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DADT-22
April 2, 2010 9:17 AM   Subscribe


 
Paging Captain Yossarian.
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:31 AM on April 2, 2010 [31 favorites]


Possibly apocryphal but here's something I heard about Turkey. Apparently the compulsory military service really sucks and one way out of it is be a "practicing homosexual". You can't just say your gay, of course, you have to provide proof. Ideally photographic proof.

Which makes me the person who's job it is to collect said proof must either really hate or really love going to work every morning.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 AM on April 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Which makes me the person who's job it is to collect said proof

Really? You must have some great stories ;)
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:36 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


makes me wonder about*

Argh. How do I just loose whole articles in the process of typing?
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on April 2, 2010


Probably because you've got one hand busy while you look at those photos.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:41 AM on April 2, 2010 [11 favorites]


Argh. How do I just loose whole articles in the process of typing?

You need them to plump up your 'o's.
posted by DU at 9:42 AM on April 2, 2010


"You just had those photos taken to try to weasel out of service."

"No, really, I liked it and will be doing these things regularly!"
posted by Meatbomb at 10:02 AM on April 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Otherwise known as the Klinger Paradox.
posted by Muddler at 10:02 AM on April 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Saxon Kane - i am so glad i wasn't drinking milk when i read your comment or it would have come out of my nose.

anyways, on to the actual issue of the article..

man, i really don't get all this, but i guess that's i'm not homophobic. i mean seriously, what is the big freaking deal? are there people who actually think that because someone is gay, that gay person is going to put unwanted advances on them or something? why is being so freakin' hypersexualized?

women in the military and in civilian life have to CONSTANTLY deal with unwanted advances. i can count on one hand the number of times i have had a lesbian make unwanted advances or make me feel threatened in anyway. no lesbian, butch, femme, or lipstick, has ever grabbed my ass at the bar or hollered at me out their car window on their way down the street.

are these guys in the military just SOOO afraid that some guy might be checking them out that they just can't bear to be around them? if our military is supposed to be (stereotypically) "tough" then what the hell gives?

are there any female higher-ups in the Army who are all freaked out by homosexuals the way that many of these male higher-ups seemed to be freaked by homosexuals? i've only heard interviews and news reports with male commanders (is that the right word for VIPs in the service?)

i'm not gay and i don't care if you are. if you are my friend, you got my back.
why is it so different in the army? do they really thing that because someone is gay, they will totally lose it when the excrement hits the air conditioning?


wow, that was WAY more ranty than i was expecting on this fine afternoon.
if anyone has answers to my questions buried in there, i'd love to hear them.
posted by sio42 at 10:04 AM on April 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


oh - wow, i lost whole words, not just articles. i guess i was busy looking at pictures too.

*sigh*
posted by sio42 at 10:06 AM on April 2, 2010


If your commanding officer demands proof you simply say you're saving your virginity until you're married.
posted by Hammond Rye at 10:09 AM on April 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


i mean seriously, what is the big freaking deal? are there people who actually think that because someone is gay, that gay person is going to put unwanted advances on them or something? why is being so freakin' hypersexualized?

women in the military and in civilian life have to CONSTANTLY deal with unwanted advances.


A cynic might say that the men who feel that way are afraid that other men will treat them the way they treat women.
posted by winna at 10:11 AM on April 2, 2010 [59 favorites]


are there any female higher-ups in the Army who are all freaked out by homosexuals the way that many of these male higher-ups seemed to be freaked by homosexuals?

I suspect that female higher-ups are busy worrying about the way that male soldiers treat female soldiers.

Moreover, given the way that male soldiers often treat female soldiers (including unwanted sexual advances and much worse), I think it is reasonable to expect unwanted sexual advances on men by other men to sharply increase if open homosexuality is permitted in the military. I'm not saying that open homosexuality should not be permitted in the military. I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.
posted by The World Famous at 10:11 AM on April 2, 2010


on non-preview, what winna said.
posted by The World Famous at 10:12 AM on April 2, 2010


are there people who actually think that because someone is gay, that gay person is going to put unwanted advances on them or something? why is being so freakin' hypersexualized?

women in the military and in civilian life have to CONSTANTLY deal with unwanted advances.


You've sort of answered your own question here, but didn't realize it.

