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The Fear February 2, 2010

Posted by Lynn Christiansen Esquer in Politics.
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2 comments

Following Obama’s first SOTU address last week, and his stated intention to repeal the deeply flawed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, some people have been in an uproar. Oh, yes, there’s been talk about how “open homosexuality would threaten unit cohesion and military effectiveness” but really, isn’t this mostly about fear?

Let’s not forget: gays already serve in the military, although they are forced to lie about who they are. Gays are just as able and willing to fight for their country, and have done so through the ages. To survive in the military, one is required to prove himself/herself capable of its rigors, and this they have done. To imply that once gay men and women are allowed to disclose their sexual orientation without recrimination, that the military will suddenly become a hotbed of… well… bed hopping and unwanted propositioning, is insulting to our people in uniform. Shouldn’t we simply expect of them what we expect of everyone else, military or civilian: that they exhibit professionalism while doing their jobs?

I’m sure there are those who will feel uncomfortable serving in close quarters with people they know to be gay; but some of these people may also not welcome the possibility of sharing a foxhole with women and people of other ethnicities. And let us also not forget that the military has a checkered history dealing with straight sexuality. Tailhook comes to mind, but women are constantly at risk — still — for abuse, rape and harassment from straight men and the military’s accepted culture of hypermasculinity. I can only infer that straight males are threatened by the fact that gays may be as brutal to them, as they themselves can be to women and gays.

It’s fear, plain and simple.

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