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The standard you walk past is the standard you accept

This is how you address sexual harassment

On June 13, 2013, this video was released by the Australian Army Headquarters:

Published on Jun 12, 2013

Message from the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, AO, to the Australian Army following the announcement on Thursday, 13 June 2013 of civilian police and Defence investigations into allegations of unacceptable behaviour by Army members.

This is how you talk about military sex abuse: A blistering message from a general gets everything right

From Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon.com on June 13:

Army chief Lt. Gen. David Morrison revealed that 17 military personnel, including officers, are under investigation for allegedly producing and disseminating “highly inappropriate” emails and images demeaning to women. Three individuals have been suspended, and 90 more Australian Defense Force personnel have been implicated in the email chain. Morrison says, “The matters both textural and imagery are demeaning, explicit and profane.” 

So in light of so much demoralizing, depressing news, Morrison’s choice to address these new revelations with a forceful statement is particularly welcome. In a video released Wednesday, a clenched-jawed, simmeringly furious Morrison says, “Those who think that it is OK to behave in a way that demeans or exploits their colleagues have NO place in this army … Female soldiers and officers have proven themselves worthy of the best traditions of the Australian army … If that does not suit you, then get out … The same goes for those who think that toughness is built on humiliating others … The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.” Holeeee. Efffing. Crap. It’s brilliant.

The words are powerful. But the utterly credible fury is what nails it. It is a validation of the frustration and anger a whole lot of people who have been on the receiving end of that “toughness” have been enduring for a very long time.

Mike "FossilMedic" Ward

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