Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely baby daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
California Congressman Jane Harman (D-Irvine), who chairs the House Homeland Security subcommittee on intelligence, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Los Angeles Times on rapists in the military. In part, Harman writes:
“Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.
The scope of the problem was brought into acute focus for me during a visit to the West Los Angeles VA Healthcare Center, where I met with female veterans and their doctors. My jaw dropped when the doctors told me that 41% of female veterans seen at the clinic say they were victims of sexual assault while in the military, and 29% report being raped during their military service. They spoke of their continued terror, feelings of helplessness and the downward spirals many of their lives have since taken.
Numbers reported by the Department of Defense show a sickening pattern. In 2006, 2,947 sexual assaults were reported -- 73% more than in 2004. The DOD's newest report, released this month, indicates that 2,688 reports were made in 2007, but a recent shift from calendar-year reporting to fiscal-year reporting makes comparisons with data from previous years much more difficult.”
Harman claims not enough is being done to address the problem.
Here is Harman’s op-ed piece.
The column has sparked a debate where some argue this is clear evidence women don’t belong in the military and should be tossed out.
Alternet.org printed the piece and took comments, including this one:
As an Infantryman in the Army, my view is that the simple fact of the matter is that the large majority of women in the military are not soldiers. They may wear a uniform...even passed basic training..but they are not soldiers. They are chicks who like to dress like soldiers. They expect special treatment for being female (and often get it), have lower standards, have almost no respect for military courtesy and discipline, pays lip service to equality and then cry foul when they get treated the same as their male co-workers, and all to often, their advance in paygrade is tied not to their job performance, but who they are sleeping with. Men don't take them seriously because they don't take the job, the standards of military culture, thier fellow service people, or themselves seriously. I have no doubts that there are legitimate cases of rape and assault within the military, but since the military became coed, fraternization has gone rampant and it is very hard...very hard....to be able to distinguish the legitimate cases from the ones where a female is screaming sour grapes because she tried to trade sex for rank and lost out on the deal...particularly if the "victim" already has a reputation of sleeping around to get things she wants. That is why so many cases get dropped because of lack of evidence. I'm not saying that women shouldn't be in the military or that all of them are bad soldiers. On the contrary, I've met some that are excellent soldiers. I served with one in NCO Academy that beat me by one point for class distinguished honor graduate. I have nothing but the highest respect for her as a person, as a soldier, and as a Non-Commissioned Officer. She took the job seriously, was good at it, expected to be held to the same standards of conduct and performance as her male colleagues, and had enough self respect to not sleep with her colleagues (had even more contempt for her fellow female co-workers who slept-around than the men in her unit did). I couldn't have been beat by a better soldier for that honor..we all felt that way. Her career was built entirely on merit, as it should be. It's too bad that women like that in the military are too few and far between.
Are there women in the military who expect special treatment? Probably.
Are there women in the military who don’t belong there? Probably.
Are there men in the military who don’t take the women seriously? You bet.
Are women being raped in the military? Yes.
If so, in legitimate cases of military men raping military women, blame must be squarely placed upon the men who are committing these crimes and the men must be held accountable. Punish them. Weed them out.
Women are not the villains merely because they’re women and because they happen to be there. That would be absurd.