Feminists have launched a devious attack on the U.S. Armed Services that could have a detrimental effect on morale, retention and recruitment. U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was a collegiate wrestler at Princeton University, and now we will see if he is man enough to stand up to feminists.
In 2004, Rep. Louise McIntosh Slaughter, D-N.Y., introduced a bill of over 100 pages to authorize a high-level Office of the Victim Advocate in the Department of Defense. Fortunately, it didn't pass.
In 2005, congressional feminists sponsored a four-page version of the same bill, which likewise went nowhere.
But feminists are resourceful. They have persuaded the Department of Defense Office of Military Community and Family Policy to award a contract to Wellesley College Centers for Women to make recommendations about establishing an Office of the Victim Advocate in the Pentagon.
The recommendations are wholly predictable - they would be based on Slaughter's failed legislation. They will call for setting up an Office of Victim Advocate in Washington to provide feminists who major in women's studies with tax-funded jobs from which they can pursue worldwide feminist goals in the Armed Services and destroy the career of any man who stands in a woman's way.
A Pentagon Office of the Victim Advocate would soon become an out-of-control agency working to implement feminist beliefs, i.e., men are batterers and women are victims, a woman's complaint or he said-she said allegation must be accepted as valid and acted upon while no presumption of innocence is granted to the man, the definition of domestic violence does not have to be violent or even physical and the complaining woman must be provided with free legal and "victim services" while the man is on his own to find and hire a lawyer willing to challenge feminist anti-male orthodoxy.
Wellesley's recommendations will doubtless include many of the details spelled out in the original Slaughter bill, such as a rule that no military man can be eligible for promotion if he has received any adverse personnel action relating to sexual misconduct or domestic violence. Another caveat is that arrest and prosecution of the man must go forward even if there is no visible indication of injury and even if the victim opposes prosecution.
Surely Wellesley will copy portions of the Slaughter bill that authorize feminist pork. The victim is to be provided a victim advocate, a victim counselor and victim support liaison, and lucrative contracts are to be awarded to the domestic-violence service industry to train the Defense Department on how to support self-proclaimed victims.
Violence against women should, of course, be aggressively prosecuted. But there is no justice when the government accepts feminist dogma that the woman is always right while the man is always wrong. Rumsfeld needs to understand that the civilian domestic-violence lobby uses a definition of domestic violence that includes facial gestures, perceived insults, put-downs, embarrassments, and other annoyances and disagreements.
Another portion of the Slaughter bill that will probably turn up in Wellesley's recommendations is the prohibition against providing "couple counseling or mediation." The Slaughter bill also includes the requirement that the man must sign a release to allow private information on his case to be given to 14 different agencies.
A Pentagon Office of the Victim Advocate would make it easy for a woman to destroy the military career of any man by a simple accusation, whether or not it is true or proven. Motives to stick the knife in a man are endless, including rejection after a relationship gone sour, disappointment when he resists her advances, an unwanted pregnancy, preventing the man from getting joint custody of his child, resentment about an unpleasant assignment, or envy because she was passed over for promotion.
It is curious that feminists are interested in combating violence against women only by friendly forces. Feminists constantly demand that U.S. women be assigned to combat situations where violence against women by the enemy is considered OK because it promotes sex equality in the military and career advancement for women.
The recent Public Broadcasting Service program called "Breaking the Silence" is an example of feminist propaganda that men are batterers and women are victims. Among the falsehoods in the film was the assertion that "one-third of mothers lose custody (of their children) to abusive husbands" and that if a divorcing father seeks any form of child custody, he's most likely a wife beater.
In fact, divorced fathers win child custody of their children only 15 percent of the time, and U.S. government figures show that the majority of perpetrators of child abuse and neglect are female. Yet the Mary Kay Ash Foundation paid $500,000 to film and publicize the PBS war on dads.
Feminists always think big when it comes to spending other people's money. If the Slaughter legislation had passed, it would have put $218,600,000 over four years into feminist coffers, and they will now be seeking that incrementally from Rumsfeld in addition to the many supportive programs that already exist.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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