We all live in a rape-y submarine

Today's look at war from the cheap seats

Hot or not, it’s still a “rape list”

"Rumors of a 'rape list' were promulgated throughout the crew, significant numbers of females became concerned for their safety, and male members who learned of the list were equally repulsed.Very few knew what limited action was being taken by the [command]." — Rear Adm. Jeff Jablon, unfortunately named former commander of Submarine Group 10

What we’ve go here is another example of all of us patting ourselves on the back that we’ve moved on from the days when women couldn’t vote, couldn’t drive cars, and had every right to abort their baby, provided they could find a coat hanger and a willing doctor to wield in a back alley.

If the recent misogynistic machinations of the less-than-great state of Alabama have taught us anything, it’s that we’re not in a post-patriarchal era. Learned the same thing about race once the Trumpites felt comfortable flying Stars and Bars and advocating the murder of those huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

And now the US Navy’s lauded initiatives allowing men and women to serve together on submarines is highlighting for all of us that dudes are pretty rape-y, all things considered.

Like some of you reading this, I remember “Hot Or Not,” which was Instagram modeling before that was a thing, and was a founding principle being Zuckerberg’s first attempt at building a social network: folks got to look at other folks and rate them based on overall fuckability.

Change my mind.

In theory, this works both way: dudes get to slobber, chicks get to express their lady boners, and it’s a lovely foray into non-prudish sexual expression that lets the gals be all empowered and shit, and the bros get to say, “See? She’s into me! Sooo…dick pic!”

That’s evolved, because now we’ve got Instagram models and the Tinderizing of hookup culture. Except that if you swipe right on a straight dude, pretty sure the next logical step for that guy? Is a dick pic. And…you’re welcome.

Which is a long way around to the troubles on the USS Florida, which is the US Navy’s second submarine that with enlisted crew of both genders. For the sake of argument, please: let’s stick to the two genders at the moment. Because that’s only way this works is if we narrow down the list of things we can yell at each other about.

Turns out the bros on the boat thought it would be good to make up a list rating the ladeez on the boat. And then describe, in some detail, the sexual acts they would like to perform with said ladeez. Somehow that was interpreted by command as a “rape list”, even though the investigation said that no non-consensual acts were described.

The sexually explicit list describes various USS Florida females by appearances, characteristics and various sexual acts the creators of the list wish to perform with them. The list describes aggressive sexual activity, but does not reference non-consensual acts

Which is a fun way to spin predatory behavior by the XY crowd against the XX’s aboard. Because if you’re rating your comrades-in-arms on sexual grounds and detailing all the ways you’d like to get it on, and they don’t know about it? Feels a tad Dateline-ish. Just with fewer balloons.

Here’s where I take exception to how the Navy is handling this, and that’s to portray this as an aberration. That this kind of behavior is only limited to a subset of the uniformed naval forces. Which, is likely true, but that subset is a subset of a larger population set called ‘murca, where men are taught that women are targets.

I know, I know…not all men. Got it. Shut the fuck up and take your hands off the keyboard for a sec, woke SJW, and relax in that ironic plaid hoodie for a second. Because while it’s not all men, it’s still enough men that a group of them found each other on a submarine.

Let’s be clear: we need mixed gender crews on boats. We need men and women to fight and die for their country side-by-side. These kinds of initiatives are stupidly valuable to our society’s evolution. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that just because it’s the new standard, that everyone’s on board.

Because someone, somewhere, is already making a new list.

World calls Trump’s bluff, so Trump tweets

Turns out that if you’re a dick to your allies, when you need them on something like starting a war with Iran, they’re disinclined to get on board. Good read from Bloomberg about how the bluster from the Tweeter-in-Chief is leading to a lot of people that the Americans need not supporting Team Unilateralism anymore.

“I have to say that this is a distressful example of U.S. unilateralism -- it is short-term and inconsiderate of interests. The current situation in the region, ladies and gentlemen, is extremely dangerous.” — Germany’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Niels Annen

Probably should be a thing that we worry about a little more, given where this got us last time (remember Iraq?), but it looks like Trump’s getting wise that some of his advisers are really into war, and The Donald’s not terribly enthused about that.

Looks like the Philippines need another water cure*

"China's offer of a strategic partnership is a bit more attractive than the current offer of the US of strategic confusion.” — Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin

Conventional wisdom dictates that the reason we’re still trying to do COIN in the Philippines (even called it OEF-P, and the “P” stands for “pointless) is to a) prevent the spread of terrorism, and b) make nice with China’s neighbors so that said neighbors will be on Team USA once the war with Beijing kicks off in style. Except that China’s ahead of the game and is, per usual, doing soft power better than the Americans. Thanks to a foreign policy that’s turbulent at best, Manila’s thinking maybe they’re better off with a non-US option.

*In case you think that’s a reference to some kind of anti-vaxxer cure-all, it’s not: what I’m alluding to here is the American practice during the Philippine Insurrection (sounds nicer than “war”) of torturing Filipino prisoners with water. Makes waterboarding sound like a fun way to stay hydrated.

Congress doesn’t care enough about space pirates

It’s a political thing, but the House Appropriations defense subcommittee has voted down Trump’s plan for a “Space Force.” Which will disappoint Senator Ted “I Always Wanted To Be A Pirate But Mom Said No” Cruz, who’s worried about the threat of space pirates.

This is why you should never watch Space Balls and Captain Phillips back to back.

Turns out the Taliban love the WhatsApp

When they were in charge, the Taliban pretty much shut down all things Western and, well, fun. But it’s new world now, and even they need to get their message out. Don’t see them getting on the ‘gram, but they’re happy to answer questions from reporters about their plans for Afghanistan. From the article:

The Taliban are negotiating a peace deal and at the same time it has been carrying out brutal attacks against civilians. Why?

We never carry out attacks against civilians. This is mere propaganda. Because the civilians are our people. There is strict instruction from our leader to our military commanders to cancel any attack which is feared that it may result in disproportionate casualties to the civilians. We have even formed a civilian casualties prevention department which monitors that the order of our leader is observed practically on the ground regarding the prevention of civilian casualties.

They might not be attacking civilians, but a fuck ton are still dying in Afghanistan thanks to actions by all sides in the ongoing conflict in the country. So that shouldn’t give us a lot of hope about how honest they’ll be in any peace deal for the graveyard of reasonable conclusions.