Archives About Staff BagNews is dedicated to visual politics, media literacy and the analysis of news images.
May 23, 2013

Military Sexual Harassment Pic of the Day: The West Point Student Body

West Point female cadets.png

Screen Shot 2013 05 22 at 11 13 31 AM

Talking about the military’s latest sexual harassment black eye, I was wondering what you thought of the photo accompanying yesterday’s NYT story about female cadets at West Point being taped surreptitiously in the shower? I guess someone could argue it’s an effective one, the skirt view with the heads cut off framing the issue through a furtive approach, an almost bodily sense of invasion and defense (ankles crossed) amidst all those male crotches.

In the current atmosphere, however — the topper being the arrest of the Air Force’s top sexual assault prevention officer a couple weeks ago for sexual assault, I look at this image (admittedly, a tiny pebble in the news cycle’s daily meteor shower) as too alluring itself in terms of women as skirts and where the male gaze and imagination can go.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski

NewImageBy the way, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t also post that photo of Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Officer, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, after he attacked that woman in that parking lot in Arlington County (and got more back then he bargained for).

(photo: Luke Sharrett/The New York Times. caption: About 15 percent of West Point’s 4,500 cadets are women. A sergeant assigned to the elite military academy has been accused of taping female cadets without their consent. photo 2: MACDILL AFB FL photo 3: Arlington County Police Department.)

  • bks3bks

    The skirt is no big deal (I’ve seen Braveheart), but the shoes …


  • ArmyGal

    In regards to the recent rash of
    information concerning violations in the military I would like to state that
    Redstone Arsenal is not immune from the issues.

    ABC Columbia News contacted Fort Jackson and we’re told there was
    an investigation into the allegations, but they were determined
    unfounded. — This is the
    norm for both our civilians and our military, even at Redstone Arsenal Alabama
    within AMC, RDECOM, AMRDEC, The representative (Director ofr
    AMRDEC); agreed then canceled the arbitration meeting, he even refused to show
    up prior to the initiation of the fact finding, and has not once tried to handle
    it at the lowest level possible, this allegation was made in 2011, and to date
    has no decision or finalization to it when it is normally required to have
    completed its investigation within 180 days, and within that time frame after 60
    days the time-frame to for a Final Agency Decision. compared to 23 months
    without an answer.

    If there is merit, but listed as most would unfounded, then it could take an
    additional three years to get it thru the backlog of the EEOC court.

    Meanwhile the person is still working in the organization, with
    reprisal, retaliations, and loss of


  • jonst

    Interesting photo, but not the one I had expected. Which is fine, of course, your call, but i had expected to see a photo shot in a London street.

    • Michael Shaw

      It’s on the way.

  • marie

    I noticed that all the mens’ legs are widely spread as they sit, every single on I can see, while the woman’s legs are not only only closed but demurely crossed at the ankle. Looks proper to me, but the contrast is interesting.

    Judging from this image, what does our society require of a [military] woman these days? Obviously, no pants wearing, no knee-spreading. And yet… how are they treated? Often, badly.

  • Minor Heretic

    Seems silly to have the women wearing skirts in uniform. They don’t wear skirts when in the field. It’s as if West Point is singling them out.

    • piratepat

      the skirt is the dress uniform, I think it is too short, longer skirt and some arse kicking shoes would do it.

  • Cactus

    I’ve been thinking about
    this since it was posted. And I keep coming back to anthropology. This is the
    way men sit when ‘at home’ and not on camera. It’s like the peacock spreading
    his plumage. (Yes, I do mean that.) Men seldom cross their legs and never at
    the ankles. It seems to me that keeping women in skirts when in a traditionally
    male occupation/environment may not be sexual harassment, but it is certainly
    reinforcing male stereotypes. Are women firefighters forced to wear skirts? Or
    female miners? Or women in the Forestry Service?

    I see this as a not so
    subtle reminder to women who dare to sign up for the military that they are
    still not as good as the men. “You can take the training, but you’re still a
    dame!” And implicit in that attitude is the idea that the women are there for
    the pleasure of the men.

  • kailuahale

    Let her wear pants, same dress uniform as men. Or, have them wear skirts. Reminds me of an airline stewardess.

Refresh Archives

Random Notes