compressed personal issues. So long as they performed well in the field, that's all survival for the tribe demands. And usually they didn't survive long enough to be a problem. Average life expectancy in the good old days was like 40, and in barbarian cultures, maybe a little lower than that.

seeming to me to want to negotiate things they were supposed to be deciding.

To cut a long story short, women have had very good reasons to adopt that survival mechanic back when we needed it. They could not run over other women's objections in the long term, and it was better to deal with people's problems now than later on.

The problem rests with modern society and its expectations of men and women. Modern society expects us to use our brains, instead of just going around on instinct alone. That means males and females must understand why they prefer certain ways of doing things and how that differs from what rational projections predict is the best resolution method. Our instincts keep telling us to do the same things, but it can't adapt to modern circumstances. That is what our brain is for, to calculate the odds and short/long term projections and adopt the best action. The best action now a days can be either male or female preferred solutions.

In point of fact, the best Alpha leaders in today's modern world are those that can adopt the best solutions from both male and female perspectives. Leaders that can command in a pinch, such as a war or disaster, but can also negotiate and resolve various disputing factions and their internal problems. Counter insurgency, for example, is disliked primarily because it contains many elements foreign to what would normally be perceived as male dominated warfare. Most fighters are neither familiar nor comfortable adopting such methods, because their survival instincts are telling them that this is wrong and fatal.

However, that means there is a problem. Since we never evolved, back in the day when human tribes were always on the edge of extinction, to deal with modern circumstances, that means Alpha leaders that can handle a variety of problems are few while the demand is huge. There are plenty of people who can specialize in either negotiation or shooting, but few that are adept at both.

Course now a days, all the competent negotiators and shooters are in the US military. The culture has drained the specialization skills for civilian male and females to the point where females are intentionally prevented from doing what they are best at, instead pushed into male orientated tasks, while males are in the same position except reversed.

This wouldn't be so bad if the culture was designed to produce Alpha leaders, but it isn't. It is designed to produce serfs and slaves. A slight difference in goals here.

Case in point, most women and men don't even understand what an Alpha is. They think an Alpha is someone who commands obedience through fear or anger, like Obama (which is why they voted him in. they thought he WAS leadership material).

Without even the vision to give them a guide, as Grim mentioned, people are just stumbling around in the dark.

It's possible that this could change IF I ever ended up with a geek/tomboy supervisor, instead of the Alpha Bitch(generally, a self description) or a Manipulator. Not holding my breath until that time, though.

The only worthwhile leadership schools I have seen are taught by the US Marines. Which, perhaps, is why private companies always attempt to select their own leaders from those with military backgrounds. Funny, and ironic.

There may be some in the civilian world. Hard to find though. And I bet most people don't even know they need one. They just emulate what the other monkey does while trying for a promotion. But the other monkey is just as ignorant as they. They got their idea of leadership from culture, Hollywood culture. No wonder they are screwed up.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 08:26 AM

Two notable examples of women competing in male fields. Well, three.

Brigadier General in charge of Abu Ghraib or other correctional facilities in that area.

Hillary Clinton

Ca... rly something Fiorna, former Exec of HP, before the board got rid of her in a decisive stroke of committee approved planning. Don't often see those. Getting a committee to agree on anything is hard. Getting them to do it fast and in secret (The Exec was unaware of it right past to the point of meeting with the Board a few days before being fired), something else entirely.

She's running for some office in California, I think. Right... sure, that's a good idea.

On the male spectrum, we have people like Obama who actually believe, they really do, that good leaders are those who look for some ass to kick. They think obedience is acquired by making people afraid, whether of the consequences or simply of the anger of the leader.

That has never been the case in animal pack hierarchies. Dogs do not obey angry leaders (maybe rabid is the better term). Nor do horses. Only humans obey angry leaders. Maybe cause we're stupid like that. Or maybe cause our imagination tells us that anger equals strength of belief and strength of belief equals increased survival chances. *shrugs* That's something of a mystery for now.

I'm trying to decide if in the case of an academic threatening to use his position to squash an inferior's arguments, is that a male orientated solution or a female orientated solution. Because most male orientated solutions depend upon your individual force of arms, or the force of arms that you can call upon. Threatening to destroy somebody's academic career, thus, is either a threat sourced from personal power or from institutional power. Most academics lack personal power. They aren't willingly to do the dirty work themselves. They get lawyers and the bureaucrats to do it. This would logically infer that it is female orientated. But the only institution females could rely upon to back threats of violence in order to coerce unruly behavior amongst a tribe would be societal opprobrium. Exile or shunning by all members of the tribe.

