Kim has posted on his blog about a scandal involving Navy sailors’ ranking female sailors on their sexual desirability. During my six years in the US yacht club, there were quite a few incidents along these lines. We referred to women as “split tails” and nothing would ruin a career faster than having a woman report you for harassment.

There was a scandal in 1988, I think it was on the USS Yellowstone, where more than 30 female crewmembers were engaged in lesbian relationships with other members of the crew.

We had a reserve unit onboard my ship once, and that unit had females aboard. We avoided them as much as possible, because they were nothing but courts marshal bait. For example, we had to post a sentry outside of the berthing space that had been assigned to them, whose job was to prevent any males from entering the space unless they were on official business. One of these sailors was standing his watch when a buddy walked by and asked him what he was doing standing in the passageway. The sailor replied, “I am on the pussy watch.” A female overheard him through the door, and reported him.

When he went to his Article 15, the Captain asked him why he said that. The sailor replied: “When I am guarding the brow, I am the brow watch. When I am watching the ship’s generator,  I am the ship’s generator watch. I was guarding the pussy, so I was on pussy watch.” The man’s naval career was ruined when the Captain threw the book at him.

On 1988, there was the famous “Tailhook” scandal where a bunch of pilots were accused of debauchery that some women found offensive. I spoke with a couple of people who were there. The women who were there were not blameless. In one case, several women were competing in a “bikini line shaving contest” where the judges would run their tongues down the bikini lines of the competitors to see who had the smoothest, closest shave.

This is what happens when you pile thousands of healthy young adults in close proximity to each other. It isn’t unique to the military.

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