Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Right Way, the Wrong Way and the Navy Way

As most of you know by now, I am big on the Navy and always have been. That said, our great Navy sometimes shows it is human and does some pretty dumb things. They proved that once again when they put a poster on their Facebook page Titled “Sexual Assault Prevention Tips,” the poster advises readers not to assault anyone. The intention was good, but the poster is really, really stupid.

When I looked at this poster I could not decide if I was insulted and outraged at how dim-witted they think our sailors are, or if I should just sit back and laugh myself silly. I am putting a copy of the poster up at the bottom of this blog post, but just in case you have trouble reading it here are a couple of things it lists as “advise”:

“When you see somebody walking by themselves, leave them alone!”

“If you pull over to help someone with car problems, remember not to assault them!”

“USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM! If you are not able to stop yourself from assaulting people, ask a friend to stay with you while you are in public.”

“Don’t forget, you can’t have sex with somebody unless they are awake!”

Some of the responses on the Facebook page are humorous or sarcastic, but this is the U.S. Navy and many reactions to the poster’s 10 tips were harsh. A few seemed to believe it was a joke. The Navy says it was not.

[B]eyond stupid – juvenile” read one of the 258 comments. “Wow, I had no idea … What a f_cking joke! If Conan doesn’t have a field day with this one, I’ll be surprised,” posted another.

As an Active Duty Service Member for almost 15 years and a SAVI/SAPR advocate for 11 years,” wrote another commenter, “I’m disappointed that this was the best foot forward. If it was YOUR sister or YOUR Sailor would you still think it was funny? Since when did sexual assault become a joke? I must have missed that symposium.

A blog post at the U.S. Naval Institute lambasted the Facebook poster, calling it a “messaging fail of epic proportions.

For my own part, I like to think this was an effort by some of the politically appointed types in the Navy Department and not something put forth by uniformed personnel. Bureaucrats have always impressed me with their inability to see the forest for the trees or to walk and chew gum at the same time.

Putting an end to sexual assault is an important goal, but they really need to take a more serious and adult approach to the subject.

Live Long and Prosper….

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