I think one of the causes of "gay panic" is the idea that men know how they act toward women, either outwardly or in their own mind. And they assume that gay men are going to act like that toward them, because they're men. And on some level, they may be correct, in that the male brain seems to be wired for visual stimulation, and a lot of men (maybe most of them) do spend their day with their eye flitting from person to person and having mild thoughts of sexual interest / judgement going through their head. (I'm sure this is far from universal, but it does seem to be what the studies are finding.)

So, in a heterosexual man's mind, one of the possible barriers to having gay men around is the idea that somehow, the straight guys are being reduced to the role that women typically play in men's minds -- that is, they're being viewed and sexualized and objectified.

I'm oversimplifying this a lot, but that's actually what more than a few straight friends of mine have told me, pretty point blank, when I invited them to have a drink with me at a gay bar or something. "But if I go in there, all those guys will be checking me out."
posted by hippybear at 10:13 AM on April 2, 2010 [6 favorites]


again, on non-preview, what winna said.
posted by hippybear at 10:14 AM on April 2, 2010


Probably because you've got one hand busy while you look at those photos.

What, The Whelk also works at UCSB's Palm Center?
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2010


I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.

I doubt it. I'm a gay ex-Army guy. Unwanted sexual advances and other arguably bad behavior happen because they're allowed to happen. If a command doesn't want those things to happen, it can bring the hammer down. But nobody really cares, which is why it happens. I guarantee you that the vast middle-management layer in the service will care about gay sexual harassment, because that's the layer that doesn't want gays in the service anyway. Enlisted men don't seem to really care about who sucks dick and who doesn't, and now the very top doesn't seem to care either. It's the officers and senior enlisted ranks who care about this, and it's those same people who don't care if women get harassed.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.

what?

Oh, right. Because gay men have no self-control at all, haven't been conditioned by a lifetime of having a sexuality considered Other by the general population to contain such impulses, and will do what they can to alienate those they have to work closely with because of their sheer animal impulses.

I don't think there was that much problem with unwanted sexual advances in the military happening during the mass influx of volunteers, many of them gay, which happened in the 40s and 50s. But I've only seen a couple of documentaries on that era of military service, and as they were speaking from a point of view supporting the gay military cause, perhaps they glossed over the huge amount of man-on-man sexual harassment which was taking place. [some amount of hamburger]
posted by hippybear at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


A cynic might say that the men who feel that way are afraid that other men will treat them the way they treat women.

I just want to make sure that gets repeated and emphasised.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:18 AM on April 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


hippybear, I don't think you're honestly responding to what I actually said, and I'm not going to argue with you.
posted by The World Famous at 10:27 AM on April 2, 2010


I'm not looking for an argument. I'm just calling out bullshit when I see it.
posted by hippybear at 10:34 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm against gay people being allowed in the military. I'm against straight people being allowed in the military.

I don't think anybody should be allowed in the military. Let's make this a glass ceiling for everybody, eh?
posted by dunkadunc at 10:41 AM on April 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Man, if only there were some countries out there that already allowed gay people to serve that we could use as examples.
posted by MrVisible at 10:44 AM on April 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not looking for an argument. I'm just calling out bullshit when I see it.

You're seeing it because you're imagining it and ascribing meaning to my words that is not there. Some men have self control and some don't. Gay or not has nothing to do with it. Some men are sexual predators and some are not. Gay or not has nothing to do with it. Soldiers are trained to be aggressive predators. Gay or not has nothing to do with it. Soldiers, throughout the history of the military, have committed uncounted sexual atrocities - both against men and against women. Gay or not has nothing to do with it.

Now - here's the crucial part: In the modern U.S. military, male soldiers very often commit egregious acts against female soldiers. The military doesn't do nearly enough to stop that. Because of the military's institutionalized discrimination against gay soldiers, the action that it takes against even innocuous homosexual conduct is disrpoportionate to the action that it takes against heterosexual harassment and worse.

