Man Up

February 2, 2010 - 4:34 pm
Irradiated by LabRat
Comments Off

So just about everything that can be said about the possible repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been said. Y’all can probably guess my position; I think a policy that requires soldiers, who depend on each other for their very lives, to lie to each other is even worse than an outright ban on gay soldiers and just generally a shitty policy that should be canned immediately if not sooner. Lots of other first-world nations, including Israel which has to deal with far more crap than we usually do, have fully integrated forces and they seem to be handling it just fine. Not using skilled, motivated resources available to us for a reason as petty as what they do in their bedrooms is just stupid.

There is one thing that I’d like to address, though. When I’ve seen people speaking out against repealing DADT- or advocating for a return flat-out to a total ban on gay soldiers- they are almost always men, and they very frequently cite some variant on a common theme. Apparently, it would be just horrible if they had to think about other men being attracted to them, and worry about being ogled, and maybe even worry about being raped, because there’s always the one creepy guy that’s willing to cross that line, and we just can’t do that to our soldiers. (Lesbians, as usual, are never mentioned, either because what the wimmens do is boring, or because that’s kind of hot and therefore okay.)

To these men, I have the following reply: welcome to what every single human female on the fucking planet deals with from puberty onward. You don’t like the idea that some man you’re not attracted to might be fantasizing about having sex with you, might be eyeing your fun bits, that there’s even a remote but existing chance he might rape you? Harden. The fuck. Up. Fifty percent of the population has to cope with this every day as a fact of life, and we’re called paranoid deranged feminazi man-haters if we even bring it up outside a feminist consciousness-raising session.

And you know what? It’s true, it’s not healthy to go around concerning yourself that deeply with other people’s sexual feelings and flinching as though they’re about to assault you as long as they’re not actually assaulting you. Even being hit on isn’t an assault even if it’s uncomfortable or even crosses the border into creepy territory. Only assault is assault, and until then whatever perverse sexual lust anybody is harboring isn’t your business unless they make it your business, and the only appropriate response of yours so long as it ISN’T an assault is “no”.

If Tiffani Amber the eighteen year old who happened to be blessed with the genes for a great rack can manage to not crack under such pressure, I think soldiers we expect to send into combat can probably find it within themselves.

Be glad you only have to cope with 5% of the male population instead of 95%, that you’re much more likely to be able to fend off a real assault with your bare hands than we are, and STOP WHINING about the bad nasty men that might want sex with people that might not be interested. When “cry like a little girl” becomes an inappropriate expression because the little girls are handling it better than you are, you know you really do need to put on your big-boy britches.

No Responses to “Man Up”

  1. ZOMG TEH GAYS crap | Extreme Tolerance Says:

    […] Update: Even Better […]

  2. thebastidge Says:

    There’s a lot of us former and current military that don’t give two shits what you’re thinking about when you masturbate.

    However, and with all due respect, unless and until you’ve been there, it’s a bit presumptuous to opine (F-words omitted here out of respect). The services (none of them, in ANYBODY’s country) have not yet managed to fully and seamlessly integrate even the two nominal biologically-distinguishable sexes.

    The fact is that we already pretty much ignore teh ghey unless and until it becomes problematic. Everybody knows somebody who is playing with the naughty bits of someone they shouldn’t be.

    While there are, in my personal experience, gay and female soldiers who do a great job, far more gay and female soldiers have required some sort of accomodation, which then more or less has to be extended to everybody in the interests of fairness. The end result has been a dumbed-down, less effective fighting force than we otherwise might have.

    if you join the military to do the job, that’s respected. If you join the military to get laid, it’s not. If you cause problems in the foxhole that increase risks to your fellow warriors, you deserve what’s coming to you.

  3. Kristopher Says:

    The military will do whatever the C in C and congress tells them to do. We are dealing with DADT because of Clinton’s failure to lead.

    Eisenhower simply told the military they were going to ignore skin color or get cashiered, and that was that. If a US President could man up and do something similar re homosexuality, that would be the end of it.

    Generals follow the lead of the C in C, which is why the Army has suddenly gone PC in the middle of a war … generals that don’t talk the C in C’s party line are no longer promoted, and shunted off to backwaters until they get a clue and retire.

  4. TJIC Says:

    I had no concerns over what some other guy might be thinking of, or doing, on his own time.

    I had concerns that romantic relationships in the ranks could complicate leadership and spoil unit cohesion.

    I think the example of female troops has adequately demonstrated this, and that’s why I think that the most effective military is one composed solely of hetero males.

  5. LabRat Says:

    You haven’t said anything I disagree with, Bastidge. I’m mostly talking to/about guys who might or might not be in the military who are reacting off pure “OH NO HE MIGHT BE ATTRACTED TO THE OTHER MENZ THEY HAVE TO BE PROTECTED”.

    I’m not going to claim there are going to be no issues at all- as I’m sure there were when racial integration happened- but I damn well AM going to claim we should expect more of our soldiers than curling into the fetal position because someone might have shot a glance at his beltline.

  6. LabRat Says:

    Ah yes, that healthy all-male all-“hetero” environment we know so well from prisons and all-boys’ boarding schools…

    Bottom line, we are not going to agree. If soldiers fuck up, punish them, but I don’t see how excluding able-bodied and motivated citizens in an all-volunteer military, especially in wartime, is going to help us more than losing that many qualified soldiers will hurt us.

  7. ASM826 Says:

    Ok, I’ve been there, and I will opine.

    Here’s one of my memories of the Marine Corps, late 70s, early 80s. Take a minute, LabRat and see what I had to say.

    http://randomactsofpatriotism.blogspot.com/2010/02/psst-heres-secret.html

  8. Noah Says:

    Bravo, LabRat. I recently found out that some guy made some very unwanted and high-pressure suggestions towards my sister and she punted his nuts somewhere into the vicinity of his stomach.

    She can do a great job dealing. I’m sure that the members of the armed services can do the same.

  9. bgeek Says:

    I’m happily hetero, married to a beautiful wife, and definitely in favor of the repeal. I’m also extremely vain and would consider it a badge of honor to be found attractive by the opposite sex. In fact, I’d even do a little dance to make’em want it even more. Now that’s power.

  10. Dr. Feelgood Says:

    So as to preempt misunderstanding, my current battery of commentariat (throughout Blogville) on the subject is explicitly NOT saying that men have to be protected from being ogled. My argument is that opening the door to homosexuals obligates the military to make reasonable accomodations for sexuality (and yes, this means ensuring that recruits/trainees are not unwillingly exposed to instructors and fellow troops). We already do this for men and women by supplying separate toilet, bathing, and barracks facilities. The reason for this segregation is explicitly sexual (vice anatomical, physiological, whathaveyou) in nature, and exists to preserve decency. With open homosexuals in the ranks, this same standard must then be carried throughout the officially acknowledged iterations of sexual attraction, leading ultimately (because of the possibilities of deception and polyamory) to private facilities for everyone. That’s just the logistical challenge, though I will stipulate that its greatest effects will be felt in the training environment and among the UPH residents (where the majority homosexuals, by definition, will be quartered).

