Combating our Sexual Assault Problem
Over the past five years, the American Armed Forces have been increasingly marketing themselves to attract female volunteers. In recent weeks, this 2009 ad from the Army has been featured during major sporting events. In the ad, parents of young women are encouraged to reimagine their daughters as soldiers, combating millennia-old masculine stereotypes. The marketing campaign comes at a troubling time as the Pentagon continues to struggle with a devastating sexual assault problem. An anonymous survey conducted by the Department of Defense in 2011 reported over 19,000 instances of sexual harassment or assault. Earlier this month, a sexual assault conviction of Air Force Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was overturned by Gen. Craig Franklin, igniting a heated debate in Congress, the Pentagon, and the American public. There is only one side of this debate a dignified man can support.