What the military should be doing is a) getting rid of DADT, and b) cracking down on sexual harassment and misconduct across the board. But it is unlikely to do both of those things. Instead, it will likely do a), while not doing b). And that will likely eventually eliminate the disparity between the way that the military treats incidents of heterosexual harassment and the way that it treats incidents of homosexual conduct. Initially, as me & my monkey points out, discriminatory attitudes will result in continued disparity in treatment, with middle-management enforcing rules against harassment in homosexual scenarios far more than they are enforced in heterosexual scenarios.
posted by The World Famous at 10:53 AM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seriously... this is the list of countries that allow homosexual people to serve in the military. If none of their military-industrial complexes have fallen apart completely, then perhaps we can learn some lessons there.

We're not blazing a trail here. We're trying to get off (yet another) short list that includes North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore.

Maybe that can be our rallying cry. "Let's be more mature about this than Kim Jong-Il!"
posted by MrVisible at 10:54 AM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


*Kicks DADT into a well* "This is Spartaaaa!"
posted by adipocere at 10:58 AM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


The don't ask, don't tell policy seems kind of ridiculous. As a way to get around an even more ridiculous policy about gay people in the military, it leads to several weird consequences. People outing other people out of spite. Commanders having to figure out if people are claiming to be gay to get out of military service.

The best thing would, of course, be to change the policy that's at the root of all this. But that doesn't seem to be politically feasible yet. Maybe what they should do, in the mean time, is add a third clause to don't ask, don't tell: don't know.

Make it a policy that if you're in command and someone comes out to you, or outs someone else to you, you didn't hear it. If it's in writing, you never saw it. You are impervious to this information in all forms. Such reports do not exist and never have. If someone shows one to you, you say "I don't see where it says anything like that."

That would be ridiculous too, but maybe the consequences would be more tolerable?
posted by FishBike at 11:02 AM on April 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.

I think you're probably right about this. Do you think this is likely to add to the existing situation (unwanted advances on women by men) or do you think this is likely to raise awareness and reduce the overall instance of the existing situation?
posted by davejay at 11:09 AM on April 2, 2010


The whole problem with "don't ask, don't tell" is that it was never enforced against those who didn't respect the order against asking. Now we find that they weren't respecting the order against telling as well.

Every officer who violated either side of "don't ask, don't tell" is guilty of insubordination. If Clinton had made that clear by court martialing the first few officers who a) accused soldiers of being gay or b) listened to accusations without punishing the accusers, it would be a workable policy.

Instead, it's a cruel joke, with all the emphasis on the cruelty and none on the joke. And this is the punch line.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:09 AM on April 2, 2010


, it would be a workable policy.

You've got to be kidding. If only there was a ban on brown hair in the military. Those who have brown hair could bleach it and not tell anyone about it. Commanders who think they see roots better think twice before asking about it because courts martial are in order for anyone asking or telling about brown hair.

GTFO with that absurd nonsense.
posted by Babblesort at 11:22 AM on April 2, 2010


Just had to recall this article about the Brit soldier who came out while in Afghanistan.

I mean, how awesomely cool is it that your supportive mates get you a pink Zac Efron quilt for the barracks? :)
posted by darkstar at 11:31 AM on April 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


So let me see if I have this right:

If you're gay and you want to stay in the military, you have to leave.

If you're gay and you want out of the military, you have to stay.

Can we stop calling it a "volunteer army" now?
posted by Errant at 11:46 AM on April 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


*Kicks DADT into a well* "This is Spartaaaa!"

Well, you know those guys would certainly be against DADT.
posted by electroboy at 12:02 PM on April 2, 2010


I always thought that the (specious) logic was that you couldn't have gays in the military because they'd fall in love with their fellow soldiers and love makes you do things like be afraid to risk your lover's life (similar to restrictions on spouses in law enforcement or medicine, etc.). But then, that wouldn't explain why dudes dating dudes outside of the military would need to be booted.
posted by klangklangston at 12:11 PM on April 2, 2010


Any active duty folks or contractors working at military installations hear any water cooler talk since the DADT review period began? I haven't heard a peep out of the (conservative, usually very vociferous) people that sit around me.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:14 PM on April 2, 2010


Possibly apocryphal but here's something I heard about Turkey. Apparently the compulsory military service really sucks and one way out of it is be a "practicing homosexual". You can't just say your gay, of course, you have to provide proof. Ideally photographic proof.
In the Turkish army homosexuality is cause for failing a medical test. To identify anyone trying to use homosexuality as an excuse to get out of military service, army doctors ask to see photos or videos showing the recruits engaging in sex with a man. And they have to be in the "passive" role. In Turkey being in the active role is considered manly enough not to be proof of homosexuality.
-www.spiegel.de
posted by Sparx at 12:17 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