    Right now, men and women cannot room together in the barracks. Apply the same standard to a homosexual man–he cannot room with straight men, nor can he room with gay men. All that is available is to room with women. Jack Tripper, anyone? Or displace military families by placing homosexuals in separate housing units–that policy certainly wouldn’t be abused.

    The only realistic way that repealing DADT will function is if the military accepts open homosexuals and then pretends like there is no such thing as homosexuality, which is the same thing as DADT in practical terms. Sure there’s always the possibility of rehabilitating the infrastructure. Just give me the $Billions and I’ll get it done.

    Or we could just remove the standards entirely–man, woman, gay, straight: people are just people and sexuality has no bearing whatsoever on conduct–which is laughable on its face.

  11. LabRat Says:

    ASM- Not only did I read it, I considered (and am still considering, if the debate goes on in here) linking it, seeing as how it’s a pretty damn good refutation of “before DADT/the possible repeal of DADT, there were no known gays in the military”.

    Dr. Feelgood: Sorry, but I’m not buying it. There are no separate facilities for different sexualities in gyms, sports team facilities, high school locker rooms, campgrounds, or any of the other places where they don’t ask you questions about your sexuality up front.

    I realize military life is a rather more intensive exercise, but as you yourself acknowledge, this is how it is now. There are lots of gay soldiers, there were before DADT, and there will be whether it’s repealed or not. Even if being openly gay is permitted, sexually harassing your fellow soldiers or fraternizing still won’t be. Just as we expect male soldiers not to faint at the notion that some dude might be in a position to find them attractive, we expect gay soldiers not to break those rules. Acknowledging orientation honestly is not the same thing as open season. Obviously they are quite capable of self-control, or else DADT itself would have been a problem by now.

    Are those rules going to get broken sometimes anyway? Yes, absolutely- and those who behave badly should be punished. Soldiers have been sexually misbehaving since the dawn of warfare, with each other, with prostitutes (STDs used to be a massive source of attrition in militaries, sometimes bigger than the enemy), with each other’s wives. All of it is damaging to unit morale, which is why every form of it is not permitted. No rule we can make will stop that- and it’s just plain silly to pretend that ceasing to formally pretend there are no gays in the military is somehow going to bring the whole thing down.

  12. perlhaqr Says:

    Personally, being shot at seems a lot more distressing than being hit on by someone of a flavor I don’t find attractive.

    But, well, I’ve never been in the military, I’ve never been shot at, and I don;t find being hit on by guys all that distressing, so, grain of salt, yo.

  13. JC Says:

    Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has always struck me as a gentlemanly way to avoid the question. Granting official recognition to a minority group leads inevitably to special treatment for that group. I the case of the military, that is not an acceptable option.
    The pregnancy rate on USN fighting ships can serve as a cautionary tale.

  14. JC Says:

    BTW, I’ve got a place where I vent my spleen, now. Should make y’all more sanitary. http://didnitellyou.blogspot.com/

  15. LabRat Says:

    Requiring soldiers to be dishonest with each other with a policy explicitly structured so that soldiers being gay is not the problem, but how other people might react is gentlemanly? You and I live in different universes.

    Cautionary tale of what? Soldiers still misbehave regardless of the rules, though they are punished if caught. This is not news. Were the number of soldiers dying of syphilis during World War I a cautionary tale about heterosexual male soldiers?

  16. Dr. Feelgood Says:

    LabRat, I don’t disagree with the fundamental notion that people ought to control themselves. I’m not even concerned essentially about misbehavior, since, as you point out, it’s going to occur without regard for any rules (always has, always will). What I am talking about is standards, and specifically about the explicit double standard that results from allowing openly homosexual people to train (shower, board, etc.) with members of the same sex.

    That these standards are also being whitewashed in civilian life doesn’t exempt the government from its responsibility to accomodate all sexualities. In fact, it rather makes my point for me: we tolerate homosexuality by refusing to acknowledge it as a distinct form of sexuality or by ignoring the implications thereof. This is a latent form of cultural DADT that enables people to cooperate in social circumstances. But the military is an arm of the federal government, and you know as well as I do that “equal treatment” is gospel among federal workers (military more so than civilians, and civilians in general more so than engineers who tend to be intensely rational about such things). And I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the federal unions begin making it an issue as soon as the repeal is authorized (if only beacuse it’s something for them to do).

    The only way to refute the existence of a double standard is to argue that the segregation of men and women for certain functions is based on something other than sexuality, but I haven’t seen anyone make that argument. Nor has anyone refuted the existence of the standard in the first place.

    And just to clarify, I’m not saying that homosexuals should have their own facilities. I’m saying that strict adherence to the standard will require that every individual person (gay, straight, male, female) have access to private accomodations. That’s the only way to completely remove sexuality from the equation. It changes the policy from Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to What Difference Does it Make, which is what most libertarianish folks seem to be advocating for. Anything the military does short of that will either be DADT in practice, or it will make homosexuals a special class for certain protections.

    You know where I stand regarding homosexuality in general, so it should come as no surprise that I reject the legitimacy of its every particular derivation. The preceding treatment is simply a logistical analysis to demonstrate the lack of forethought about repealing DADT, not a moral evaluation (except insofar as double standards are inherently immoral) nor an outright refutation, per se. It’s just another indicator that repealing DADT is a Bad Idea, and I’ll readily admit that it’s the only secular argument I can make that isn’t totally speculative.

  17. EgregiousCharles Says:

    Dr. Feelgood makes a good argument against gays in the military. As LabRat points out it’s not an effective argument against DADT.

    If you’re dealing with the crowding and lack of privacy forced by many military situations, there are huge advantages to an environment where you can feel pretty confident that no one is sexually attracted to anyone else, but DADT is not that.

    No gays in the military is kinda like separate showers for men and women. Gays in the military is kinda like putting in a window between them. DADT is kinda like putting in one-way glass so you know someone could be watching but not who. DADT strikes me as offending some for no benefit to anyone.

  18. freddyboomboom Says:

    Hm.

    Dr. Feelgood and EgregiousCharles, I think I might like to point out, as a heterosexual male, that I did not have any problem with rooming with a homosexual male in the barracks at Naval Air Station Lemoore from 1990 to 1991.

    If he wanted to look, I didn’t notice or care. But touching was off limits.

    I respected him his choices, and he respected me.

    The one time it came up in discussion, I told him I had already figured it out, and my opinion was that the Navy didn’t have any business in his sex life.

    This was before the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, if I remember correctly.

    I still think the government doesn’t have any business in anyone’s sex life unless the other people you’re having sex with are under age, or there against their will.

