"Obedience, Drunkenness, and Rape at West Point and Annapolis," by Alpha Unit

Last Friday, Karley Marquet and Anne Kendzior filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming that the US Military Academy in West Point, New York, and the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, ignored rampant sexual harassment and rapes at the academies. Named as defendants are former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, former superintendents of the two academies, and the current Secretaries of the Army and Navy. The lawsuit states:

Although Defendants and other military leadership repeatedly claim they have “zero tolerance” for such misconduct, the evidence shows otherwise: they have a high tolerance for sexual predators in their ranks, and “zero tolerance” for those who report rape, sexual assault and harassment.

There are three rapes discussed in the lawsuit; one of the women was raped twice. Karley Marquet is 20. She began attending West Point boot camp in June of 2010. Before describing the events in question, she says that she was taught to follow all directions given by upperclassmen – shining shoes, making beds, emptying trash, and otherwise doing whatever they told her to do. During the second semester of her freshman year, she stayed on campus over the Martin Luther King holiday weekend; her roommate didn’t. A female friend visited her on the evening in question but left by curfew. Shortly after, her roommate’s boyfriend, an upperclassman, stopped by to visit. According to the lawsuit:

The male upperclassman stayed for quite some time, and then gave Ms. Marquet a sports drink that had alcohol in it. Peer pressure by upperclassmen to consume alcohol is pervasive at West Point. Ms. Marquet drank about one-fourth of the liquid in the bottle, and soon became intoxicated. Disoriented, Ms. Marquet was convinced by the upperclassman to go to his room, where he raped her.

So you have peer pressure, alcohol, and a disoriented freshman. It all sounds familiar. Ms. Marquet told her sister and a friend what happened. They told her to go to the Sexual Assault Response Coordinator (“SARC”). But she was hesitant. The perpetrator stopped by her room several times, she says, pressuring her not to report the rape. In addition, she was well aware that women who did report rapes were called “sluts” and were accused of having “asked for it.” But she decided to report it, not that it did her any good. West Point didn’t provide her with what she calls adequate assistance. She was forced to remain in contact with the guy, and West Point didn’t alter her duties, which meant she had to empty his trash every day. As a result of the rape and the hostile environment, she became depressed and suicidal. The final straw was being forced to do “walking hours” with this guy as punishment for a minor infraction. She resigned from West Point. The guy still hasn’t been brought to justice. In the case of Anne Kendzior, both perpetrators went on to graduate and become Naval officers. Ms. Kendzior is 22, and joined the Naval Academy in the summer of 2008. She, too, was taught to follow all directions given by upperclassmen. That fall she went to a party given at “Lacrosse House,” attended mainly by Naval Academy students. There was a lot of alcohol. They played some drinking games and had lots of fun getting drunk. Ms. Kendzior went to one of the back bedrooms to sleep it off. Everybody can guess what happened next: she woke up to find a male student on top of her doing the deed. She says he then rolled over and went to sleep. She didn’t tell anyone what had happened except her roommate. Nothing was made of the whole incident. A few months went by. Ms. Kendzior and two male students were granted Saturday liberty. They bought some alcohol and went to a hotel room to drink it. She passed out drunk. She woke up to find herself being raped by one of the guys. She told her roommates, but no one else. Eventually – the lawsuit doesn’t specify exactly when – she reported both rapes to her Academy counselor, but the counselor didn’t encourage her to report them to either civilian or military police. She says she spiraled downhill, becoming suicidal. She finally did report the rapes to the Naval Academy. But the lawsuit states:

Although Ms. Kendzior was only one year from completing her degree, the Naval Academy decided that Ms. Kendzior’s mental health issues caused by the rapes precluded her from becoming a commissioned officer. Only the intervention of Ms. Kendzior’s parents and Congressman prevented the Academy from wrongly incarcerating her at a mental health facility.

She was forced to leave the Academy without being permitted to graduate. The lawsuit maintains that Robert Gates and his co-defendants are directly responsible for the atmosphere in the US military and at the academies that allows these assaults and rapes to flourish and go unpunished. You know what I wonder, though? Why didn’t these two fairly intelligent, capable women understand that they were putting themselves at risk of being raped? It’s not okay to rape people. Furthermore, you can’t make anyone rape you. Rapists are responsible for the crimes they commit. But assuming you can take them at their word, why the Hell do so many women walk blindly into these rape scenarios? Nobody has a right to rape you. But you are responsible for your own safety and well-being. Not the Secretary of Defense. Not the head of the military academy. Not your Academy counselor. You are. If you can’t tell when you’re being set up for a possible sexual assault, then maybe there are certain environments you don’t need to be in, period.

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24 thoughts on “"Obedience, Drunkenness, and Rape at West Point and Annapolis," by Alpha Unit”

  1. So then what is the maximum age you can be to enter the academies? I was confused as you said one of the girls was 22 when she entered one of the academies?

