Home Opinions Donald Trump’s promotion of rape culture in the military is unacceptable

Donald Trump’s promotion of rape culture in the military is unacceptable

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Illustration by: Israel Gonzalez | Staff Illustrator

Donald Trump has proven, once again, he is a shameless sexist who has no ability to think critically about real-world problems.

Trump defended a tweet he posted three years ago after the Pentagon released data proving sexual assault in the military is on the rise.

The tweet stated: “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military—only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?”

The tweet resurfaced during NBC News’ Commander-in-Chief Forum when moderator Matt Lauer questioned Trump about the tweet. This was a clear opportunity for any sane person to attempt redemption, by utilizing the only salvageable part of the tweet: most sexual assaults in the military go unreported, just as many sexual assaults in the real world do.

It is an appalling problem, one that should be addressed and resolved.

Trump’s colossal ego is bigger than his brain, and it did not cross his mind to rectify the situation. The man could not let it go.

“It is a correct tweet,” Trump stated matter-of-factly.

“There are many people who think that’s absolutely correct,” Trump said to support his misogynistic viewpoint.

When Lauer asked Trump if he truly believed “the only way to end sexual assault in the military is to kick women out,” Trump attempted to backtrack.

“No, not to take them out, but something has to happen,” Trump said.

What this “something” might be is up for question, but Trump continued his efforts to dig a way out of the social media blunder.

“Right now part of the problem is nobody gets prosecuted,” Trump said.“When you have somebody that does something so evil, so bad as that, there has to be consequences for that person. You have to go after that person.  Right now, nobody’s doing anything.  Look at the small number of results.  I mean, that’s part of the problem.”

The lack of administrative action is an issue, but the real, gargantuan problem is sexual assault itself. The patriarchal attitude men like Donald Trump display about the issue of sexual assault is part of the problem.

The presence of women should not dictate the actions of men.

The notion of blaming women for sexual assault is ludicrous, but it is important to remember women are not the only ones sexually assaulted in the military—or in everyday society.

Because men report sexual assault in fewer numbers than women, the data is skewed when examined. The Government Accountability Report examined sexual assault in the military and found, “at most 13 percent of males reported their assaults, whereas at least 40 percent of females reported.”

Clearly, the problem is not the presence of women in the armed forces. A woman in attendance does not in any way suggest sexual assault is an option. Morally it is not, and according to the facts, it does not. Sexual assault in the military would still be problematic if women were not involved.

So the issue at hand becomes our nation’s attitude regarding rape.

Why do we continue to blame the victim?

Why do we attempt to sugarcoat the abominable and barbaric act?

Trump is unsuitable for any leadership position because he personifies this lack of responsibility. According to his campaign, Trump is a figurehead representing what “many people” really think, and that is why he is a danger to both men and women.

There are 214,098 brave women serving in the military and 1,853,690 female veterans.  The suggestion that the presence of these women in the armed forces is anything less than an incredible sacrifice made for our country is atrocious.

To have the idea implied by someone aspiring to be the leader of our nation is a disgrace to what America stands for.

– Bridgett Reneau is a psychology junior

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