Sexual assault is national news, but it occasionally seems to be national news in separate silos. We hear about sexual violence in the military, then about it on college campuses. These are treated as separate issues, rather than two microcosms of the same problem.
That’s why a new campaign launched by the White House today is so important. It’s called “It’s On Us,” and reflects the shared burden of sexual assault that needs to be our national narrative.
To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”
The narrative in every environment in America — from the military to college campuses, from small towns to cities — is too often muddled by claims about how much women should drink, how they should dress, or that false rape claims are something more than extraordinarily rare.
It’s a perspective everyone needs to embrace, including the military, and the right folks are already seemingly picking it up. The Department of Defense Facebook page shared it this morning.
The campaign is reminiscent to a performance art piece by Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz, herself one of the countless victims of sexual assault on college campuses. Sulkowicz has pledged to carry her mattress with her everywhere on campus for however long her rapist is allowed to be in school with her.
The wonderful brilliance of Sulkowicz’ protest is that she can’t ask anyone to help her lug the mattress around campus, but if people volunteer to help, she can accept it.
America needs a national initiative that reflects this sentiment. Let’s not tolerate victim-blaming or rape jokes, and let’s never push survivors of rape or sexual assault into the periphery.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."