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Thread: SHARP "training"

  1. #1
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    SHARP "training"

    For those of you outside the US Army "SHARP" is the acronym for Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention. As many of you all probably are aware, there seems to be a problem within our military of sexual assault and harassment and the leadership within the US military has made this problem one of their top three problems to remedy within the services in near term.

    Now, I've had to sit through 3 "safety stand downs" where the whole post shuts down and conducts training on the "do and don't" of SHARP. Out of these 3 safety stand downs at two different locations the narrative that is being passed is becoming more and more concerning for me to swallow.

    Essentially, what I'm taking from it is this: The woman is always right, the man is always wrong. The woman is always the innocent victim, the man is always the predator. The woman has agency all the way up to the point where some type of responsibility may be involved and then she doesn't have it and is just an object being acted upon while the man has agency all the time and is expected to use their agency to keep other men from forcing their agency on a woman that is being acted on(i.e. drinking at a bar, or party, or dancing, or whatever) I've seen all kinds of people put in front of the soldiers to speak and all of them almost to the person talk to the male soldiers in an accusatory way about how they are feared.

    I was even told by the speaker yesterday that anyone who was critical of Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMA's was being sexist. And the true culprit was the man who made the song that she chose to dance to...That she was being sexually empowered and assertive and if we judged her we were being disrespectful. Basically we were told to never comment anything but good to a woman PERIOD...

    This has me greatly worried and I am seriously getting tired of the narrative that I have to feel bad about myself simply because I'm a man and can't help myself unless I swallow this gender studies 101 bullshit. There's never going to be a realistic solution to this problem unless we start having realistic conversations about it. It's never going to work as long as one side gets the choices of an adult but the responsibility of a child while the other side gets treated as a child but given the responsibility of an adult. We like to say and think we play by "grown up" rules...I wish we really did...

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    Brink....I can hear some of what you are saying, however, do you believe that sexual assault and harrassment are not issues in our military today?

    Truly?

    The fact that you think it is all bullshit may be a problem. Sexual Harrassment and Assault have been issues and have been growing....maybe it is more of the victims are willing to come forward because the climate has improved. And a lack of attention earlier almost caused the authority to fix teh problems to be taken out of the DODs hands and handed to the DOJ.

    However you do bring up some valid points.

    Have you thought to bring it up in a non-bitching manner to the chain-of-command? Lay out you specific gripes and suggestions on improvements to the product? You may be surprised by the positive response you get.
    “Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”
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    I understand there is a problem. I'm not denying that. I'm saying the action being taken to deal with it is putting all of the responsibility for fixing the problem on half the population.

    There needs to be accountability at both ends on this issue. We can't continue to treat women like they can't make adult decisions for themselves. We can't continue to treat men as hapless predators bent on taking advantage of women. Equality means having the same standards and responsibilities from bottom to top and from both genders. We also have to stop trying to frame this as a black and white issue and really get into the grey areas where a majority of these problems arise. The examples that are role played or shown in a video are so clear cut as to be absurd and don't really address the problem in a meaningful way that can be analyzed and absorbed by the rank and file. It's simply "sit through this briefing and don't ask questions"...which is one of my problems. Every other mandatory training I've had to go through since I've been in the Army there has been a Q and A portion for the purpose of clarification or for counterarguments or even for elaboration on good points made in the presentation. In this training, at least in my experience, there has been no such forum for debate. And there NEEDS to be debate on this for the very reason that it is very ambiguous and involves people in social dynamics that can easily be misinterpreted.

    I've brought it up within my chain of command but there hasn't been any real discussion on it. I'm still working on a way to address the issue in a logical and tactful manner so that we may be able to, at least within our environment, be able to tackle this issue like adults and professionals.

