The Israeli Defense Forces have been dealing with a ongoing controversy surrounding an elite corps of their female soldiers. They can't seem to keep their clothes on or their cameras off.
This picture was posted last year and quickly began flying around the web. Earlier this year, this next picture was uploaded, drawing the ire of their superiors and resulting in punishment for the soldiers.
These soldiers were unwavering in their dedication to their mission, uploading these next three pictures to Facebook shortly after the dust-up over their previous picture.
Just as the controversy over this most recent crop of photos began to settle, the women again found themselves at the center of attention. This video of the women shaking their combat-ready butts to Baby Got Back hit today.
This seems like a non-issue to me. In America, we have our own controversies surrounding women in the military. For starters, we have only just reached a point where we're comfortable officially allowing women to serve in combat. The women we have allowed to serve, we have not supported. The past week our senate has been holding hearings on military rape. It's shocking news to the world that sexual assault is rampant in the military, affecting men and women, and there is little-to-no accountability in the military for bringing rapists to justice. This isn't a new phenomenon. I guess it's just that, before now, we couldn't handle the truth. Our country has never been comfortable with women in the military, and I think that what's going on with these Israeli soldiers is why.
The weapons these women are holding in the photo, above, are less threatening than the ones they're hiding behind the guns. There are soldiers and officers out there-- yes, even in our military-- who are afraid that they would not be able to control themselves around women like this. They are the ones who, if one of these women were to be sexually assaulted, would say "Look at what they were wearing (or weren't wearing)! They were asking for it!" They contribute to our national shame, that thousands of soldiers who volunteer to serve are sexually assaulted each year and feel helpless to report it. That's much worse than a few scandalous pictures and a booty-shaking video.
Those female soldiers in the IDF exercised poor judgement. Their pictures and videos will undermine their authority, and they don't reflect well on the military. How much worse, though, was their judgment than the judgment shown by our male troops in Afghanistan, gyrating shirtlessly to Call Me Maybe?
Surely, making a Call Me, Maybe video had to have undermined these soldiers' authority! And when it comes to authority-reducing behavior, these Korean soldiers managed to display that without ever having removed their clothes so maybe those Israeli soldiers deserve a break.
It would be easy to reduce these women to their boobs and butts. It would seem that we do that on Break all the time. I would argue that we don't. We celebrate women. I'm the one who put together the Freestyle Fantasy video together for Break a couple weeks ago, and I did it because I think it's cool to see women doing amazing things. In that spirit, I suggest we appreciate the videos and pictures the Israel soldiers posted while admitting that they exercised poor judgement. Also in that spirit, I suggest that we get our own house in order, here in America, with regard to women in the military and that you ask your representative to support the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act that is currently winding its way through Congress. Let's help keep safe our female soldiers who are out there keeping us safe.
- Earnest (Follow me on Twitter @earnestp)