    In the close confines of a ship at sea, or a barracks, the only thing to think about is if the other sailor (soldier, Marine, etc) is going to be respectful of you or not. If not, they need to get the f**k out. If they are respectful of you, it doesn’t matter.

  19. William the Coroner Says:

    Speaking of sharing living quarters–I lived in coed by room dorms throughout college. The bathrooms were officially segregated, but de facto not, and we all just dealt with it. If people really wanted single sex housing, it was available, but most people just ignored it.

    I will say that sharing bathroom facilities did more to keep people away from one another than brought them together. It’s hard to keep up the mystery and idealization when you see someone puking drunk. More of a family vibe gets in place.

    And, yeah. I’ve had gay roomates. I’ve had straight roommates. I preferred the gay guy. He had better taste in music, and he didn’t bring home fuckbuddies and keep me up in the middle of the night. He was also one HELL of a lot less of a slob.

    Just apply the Wheaton rule (Don’t be an asshole) and everyone will be fine.

  20. robnrun Says:

    Funny how Israel, the UK, Germany and France all manage…but honestly, the US is obsessed with sex. Of course, I am perhaps radical, I don’t feel (as a woman) that there should be a separate set of standards for women in the military. There should be a standard and if any homo sapiens can meet it and do their job as needed, who cares? As for the rest, practice a bit of self-control, people. Rules on fraternization, harassment, assault and all the rest will still be in play.
    There is another insidious result of DADT: a majority of people age twenty-five and younger, middle-class white, college bound, from ‘blue’ areas have grown up with open homosexuality as a normal part of their life. DADT (at least in my experience in teaching this group at college) tends to come up as a primary reason as to why they would not consider the military, and further more consider the military to be knuckle-draggers (their view, not mine!).
    Now maybe this doesn’t matter, certainly the current US military is very effective; but it can’t help the growing divide.

  21. Matt G Says:

    “(Lesbians, as usual, are never mentioned, either because what the wimmens do is boring, or because that’s kind of hot and therefore okay.)”

    Uh, the latter.

  22. julie Says:

    well said!!!!!

  23. Matt G Says:

    Hey! People!
    You’re reading LabRat and Stingray here. We KNOW you’re for an egalitarian treatment of soldiers. You wouldn’t have taried long if you thought “all them queers oughta be drummed out, tarred ‘n’ feathered, and then shipped off to, like, France or someplace!”

    Statistically, you’re likely to be straight, and here, you’re likely to believe in equal treatment of human beings.

    I point this out to save you time in typing that response, so that you can move on to encouraging Stingray to actually type something, and to maybe put together a useful Top Ten list. Say, of Tattoos Women Should NEVER Get, and Most Overlooked Useful Calibers of Ammunition.

  24. staghounds Says:

    That is brilliantly true, LR, and the last sentence the best refutation of a special policy of any kind about sexual attraction I’ve ever heard.

    Pearlhaqr- “Personally, being shot at seems a lot more distressing than being hit on by someone of a flavor I don’t find attractive.”

    I HAVE had several of both experiences, and you are right- #1 not distressing at all, #2 mildly so.

    The post-experience exhilarations were much greater for the second than the first, too.

    BUT, I have been neither raped nor wounded, so grain of salt from me, too.

  25. Stuart the Viking Says:

    I spent a few years in the US Marines, and on a couple occasions shared accommodations with fellow Marines who were gay (I am strait). The first occasion, it was a two-man tent in the field. I don’t think my tent-mate knew that I knew of his being gay, but there wasn’t/wouldn’t have been a problem either way. The second time I shared a three-man room in the barracks with a “gay couple”. There weren’t any problems that time either. They didn’t want to “do it” in front of me any more than I wanted to see it. I did accidentally catch them… umm… “changing clothes” at the same time (with one of their racks rumpled and the other one not) a couple of times. After the first few times they figured out that unlocking and opening their wall lockers in advance would help with that particular cover, hehe, not the brightest tools in the shed those.

    The point is, it was never a problem. They didn’t need special accommodations for their sexuality any more than I did. All that was required was mutual respect and courtesy. That is something that is required whenever there are people living in close proximity. In my experience, the “gays” in the military already default to this, probably because they know that they are in the vast minority, a minority that historically has never been protected as such.

    s

  26. Sod Says:

    Labrat,
    Awesome post. You’re absolutely right about the lying to each other thing – and isn’t it tragicomical that much is made of the uniquely close and honest bonds that exist between “real men” in a male-only environment, yet for a lot of guys (I’d venture to say, most guys) the only way to fit into the “real man” mold is by cutting off some pretty important bits of yourself?

    Dr. Feelgood,
    The other alternative is that everyone who wishes to serve in the military (the police, the firemen’s corps, etc.) comes prepared to endure the hardship of having their naked body viewed by other people some of whom may have a sexual response to it – and prepared to accept that should THEY have a sexual response to a colleague’s body, they should handle it like a grownup and not molest or disrespect the other party. Nobody gets separate facilities; nobody gets a free pass to be crude or coercive.

  27. Speakertweaker Says:

    Well said. Very, very well said.

    I’m sure the zomg teh gayzors!!!!1!! types are further incensed now that they are being compared to wimmens, instead of simply being called out for being “scairt of gay cooties”…

    tweaker

  28. usa111 Says:

    I believe we should have pictures of Tiffani Amber so as to properly adjudicate this matter. Speaking only for myself, I shall examine them closely in order to more fully understand LabRat’s point.

  29. jeff Says:

    Just curious, are any of you folks that object to “opening the closet door” in the military actually active duty or prior service? It seems to me that most of the service members here have no real problem with it, and as prior service (97-03) I dont either. Regardless of policy, all units have gays of both flavors (male and female), and everyone learns to deal with it. I really dont care where your affections lay, as long as you are competent in your job and wont let me down when I need it. IMHO, the military is ready, it’s just the twits playing politics that are making this a big deal.

  30. Robert Says:

    Great post, LabRat!

  31. George Smith Says:

    I would like to go back to a point someone made earlier … the influence a CIC has over the mindset of senior military leaders. Up here in the Great White North, as a result of a political decision to “unify” the Forces, Canada entered a period of careerist military leadership. (This coincided with a period when the only military operations undertaken were those of the “peacekeeping” variety … so they were all pretty “safe”..)

    Thus, we had an entire generation of leaders … more so the commissioned but also including non-commissioned officers … whose primary interests were not their units, the members of those units, true combat effectiveness, mission awareness, etc., etc. Just like the civil bureaucracy and much of commercial managers, the only thing that mattered was their career … a career that was to be endured as safely as possible.

    The culmination of that was our mission to Somalia … and the embarrassing and repugnant activities of a small number of troops with the Canadian Paratroop battalion.

    Fortunately, in the 90s, our (then) government decided to participate in the Afghanistan military mission and much of the loss in trust, integrity, honour and combat effectiveness has been regained by the Army. The Naval and Air Forces have also contributed troops to the mission.

