Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Harassment to the Brig

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Harassment to the Brig

Article excerpt

UNTIL the mid-'70s, the United States armed services academies were all-male clubs. The exclusionary policy spawned attitudes toward women - or, more precisely, women's "place" - similar to those fostered at other bastions of male separatism. If anything, such attitudes were compounded by the machismo that is an accepted, even encouraged, element of martial skills. Then Congress opened the doors of the academies to women.

Some of the academies have adjusted better than others. At West Point, the Army Academy, the corps of cadets last year was commanded by a woman cadet. The Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., however, has had a tougher time accepting women.

So conclude several reports issued last week by panels investigating sexual harassment at the Naval Academy. The probes were initiated last spring after a woman midshipman resigned, citing harassment by male students.

The two leading reports - one by an internal committee, the other by civilian members of the academy's Board of Visitors - found widespread sentiment among midshipmen, faculty, and staff that women don't belong at Annapolis. …

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