Target: Senator Saxby Chambliss
Goal: Demand Senator Saxby Chambliss apologize for ignorant remarks attributing sexual assault in the military to “the hormone level created by nature”
In a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss addresses top military officials stating that fighting against sexual harassment and assault in the military may be hard because of the natural hormone level of the young men serving in the military. He proceeds to explain that the young men, who come into the military at ages 17 to 23, are led by nature to the potential for rape.
Making such remarks shifts the responsibility off of the serving men performing abuses and those who command them. Senator Chambliss makes it seem as if sexual assault is guided by a natural instinct fueled by hormones, and that this is something that should be considered when deciding on how to address punishment for these crimes.
Senator’s comments only contribute to the “rape culture” that dismisses sexual harassment and assault by describing rape as a normal occurrence in young men. Such mentality also makes it more difficult to fight against sexual harassment and assault in the military, where such cases are often covered up in order to protect the perceived honor of the men that serve the US and those who command them. In the past, several training instructors and drill sergeants were disciplined in a sexual assault scandal at the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
What Senator Saxby Chambliss doesn’t acknowledge is also the fact that age has never been a factor in military sexual assault cases in the past. Previously, a 41-year old officer in charge of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention program was arrested for sexual assault. Another, 42-year old manager of the sexual harassment and assault response program in Fort Campbell, was arrested for a domestic dispute.
Soldiers are taught self-control in order to perform in combat, so they can surely apply that skill to other areas. There is no “natural” excuse for sexually harassing or assaulting another person. By signing the petition below, you will request that Senator Saxby Chambliss apologize for his remarks and admit that his comments were inappropriate.
Dear Senator Saxby Chambliss,
In a recent Senate Armed Services Committee hearing you addressed several top military officials, stating that it should be taken into account that the young 17-23-year old men serving in the military are naturally fueled with hormones, which sets in place the possibility for sexual assault to occur. You asked that this be taken into account when addressing how to prevent sexual harassment and assault in the military.
Not only are your remarks inaccurate, in that they fail to acknowledge the fact that much older military officials have previously been arrested for sexual assault too, it also sends the message that men serving in the military are not fully responsible for committing these crimes.
I urge you to apologize for your comments and pay respect to the sexual assault victims in the military and outside of it, and admit that there are no “natural” excuses for sexually harassing or assaulting another person.
[Your Name here]
Photo credit: David Shen via wikimedia