A troublesome individual, thus, may believe he could personally take out the woman making such threats, but he also knows that he can't deal with the situation if the threat is enforced.

Yet, at the same time, I am pretty sure academics like Prof Gates, think their kind of behavior is the essence of what makes a Man. Modern society has produced a lot of confusing gender roles, and not just among the alternative gender community.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 08:56 AM

htom, your description of bosses who were "confusing, seeming to me to want to negotiate things they were supposed to be deciding" rang a bell with me. Actually it brought to mind two men who were more or less in authority over me in unclear hierarchical situations, law firms often being very hazy places that way. "Manipulative" is exactly right: they tended to try to manipulate others into taking action rather than to order it and thereby take responsibility for the decision.

I'm thinking now that many law firms operate by more of a stereotypically feminine approach of networking and sharing. It has its advantages in terms of flexibility and creativity, but then law firms also are notorious for the poor quality of their business management, however good their members may be at law itself.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 12, 2010 09:36 AM

Ymar, I was just getting ready to point out that you identified good modern leaders as those who could integrate "male=tactical" and "female=strategic" skills, and then seemed unhappy that the modern world was forcing men to learn the female skill and vice versa. But you noted the same thing. I'm still not sure I understand why you think that's unfortunate, though -- ?

Posted by: Texan99 at July 12, 2010 09:52 AM

"...unclear hierarchical situations..."
Came into vogue in management circles around two, maybe three decades ago if you recall. It ran under various names such as self-managed teams, decentralized decision makers, the One Minute Manager -i.e. if you do not have a solution, do not bring me your problem, etc.

I could go into more detail, but I'm having a pleasant time forgetting, thanks... =;^}

Posted by: bt_all_responsibility-no_authority_hun at July 12, 2010 10:18 AM

and then seemed unhappy that the modern world was forcing men to learn the female skill and vice versa. But you noted the same thing. I'm still not sure I understand why you think that's unfortunate, though -- ?

My reasoning is that when modern society attempts to re-engineer gender roles for males and females, they are doing so utilizing incompetence.

It is not that I am against the surgical removal of an infected appendix by a surgeon. I am against the incompetent surgical removal of an infected appendix. Why? Because if the goal is to save the patient, incompetence will kill the patient. Thus if I am to save the patient, I cannot also be for incompetence, no matter what it looks like on the surface.

On another note, the same is true of multiculturalism. It is not a bad thing to learn about other cultures and attempt to see the world through different eyes. It is a bad thing when it is fake multiculturalism designed solely to hide parochialism and the Left's regressive tendency to worship primitive and ecologically "less damaging" societies. Less damaging defined as getting eaten by tigers more often.

If modern society was honestly and competently integrating females into male fields, or males into female fields, and they were doing a good job, regardless of what flaws there may be, on educating boys and girls on the differences between the sexes and the importance of "diversity" and "manifold resourcing", then that would be good

But that's not what modern society is doing. It is not producing leaders. It is producing serfs and slaves. And that's not just due to incompetence, either, but intentional sabotaging of the education system and the status quo culture. After all, that is what counter-culture of the 60s was supposed to do. They knew they couldn't get legislation with enough votes, so they sought to undermine the institutions. And their success is apparent for everyone to see in who occupies the Oval Office today.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 10:44 AM

Sarah Palin is the example of the kind of success that comes from integrating male and female elements into a new entity, the individual.

If the Left, if pop culture, if the media, if politicians were interested in making people like that, they wouldn't have been so fearful and hateful. They would have been joyous at a mission accomplished. But they weren't.

Sarah is still a female, even as she hunts and leads men and women, whether as Governor or as something else. She has not discarded traditional gender roles. She has integrated them. Perhaps only a true frontier can allow such integration to be possible. Civilization tends to produce patriarchies or death cults galore.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 10:48 AM

If being held to a hard standard is good for men then why isn't it good for women?

I guess the short version to Cassandra's question up above, asked when I had a higher priority train taking up the single track, is that all the things designed to weed out weakness in men, back when evolution had the most impact on humanity, doesn't tend to do women much good. Cause it wasn't designed for them, nor did women, for the most part, need it.

I'm okay with changing some standards for women. It doesn't have to all be the same thing. The common human facets, like virtue, character, integrity, courage, and what not, you can keep those goals the same. You don't have to compromise on that due to gender differences. Some minor adjustments, however, might be required in the application of certain policies for men and women. Some change in the "details". The general plan may be uniform, but the details need not be.

The reason why this even should be done is because women and men all provide resources to the nation. Whether it is a feminine perspective or a masculine perspective, they are all driven by human resources. You still need a human to do things, regardless of it is a man or woman. More resources for us, means we have more power. More power, means we can do things that others cannot. We can defeat enemies sooner and more completely, than we could if we lacked critical resources.


