Thu. Apr 18th, 2024


That weakness is synonymous with femininity, and masculinity with strength, is instilled in troops from the get-go. Female recruits learn their place when, upon entry, they’re classified by peers as being one of three categories: a bitch, a ho or a dyke. Harassment is embedded in the running cadences: “Don’t let your dingle-dangle dangle in the sand/The best place for it’s in a mama-san’s hand.” Pornography is everywhere. Servicewomen’s bodies are openly ­evaluated, and their imagined sex lives – speculation about who’s a “barracks whore” – are hot topics. In the Air Force, which has a tradition of fighter pilot songs, airmen circulate a songbook filled with ditties like “The S&M Man,” a parody of “The Candy Man”: “Who can take two ice picks, stick ’em in her ears/Ride her like a Harley while you fuck her in the rear.” Against that permissive backdrop, it seems a natural outgrowth of the culture when men turn aggressive, as when a superior of former Marine Lance Cpl. Regina Vasquez told her, “I’ll sign your paperwork if you give me head.”

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