(hey klang to see you're back after you're accident!)

my BF just brought up that very same argument when i was telling him about this thread here.
he said that his understanding was that it was to prevent conflicts in heat-of-the-moment situations where you'd have to worry about your loved one, much like how spouses can't serve in same unit or why traditionally women have not been in combat roles.

however, as i am typing this, i have to wonder.
DADT would make it impossible to avoid that type of partner/spouse combat situation - if no one knows you're gay and you can't tell anyone, how can anyone avoid putting you and/or your partner in the one of those sticky situations?
posted by sio42 at 12:24 PM on April 2, 2010


In Turkey being in the active role is considered manly enough not to be proof of homosexuality.
So, it's just like prison in america?
posted by 445supermag at 12:29 PM on April 2, 2010


i cannot type today...i meant "hey klang GLAD to see..."
posted by sio42 at 12:35 PM on April 2, 2010


Well, you know those guys would certainly be against DADT.

Actually, they would, in the sense that they didn't want male couples in the Spartan Army. It was the Thebans who were ok with that. And the Sacred Band fought to the death, in its entirety, validating the thesis of its creation: that no man wants to shame their lover by showing cowardice in battle. Philip II of Macedon's statement after defeating the Sacred Band. "Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly," was thought to be directed to the Spartans.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:51 PM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.'

Unwanted sexual advances between men and women happen mostly because of power imbalance between the two genders. There's no such dynamic between two men (in fact, the opposite dynamic between a straight and openly gay man) and thus no reason to believe there will be such an increase in sexual behavior.

Also, regarding your subsequent argument about predatory behavior... all of the servicemembers I personally have known would disagree with this on both fact and principle. The military trains people in combat but first and foremost on how to obey orders and act professionally. Predators may be useful in combat but would be destructive to the military's goals the other 99.99% of the time.
posted by napkin at 1:10 PM on April 2, 2010


“It's the officers and senior enlisted ranks who care about this, and it's those same people who don't care if women get harassed.”

Contrary to my experience. There are many people in the military who couldn’t care less who sucks what where. But when an E-4 is touchy about who’s gay he can make life a problem for a few people and there are plenty of ways to square him away. When a higher ranking officer or NCO has a problem, that can rain down on a lot of people.
So it looks like a larger problem than it is.

I strongly suspect actual unwanted sexual advances would plummet once DADT is rescinded. (The propaganda on it is a different story).
A lot of times you have guys acting out and trying to assert their identities in various ways (not just for sexual orientation reasons). Sometimes as a covert sort of protest. Making it a nonissue cuts down on that.

“Soldiers, throughout the history of the military, have committed uncounted sexual atrocities - both against men and against women.”

There’s a difference between doing that within an occupied territory and doing that within the ranks. Historically rape was a feature in some invasions. (Typically it’s made occupation harder, but prejudices have long lives). But abuse within the ranks really really destroys unit cohesion. So yeah, all the blowhards arguing against homosexuals being bad for morale should be more concerned with sexual harassment. Of course, they’re not legitimately arguing for morale, so bit of a non-issue there as well.
And yeah, it was never a workable policy. You can’t have tacit acceptance and tacit disapproval. There’s no way to follow those orders and keep good people.

“You can't just say your gay, of course, you have to provide proof”
…I’m just picturing a threat like: You won’t let me go? I will go down on you MFer. You want to fuck with me? No, seriously, fuck me. I want out of this outfit.

“I always thought that the (specious) logic was that you couldn't have gays in the military because they'd fall in love with their fellow soldiers”

Yeah, not just specious. Vast misunderstanding and ignorance of military history as well. The Hoplites to begin with. Beyond the Greeks though, group sex (forced or otherwise) has been used as a bonding method. It’s not like ancient (and more recent) commanders weren’t aware of the psychology.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:11 PM on April 2, 2010


In Turkey being in the active role is considered manly enough not to be proof of homosexuality.

Whether it's looking at a veil over someone's face, or at the back of someone's head, it's dominance all the same, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:20 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]



I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.

