Former National Review columnist John Derbyshire blamed women and attorneys for the rise in reported sexual assaults within military ranks in a piece for Taki’s Magazine on Monday, saying female service members were gender “outliers” likely to commit erratic behavior.
“They are eccentric and prone to behave eccentrically,” Derbyshire wrote. “As a designated victim group, they are especially susceptible to the associated pathologies, e.g., victim hoaxes for attention, spite, or cash reward.”
But male soldiers, he argued, are responding to their “widespread, innate male urges” to kill people, and putting them in units with women “in sex proportions much different from 50-50, and walled off from the general population” would lead to “sex-related emotions” like jealousy to develop, which would limit their effectiveness. Placing male officers in command of female soldiers also put a “severe strain” on human nature in his opinion, because women are attracted to “higher-status men.”
The column comes in the midst of a disagreement between commanders and lawmakers over how to prosecute sexual assault allegations. A proposal by Sen. Kristen Gillebrand (D-NY) that would have granted prosecutors juridsdiction over such cases was stripped from a defense spending bill on June 12. Earlier this year, a Pentagon report estimated that as many as 26,000 sexual assaults happened within the U.S. military in 2012.
In purporting to advise military leaders on “true facts” to help them counter what he called a “tsunami” of reports of unwanted sexual contact, Derbyshire also argued that terms like “sexual harassment” and “sexual assault” were vulnerable to misinterpretation by crooked lawyers.
“It is not, for example, the case that sexual intercourse comes in precisely two clearly distinguished varieties, consensual and nonconsensual,” he wrote. “There is an entire continuum of consent, ranging from forcible kidnapping/rape, to drunk-and-I-don’t-know-what-I-was-thinking, to licensed connubial bliss.”
Derbyshire was fired from the Review in April 2012 after writing a column for Taki’s urging white parents to tell their children to avoid contact with African-Americans they did not know. In September 2009 he said he “wouldn’t lose a minute’s sleep” if women lost the right to vote.