    This is all to say that the military will … inevitably … reflect the government and CIC of the day. Just as Eisenhower was able to end racial discrimination by fiat, Clinton was able to impugn the honour of serving members of the American military with DADT. But then, which of the two had actually served?

    Those who are opposed to the ending of the ban on gay/lesbian members of the armed forces have never truly asked themselves to look at DADT. DADT is an official requirement to not only lie about yourself if you’re gay, perhaps, but also to lie about the presence of gays in the military. To me, that means that anyone endorsing DADT is endorsing a practice, a requirement to lie.

    Where is the honour in that?

    The Canadian military has had its own problems with gays and lesbians … but it has not been because we have pretended they didn’t exist. Instead, we’ve been guilty of discrimination and unjustifiable harassment in terms of schooling, promotions, etc.

    Acknowledge it. Live with it. Grow the fuck up.

    Regards.

  32. elmo iscariot Says:

    JC said:

    Granting official recognition to a minority group leads inevitably to special treatment for that group.

    Uh-huh… So then, we shouldn’t “recognize” Jews by letting them serve openly in the military either, ’cause once you give them uppity folks an inch they’ll demand special treatment?

    The pregnancy rate on USN fighting ships can serve as a cautionary tale.

    You’re in great luck. I doubt the repeal of DADT will significantly increase the pregnancy rate on USN fighting ships. ;)

  33. Laughingdog Says:

    “welcome to what every single human female on the fucking planet deals with from puberty onward.”

    You’re missing one key difference. Women in the military don’t have to share living space and showers with the men. If there’s a guy that creeps them out a bit, they at least don’t have to periodically stand around that guy with no clothes on.

    It’s easy to not care about being oggled when you don’t have to eat, work, sleep, and shower a few feet away from the person doing the oggling.

    More importantly, the way that the Navy reacted to the Tailhook scandal left a long standing double standard. If a woman complains about harassment, people jump to address it. If a man feels the same way, people rarely acknowledge it.

  34. Laughingdog Says:

    ““(Lesbians, as usual, are never mentioned, either because what the wimmens do is boring, or because that’s kind of hot and therefore okay.)”

    Uh, the latter.”

    MattG, you clearly aren’t familiar with what the lesbians in the military look like, or at least the ones in the Navy. They aren’t mentioned because no one really wants to picture it.

    Lipstick lesbians rarely exist outside of porn.

  35. Dedicated_Dad Says:

    First, to say “DADT forces men to lie about who they are” is absolute BS. It’s not “you must LIE”, it’s “(WE) don’t ask (you) don’t tell.

    Bottom line: Keep it to yourself. We don’t want to know about it.

    If you can’t keep your “proclivities” to yourself when on-base/on-deployment, then you have a problem. PERIOD.

    Straight men – whether in the military or the corporate world or any other “public” arena – are forced to do the same every day for fear that a wrong word (or no words at all) or a look (or NOT looking) will be interpreted as “sexual harassment.”

    DADT merely holds homosexuals to the same standards as straight men — and we need its equivalent in the civilian workplace as well.

    Here’s a story from my own experience. A group of men are talking in a lunch room. Woman overhears men being men (or thinks she does), and files a “sexual harassment/hostile workplace” complaint. The men are disciplined. Any further accusation will cost them their jobs, and likely their career.

    Shortly thereafter, the men are again having lunch and the woman walks in – at which point the men become silent and avoid even looking at her, fearing being wrongly accused again. She files another complaint.

    What are these men to do? Damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

    This happens every day.

    As to the rest, I think Fred Reed summed it up best ( http://www.fredoneverything.net/HomoScoutiens.shtml ) :

    “… Here, really, is the objection to having the openly homosexual in the military. Men do not like being eyed by other men in the barracks and showers.

    Pretending that the issue is discrimination rather than sexual privacy makes harder arguing against homosexuality in the barracks, which is why the pretense is made.

    The reality is that soldiers don’t want a gunny sergeant, who they know is gay as an Easter bonnet, who has the power to make life miserable, leering at them if the towel drops.

    If I suggested that male soldiers be permitted to shower with the women, everyone would understand without explanation the objections of the females.

    If I then suggested that I suffered discrimination because I couldn’t shower with the women, people would laugh.

    But, for reasons that elude me, the objection to unwanted intimacy is thought frivolous if the sexual predator is of the same sex as the prey.

    It isn’t frivolous…”

    EXACTLY.

    The author tells us all about her horrible life, dealing with all those leering men, but forgets to mention (or even consider) that she *MIGHT* actually APPRECIATE *SOME* of those advances.

    Straight men will not.

    Ever.

    Period.

    I also don’t see *her* (or any of the other armchair [or actual] -generals here or elsewhere) volunteering to shower with those men who might desire her, (or them) — as she’s trying to force me or my son to do.

    Forcing this issue *WILL* reduce – by a significant margin – the number of heterosexual men who will volunteer to join the military.

    Wait and see.

    If your goal is to bring back conscription, you’re on the right track – otherwise you’re going to gut our force, reduce our readiness, and ruin the best military on the planet — all so some flamers don’t have to hide their flame under a bushel while on active service.

    It’s not discrimination – it’s about sexual privacy.

    Unless you plan to make our military a free-for-all with everyone – of any gender or orientation – living and showering together then you’re actually discriminating against straight males by stripping them of sexual privacy and not letting them ogle the naked women.

    If homosexual men get to have an eye-candy smorgasbord, then by G*d so should straights.

    You girls ready to support that?

    You straight guys ready to take every shower with some swishy homosexual eyeing and hitting-on you every day?

    No, you’re not — you just want the men in our military to be forced to do so – so that you can feel better because things are (in your muddled “mind”) “Fair.

    Think on this: In every aspect of “public” life – on the job or in the military, a single unwanted advance on a woman WILL ruin a man’s career. Likewise, any deprecating comment toward a gay man will also ruin a straight man’s career.

    How do you suppose the military will handle similar complaints by a straight man against a homosexual one? Do you think they’ll default to the side of the straight man, and risk being accused of “harassment” against the homosexual?

    Keep drinkin’ that kool-aid.

    The homosexual will skate free – as a member of an Officially Sanctioned Victim Group – and the heterosexual man will suffer.

    Do you think he (or anyone who knows him) will “re-up” at the end of his cycle?

    Keep drinkin’ that kool-aid.

    Think.

    Don’t just regurgitate the propaganda you’ve been fed.

    THINK.

    Use that lump on your neck for something besides a hat-rack.

    This isn’t about “fairness” or “discrimination” (The HORROR!) — it’s FAR more complex an issue, and our national security and military readiness are at stake.

    Stop drinking the kool-aid.

    THINK.

