Doonesbury is currently running a series on women in the milirary and being rather blunt about physical assault--not by an enemy combatant, but by male colleagues.
I was still in the Army, when women became an active participant in that occupation, brought on by the introducton of the all-volunteer Army. The draft had become unpopular during the Vietnam Follies. Because women were not allowed in combat units, other units received more than their fair share. I was assigned to an aviation unit, which performed non-combat missions. We had a bunch of girls, which ensured new leadership challenges for officers.
I do not recall any instances of rape or even sexual harassment of women. I am sure that things were going on behind the barn, so to speak, by was not aware or interested. No one complained.
That said, I do know one incident of...I would not call it harassment, but more like attempted fraternization. To my surprise, I was propositioned by a young, attractive private. One Saturday afternoon, I was on duty at the airfield and sitting at my desk with paperwork. This female soldier was cleaning the hallways. (There must be a cliche in that.) She had removed her uniform blouse and was wearing a tight white t-shirt. After a few pleasantries from the doorway of my office, she approached, plunked herself on my lap, and tried to kiss my lips. I am sure that I was surprised, but my reflex was to turn my head to avoid her kiss. I told t her hat this was not going to happen, so she left and continued with mopping. I did not report this “harassment”, bring the matter up with anyone, and we never spoke of this.
I can empathize with her brazenness. I was an officer, who earned more money than a private. I drove a Porsche, which sent a whole bunch of different signals to different folks. I will not comment on relative attractiveness, but she could have done worse. She could not have known that I was happily living with my future wife. For her, the risk of failure was worth a shot at success. After all, guys are known to be easy targets for female wiles.
Given strict laws in the United States about workplace sexual harassment (in California, a female receptionist can sue her employer, if she feels harassed by someone delivering a package to the company) and the progressive nature of the military, I am surprised that such behavior is tolerated. I was able to fend for myself, but young girls are less equipped to face the challenges of combat...with friends, not foes.
I knew it.
There had to be an explanation as to why I was bitten in Florida more often than my wife. It was a female conspiracy...
An article about mosquitoes in The New Yorker reveals scientific evidence for what Rudyard Kipling told the world years ago: “the female is the most vicious of the species”.
No, not my wife!
According to the article, only female mosquitoes bite humans. Males, the gentle sex, are vegetarians.(http://www.newyorker.com/talk/2011/08/08/110808ta_talk_mead).
If only I had been able to attract girls during my teen years as easily as I had attracted mosquitoes, I might have had more fun. Now, I do not want to attract either…other than my wife, who seems to have resigned herself to the fact that she is stuck with me.