The outgoing Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson in an interview with the CBC’s Peter Mainsbridge blamed the Canadian Military’s sexual harassment and assault problem on “biological hardwiring”.
It would be a trite answer, but it’s because we’re biologically wired in a certain way and there will be those who believe it is a reasonable thing to press themselves and their desires on others. It’s not the way it should be,” he said.
“Much as we would very much like to be absolutely professional in everything we do, and I think by and large we are, there will be situations and have been situations where, largely, men will see themselves as able to press themselves onto our women members.”
This is so maddening. People also have a biological need for food, but would Lawson explain away fights to be at the front of the line in the mess among Canadian Forces personnel as biological hardwiring? Of course not. People are socialized to stand in line and wait their turns no matter how hungry they are. People are also capable of learning and following the rules of consent.
Isn’t teaching people to follow rules and procedures a huge part of military training?
So glad he is retiring.
Updated: If Lawson’s name seems familiar it may be because he went in front of a House of Commons committee in 2014 and said Sexual Misconduct was not a part of military culture. An independent report by a retired Supreme Court Justice released in May of this year came to completely different conclusions.