    DD

  36. Dr. Feelgood Says:

    Sod, I addressed that alternative in a comment elsewhere, so sorry to have neglected it here. Once again, it serves my point that the double standard exists. The logical extension of your idea is that men and women may not be segregated either, unless you can demonstrate that such segregation is due to something other than overt sexuality.

    BTW, I’m all in favor of informed consent. I am prior service, I chose to enlist under Kiln-ton and served with male and female DADT peers (and a couple of leaders, we suspected). Like any other statistical grouping most were fine and some were worthless (these tended to out themselves and find the door). But for the top brass to believe that openly admitting homosexuality won’t impact recruiting and retention is simply a head-in-the-sand mentality. I confess that I hope potential service-members’ love-of-country exceeds their distaste for uncomfortable and embarassing circumstances. Mine surely did, but then I’m about as rational as one can be in opposition to homosexuality. It just doesn’t elicit a visceral response. Opposition is a logical extension of my worldview that considers it to be a moral failure. That doesn’t mean I’m not passionate about my beliefs, just that said passion is derived from other than my opposition to homosexuality.

    However, even the widespread acceptance of homosexuals among the military ranks still wouldn’t relieve the government of its obligation to provide reasonable accomodation, and that to the same standard of sexual privacy currently enjoyed by men and women. Military leaders can avoid this responsibility under DADT because they technically don’t allow homosexuals to serve. Once a lifestyle is officially sanctioned then it has to be accomodated.

    But I don’t expect it to be addressed at all. The DoD is better served by DADT (for money and manpower), so they will repeal it in name and continue to operate as usual–at least until someone makes a ruckus (and only God knows what will happen from there). Recruits won’t ask about homosexuals serving openly, recuiters won’t tell. Informed consent will be paid lip service, and the double standard will simply be ignored. That’s not good policy.

  37. Laughingdog Says:

    I want to make one thing clear, since it’s not obvious from my earlier comments. I don’t care a lick about the sexual preferences of my co-workers, because I don’t have to live or shower with them. I probably wouldn’t care if I shared berthing space with someone that was openly gay, as long as they can behave like a decent human being and not some gay pig. Hell, a few sideways glances in the shower don’t affect the quality of my life nearly as much as the occasional guy that doesn’t seem to understand how to use soap.

    My main issues with DADT are the double standard that would be in play as a result and the fact that history has shown that the Navy is incapable of handling the issues that will occasionally arise from this.

    The double standard would be that women in the Navy are given separate berthing and showers so that men can’t see them unclothed. Nevermind the fact that most of them are women you’d never want to see naked. Yet men should just suck it up if they’re being oggled in the shower or while trying to change clothes at their bunk?

    What I really love about your post is that you’re not in the military. Yet you’re more than willing to go way beyond disagreeing with DADT to the point of making personal attacks on those who would actually be affected by it that don’t want it to change. Saying “Harden. The fuck. Up.” is really brave when you aren’t actually affected by this at all yourself.

    How about this. I think everyone in the south-west should have their income tax jacked up to 60% to fund things here in Virginia. Don’t like that? Harden. The fuck. Up.

    Wow! In that context, that doesn’t look like a real argument as much as it looks immature and dickish. Almost like the type of argument that we criticize rabid liberals of using.

  38. elmo iscariot Says:

    Well. I feel very fortunate to have Dedicated_Dad here.

    He just did more to discredit DADT than I possibly could have.

  39. LabRat Says:

    I will address the substance of arguments made in a post of its own when I have the time.

    Laughingdog: I could not have made it any clearer exactly who I was addressing, so if you chose to take it personally anyway… harden the fuck up, I guess. No, I’m not in the military (though I find it interesting that everyone in this thread who has cited military experience so far seems to agree with me, though I am of course aware people with it who don’t exist), but that doesn’t give me any less right to an opinion on the matter of people citing specifically the unfairness of male soldiers being exposed to males who might find them attractive.

    As to the shower issue specifically, I’ve got news for you, snowflake: female soldiers have to deal with this too- both in terms of those among them who are lesbians (and I find your offhand dismissal of them as all ugly boars hilarious in light of your butthurt over my insensitvity, have you ever actually met any?), and in the increasingly common cases of female soldiers in combat zones where separate facilities are not available. No, they’re not supposed to be there, but they’re there anyway because sometimes combat demands it. I’m not asking anything special of male soldiers at all- I’m asking them to deal with what the women already are with the same grace.

  40. Kristopher Says:

    ( extreme sarcasm tag )

    Dedicated_Dad:

    What really brought the army down was Eisenhower ending discrimination.

    Imagine having to eat in the same room as blacks .. or even take orders from them. Or having them actually give orders to lower ranked white female soldiers. Miscegenation could happen!

    And now they are talking about exposing our troops to gay cooties, as well as female and black cooties?

    How will our blond-haired and blue eyed lads possibly maintain their purity of essence in such an environment?

    ( extreme sarcasm ends )

  41. Laughingdog Says:

    Here’s a good example of the double-standard that has been going on for the last couple decades in at least the Navy, if not all branches of the military.

    http://townhall.com/news/us/2010/02/03/issue_of_gays_in_military_still_splits_the_ranks
    “In a phone interview, 30-year-old Fair, of San Antonio, Texas, said he had a troubling experience as a young private when a higher-ranking male soldier propositioned him in a California barracks room. Fair, of San Antonio, Texas, said he reported the incident to their commanders, who took no action.”

    White males have really turned into the only non-protected class in there. If a racial minority cries “racist”, or a woman cries out “harassment”, your career is over. No evidence is needed. The allegation is enough on its own. If a woman cries rape, you’re going to jail, even if there’s no evidence. There was a report recently (I think it was linked on the Agitator blog) that most of the rape allegations in the military are false ones thrown out by women to avoid consequences of their own actions. It came up after that girl cried rape in NYC and it turned out one of the guys involved had recorded it on his cell phone, proving her to be a liar.

    But a straight male complains about harassment by another male, even with DADT in place, and he was ignored.

  42. Laughingdog Says:

    “Laughingdog: I could not have made it any clearer exactly who I was addressing, so if you chose to take it personally anyway… harden the fuck up, I guess.”

    Yes you did make it clear. You were clearly directing that at every male that doesn’t believe DADT should go away because they don’t want to be sexually harassed in their berthing spaces. That’s a pretty broad brush. I also made it clear that I don’t have an issue with you having an opinion on DADT. It’s the dismissive way you present it. Using the “you’re all being a bunch of fucking pansies” approach doesn’t tend to sway many people.

    BTW, I’ve spent 4 years in the Navy and, after four years in college, have worked on Navy ships nearly every single day of the last 11 years. My opinion on Navy women is based on constant daily exposure. It’s not that there aren’t any attractive ones. The attractive ones are just very rare.