Why do you think that? WHY? Do you really think that all Homosexuals are running around looking for converts? Where do you get an idea like that? Why do you think that gays are at all interested in having sex with you? Because you are a "real man", and that's what they want? Fat chance, bud.

Or is it because that is the way you operate, or think that heterosexual males operate. Sort of the same crap attitude seen here. How many unwanted sexual advances have you made today?

I'm sorry, I just don't think that is the way it works. Some of my best friends are heterosexual males (Really, It's true.), and I don't think they are all led around by their penises constantly. And neither are gays or lesbians.

I believe there are very few - very few - people that want to have sex with anyone who does not want to have sex with them. Yes, there are rapist in the world, some gay ones perhaps, but almost all gays and, perhaps not you but, almost all straights want something else from relationships and from sex than dominance displays. And I promise you, gays begin learning before junior high how not to make unwanted advances. So you can take your hands away from your crotch now, sorry to bust your bubble or ruin your fantasy, no one wants you that way. Deal with it.
posted by Some1 at 1:20 PM on April 2, 2010


I think one of the causes of "gay panic" is the idea that men know how they act toward women, either outwardly or in their own mind. And they assume that gay men are going to act like that toward them, because they're men.

You know, while I agree with certain aspects of your analysis - that often homophobic men will be the type of men who behave poorly toward women, and expect gay men will behave the same way to them - I'd appreciate it if you'd cut with the crappy sexist generalisation that "all men are arse-grabbing rapists", which is both wrong and offensive.
posted by rodgerd at 1:23 PM on April 2, 2010


I am, however, saying that unwanted sexual advances by men toward other men will most certainly see a dramatic increase when DADT is eliminated.

Even if that hypothetical is true, so what? It's the same inappropriate behavior that would be up to management to deal with, anyway, if it was a man making an unwanted advance towards a woman.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:23 PM on April 2, 2010


(I think The World Famous means statistically, given the way men treat women, Some1)
posted by Smedleyman at 1:24 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd appreciate it if you'd cut with the crappy sexist generalisation that "all men are arse-grabbing rapists", which is both wrong and offensive.

If you'd bothered to read the rest of what I wrote, you'd see that I was trying to keep from universalizing this, and was trying to move it into a more theoretical, biological level involving non-physical contact. Sorry that you responded before you completed reading, but there it is.
posted by hippybear at 1:32 PM on April 2, 2010


The real problem is that United States tends to declare war on countries that have young men with beautiful long eye lashes.
posted by srboisvert at 1:34 PM on April 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


from the way this thread is going, it's apparent that the big issue is stereotypes and generalizations.

i made a big generalization about men in my post way up top.

but i think that as some other commenters have since noted, the dynamic between women and men is often about a power inequality - as seen in that huge thread i'm not linking to right now about why women act all scornful and weird when random guys ask them "whatcha reading?" on the bus or whatever.

i think that maybe that is the root of the problem - not all homofolk are nice, just like all heterofolk are not nice. some people get a kick out of being a predator.

but the given the way that thread about women being in fear in a way that men usually aren't (the threat of sexual violence, in that someone who breaks into your home may not just want the HDTV, they may want to do sexual things to you that you are powerless to stop, that leave you with lifelong trauma, that they didn't want to kill you, they wanted to make you feel powerless)_ -maybe that is what this is about underneath it all.

men (not all men, mind you) who are not necessarily concerned with the weird notion that gays are out to "convert" everyone, but that they power dynamic shifts. i, as a not very strong female, could be assaulted sexually by a stronger woman. (wow, i just realized i'm not sure if that would even count as rape under our laws. interesting idea, esp if that would count as sexual harassment/rape in the military or not.)

so perhaps, none of these men (remember, not ALL men, just those who think like this) would come out (ha.) and say "i'm concerned about being powerless and having no one believe me when i say someone is making me feel uncomfortable in a threateningly sexual manner", and they end up just deciding it's better to just keep "all teh gays" out of the military.

so i know someone is going to jump all over me for this, but please keep in mind i'm not making any accusations here, but rather trying to explore the reasons that this is such an issue. people often have reasons for doing things that are not explicit. i think we're all figuring there's more to DADT than just not asking and not telling.

i'm not really sure i've made anything clearer to myself about any of this, but i wish more the people who are in the gov who are mandating DADT had to participate in this thread :)
posted by sio42 at 1:56 PM on April 2, 2010


The don't ask, don't tell policy seems kind of ridiculous. As a way to get around an even more ridiculous policy about gay people in the military, it leads to several weird consequences. People outing other people out of spite. Commanders having to figure out if people are claiming to be gay to get out of military service.

