With all the frevor on my CNN and my Daily Show lately, I've come to wonder how my fellow men feel about gays in the military and also about women in the military. I never quite made up my mind on the matter and the recent news coverage has got me thinking again. I tend to lean towards the liberal side myself, especially in civil issues, so my first instinct is to say "let 'em all in and let 'em all fight!" However, one of my male friends, who is an army veteran and for whom I have a large amount of respect, has a partially different view. He thinks that anyone should be allowed into the military but that women should stay off the battle field; I don't recall him talking about homosexuals in the military. Another male friend of mine, who is admittedly a tad bit homophobic, and who is currently a very young marine, has a considerably more conservative view. What do you guys think?
On another note, it might be interesting for AoM to put up a piece about politics and/or news talk shows. I don't really know how common it is, but me and my dad used to watch the talking heads together quite often. For some reason he loved the McLaughlin Group and we both liked Meet the Press. Good background for some solid male bonding. My dad calls politics "soap operas for men." Not too shabby of a venue to pass on some moral wisdom either!
Fuck equal outcome. It's equal OPPORTUNITY that is important. Woman wants to play badass? Let her. If she can hang with the badasses...let her. She makes it through Seal Training, adhering to the same rigors the guys do? Let her.
I believe (and feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that the rationale behind the "gay ban" was something about "unit cohesion"..in other words, if troops were uncomfortable having a gay man in their midst, combat effectiveness would be adversely impacted. Or, in other words, letting prejudices dictate policy. Most people I know in the military say they really couldn't care less if their fellow service members were gay.
First of all, I don't think being a woman or being gay affects the ability of an individual to serve as a combat-ready soldier. Women have proven that many of them are tough enough to take it, and sexual preference is even less of a factor.
However, I do have some issues with either set serving in combat. With women, it's the chivalrous (no, not chauvinistic) side of me that objects. Men should fight to protect women and children. I suppose that means that I'm opposed to any sort of draft that requires women to fight. If a woman chooses to fight, I suppose that's her right as an American; I don't like it, but she should have the right.
I think the biggest reason I oppose either group in the military is the way it injects sexuality (and possible conflicts of interest) into an already stressful environment. There will be (and already are) sexual relationships in such an environment. A soldier is naturally going to be strongly biased toward protecting his girlfriend (or boyfriend) when making decisions in the field; his judgment might be impaired to the point where he can't make the right call to put the mission first.
I don't know that I'm a big fan of us withholding an individual's privilege of service to the country based on a possibility or probability of a relationship within the unit. I see where you're going with your point, I just don't think I agree necessarily.
If I were being shot at, I doubt I'd care if my squad-mate was straight, bi, triangle, liked llamas, etc, as long as they could function well enough to get us out of the jam.
I had one commander (There aren't many) that enforced the UCMJ concerning sexual conduct. If you came back from liberty bragging about getting laid and your weren't married you received NJP for having sex with someone that you're not married to. Punishments could include loss of rank, pay, and confinement of no more than 30 days. Adultery was a big thing for him as well. Adultery is punishable with a maximum of one year confinement. Sexual relationships with subordinates can lead to a less than honorable discharge and dismissal. I have long felt that the UCMJ standards for sexual conduct needed to be more hardily enforced in the military and not overlooked as oft happens. To the point however, I don't care what the sexual orientation of a person is when serving with them. I would expect them to adhere to the same standards that I was held to. A BAM once grabbed my butt and I punched her. That standard applied to any person that took sexual liberty with my person. As long they don't expect to receive any different treatment I don't care what gets them off. Serve away.
I don't see any correlation between a man's sexual proclivity and his ability to be effective in combat. Sure, a man who is able to approach one with gusto will probably do the same with the other, but that doesn't imply a direct relationship between the activities themselves.
You could just as easily say, "A man who won't eat pizza, won't eat hamburgers."
Alexander the Great was homosexual or Bi-sexual (accounts differ on which). Either way.......pretty sure being gay doesn't preclude a homosexual from planting a .222 squarely in the chest of the enemy. Does it cause other issues within the group? Maybe or maybe not.
I spent a few years in the Army. In one unit there was a gay soldier working with me. No problem, he knew where I stood. I wasn't worried about what he did or would try to do as I knew exactly where I stood and what I would do. Probably no different than working with women, you are faithful to your spouse or you are a lousy cheat. Oh yeah, you probably don't shower and sleep in confined spaces with your women co-workers.
I have also been in line units (combat units, infantry). It would be a very very rough existence for an openly gay soldier that displayed feminine traits.
It is unwise in the extreme to take down fences before really examining why they were erected in the first place. Why are the FBI and those who profile criminal psychology able to pin-point with startling accuracy when a violent crime has been committed by a homosexual if there's basically no difference between a homosexual and a heterosexual man other than his orientation? The fact is, homosexual orientation comes out in other areas besides just the bedroom.
It is irresponsible, fool-hearty, and amazingly reckless to base policies on the social-statements that are chic at the time. Right now, there are vocal elements in society trying to legitimatize homosexuality as just an alternate lifestyle--but stop and think: even if it were, does that make it okay to put openly homosexual men in close personal proximity with our soldiers? These guys bunk in the same quarters, undress in the same areas, and need to feel comfortable in confines spaces with one another--now, common sense question, everyone---should these men be having to undress, shower, sleep, and live in close quarters with someone who openly shows that he's sexually attracted to other men? I'm afraid this is an issue whether certain elements in society want to discount it or not.
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