Friday, September 23, 2011

"Homophobic and Stupid is No Way To Go Through Life, Son"

I got a big laugh from this, the latest on the proposed re-institution of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (aka "Youse Homos Can Serve Until We SAY Youse Can't Serve") from Former Senator "Man-on-Dog" Rick Santorum:
"What we are doing is playing social experimentation with our military right now. That's tragic. I would just say that going forward we would reinstitute that policy if rick santorum was president. That policy would be reinstituted as far as people in I would not throw them out that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration. But we would move forward in conformity with what was happening in the past. Which was sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone. Keep it to yourself whether you are heterosexual or homosexual."
because if you needed to know anything about what the man doesn't know about military service circa 2011, this pretty much tells you.And that's...pretty much everything.

I never served in anything but an all-male unit until after I got off active duty. But since then I've been assigned to everything between a headquarters company and a laundry-and-bath platoon with stops along the way with every sort of military critter.

And one thing I can tell you with stone-cold certainty.

Sex is ALWAYS an issue.

Doesn't matter if it's the boys on the girls, the girls on the boys, the boys on the boys or the girls on the girls. We're human, so until we're about 68 years old roughly a third of our brain is occupied in thinking about sex. I'm not sure what the other 66 percent does; sudoku, maybe.

Obviously the most complicated is in mixed-gender units. I've worked in several, and I can tell you that you can walk and talk military discipline and the UCMJ all you want to, but you get a young man and a young woman together and you automatically have the potential for something not covered in the rest positions at the halt section of FM 22-5.

Mind you, the Army has a long history of being stupid about Sex. I saw it first all the way back in 1981, when in its infinite wisdom the Army had set up a mixed-gender BT company. 1st Platoon of A/4/3, Fort Dix N.J. was female. "First Fox" fireguards shared a stairwell with my Second Platoon, and I am told (though I was unaware at the time, being first a squad leader and then platoon guide and thus exempt from fireguard) that the young women on guard ranged from adorable to fugly and the young men from studly to dorky. But almost none of them left Fort Dix unscrewed. It's lucky we never did have a fire; the horndogs were too busy having it off in the empty cadre rooms to have sounded an alarm.And in my experience it almost always has nothing to do with homosexuality, which makes Santorum's connection between the Big Gay Scary even less sensible. The disciplinary problems and/or personnel complications were 99.9% heterosexual and 85% consensual (the other 15% were a supervisor/supervised deal, which IMO pretty much can't really be counted as such any more than any other "sexual harassment" type scenerio can).

And gay?

Ask anyone who served in Panama back in '86 and '87; the women's barracks over at 210 Aviation was like a big OG-107-covered episode of "The L-Word". Damn near every one of those gals liked her girls like she liked her corn-on-the-cob; hot and covered in butter.

But y'know what? They worked their asses off and kept those aircraft where they belonged, in the air, and as a result nobody really brought up the whole "hot-girl-on-girl-GI-action" thing.So excuse me if I continue to laugh at young Mister Santorum, who seems to think that U.S. troops have to put their genitalia in the company safe before leaving Reception Station. Sex not an issue?

Maybe on your planet, spaceman...


barcalounger said...


I just flashed on the shower scene in Starship Troopers.

Seriously, this looks like a problem for the service equivalent of Human Resources. Really dull stuff like health insurance, life insurance, base housing, marriage counseling. Hope they have their ducks in a row.

Chief, do they have something like company picnics or Christmas parties in the service? You know family/communal/unit get-togethers? It could get interesting when Dick and Dick or Jane and Jane show up.

FDChief said...

Barca: the "social" side of military life is indeed where this all get's complicated.

Unit Christmas parties, post-deployment barbeques, and battalion dinings-out...yeah, when your platoon leader shows up with her girlfriend I can see there's gonna be trouble.

The problem is that in the civilian world most of us live our lives pretty much in a small group of self-selected neighbors and friends who are sort of the family we choose for ourselves. If we have problems with one of them - or their significant other - we can distance ourselves from them.

But in a military unit you don't have that option. You have to take the other troop as he or she comes, and in the U.S. Army for a long time that has meant hetrosexual. The step we're taking means a big change, and I think it's going to mean as much in a subtle way as the racial integration of the Army did in the Fifties.

But the desegregation didn't happen without a lot of pretty ugly personal collisions, and this will be the same. Some gay officer will get shunned at the battalion dining-out, some lesbian sergeant will get into a fight at the company picnic...what will make the difference is the higher's insistence on making this work as they did with desegregation. If they do, it will. If not, they won't.

rangeragainstwar said...

L's have always been accepted b/c no one ever believed that 1 would wear 4 stars.
They never threatened the staus quo.
The only stars there would be tat's.

FDChief said...

jim: I think the other part of the gay/lesbian deal was that the stereotype of gay girls was and is a kind of rough, tough fightin' dyke (and I've gotta say, some of the toughest service women I've met HAVE been cartoon butches). But the gya boys are tagged as the prancy poofters.

So I think sometimes it's easier for a crusty ol' GI type to look the other way at the gals because they're assumed to be "tough" Army-types, where as the same guy would assume the gays are a bunch of sissy-boys who will grab his ass in the shower.