The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: Stop Denying the Crisis of Sexual Assault in the Military
  • Petitioned Paul A. Gigot

This petition was delivered to:

Editor, Editorial Page, The Wall Street Journal
Paul A. Gigot
Deputy editor, The Wall Street Journal
Daniel Henninger
Deputy editor, The Wall Street Journal
Bret Stephens
Assistant editor, The Wall Street Journal
James Freeman
Managing editor, The Wall Street Journal
Gerry Baker

The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board: Stop Denying the Crisis of Sexual Assault in the Military

    1. Petition by

      Ms. Foundation for Women

Our military is facing a sexual assault crisis. And this week a prominent opinion writer for the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto, made it worse. Taranto referred to efforts to reduce sexual assault in the military as "becoming an effort to criminalize male sexuality.” Framing the campaign as a “war on men,” he used terms like “hanky-panky” and “sexual recklessness” to describe potential sexual assault, belittling the seriousness of the crime.

More than 19,000 sexual assaults occurred in the military in 2010 and nearly one in three military women report unwanted sexual assault. Taranto’s victim-blaming is a slap in the face to those survivors and the people who love and respect them. We deserve responsible media coverage that addresses this ongoing crisis, instead of denying it.

The Ms. Foundation for Women and the Service Women’s Action Network are outraged. Help us send a message to the Wall Street Journal that women will not tolerate hateful rhetoric and sexist doctrine on the opinion pages. Sign our petition calling for the disciplining of Taranto and a formal meeting with the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board.

As Taranto’s writing makes clear, we have much more to do to end the culture of acceptance of violence against women.

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    1. Reached 4,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

      • 8 months ago


      • 8 months ago

      To Whom It May Concern,

      I was the immediate supervisor for SPC Annzala Pitt at C.Co 225 BSB. In the time that SPC Pitt was part of my squad she encountered numerous difficulties which I believe were entirely due to being mistreated by her senior leadership. When SPC Pitt arrived at 225 BSB she had a medical situation that required attention prior to her deployment to Iraq. When she voiced her concerns to 1LT Riglick not only were her concerns dismissed but her private health information was erroneously released to multiple parties. SPC Pitt filed a complaint for the HIPPA violation against the offending party, 1LT Riglick. A few months later 1LT Riglick was assigned to C.Co as our Platoon Leader. This is undoubtedly the situation that caused SPC Pitt to be labeled as a problem soldier by C.Co leadership. SPC Pitt was not protected from reprisal and was treated badly for the duration of her time with C.Co 225 BSB.

      The result of filing her HIPPA complaint against 1LT Riglick was having a stigma placed on her by the very leadership that was supposed to be protecting her. She endured rumors, attacks on her character, and even attempts at discrediting her intellectual capacities. She was even accused of having inappropriate relationships with multiple senior Non-Commissioned Officers by our Platoon Leader 1LT Riglick. SPC Pitt continuously sought only to do her job as a mental health specialist and as her first line supervisor I pushed for her to be moved from the company to the Troop Medical Clinic. When SPC Pitt was sent to the Troop Medical Clinic to preform her duties as a mental health specialist C.Co leadership made sure to let the incoming social worker know what their impression of her was. SPC Pitt then worked with Major Ball, who had already been told she was a problem soldier, and was subsequently treated horribly to include having to undergo a mental health evaluation without provocation.

      SPC Pitt requested on numerous occasions to be moved from C.Co 225 BSB to another company, battalion, or division to get out from underneath the stigma placed on her. These requests were heard by our Company Commander, 1SG, Platoon Leader, Platoon Sergeant, Command Sergeant Major, and even Division Command team but nothing was done. Instead of helping the soldier 1LT Riglick and Major Ball ordered me to counsel her for their perceived insubordination. When I disagreed with these orders it was made clear that my military career was also in jeopardy. I was ordered by 1LT Riglick to counsel SPC Pitt for not properly using her chain of command to which, I informed the command that she had done exactly what procedures are outlined. The result of my not counseling her for this was to have my MEDPROS status changed to non-deployable by 1LT Riglick. This retaliation against me for defending SPC Pitt would have ended my career if I had not already been found deployable and fit for duty by the Medical Review Board in 2008.

      Despite her outburst which finally concluded her time in C.Co I would still recommend that she be retained by the United States Army. SPC Pitt endured being mistreated for months and still maintained a positive attitude. Her intellectual prowess combined with her willingness to work make her a viable asset. I believe that if SPC Pitt had been able to move to another command away from the toxic leadership of C.Co 225 BSB her military career would have flourished.

      SGT David Trapolsi

      I am contacting you to receive your assistance in eradicating US Army toxic leaders. I need your assistance in educating all commanders and SJA's, Judges about this matter. Many leaders hide or destroy the fact they were abusive towards a soldier and just have them court martialed. Many soldiers that are court martialed requested assistance via IG and other leaders but it was not received.

      My case is currently in the appeals process; however I need your support in having my case re-heard or complelty dismissed. Please read my petiton on CHANGE.ORG (Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership) . If you wish to speak to me directly please call 803-477-7687.

      I've started the petition "Barack Obama and Aaron Schock and U.S. Senate: Eradicate US Army Toxic Leadership" and need your help to get it off the ground. Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here's the link:

      • 8 months ago

      No Fear Act of 2002

    • Robert Ett PARK CITY, UT
      • 8 months ago

      James Taranto is supporting sexual violence by equating the men with the women who are victimized. If he represents the opinion of the WSJ then the Newspaper is incredibly ignorant. If he does not represent the opinion of the WSJ, the paper should demand he look elsewhere for employment

    • Karen Hedwig Backman FEDERAL WAY, WA
      • 8 months ago

      Taranto's views are odious and wrong.


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