Absurd priorities

The US military continues to demonstrate that when it comes to sexuality, double standards are the norm. A man with a spotless service record is being court martialled for being assumed to be gay. Hi crime? For allegedly touching some colleagues and using inappropriate language.

In addition, according to sworn testimony during the trial, two prosecution witnesses said that they did not consider the physical contact between themselves and Mastromarino to be an assault, although the command chose to bring those charges forward against him.

Evidently, today’s military recruits are very sensitive and need to be protected from “verbal comment”.

Meanwhile, after the Scott Thomas Beauchamp penned his revelations with the New Republic, the Weekly Standard‘s Matthew Goldfarb published an articlechallenging its authenticity.” Goldfard’s source was one Matt Sanchez, a corporal in the Marine reserves.

Interestingly, Sanchez has an unusual history, which includes a stint as the gay porn actor Rod Majors (star of such filmic classics as “Beat Off Frenzy”) and a part-time job as a male prostitute. Needless to say, he hasn’t yet been threatened with court martial.

The contrast with regard to the welfare of female members of the military could not be more stark. There is the ongoing case of Suzanne Swift, who has not only been sexually harassed in the most blatant fashion, but after reporting her complaints, was court martialled for failing to report for duty. None of her abusers have been reprimanded.

Swift’s predicament is hardly unique. Sexual harassment towards women in the military is treated as an unavoidable reality of the allowing women to participate in a male dominated field.

Unlike the seemingly trivial concerns men in the military might have about sharing showers with comrades of sexually ambiguous leanings, the consequences for women have actually led to women being killed.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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