How Do You Break Years of Tradition?

A military reader wrote me the following:

Dr. Helen,

I am a Lieutenant, submarine officer in the Navy. I’m currently on shore duty, working at a job with a number of both male and female civilian employees. Last week we had our department-wide sexual assault/sexual harassment seminar. It was never mentioned that 53% of all sexual assaults in the military happen to men. Instead, we were told treating men and women different in any way would be taken as sexual harassment. The first example mentioned was that if a man held a door open for a woman, we could be considered guilty of sexual harassment. I’ve been reading your book and it struck me how far the pendulum has swung, that even in the military, we’re now being threatened with charges of sexual harassment for doing a historically “gentlemanly” act.


How difficult it must be to stop and remember not to carry out an act that one has been doing for years: hold open a door and you are guilty of sexual harassment. Imagine if a woman was told to pay if on a date with a military man or she would be charged with sexual harassment if she forgets to pull out her wallet. It is unthinkable. We have traditions that have been years in the making; now, suddenly, if male, they are sexual harassment.

I sometimes wonder if the point of all this nonsense is to drive out the more traditional guys from the military who may be less “pro-Obama” and attract more PC types who are “pro-Obama.” It sure seems that way.


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