Webb Apologizes for Column About Women in the Military

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I guess he did all this stuff when he was a Republican, which makes it a little more understandable.

Democratic Senate candidate Jim Webb has apologized for his former opinions about women serving in the military and says he has changed his mind.

Five female U.S. Naval Academy graduates said Wednesday that Webb fostered an air of hostility and harassment for them with a magazine article he wrote in 1979 titled "Women Can't Fight."

The women, who attended the academy in the late 1970s and early 1980s, said the column in Washingtonian magazine emboldened male midshipmen to humiliate them.

Much more on Virginia's resident ladies' man, here:

An informal group calling themselves “Webbites” shamelessly practices bigotry. Adherents of James Webb, former secretary of the Navy who in a visit to the Naval Academy several years ago referred to female midshipmen as “Thunder Things,” this group has evolved over the past decade from a collection of outspoken critics of women in the military to a secret society, one that in 1991 referred to itself as the “WUBA KLUX KLAN” and solicited new members to further its goal of ridding the Naval Academy of women.” (The New Republic, 8/17/92)

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But has he apologized in person to all of them? We're still waiting for that. It's been 27 years and counting....

No problem, most voters are men anyway.

charles said:

If you read the actual press release, he didn't apologize for his remarks, he apologized if any of his remarks made life "unduly hard" in the military.

And he didn't say he changed his mind, he simply said he's happy with the current state of affairs. He didn't say his words were wrong, in fact he defended them saying they were the same things a lot of other people were saying.

He also said that the Senate didn't mind his words when they confirmed him twice.

charles said:

Here is the actual press release.


Date: Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Contact: Jeff Pyatt: 703-778-4080

Jessica Smith, c: 202-236-3002

Statement by Jim Webb

“I am completely comfortable with the roles of women in today's military, and I fully support the advancements that have taken place. Over the past few years I have been privileged to visit numerous military units, and to accept the invitations of female officers for command visits in Japan, Hawaii, Washington, DC and Quantico. I look forward to continuing to do so.

“27 years ago I wrote a magazine article about the issue of women in combat and women at the Naval Academy. I did not title the article. In the article I made clear that I would support a woman candidate for President and would have voted for Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir. The article was written during a time of great emotional debate over a wide array of social issues in this country, and the tone of this article was no exception. Many leading military figures, including the Commandant of the Marine Corps, shared my concerns in these areas.

“I did not anticipate the widespread reaction to this magazine article, and to the extent that my writing subjected women at the Academy or the active Armed Forces to undue hardship, I remain profoundly sorry. On the first occasion that I was invited back to the Academy in 1983, among my comments was a strong call for harmony among male and female midshipmen.

“This issue was addressed during two Senate confirmation hearings, in 1984 and 1987, to the satisfaction of the Senate, which on both occasions unanimously supported my appointments in the Defense Department. Further, when I was Secretary of the Navy, I strengthened policies against sexual harassment. I also personally convened a Navy-wide task force of senior male and female officers and NCOs to examine roles of women in the Navy, and as a result tripled the number of operational assignments available to women.”

Bwana said:

Charles has it right. Webb's remarks are much like that person who says something rude, then when faced with someone being insulted replies,"I am sorry if my comment hurt your feelings", which is much different than "I apologize for saying what I said"

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