Skeptical of Victims: My Shame (2 of 3)

Disclaimer: please let me know if I use any strange jargon/slang that isn’t listed on the page and I will correct it.

Disclaimer disclaimer: Rates and names have been changed.

This is part two of a series. Read part one here.

After that initial circumstance in boot camp everything was quiet for a while, despite the sexism I encountered on board my first ship.

On the way home from my first deployment the Captain decided to take a dip past the equator to have the ship participate in “Wog Day”.

Now when a ship is out to sea we still get new sailors. They get flown in on helicopters, deposited on our flight deck, blood boiling from the high energy of the flight and being so far away from home. The day before our scheduled ‘Wog Day’ we had a new female Engineer alight on board. Her name is Susanna.

Wogs? Not on my watch!

Everyone was already pissed at her. Here we are, sitting like ducks in a pond for months doing our duty at sea. We’ve earned this Wog Day. Because she landed inboard a day before it was to happen she is entitled to participate and become a shellback after the ceremony.

The junior enlisted males and females are livid at this.

She participates in the ceremony and gets her certificate like the rest of us. The last few months home everyone gives her the side glance and no one really makes friends with her.

And then! Home Port! Oh man, if you’re not military… coming back to home port after a 7-10 month deployment is similar to being a 6 year old on a sugar high in Disney World. Nothing can stop you, everything is great, and life is finally certain.

After the POM period everyone crawls back on board bitching. Except Susanna. Susanna is mysteriously gone. At that point we’re about 15 females on board. Yet… one of the racks is empty. Susanna’s rack. Now despite being universally despised, a sailor doesn’t just disappear like this. You begin to wonder. My mild inquiries came out with the following:

During POM period Susanna went out with a group of males from the boat. They all got drunk, and ran a train on her. She reported the incident.

Bad, right?

It is my undying shame the rest of us 14 females immediately victim blamed. Susanna was a whore. She had it coming. She flirted with the 3-4 accused guys all the time. She probably just regretted it. Who was she kidding? Now she’s just upset that word got out. The list went on.

The case never went anywhere. Susanna had been moved to another ship, and the guys in question stayed on board. The case was supposedly restricted, so no other clues came out.

Filthy Wogs

So Susanna was gone, the offenders still on board. I wonder now still that if Susanna had been Sean instead, come on board at the wrong time, would he have been looked down upon the same? Or would he have been a lucky sonnava bitch for getting on board right before Wog Day…?  Would we have believed her claim more if she hadn’t been disliked immediately because her helicopter came at the time it did?

Read Part Three here


About feministsailor

Lots of shitty sexist things happen to me in the Navy! So I’d like to tell you about it. Also, I curse like a Sailor. Sorry if that offends you.
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