  43. radtec Says:

    My question is: Why does anyone on the face of the earth…need/seek out/demand that everyone else recognize their ‘screw preference’?? At work, I don’t want to have conversations with you about your preference of religion or sexual positions or the type of people you like to *uck. The same goes for people who demand/seek out/need recognititon for their skin color/heritage. Shut it!

    People are people. Sign up. Do what you are trained and told. Advance within the system. *uck and suck and whine on your own time and off school grounds.

    Sheesh. Why do people make this so complicated? Oh, I know..silly me..because it PAYS to keep it complicated.

  44. robnrun Says:

    Huh, I am female; I don’t see what the big deal is with sharing a shower, or a room even, with guys. I have done so, for almost six years in dorms. It never bothered me, even though being bookish and less than well endowed in the looks department, the comments I got weren’t exactly friendly. But as long as it was ‘hands off’ who cares? I learned not to care back in grade school.

  45. General Jack D. Ripper Says:

    @Kristopher: I have nothing against homosexuals, but I do deny them my essence.

  46. Me Says:

    Everyone said it already: DADT does not stop gays from serving in the army. It stops politiking, nothing else.
    Those who been around the last 20 years know, that in context of gays it’s only called “equal rights”, in reality it’s “special rights” and if there’s to be anything special in the army, it should not be the politiking loudmouths.
    The usual thing here – the loudest say in the matter comes from those who has no intention to serve, DADT notwithstanding, for them it’s just a matter of principle to wave their agenda. And the concern of the others is based on some previous experience, like with the family policies. The problem with marriage nowadays is that one group gets more special than the other and those mistreated just losing their with to participate in the mistreatment. The same night easily happen to the army.
    I know that you can say that now 5% of men consider themselves mistreated by 95% and don’t want to enlist, but I am afraid that after DADT repeal the numbers might get reversed.

  47. Kristopher Says:

    General Jack D. Ripper:

    I support your right to deny others your essence. Unless given a lawful order otherwise ( “Mr. Christiansen, you will have relations with this island’s chief’s daughter.” ).

  48. Jenny Says:

    The military does not exist to make any individual feel better about themselves, endorse a social position, or cater to one group of prejudices over another.

    The military exists to defend the country by killing people and breaking things. If excluding a particular group benefits the combat effectiveness of the military, it’s their responsibility to do so.

    Whether the policy aids said effectiveness is an entirely separate question as to whether it’s fair. But really, it’s the one we should be having.

       

    ….that said… my take is “when the job of your average military man was march and fire on command, most anyone could do it, and homosexuality was a universal taboo… yes, the policy made sense. When the job entails a lengthy, detailed technical education AND physical standards, a good soldier is hard to replace, and the taboo is fading – the policy is probably starts to cost more that its benefit.”

    But regardless- in this instance, the decision shouldn’t be based primarily on “what’s fair” but “what makes it most likely the guys and gals in the field can do their job effectively and come home in one piece.”

  49. Stingray Says:

    “How about this. I think everyone in the south-west should have their income tax jacked up to 60% to fund things here in Virginia. Don’t like that? Harden. The fuck. Up.”

    Sorry, but that analogy is so profoundly flawed I couldn’t let it go. Your comparison is that having the fruits of my personal labor removed arbitrarily under penalty of force is identical to expecting me to not cry like a little baby if I think another man looked at my butt. There’s something of a disconnect there.

    Really, if you’re going to put forth a comparison so fundamentally unsound and idiotic, at least work Hitler in so we can give you full marks. Try it this way next time: “How about this. I think everybody in the Southwest should have Hitler look at their butt.” It carries every bit of logical validity as your own offering, but since it dings the Godwin bell it could have earned you the kewpie doll.

  50. Sod Says:

    To all the guys who are talking about women in the army as “not the kind you want to see naked” and such – have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe, a gay man might also be a bit selective about what he wants to look at? That maybe he might not, in fact, be driven to desperate randiness by the sight of any male body no matter how hairy/smelly/pudgy?

    I swear, sometimes I think your sort are more scared by the idea that gays would NOT want you.

  51. LabRat Says:

    While particularly egregious comments are being addressed: I’ll echo Elmo, DD, and thank you for demonstrating clearly not only what is wrong with DADT, but what is wrong with *you*.

    If you’re going to seriously sit there and argue men harassing women is more acceptable than the *possibility* of gay men looking at straight men (which is already going on) because “she might like it”, you’re pretty much exactly the kind of idiot I’m going off on. I also *love* how you follow the exact trail I mocked in pretending that lesbians do not exist, women are never in combat, and therefore women aren’t being subjected to showering with people that find them attractive.

    As for your argument, people said the exact same thing in Israel, Canada, and the UK during their debate, and their enlistment numbers did not markedly drop. We started openly admitting gay soldiers as long as they were willing to lie and numbers did not markedly drop. You could be right here, but sneering at me won’t change things a bit.

    Read the code of conduct and if you are not prepared to argue further in a more civil fashion, do not darken my door again or further comments will be deleted.

  52. Alleged Wisdom Says:

    Earlier today I had a conversation with a classmate who thought that a gay guy was flirting with him. He was freaking out over this and making a huge deal about it. He actually said ‘I am never going to go out to a bar again.’

    I then said something like ‘What’s the big deal? Women deal with unwanted attention all the time.’

    Then he said, repeatedly ‘But I am not like that. I am not attracted to men.’

    This was telling. I suspect that a big reason for homophobia is some subconscious voice saying “If he is attracted to you, that means he thinks you are gay. And if he thinks you are gay, then maybe other people also think you are gay. Hey, maybe you are gay.”

    And he couldn’t deal with that. For some reason, a lot of guys are really afraid that people might think that they are gay. A lot of people may be afraid of military integration because they fear that they will be thought gay if they live with openly gay people.

  53. pax Says:

    I then said something like ‘What’s the big deal? Women deal with unwanted attention all the time.’

    Then he said, repeatedly ‘But I am not like that. I am not attracted to men.’

    Being attracted to men-in-general is not the same thing as being attracted to the specific person ogling you at the moment.

    Hard to articulate this without sounding like a man-hater (I’m happily married, thanks — and married life is good…), but …

    How arrogant!

    When a woman says she doesn’t want a guy’s attention, she might just want to be left alone and maybe she’ll change her mind later.

    On the other hand, she might mean that his physical being is repulsive and disgusting and gross to her, and that the very thought of his paws on her body makes her want to vomit.

    Does this guy really think he has never, even once, had that effect on even one woman who’s known him? Or that no male has never repulsed any individual straight woman every last little bit as much as the thought of male-attention-in-general repulses him?

  54. Anonymous Says:

    I’m mostly with Bastige and Feelgood. And being stuck with gays in a squad bay can be tough on everybody because it is tough on some people. If two dozen people are mellow and one dozen freak out, it means the entire platoon is useless. I’m with the cracker who thinks gays are monsters, because I have to choose between a dozen crackers, who soldier pretty good, and a distracted gay guy who probably doesn’t.