People aren't cogs, however. Which is where the entire realm of hierarchy and leadership comes in. Just having humans doesn't make them a resource. You have to train them, make them work together, make them eat if they don't wanna eat, make them sleep when they don't wanna sleep. They are your children and you are their guardian and protector. They protect the nation from enemies, and you protect them from each other.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 11:57 AM

Granted that it's possible to do a bad job of integrating male and female strengths, it's also possible to do a good job, and worth doing, I think. I'm hoping natural selection will weed out the bad jobs.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 12, 2010 11:58 AM

Good Female Leaders:
Long-term planning, know their people and integrate that knowledge, nurturing.
Good Male Leaders:
Decisive/direct, do not let personal get in the way of the goal, fair.

Bad Female Leaders:
Elaborately manipulative, know how to most hurt those who annoy them, totally unfair in favor of those they like.
Bad Male Leaders:
overpower their follower's, use people like tools, draconian.

Instead of a lot of female leaders who are fair and male leaders who understand their folks' emotional states, we end up with female leaders who overpower their followers and male leaders who manipulate.
>.

On an amusing note-- Gibbs from NCIS was one of the first examples of a good male leader that came to mind.... I know a fair number of Sarahs and Gibbs, but they're all in work areas that don't have a lot of contact with the popular culture. Small schools, ranches...not sure if that's because it's what I'm around, or if there are just more there.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 12, 2010 12:31 PM

I'm hoping natural selection will weed out the bad jobs.

The cache is the government.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 12:32 PM

Small schools, ranches

heh, flyover country?

There's a benefit to being treated contemptuously by the Left. They don't tend to try to kick down your doors every time they see you getting strong.

What's NCIS? Non-commissioned something?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 12:35 PM

Naval Criminal Investigative Service and a television crime drama...

Posted by: bthun at July 12, 2010 12:38 PM

My next door neighbor in Maryland, a DIS agent, was one of the fellows who brought down Johnny Walker - Red. Interesting work.

Posted by: bthun at July 12, 2010 12:44 PM

Sounds like a story there, BT.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 12, 2010 12:56 PM

If the catch is the government, I'd be in favor of slashing the government rather than worrying about the trend for men to look into female strengths and vice versa. Anyone unfortunate enough to adopt the worst aspects of both should simply fail, that's all. If they don't fail, they may have something going for them that we're not getting yet.

Where I can't go is with the idea that innovation always leads to disaster. I'm conservative, but not that way. There should always be a way to try new things, see if they succeed or fail. Let people try, and don't subsidize failure, and we should be fine.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 12, 2010 02:51 PM

NCIS is a surprisingly good TV show-- basically, it's a standard issue crime drama, but they're the Navy's folks instead of a city's folks. A few really head-poundingly stupid eps, but what's "head pounding stupid" is "an average ep" for, say, law and order.

You can watch some on line.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 12, 2010 06:36 PM

Texan99-
I don't know of any conservatives that aren't willing to let folks try new things out, and add what works to the "standard" group, it's the forcing the old stuff to fail so the new stuff will work or destroying the old to try the new or just flat cheating to get the results folks wanted that usually get objected to... once again, could be the flyover folks I'm around.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 12, 2010 06:39 PM

Foxfier, I know, I was poking Ymar. No offense meant, Ymar.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 12, 2010 06:53 PM

Where I can't go is with the idea that innovation always leads to disaster.

It doesn't always lead to disaster. What determines the good or evil that flows from technological progress depends almost entirely upon the humans in charge. So far, we have evil humans in charge of the "progressives", which makes progress into regression in actual fact.

I was poking Ymar.

Don't worry about it.

I'd be in favor of slashing the government rather than worrying about the trend for men to look into female strengths and vice versa.

The first step is to get rid of government funding of education institutes. Vouchers were and still are a right step in that direction, but the Left knows this as well as I, so they devoted massive amounts of propaganda and bribery to defeat it. Even Obama himself said that public education schools are better for children (even as he kicks the ass of the DC public schools by sending his daughters to private). Far as I know, Bush only tried to take on social security. He got kind of duped by Kennedy, thank god he is dead, in the No Child Left Behind government scheme.

Reforming the education system will not yield results for another 10 to 20 years. People still don't understand how much of a strategic resource this is. They don't have the systems in place to push back the Left on this venue nationally. Locally, yes, but not nationally. They need some kind of organization similar to the NRA. A single issue lobby, for one thing.

