Latino Civil Rights Group Calls on Enlistment Boycott for Latina Women

woman in military sitting in front of purple door

The sexual harassment and death of soldier Vanessa Guillen led the President of a Latino civil rights group to make an announcement recommending a military enlistment boycott for young Latinas. President Domingo Garcia of the League of United Latin American Citizens says women shouldn’t enlist until they are guaranteed safety from sexual violence.

As an organization started by veterans, Garcia says this message hasn’t been an easy one to deliver. “If you have a young daughter who is thinking of enlisting in the Army, warning, they may not be protected even though they enlisted to protect and serve our country.”

LULAC says it’s been trying to get answers from Fort Hood in Texas, the base where Guillen reportedly said she was sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier, before vanishing. Her dismembered remains were found last week, with the accused soldier killing himself shortly after speaking with police about Guillen.

LULAC said it will continue it’s call for a boycott until there are answers and accountability.

The Realist Woman’s take:

An organization founded by veterans calls on and supports a military enlistment boycott. It’s unprecedented. Veterans are incredibly proud of their service to this country but what this organization sees is a military being incredibly passive, and secretive and not taking the life and death of this young woman seriously. Since Guillen’s story was made public, women have been publicly sharing their own experiences of harassment and assault in the military by way of social media. Those incidents are unfortunately all too common in this male-dominated space.

Our military is not known for its protection of women, and even men, who have been harassed and assaulted. They protect predators. And it is for that reason that an enlistment boycott doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. We need to get to the root of this violence against women. We live in a culture where men feel entitled to women’s attention and their bodies. When men don’t get their way with women, they can’t handle rejection and attack in extreme and violent ways. They view women as being inferior to them and believe women should answer to them. This cannot continue. Why doesn’t our military fight to serve and protect their own female soldiers? Why aren’t they fighting to get to the bottom of what happened to Specialist Guillen?