    Combat units are 100% male, 99% white, almost entirely Christian, and overwhelmingly from the deep south or Rocky Mountain west. It isn’t part of their culture, and they won’t accept it. THEY ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE! Get over it.

    Put an 18 year old guy in a shower with 40 hot 18 to 20 year old females and he isn’t going to be worth s–t. I’m sure the same goes for a gay. He’s still a man, with an adolescent man’s appetites and lack of control.

    What will happen is an increase in “Friendy Fire ” accidents, and it will be tolerated, because it has to be. Trust me on this, it was.

    I will deny I ever said this and call myself a liar if quoted, but I know of an entire platoon of African-American troublemakers at an Army firebase in 1969 that were offed by MP’s and the base security detail. It was that or open civil war while under enemy fire. The VC’s biggest score of the month, and they never fired a shot.

    As for women in combat, I’d rather have someone like my Grandmother or my kid sister backing me in a fighting hole than any liberal man. But I have to admit they’re the exception.

    The Russians tried women infantry in 1940. I believe the figure was 600,000 of them. These were women who worked as farmers, welders, construction workers. Women who had lived through the Russian Civil War. After 6 months, most were emotionally destroyed and useless, and half the survivors were pregnant.

    Women are actually emotionally stronger than men for a single massive shock, but most simply lack the glands and hormones for sustained stress. I work with the Israeli Army on a daily basis, building the TAVOR assault rifle. They do not use women in combat at all, and never have. Support yes, active combat no. As desperate as they have been at times, they found out early on, in the Haganah days of the 1940’s, that it simply doesn’t work.

    “Right or wrong”, you’re stuck with Crackers for the point of the spear. If you want to replace them, where will you look?

  55. Al Terego Says:

    I think a great many with a less than enthusiastic attitude towards an openly gay-inclusive military, base that recalcitrance on something that is at once less personal than the easily-dismissed worries of being ogled/harrassed and yet far more personal in that it embodies concern for the sanctity and solidity of the mission and those who carry it out. I’ve not seen that addressed here or elsewhere.

    Paraphrased from my comment at Tam’s and Marko’s:

    “Every person who desires to serve their country should haveI that opportunity. Activists however, of any persuasion, have no place in the military. Find a way to exclude them, their agendas and diversions, and I can’t see how any fair-minded, freedom-loving person could disagree.”

    Think all of the gays in uniform just want to quietly be themselves and do their duty? Think some won’t enter into the in-your-face activism that creates such a distasteful picture and reputation of gays in general based on the activities of a very visible and vocal few? Wrong, they are there. If you want your rights respected, you will respect mine, too. If you want equal treatment regardless of your personal inclinations, keep your activists and your agenda and those that force unwanted upon notice others the fuck out of my military and out of my son’s/daughter’s foxhole.

    But how will you do that? You can’t even keep your activist out of the white house. From the comment:

    “I wonder how gays will view one of their front-burner issues being reduced to a few sentences in the SOTU essay of a bright-eyed career activist to further a purely political, and amazingly crass and cold, agenda.

    All that high-minded inclusiveness? That’s good. But the real world is not nearly as easily defined, and neither are the hidden goals and agendas of so many on issues that affect us all so much. Our military can ill afford any further diversion or weakening regardless of the purported motives. Tread carefully, and thoughtfully, and cynically, anytime anything is supposedly so simple and cut-and-dried.

    Al Terego

  56. LabRat Says:

    Anon: the problem is that nearly all your arguments about what “the crackers” can or can’t handle applied every bit as much to racial integration, and Truman took a public lashing for those reasons. Somehow, they swallowed their bigotry and sucked it up. I don’t really see anyone asserting that the American military was substantially weakened by racist crackers (of which there were many) being forced to work with those dirty, stupid, uppity negroes. The rest are mostly speculation about what “gays” can or can’t handle, and I reiterate: we already allow gay people in the military, and they are already showering with the straights.

    Al: the reason it hasn’t been addressed much is because your argument boils down to “we shouldn’t give (vocal minority) equal rights and opportunities because they might want politically inconvenient things next”, and that is or should be a repugnant argument to any person who claims to value individual liberty. Right now atheists, members of minority religions, minorities themselves, are all allowed in the military without having to be “closeted”. Sometimes they are activist about it. We deal with those on a case by case basis- just as we do every other individual.

    I fully support giving the heave-ho to anyone who cannot or will not do the job they signed on for. I draw the line at barring them as a class because they might not.

  57. Brandon Says:

    Combat units are…99% white….

    Anonymous, that’s just pathetic. Learn to use Google before you go off quoting numbers, and don’t use numbers from sites like Stormfront.

  58. Traveller Says:

    I’ve been there through multiple deployments. I have over 20 years in the service. I consider DADT one of the least productive exercises to come down the pike. The few folks I even suspected of being gay have been as hard working as the rest of us.

    I will also say that I am a married hetero with no inclination to change. I’ve found amongst the general population that “I’m not interested” usually works. I’d even argue that it is probably more effective directed at a gay man by me that directed at a hetero male by any female.

    Last comment: The worst case I ever dealt with in the service was a female enlisted who was threatened with being “outed” as gay if she didn’t sleep with a male enlisted. It broke down to “He said, she said”, but would have been no threat with gays allowed in the military. This last is a larger threat to good order and discipline than the acknowledged presence of gays.

  59. Matt G Says:

    LaughingDog said:
    “MattG, you clearly aren’t familiar with what the lesbians in the military look like, or at least the ones in the Navy. They aren’t mentioned because no one really wants to picture it.”

    Haw. LD, what’s clear to you isn’t clear to the gays and lesbians that I routinely spend time around. I suppose that you didn’t get my humorous (well, I thought it was funny.) drift. The point is not what the reality is– it’s what the fantasy is. And fantasy is what this entire silliness is based on.

    The fantasy of the lesbian, whatever the reality, is so prevalent, that to ignore its presence among policy-makers and pundits is daft.

  60. scottw Says:

    SO under DADT; you don’t tell, we don’t ask. You serve..You keep your sexual choices to yourself…Why change it? It’s nothing but a pc issue , period.DADT has worked so far, leave it alone….

  61. staghounds Says:

    ” fantasy is what this entire silliness is based on.”

    And I figured out a fantasy transition team!

  62. Zendo Deb Says:

    Always interesting to see what the studies show… and this is from the Army.

    http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/03summer/belkin.htm

    “24 countries currently allow gays in the military.”

    “no study has shown that any of the 24 nations that allow homosexual soldiers to serve in uniform has suffered a decline in performance.”

    And I love the Israeli Defense Force. (Anyone think they aren’t an effective fighting force?)

