There are some essentials all soldiers should be given when they're deployed in a war zone – proper equipment, that's an obvious one. Contact with their families, that's important too. But should they really be given sex workers?
That's what one Australian army captain, Capt. Sally Williamson, suggested as she wondered whether escorts should be sent to the front line to help 'relieve stress' in serving soldiers. Well, that's one way to let off some steam.
Australian Defence Force Academy Cadets on a training exercise. Credit: PA
In an essay published on an official Australian Defence Force website last month, the captain admitted considering that the army should contract male and female sex workers to 'service' troops and give them the full 'girlfriend experience'.
"However, I quickly realised there are too many moral, legal, practical, medical and logistical barriers for this concept to be entertained," wrote Williamson, who is currently serving for the UN in the Middle East. Yeah, I'd say that's a few too many barriers.
Williamson said that soldiers having more regular sex or masturbating while on tour could help them deal with the stresses of deployment, particularly 'loneliness or prolonged absence from family, friends, partners and spouses'.
As you'd expect, Williamson's controversial comments caused a bit of a ripple among officials and civvies alike, getting around extremely quickly.
The post was quickly deleted from the army's Land Power site after ten days of going live, but by that point the damage had already been done – with soldiers' wives in particular furious at the idea.
"I've never felt like I was worth less than I did when I read that essay," Jane Walker, told the Australian women's site Whimn. "For Defence to condone something like that, to post it on an official army website, that is frankly disgusting."
The Australian Defence Force was clearly turned off by the essay, as a spokesperson said that it had been published by accident and didn't officially represent army policy.
"The article was published on the Land Power Forum blog on 6 November 2017," the spokesperson admitted. "It was removed on 15 November 2017 as it was not intended for the Land Power Forum and does not reflect Defence policy.
"The Land Power Forum provides a discussion space for appropriately informed analysis, commentary, thoughts, and ideas among military practitioners, interested stakeholders and subject matter experts. Defence policy on conduct in the workplace has not changed."
You can sort of understand the intention behind it, but come on, it was a silly idea really. You could just, y'know, give soldiers more time with their own partners instead.
Featured Image Credit: PA