• U.S.

What’s The Big Deal?

1 minute read
TIME

( TALK ABOUT A GROUP OF MEN WHO JUST DON’T GET it. Last September at a convention of Navy and Marine aviators, an entertainment favored by scores of junior male officers involved lining up along the narrow corridors of the Las Vegas Hilton and groping at any woman who happened by. According to two Navy reports released last week, at least 14 women officers and 12 female civilians had their breasts, buttocks and other bodily parts grabbed by drunken male pilots. As appalling as the behavior itself was the reaction of the more than 1,500 officers and civilians questioned about the incident. “A common thread running through the overwhelming majority of interviews was, ‘What’s the big deal?’ ” stated a report issued by the Naval Inspector General’s office.

Upholding a fraternal code of silence every bit as effective as the Mafia’s legendary omerta, male pilots stonewalled investigators’ questions so effectively that only two suspects were identified. To date, just one Navy official, Rear Admiral Jack Snyder, has been punished. His offense? When a female aide complained of the lewd activities, he responded, “That’s what you get when you go to a hotel party with a bunch of drunk aviators.”

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