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Branding Masculinity to Hide Disgrace: Military Rapes
By: Emory Brown
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Since the beginning of time there have been vicious acts during war, and during war men are at their ugliest. From murdering and destroying civilizations to turning entire cultures into slaves, we have seen the horror of wars. Yet, there has been a lethal secret that has been covered up for centuries by military officials and soldiers, and that is the raping of soldiers, male and female, by their fellow soldiers. Last year over 26,000 rapes were reported by U.S. soldiers alone.

So what’s the dilemma in our military ranks? Is the image of being the elite protectors of our country superseding the fact that even in the most well-respected organizations there maybe a few rotten apples? Haven’t we seen movies that dramatize the brutality of military rape? Soldiers are being betrayed by their fellow soldiers for a few moments of lust, in a world where women fight alongside men to save lives of millions. Are these rapes about establishing power in the chain of command in which women have authority? Are these rapes about sexual predators preying on lesser soldiers to fill their thirst for dominance? 

Furthermore, why are these sexual offenses being covered up and thrown under the rug as if they were random acts of war? Many soldiers have come forth and made open complaints to their superior officers and they have been met with pure disrespect and neglect for the law. Have some officers been led to believe that men who wear uniforms are of the utmost integrity and are above reproach, or is keeping company morale and loyalty more important than a few soldiers who were violently violated by their own? It’s a fact that most sexual assaults in the U.S. military go unpunished. In fact, rapists have an estimated 86.5% chance of the crime being kept a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding a court-martial. It has in some cases become a culture of acceptance and sweeping things under the rug as command structures discourage soldiers from reporting their abuse. Many face ridicule, demotion, and investigations that delve into their sexual history, which can even lead to involuntary discharge.  

Does the purpose of displaying an image of being a “manly man” to the world mean more than protecting the soldiers who put their lives on the line daily to protect us? Sadly, I would have to say yes; in many cases it is. I understand the military’s position on showcasing strength. However, true strength lies in facing the facts and dealing with reality. America is a great country, but we still have to arrest the bad guys, even when they wear a uniform that looks like the good guys’. No brand is greater than the ideals and people that give it life. The military doesn’t have to persecute masculinity. It has to persecute injustice!


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About the Author
Emory Brown is an award-winning creative director/writer whose mission is to spread the gospel of what great marketers can do when they put their heads together and work together for the greater good and not the bottom line. Working with many esteemed clients, his portfolio of work ranges in genre from conservative to ultra-modern including American Family Insurance, United Airlines, Mazda 6 and RX-8, Illinois Lottery, Tyson, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike Air Force 1, and Mercedes Benz, to name a few.  
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