I think that the core of your question is really the nature of the military itself, frankly. I think that it does tie into high rates of people taking their own lives and high rates of trauma within the military. If you have to suppress how you feel because your masculinity and machismo is a key characteristic to help you succeed in the military, then that is conducive to men having high rates of trauma and not being able to address it, and also not being able to talk about the importance of care work for them and being parent, to speak to Sandra's point.
To me, what's important in the context of the RMC is that, in my experience, there were two sexual assaults and two suicides within a short period of time. RMC is a mess. I think it's embarrassing because it's a prestigious military institution that people leave with rank and a degree. It is a fancy place to go to school, so if we can't even get that in order, what does that say about the rest of the CAF, frankly?
You could argue that first-year students are just wild and are all pumped to be a part of the military. If it's a third-year student—which means they're about a year out from possibly leading troops—and they think it's appropriate to get up in a presentation and yell, “Why do you hate men so much? This is embarrassing. Why are you here? I shouldn't have to listen to this woman”, that tells you that the institution made you that way, or it fostered something that was already within you. Part of that is the idea of being super tough and being a fighter and a warrior.
Again, speaking to Laura's point, that's not what the military is in practice, so why are we recruiting people with this idea, as in the the commercials, that they're going to jump out of a helicopter and are going to.... That's not what most people are doing.
First of all, we're attracting people who are looking for something that they're not going to get, and then we're also fostering this idea of what it means to be a good member of the CAF—everything from morale-boosting exercises or obstacle courses and things—that is not reflective of what life is like in the military.
That needs to change if you want to recruit women, but what I also care more about is retaining women. If you want to hit a 21% ceiling, first of all, have a conversation with yourself because that ceiling is embarrassing. What other sector would we allow to have that low of a ceiling? Also, what's your retention plan? I don't think you have one because you really have this “add women and stir” approach.