    “In Israel, Stuart Cohen, a professor at the Center for Strategic Studies who is recognized as a leading expert on the Israel Defense Forces, remarked, “As far as I have been able to tell, homosexuals do not constitute an issue [with respect to] unit cohesion in the IDF. In fact, the entire subject is very marginal indeed as far as this military is concerned.”[12] Reuven Gal, the director of the Israeli Institute for Military Studies, wrote, “According to military reports, [homosexuals’] presence, whether openly or clandestinely, has not impaired the morale, cohesion, readiness, or security of any unit.”[13]”

  63. Randall Says:

    Oh dear lord. I don’t check in with AN for a few days and this is what I come back to?

    Ok, I’ve read the comment threads. DD, Anon, Dr. Feelgood and your ilk: you are I D ten T’s.

    My credentials: 13 years in the US Army, as an 11B. I have all of the proper adornments on my uniform: wings, rifles, wreaths, tabs, purple medals, etc. I’ve been shot at in places that DD has probably never heard of and couldn’t spell if he had. I was medically retired as an E7. (Cancer, now in remission for 12 years)

    I have served in combat under 3 presidents (Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton).

    I remember when DADT came into being. Many of the same stupid, idiotic arguments were being made then: unit cohesion, the horrors of being seen naked by one of them there fags, blah blah blah. They were wrong then and they are wrong now.

    It’s all crap. Labrat is right – any soldier who is too weak-minded to deal with being looked at, and even lusted over, by someone they are not attracted to is too weak-minded to be a soldier.

    I knew gays at every stage of my military career, starting in basic training. I have had gays working with me, under me, and commanding me. Most of them were just like everyone else – good soldiers doing a difficult and often dangerous job. Some were serious high-speed hardcases and some were goldbricking slackers more concerned with pogey bait than with staying awake on watch.

    But never, not once, in 13 years, was there a problem in any unit I was a part of concerning gay men, because they were gay. I, and the men I served with, had an unspoken policy of DCDO. Which, of course, stands for Don’t Care, Drive On.

    Now, in fairness, I can’t speak for the entire military, or for any unit I was not a part of. Except for one tour as a Drill Sergeant, I was always in combat-ready units of the type who wore berets before everyone got them. Our overriding concern was combat preparedness – we trained constantly, fired umpteen million rounds of live ammo, and were always expecting to be called out in the middle of the night. We absolutely had to have real fucking tight cohesion. We had to be able to trust everyone else, quite literally, with our very lives.

    Maybe its different in units comprised of cooks and clerks. I don’t know. But I challenge you to find me an SF, Ranger, Delta, Force Recon, SEAL or Pararescue unit where the men give a good goddamn if one of their number is gay, so long as he does his damn job.

  64. J Says:

    Wow, lots of really vile stuff going on in the comments here. I started to write a response, but they I realized how MUCH of it there was.

    Anonymous: Combat units are…99% white….
    Thank you, Anon, for letting us know so quickly and conveniently that you’re making shit up and not worth taking seriously. Why, that saved me eight whole paragraphs I didn’t have to bother reading! What courtesy.

    Dr. Feelgood: Can I just say well-done, man, on the single most brilliant parody of Phyllis Schlafly I have ever read? I have never seen anybody channel that particular anti-ERA silliness quite so effectively. It took me a few paragraphs to catch on, you see, because instead of “Unisex bathrooms! Aaaah! Panic panic panic!” you went with the rather inexplicable “No shared facilities! Aaaaah! Panic panic panic!” But in the end the rather concern-trollish insistence that you were only describing the inevitable result, combined with the pretty neurotic fixation on who might have to change clothes (or shower or urinate or sleep near) who, revealed your satirical purpose. Good job drawing such a clear parallel between the present debate and one of the most ridiculous and embarrassing reactionary moments in American history. I salute you.

  65. Doc 8427 Says:

    As a former Navy Corpsman I can say I personally don’t care one bit who you choose to sleep with or ogle – I know for a fact who I’ll be sleeping with – and it won’t be any of my shipmates.

    What is not being considered here is not the effect of the war fighting aspect of repealing the ban, it is the administrative consequences. If homosexuals are allowed to serve openly, it stands to reason that they will be afforded all the same rights and privileges as heterosexuals – and this includes recognizing marriage. How can the fedrl gummint say you can serve openly, then deny you the right to marry? Or what if a same sex couple is already married and one wants to join the military? This means the military has to recognize the partner for benefits, housing, inheritance, insurance, etc…
    Being cynical, this sounds like a backdoor (no pun intended-really) way to legalize gay marriage at the federal level without having to put the idea up to a vote.
    Before you all go crazy on me and call me a homophobe, let me just say that I support the right of any two non-related consenting adults to marry – gay or otherwise. It’s a difficult and strange world we live in, and if two people can love each other and support each other and bring fulfillment to each other, the have at it. I’m just saying the lifting of this ban has farther reaching implications than just the military.

    Doc

  66. LabRat Says:

    Honestly I’m a bit confused as to how, if the military can chug along for seventeen years with a ridiculous kabuki-theater policy that says “it’s okay to be gay but if you don’t pretend real good otherwise you’re out”, but will be simply forced to recognize marriage if we dispose of it.

    Technically speaking I agree with your argument, I just don’t think it applies exclusively to the military or that it’s going to move at anything but an utterly glacial pace.

  67. Doc 8427 Says:

    It can avoid the whole argument now because if you are outed – you are kicked out. Thus the military can avoid the whole mess. Once it’s allowed, it can’t be some half assed – equal but not completely equal – policy. One of the hallmarks of military life is the fact that the rules apply equally across the ranks. The higher the rank, the better the privlideges – but the UCMJ is the UCMJ. You simply cannot have 2 people of the same rank treated differently.

    Doc

  68. LabRat Says:

    Given that gay people can currently serve legally, isn’t being kicked out for being outed different treatment for people of the same rank?

  69. Doc 8427 Says:

    The military is not kicking you out for being gay, they are kicking you out for admitting you are gay. I know, sounds stupid and counter intuitive, but the military is a strange place. “You can be gay, just shut up about it!” It was wrong then, and it’s wrong now.

    Once you don’t have to be quiet about your sexuality, then you can demand (and expect) all the same rights and priv. of every other sailor/soldier/marine around you.

  70. LabRat Says:

    That’s my point; if the military can require you to lie as a condition of service and get away with this being policy for seventeen years, I have a really hard time buying that they’re just going to have to “Ah, you got us, it’s a fair cop” and grant federal recognition of gay marriage on those grounds. It’s just not politically realistic.

  71. April Says:

    “You don’t like the idea that some man you’re not attracted to might be fantasizing about having sex with you, might be eyeing your fun bits, that there’s even a remote but existing chance he might rape you? Harden. The fuck. Up.”
    Would that piss you off if a man said that to a woman? Just curious.

  72. Stingray Says:

    April, if you would adjust your gaze along your own personal Y-axis, that thing you see sailing off in the distance on the positive half of the line would be the point.