As a result of this, you usually don't see conservative political pundits ridiculing Obama for his lies about vouchers and public schooling. Yet it is one of the easiest points to attack him on. This is just not a high priority thing. Yet its strategic ramifications are of an extremely high rank.

Once again, we see a deficiency in terms of long term views between the Left and all those opposed to the Left. The Left has longer viewed planning and vision, while their opposition continues to react based upon short term attacks.

The US military would never have pushed Al Qaeda from Iraq if the US military had used such short term planning and had accepted a permanent role as the defender rather than the attacker.

To defeat the Left requires destroying their power base: their control over the people. Such an insurgency can never be defeated solely at the polls or even solely using bombs and assassination.

The question of what the best path to prosperity is for women and men, can only be answered after the Left has been reduced in power.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 13, 2010 10:38 AM

I haven't seen Law and Order at all, nor any of its spin off variants. I do hear that there's a lot of white racism and other PC stereotypes floating around there. My sensitivity to such would be too high to generate entertainment.

Death Note is a psychological drama about supernatural powers, death, and crime. The logic used there is exceptionally good. No PC, fake lib, thinking at all.

On the list of alpha leaders, off the top of my mind, I remember:

Honoka from The Third.

Oz Bezarius of Bezarius House from Pandora Hearts.

In terms of commanding many people, the main character from Utawarerumono comes to mind. Especially the ending. The PC game ending, not the anime ending. The anime ending wasn't as well directed and orchestrated. That goes for the entire show too, regrettably.

There's also great leadership examples in various novels by David Weber. OF course, if you want to know how to be a red shirt, that's John Ringo's territory there. A redshirt is someone slated to die from day one.

Brandon Sanderson also has good material for his characters, male or female. They never start off at the height of Alpha leadership, but they get close eventually.

One of the reasons why I stopped reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time is that too many characters are either headstrong retards or broken wannabe leaders. To fight an epic war against ancient and experienced foes, one needs more than the situational room in Obama's White House to handle disasters and military planning.

Also, the whole love tirangle or square thing going on would have been resolved far sooner amongst those in the business of telling those kinds of stories.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 13, 2010 11:04 AM

Texan, in case I forget later, if you need to ask me any questions about the videos, you're welcome to post them anywhere on my blog and I'll do my best to answer them.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 13, 2010 12:22 PM

This is the Naval context for the Naval policies we have seen

Simply to remind people that we are not dealing with a Navy at war that is at critical need for manpower and must, if they wish to crew their ships in the fight, have women.

No, something else is going on. At the same time the Navy is getting downsized, we have an extremely finite and laser focus on this single subject, which for all intents and purposes, prefers firing males from the Naval Academy to women. Is that cause they think women cost less or is the future of the US Navy? That would be a hard argument to make given current conditions.

What the Navy needs is more money or an actual war to raise their standards.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 13, 2010 12:34 PM

No, something else is going on.

They're trying to destroy what it is while still get some use out of it for their goals, duh.

Why else sacrifice the entire purpose of a military-- killing people and defending places-- to make it look nice? That's been going on for ages.

Why out-right destroy something-- which would make you look bad and might be resisted-- when you can just subvert it?

(No, this doesn't require some sort of conspiracy. Just lots of folks with a distaste for direct confrontation and a lack of traditional manners in changing folks' minds. I think it's Derbyshire who has a whole series on injecting politics into apolitical situations, and it's almost entirely liberal....)

Posted by: Foxfier at July 13, 2010 01:34 PM

My still active buddies say that there is one upside to the downsizing-- a lot of the folks who were marginal are being removed. Still have a lot of the old frauds who never did fall in the standards before, but it's a little better.

Posted by: Foxfier at July 13, 2010 01:38 PM

That's the only upside, Foxfier. The biggest downside is that the politicians in uniform are making themselves bulletproof. I remember the Army during the Carter years -- it couldn't have taken on *Monaco* and won without mobilizing the National Guard.

Fortunately, the Soviets were scared to death the Guard *would* be mobilized if they tried something even Carter couldn't stomach. And that's not my opinion, it's based on chats I've had with former Soviet and WarPac officers.

Posted by: BillT at July 13, 2010 02:42 PM

Unit 2: It's embarrassing being the only team that doesn't have a private jet.

Customs: What's the NCIS?

Unit 1: Now, that is embarrassing.

The Bush jumbalaya was a nice touch. Season 1, episode 1.

We'll see how this series progresses.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at July 13, 2010 02:50 PM

I really like that first episode, about Air Force One.

Thanks, Y, they haven't come yet, but I'm sure I'll have questions when they do.

Posted by: Texan99 at July 14, 2010 12:56 AM

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