  2. i probably said this on another one of your posts, but i will say it here as well. i believe that women do not like to exercise their ability to control their fates. even those “strong women” who enter male-dominated professions are not really in it, or stick with it, for reasons beyond the higher compensation. they even do not care to self-determine their sexual fates. even if it is violent, sometimes even because it IS violent. so it goes.

    1. Fascinating. If this is the way women are, then they ought to drop the pretense of being self-sufficient, strong, and independent. I wonder what it would take to get that to happen.

      1. I agree with this. But the corollary is that while feminism is based upon false premises, it’s also the case that men need to act in a traditional, chivalrous, courtly manner.

      2. i don’t think most men are self-sufficient, strong, or independent. maybe an old-time mountain man, which is a truly extreme lifestyle. i some admiration for those traits, but it is probably the social skills which women have in abundance which keep humans going.
        women are better. which feels like a lie when i say it, but i think it is logically true.

        1. So men in long term relationships are happier if there’s lots of kissing and cuddling involved. Can do!

  3. Nobody has a right to rape you. But you are responsible for your own safety and well-being. Not the Secretary of Defense. Not the head of the military academy. Not your Academy counselor. You are. If you can’t tell when you’re being set up for a possible sexual assault, then maybe there are certain environments you don’t need to be in, period.
    Very well said, Alpha.
    Of course, certain radical feminists might decry such a statement as somehow justifying “rape culture,” but last time I checked, common sense wasn’t sexist.

    1. Yes, certain radical feminists might just do that. At the same time, they seem to believe that men have an obligation to protect and care for women. They can’t make up their minds.

  4. None of these rapes would happen if women weren’t allowed in the military. What a joke this country has become.

  5. These victims should have gone straight to civilian police and the hospital. That would have taken care of it.
    Under no circumstances should a rape victim go to some “Sexual Assault Response Coordinator” at their school. Such “coordinators” only aim to diffuse the situation and salvage the school’s reputation.
    Rape is a crime so deal with it like one – GO STRAIGHT TO POLICE.

    1. I agree with you completely about this. The problem, however, is that the military has its own regulations about the reporting and handling of crimes. Also, some of the conduct a victim engaged in prior to the crime might be actionable, too, under military policy. Someone with military experience can explain this a lot better than I can.

      1. Yeah, universities are starting that now too and it doesn’t work. When a crime is committed we need to report it to the crime professionals. Period.

  6. Hello Robert, My eldest son graduated from West Point. From the stories my son has told me there are problems at West Point just because Dorm room doors are not locked at night, and I’m not even sure if they can be locked. Plus alcohol is easily available, and cadets coming in to the dorms intoxicated can and have caused problems, and indeed, some severe incidents.
    One night a drunk senior ( called a “firsty” at West Point) who for some reason was angry about women being cadets there burst into a dorm room containing 2 female cadets who were sleeping, and masturbated to climax in front of the terrified women while yelling rude things to them along with calling the women vulgar names. Needless to say he lost his West Point education records, and was summarily discharged from West Point. Also, since this incident, over weekends and holidays, any female cadets who were staying on campus had to have 2 women sharing a dorm room, no woman could sleep alone anymore. There could be 2 or 3 women bunking together, but never one female sleeping alone ever again for fear of a rape or an assault of some sort occurring.
    Men who attend West Point are the cream of the crop, with strong wills and strong opinions. Some men do not think that West Point should have female cadets, but most of the male cadets treat the female cadets with respect, some even marry immediately after the graduation services, and serve their several years of military obligations together. So even though there are problems, adding in alcohol and intoxicated young adults, females in most cases survive their 4 years without any type of assault. In fact, should a male cadet passing by, and hearing a commotion, would investigate, and stop the assault. There is an “Honor Code” at West Point, and any cadet who abandoned a woman to her fate from a drunken cadet would also be discharged.
    When everyone is intoxicated, a woman could wake up to discover something had happened that she had not planned on happening. One way to solve this issue is to have a sober person to oversee parties, and make sure that everyone ends up in the correct dorm room with the correct roommates, and that they stay there. That can be easily accomplished, have a designated driver, and room checker to protect the ladies.Hopefully West Point will institute some changes to help prevent unwanted sexual events.

      1. Thank you, West Point is trying to keep all of the cadets safe.With several thousand cadets, sometimes bad things happen,however, they happen rarely, but it does occur. The cadets all have a series of lectures that deal with any and all improper behaviors, and especially about avoiding sexual assaults on the female cadets.

      2. You are very welcome. My son spent 4 years there, and I heard all about the issues the cadets faced especially with intoxicated men and women sharing the same dorms without locks on the doors.

  7. I find it particulary sad that people from developed countries are traveling to an impoverished country like Cambodia to prey on children. Cambodians generally look up to foreigners, particularly Westerners, as models of fairness, benevolence, and justice. The acts of the sex tourists are threatening to undermine the good deeds of those foreigners who are in Cambodia to do good.

    1. “The acts of the sex tourists are…”
      revealing the truth of Westerners, behind the curtain. Stop the bullshit.

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