Friday, March 5, 2010

Some Thoughts on DADT

I read this stupid op-ed piece this morning, but it got me thinking about DADT. I don't know how else to say this, but these guys just don't get it. The flaw in his thinking is that male bonding can only occur among straight men, when, in fact, people bond through shared experience. Women and men can bond as a team, and I have experienced this in my line of work.

There already are gays in the military, everyone in the military knows someone who is gay, and yet, we continue to form tightly knit groups.

Just as with the racial and gender integration of the military, the burden is with the majority to accept the minority. The problem is not gays (or blacks or women). The problem is with the people who are in a position to accept the changes, but refuse to do so.

And, let's be honest. This whole debate about "unit cohesion" is just a euphimism for homophobia. If it weren't, what, exactly, could a homosexual do to undermine said unit cohesion? This is all about straight men who are afraid of being on the receiving end of some wayward homosexual advance. It's absurd. Especially when you consider how many of these men have acted inappropriately with straight women.

As for whether or not we're "sissifying" our military, I think the point has been demonstrated repeatedly that heroism and bravery are not exclusive to hyper-masculine men. Women continue to serve in very trying roles and have not detracted from our ability to wage warfare.

I have to ask honestly, are these people afraid that we're going to start wearing rainbow camouflage? That the military is going to become fabulous and fierce?? It's ridiculous. And, if they're going to stereotype gay men as sissies, what about the other stereotype of lesbians as masculine? Wouldn't that, in theory, be better for the military? The military attracts certain types of people, gay or straight. I find it hard to believe that if homosexuals were allowed to serve openly, then the military would attract a different type of person.

Finally, McPeak wrongly equates homosexuality with disability in his discussion of civil rights. Again, just as with racial and gender integration, if a homosexual meets the physical and educational guidelines set forth, there is no reason to exclude them.

If we are to continue to operate as a volunteer-based force, we must be open to accepting the best and the brightest. Period. Gay or straight, man or woman, black, white or brown, these should not be the deciding factors. The mililtary does not need to be a place of caveman-like behavior. The more professionalism we show, the better our fighting force is. Through the racial and gender integration process, our military has only increased in the levels of professionalism expected and demanded. This is another test of our commitment to equality and justice for all, and the only way we can succeed as a nation is to live the values that we preach and repeal DADT.

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