The culture of sexual predation

Paul Gaysford, in his June 6 letter, “Sense of brotherhood toward all” (a response to my May 30 letter, “Myth of the willing prostitute”), avoids the issue at hand.

The U.S. Department of Defense has recently conceded that a culture of sexual predation exists within the military. According to a recent article in The Washington Post, group trips to brothels are a “rite of passage” and red-light district workers are considered “there to be used” as “objects” for sex. Senior male officers (remnants of Gaysford’s generation and those whom it schooled) are either participant or “complicit.” Agitation by female military officers is akin to “career suicide.” The implication is that there is a high incidence of sexual violence within the ranks.

The very existence of this issue in American debate suggests that the tipping point has been breached, that the time for justifications has come to an end. One would certainly hope so, for the conduct of U.S. servicemen in the communities surrounding their bases has implications that extend far beyond the borders of the United States itself — notably the health of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

paul de vries
kawaguchi, saitama

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.