As if the case of Vanessa Guillen, the Fort Hood soldier who was bludgeoned to death with a hammer and buried in a shallow grave wasn't tragic enough, the deceased Specialist is still the subject of victim blaming. Nowhere else is this clearer than in the comments of Lt. Col Betsy Schoeller, who on Facebook suggested that the sexual harrassment Guillen intended to report was par for the course, and should have been put up with.
"You guys are kidding, right? Sexual harassment is the price of admission for women into the good ole boy club," read the disturbing statement, "If you're gonna cry like a snowflake about it, you're gonna pay the price."
Schoeller is lecturer at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, but according to a recently-begun petition on change.org, there are nearly 120,000 people who call for her termination from the position. Schoeller has since deleted her comment, and nothing has been heard in the way of disciplinary action.
Despite an "ongoing investigation" of Vanessa Guillen's murder, to suggest that any instance of sexual harassment is "the price of admission" for a male-dominated military profession is not only unhelpful and unkind: it's ludicrous. To further suggest that calling out or reporting sexual harassment carries a possibly fatal penalty, and that standing up against sexual harassment makes one a "snowflake" is ridiculously harmful. Not only do comments like this discourage anyone suffering sexual harassment from reporting it to proper authorities, but it undercuts the people who do choose to report.
Everyone, regardless of their position, deserves to be safe at work. Vanessa Guillen was not given that luxury, and lost her life. Schoeller's comments are distasteful, but it's important to recognize that she's not the only one with this mentality. And that simply cannot be accepted.