While we wait to see if DADT will be repealed there are some new and revised changes in enforcing the policy.

Gates Approves Pentagon Rules for Discharging Gays
"The changes raise the level of officer authorized to initiate a fact-finding inquiry into a case, the level of officer who can conduct an inquiry and of the one that can authorize a dismissal. To discourage the use of overheard statements or hearsay, from now on any evidence given in third-party outings must be given under oath, Gates said. Cases of third-party outings also have included instances in which male troops have turned in women who rejected their romantic advances or jilted partners in relationship have turned in a former lover. Some kinds of confidential information also will no longer be allowed, including statements gays make to their lawyers, clergy, psychotherapists or medical professionals in the pursuit of health care.

Said Gates: 'I do not recommend a change in the law before we have completed our study. There is a great deal we don't know about this...there is a lot we have to address in terms of what would be required in the way of changed regulations, in terms of benefits. There are a lot of unanswered questions in terms of the implementation of this proposed change in the law.'"
Video || 02:47.
posted by ericb at 2:02 PM on April 2, 2010


napkin:

Unwanted sexual advances between men and women happen mostly because of power imbalance between the two genders. There's no such dynamic between two men (in fact, the opposite dynamic between a straight and openly gay man) and thus no reason to believe there will be such an increase in sexual behavior.

Riiight. There's no power imbalance dynamic between men in the military. Sure.

Some1:

Why do you think that? WHY?

I provided a pretty exhaustive response to that disingenuous question already above. As for the rest of your rant that is inexplicably directed at me, I don't know who you're talking to or about, Some1, but it's not me.

Blazecock Pileon:

Even if that hypothetical is true, so what? It's the same inappropriate behavior that would be up to management to deal with, anyway, if it was a man making an unwanted advance towards a woman.

I absolutely agree with you 100%, as I think I made clear above on that issue.
posted by The World Famous at 2:06 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:
"It is my personal and professional belief that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would be the right thing to do. No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
Defense Secretary Robert Gates:
"I fully support the President's decision [regarding the repeal of DADT]. The question before us is not whether the military prepares to make this change, but how we best prepare for it. We have received our orders from the commander in chief and we are moving out accordingly."
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


In Turkey being in the active role is considered manly enough not to be proof of homosexuality.

They felt similarly (not the same, but similarly) in ancient Greece.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:48 PM on April 2, 2010


I absolutely agree with you 100%, as I think I made clear above on that issue.

So, again, why is it an issue to bring up? Sexual harassment is inappropriate behavior, regardless of gender, and same-sex harassment is no more a basis for arguing against gays in the military than mixed-sex harassment is an argument against inclusion of women in the military. I just don't understand why this hypothetical is an issue for you, if you're not opposed to gay folks serving.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:50 PM on April 2, 2010


thanks eric for posting those quotes.
posted by sio42 at 2:53 PM on April 2, 2010


So, again, why is it an issue to bring up? Sexual harassment is inappropriate behavior, regardless of gender, and same-sex harassment is no more a basis for arguing against gays in the military than mixed-sex harassment is an argument against inclusion of women in the military. I just don't understand why this hypothetical is an issue for you, if you're not opposed to gay folks serving.

It's not an issue for me. It was a response to sio42's previous comment.
posted by The World Famous at 2:57 PM on April 2, 2010


“i wish more the people who are in the gov who are mandating DADT had to participate in this thread”

Like this goof who told a U.S. senate hearing that gay soldiers in the military could result in events like Srebrenica?

