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Many Agree That Women in the Military Are Prosecuted More Often than Men

Posted November 30, 1998

— Air Force Lieutenant Ava Logsdon says that she is being singled out for having a romantic relationship with an enlisted man. Now, Logsdon sits through a hearing waiting to find out if she'll be court-martialed.

Her attorneys say some male officers routinely socialize off-base with female enlistees but are not prosecuted.

Raucous parties, drunkenness and men wearing women's lingerie are just a few of the things Logsdon says she's seen first-hand. But can anyone back up her claim?

"When the male officers are involved, you never hear about it, but when a female is involved, you hear about it all the time," said George Ardis, a retired member of theU.S. Navy.

That's the kind of double standard Logsdon says is responsible for her situation. Logsdon admits to having a romantic relationship with an enlisted man. But many agree that women in the military are prosecuted more often than men for the same offense.

"For years, it has been okay for guys to horse around and flirt with women, and they get away with it. This is the '90s, and times have changed. What is wrong with the woman flirting and having fun?" asked Goldsboro resident Patty Askew.

Military law clearly spells out that socializing between officers and enlisted is not allowed. Some believe Logsdon should be held accountable for breaking the rule.

"You have to abide by it and have discipline to conduct the military in peace time and war," said Dwight Bottoms, a retired member of theU.S. Air Force.

Still, others point to the Monica Lewinsky matter and say the Commander-in-Chief should live by the same standards that are expected of military personnel.

"He is the one that sends us to the war zones, and yet, he doesn't have to follow the same rules that we have to follow," said Lorena Stafford, U.S. Air Force Ret.

The formal investigation into the charges against Logsdon will continue at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Wednesday, she is expected to call some witnesses in her own defense.


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