July 5th, 2009 at 04:56pm
I don’t see how this story has turned in to such a massive source of media excitement because, quite frankly, I fail to see how this is any different to the not-uncommon similar activities of civilian males in public places.
It is believed male sailors on HMAS Success devised a competition based around how many female colleagues they could sleep with.
Allegedly, men in the service put dollar amounts on the heads of different women and accrued points based on how many female colleagues they slept with.
Larger amounts were offered if the sailors could sleep with a female officer or a lesbian and sailors challenged each other to have sex in various locations, including on top of a pool table.
It is believed the sailors in question detailed their bets in a book known as “the ledger”.
Following complaints from female personnel, the damning book was discovered while the navy vessel was visiting Singapore in May.
The captain ordered the sailors to immediately return home to Australia after they were formally interviewed.
The Defence Department has now launched an internal inquiry into the matter.
“The matter concerning sailors who were returned to Australia from HMAS Success in May 2009 remains under investigation, so the veracity of any allegations has yet to be confirmed,” Defence said in a statement yesterday.
Cue the predictable shrieking from the usual corners…spokeswoman for the usual corners, Melinda Tankard-Reist from Women’s Forum Australia:
When you consider that women constitute 40 per cent of the Navy, they have a right to feel safe in their place of work and not to be treated as potential notches on a sailor’s belt. Obviously things have gone backwards, I thought the defence forces had moved on from this sort of pack-animal behaviour.
This is a serious sexual incident. It requires the strongest level of disciplinary action and censure possible. I don’t believe these men should be able to serve at sea anymore because they’re not reliable, they can’t be trusted, they don’t respect women and these are not the kind of men that we need defending us.
Oh come off it Melinda. There’s this amazing word called “no”. I’m not seeing any allegation that the male sailors forced female sailors to take part in their little competition, which means that if they said “no”, and the male sailors backed off, then there is nothing wrong with what has happened here. And realistically, if the allegations were about rape, that would be the headline, not “Navy Sex Scandal”.
Some people (and this includes you Melinda) seem to forget that military personnel are not “on duty” simply because they happen to be on-board a military asset. They, just like other humans, have rest breaks and downtime. As long as the alleged behaviour occurred during their downtime, in their “de-facto civilian” time, there is no real issue here.
I will cover all bases though by saying that, if it is found that the males who are alleged to have been involved were forcing females to take part, then they should be dealt with swiftly and severely, however I am seeing absolutely no reporting of any such allegations at this time, and therefore, as far as I’m concerned, this is no different to the behaviour exhibited by many (but not all) civilian males at the many and varied nightspots around the country.
As long as the word “no” is respected, what we end up with here is two consenting adults. It is not the role of the state to interfere under such circumstances.