Canadian Military Crackdown on Band of Brother Culture

SUMMARY: The Canadian defence chief, General Jonathan Vance has formally signed orders intended to stamp out impropriety and harassment. Fifteen years ago the Canadian Forces would not have dreamt of passing an order that demands respecting one another, with threatening consequences. The order prohibits obvious offences of sexual misconduct, but then also targets behaviour that “perpetuate stereotypes and modes of thinking that devalue members on the basis of their sex, sexuality or sexual orientation.” It goes on to set a complaints procedure and timelines for action. A 1999 employment equity plan states, “The male identity of the organization is strongly evident through sexualized behaviors and norms, such as male attitudes of paternalism, sexist male talk, joking and innuendo and sexual harassment, in the day-to-day work environment.” The deeply entrenched ‘band of brothers’ mythology and masculinities in the “organizational culture” of the Canadian Armed Forces are the greatest obstacles to the integration and retention of women.

SOURCE: Murray Brewster, August 17 2015, ‘Military bans crude jokes, racy photos in sexual misconduct crackdown,’ The Globe and Mail, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/military-bans-crude-jokes-racy-photos-in-sexual-misconduct-crackdown/article25990911/

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