Over the weekend a story broke about several navy seamen allegedly betting on who could sleep with the most female shipmates (more coverage at ABC News). We’ll be seeing a range of comments from politicians and media commentators, so I thought I’d kick off a post to discuss it.

Andrew Bolt, in a post today and on Insiders yesterday, is discussing it as an issue of consent – in much the same way as he approached the issue of group sex in football earlier this year. I think this overlooks the real issue, which is one of organisational culture. The problem here is that it appears some male seamen regarded their female counterparts as potential conquests, and that raises questions about attitudes toward and treatment of women in the Navy. Arguably, this is similar to the issue arising from certain high-profile sportsmen being involved in group sex or other activities that, regardless of whether they were consensual and irrespective of the fact that nothing criminal took place, involved treating women as objects in a sexual game.

Feel free to post links to commentary as well as your own opinions. Is this a media and/or political beat-up? Are there real issues here and, if so, are they being addressed by the media? Or are they being overlooked for the sensationalism of a sex scandal?

ELSEWHERE: Discussion of the issues at Blogocrats.

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