Not just those statements, he was an advisor to the Secretary of Defense on policy (DPBAC) and has had a big mouth since the Clinton administration. (He’s also one of those guys who uses the word “robust” too much)

Chaurasiya’s issues are obvious. Part of the problem the article doesn’t touch on is that DADT makes hypocrites out of everyone. You’ll want to retain good staff if they out themselves accidentally or otherwise. Meantime Chaurasiya and anyone else taking principled position is done a disservice because of the arbitrary nature of the law whether she has the support of her CO or not.
Because the rules make him the asshole either way. Tolerant? - So what. Oh, one of your people actually is gay and wants to leave because they’re not getting basic respect? - Tough.
So now you’re actually hurting the staff you’re actually interested in keeping.

On the plus side, there’s no real question it’s getting rolled back, barring some radical change.

But it continually amazes me that people, men like Sheehan who have experience with military reforms (e.g. Goldwater-Nichols) and have to deal with practical realities still hold prejudices like this. I've been some places he's been. How can people with similar backgrounds and experiences come to such vastly different conclusions and attitudes? It's just weird.

The aphorism “there are no atheists in foxholes” is meant to be (at least in part) an expression of that. In the face of death you bend to whatever pressures necessary to deal with the practical realities. So someone returning fire on your side - not sure anyone has ever much cared about whatever they might or might not have going on at home.

Maybe Sheehan started caring more once he started looking at his civilian job with Bechtel.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:01 PM on April 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


ATTENTION: BROAD GENERALIZATIONS AHEAD:

Most men I know, who range from being fully for equality/marriage to being for civil rights but not marriage to being for "whatever, don't care, as long as I don't have to *see* it" types (I don't know any 100% homophobes, as far as I know), have a weird dichotomy going on. If we wind up hanging out in a group of both gay and straight folks, the Mister Straights can sometimes get a bit nervous about "what if the Mister Gays hit on me!" and so on. But any time a Mister Gay tells a Mister Straight not to worry, because he's not attracted to Mister Straight, or Mister Straight is "not my type," I am INVARIABLY asked within the next day or so by Mister Straight, "Why didn't he hit on me? Why isn't he attracted to me?"

They don't want to be hit on by gay men, but they want to be someone who *should* be hit on by gay men.

WTF, Mister Straight?

DADT should be repealed. Thousands of military and ex-military men have said the same thing: they served with gay men, everyone knew, and it was never a problem.

The West Wing says it far better than I can.
posted by tzikeh at 3:37 PM on April 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


This conditional use of DADT might be more prevalent than you think. I happen to know an Navy pilot who graduated first in his class at Top Gun. His commanders know, but you think they are going to cut loose a good pilot they've spent millions of dollars in training on?

I also learned from him, Navy pilots carry cyanide in case they are injured, captured and beyond help.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:37 PM on April 2, 2010


It's amusing that there's this assumption that the military is somehow this completely different world than the rest of the country on this thread. The resistance to changing DADT in the military seemed more like it was 10% bigots and 90% people who didn't want to have to deal with issues arising from incorporating the openly homosexual with the bigots (you can't kick people out for being idiots, unfortunately).

+ not wanting another significant organizational change. + a bunch of bureaucracy.
posted by _cave at 5:07 PM on April 2, 2010


"Colonel Potter, Sir! Corporal Klinger. I'm section 8, head to toe. I'm wearing a warner bra. I play with dolls. My last wish is to be buried in my mother's wedding gown. I'm nuts. I should be out."

"Horse hockey!"
posted by bwg at 5:37 PM on April 2, 2010


If your commanding officer demands proof

I guess you could always blow him.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:26 PM on April 2, 2010


DecemberBoy: "If your commanding officer demands proof

I guess you could always blow him.
"

Unless the C.O. is a woman.
posted by bwg at 2:30 AM on April 3, 2010


GTFO with that absurd nonsense.

Here's the problem. There's a statutory ban on gays in the military. It's wrong, but it's the law, and there isn't the political will to end it. DADT is a workaround...if it's enforced.

So GTFO with your nonsense.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:53 AM on April 3, 2010


Lt. Gen. Robert R. Allardice's reply memorandum found via the Chicago Tribune contributor Eric Zorn.
posted by borkencode at 2:12 PM on April 3, 2010


So if I ever enlisted in the military and decided I didn't want in anymore, I could just tell them I was bisexual and have my Mom send over that SD drive with all the pictures of my ex-girlfriends? Huh.
posted by biochemist at 4:07 PM on April 5, 2010


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