    I apologize about the gripe session from before, I AM a soldier and it's something we grow to be quite good at ;p. I would honestly like to see women's response to this and see if they feel the same way or if I'm completely off base here. I'm all about tackling this issue because I know that nothing can destroy unit readiness faster than even an accusation of sexual misconduct. I'd also like to be as objective as possible before going any further within my own chain of command. Since I'm a cadet instructor at the moment I think it would be a good start to try and introduce an unbiased, substantial, and realistic portrayal of the problem and reasonable/efficient solutions to fix it within the curriculum we teach to the cadets...since it's them who are most impressionable and will be molding their leadership styles based off of what they learn here.
    Last edited by Brinktk; 16 Apr 14, at 22:41.
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    Brink, I understand your frustration. And no need to apologize. When Soldiers stop bitching WE have a problem.

    Embrace the suck, fix your corner of the Army and do something about it when you are in a position of authority.

    I went through the same in the 1970s regarding race. I was sure it wasn't needed....until it became obvious it was.

    We have come a long way because Soldiers worked hard to fix it. This is your generations issue to fix.
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    I can't speak to how the stand-downs have been implemented other than where I've been, but I have not gotten the same vibe and have felt that the conversations have been professional. I know of two separate cases where the attention provided to the issue have encouraged people to report on past incidents of improper behavior, both of which were substantiated such that action was taken against the individuals involved. Absent the stand-downs, its very possible that these individuals would have never been outed, and so whether this was an intended outcome of them, even if only for the purpose of potentially removing folks from our ranks who were not meeting the standard, I think they have resulted in a positive outcome.
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    [QUOTE=Brinktk;959095I was even told by the speaker yesterday that anyone who was critical of Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMA's was being sexist.[/QUOTE]

    If the critique is that Miley Cyrus's ass isn't fat enough for twerking, then they may have a point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brinktk View Post
    .......I apologize about the gripe session from before, I AM a soldier and it's something we grow to be quite good at ;p. I would honestly like to see women's response to this and see if they feel the same way or if I'm completely off base here. I'm all about tackling this issue because I know that nothing can destroy unit readiness faster than even an accusation of sexual misconduct. I'd also like to be as objective as possible before going any further within my own chain of command. Since I'm a cadet instructor at the moment I think it would be a good start to try and introduce an unbiased, substantial, and realistic portrayal of the problem and reasonable/efficient solutions to fix it within the curriculum we teach to the cadets...since it's them who are most impressionable and will be molding their leadership styles based off of what they learn here.
    It's a touchy (no puns intended) world. I feel nervous when I suggest tactical concepts that work on the uneven way people perceive things or how they are physically to an open audience or even at times to those of my discipline (explain what I mean in a minute on that). Have I stepped too far when I do that?

    Ie, if I'm using SDV for a surveillance mission, I might recommend that women divers do it for longer use on the tanks. Or proposing that the strike team consist of those of the ethnicity usually employed as janitors and having them dressed as such since people usually don't "see them", to achieve a level of practical invisibility.

    I feel for you but I've been out so long I really don't have much of a suggestion. I don't think I would last long, one way or another, in the modern military.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brinktk View Post
    ......
    I was even told by the speaker yesterday that anyone who was critical of Miley Cyrus' performance at the VMA's was being sexist. And the true culprit was the man who made the song that she chose to dance to...That she was being sexually empowered and assertive and if we judged her we were being disrespectful. Basically we were told to never comment anything but good to a woman PERIOD...
    ...
    Oh, well, there's a defense for that!.......................................who's Miley Cyrus?

    By now, I've seen bits and pieces of that but to tell you the truth, even after seeing bits and pieces days after the event, I thought Miley was the boy in stripes. So to me, when I finally did know, she was a woman without a past. a who's that, and "if you say so". I really couldn't care.

    There are certain advantages to being quite ignorant of popular culture.

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    In the Navy it's SAPR training, and we get it with about the frequency Brinktk describes. One of the more entertaining ones nearly ended in a fistfight when a member of the audience asked why a drunk woman who gets into an automobile is held responsible for her decision, but can't be considered to give consent when getting into someone elses' bed. Never seen a Chief look so flummoxed trying to come up with a plausible response.
    "Nature abhors a moron." - H.L. Mencken

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