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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Do Ask, Do Tell

image from

I was never a big fan of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, implemented by former Pres. Bill Clinton. Over the years I've often found myself at the epicenter of some hotly contested debates with some of my fellow homosexuals on the subject. To me, it just seemed redundant, seemed to be that if the military didn't want to ask, they didn't and if a soldier didn't want to tell, they didn't and everyone kept to their closets, just like the military wanted them to. Sure, there was some gay bashing going on, but there are a signifigant number of heterosexual women who are raped and beaten by their heterosexual male colleagues in the military all the time too. That seems to be much more of an issue than does consensual sexual contact between two parties. Besides, when one finds themselves out on the battlefield, with bullets whizzing past and mortar shells exploding just feet away, I'm pretty sure another soldier's sexual orientation is just about the penultimate thing on the mind. My first thought would be "why in the hell am I out here?" Eh, but that's just me.
Besides, it just seemed to me that Don't ask Don't tell was a bit of a slap in the face, it was a way of perpertrating bigotry, and at the same time calling oneself progressive.

It appears that with the drain on our military due to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fewer and fewer new enrollees, the military is in some dire need of assistance in the form of warm bodies to carry guns into the battlefield. And just in time, Barack Obama has announced that he will be ending the archane Don't ask, Don't Tell policy, that's if he can get it past congress. I must say I applaud him for the gesture, however, the timing seems to be, well, suspect. I mean, really, now that you've got no one else to fight Bush's war, you want us gays? Hurumph.

One of my promises for this year is to be more positive, so I'm going to look at it from a positive perspective and simply say HOORAY for the progress, with minimum reservation in regards to the motivation.

Now, Mr. Obama, whatcha gonna do about this One Man, One Woman silliness?

12 cookies cracked:

tt said...

I'm with you completely! I've always hated the 'seperation' to speak. Why does everything have to be in a catagory? My Lovee had a WM (woman marine) working for him who later went to prison for carring on a "homosexual relationship" while being a Marine. he and I were aghast!!!! How dare they!!!!This was back in the mid 80's. Stupid as hell!!!! We, sadly, lost touch with her.

Jay said...

The only thing the DADT policy did was create witch hunts to find out who was gay and kick them out. It was a useless policy. And the policy banning gays is truly ridiculous.

Karen said...

So what are we going to do now? Ask and tell? I don't think that is a good option either. At least under DADT the bedroom stayed off the battlefield. Theoretically.

Rebekah said...

That cartoon cracks me up.

So...I think the benefit of DADT was that it was actually a step toward discourse. The same country that, 9 years later, was SO FREAKING flag-wavey and 1man/1womany and generally as closed minded as (hopefully) they will ever be, was forced to acquiesce to a major change in public policy.

Clinton made some huge mistakes, but I always admired his intentions. We've got SO far to go in PURE equality, but it IS a process. Sucky that we're not there yet...but I'm so excited with the changes I've seen in my own lifetime.

Rebekah said...

I want to amend myself in one way. I think it's tiring to wait for everybody to catch up before we can even HAVE this dialogue in a way that is meaningful, respectful, and impactful. I'm glad things seem to be perpetually moving forward (Prop 8 aside, sure. Many setbacks, but many steps forward as well)

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I agree with all. It's alarming the number of women raped in the military. And I'm still amazed that one's sexual orientation continues to be suck a big issue. The marriage thing blows my mind. What is it that people find so offensive about love?

Anndi said...

Sexual orientation is just not relevant. DADT did make some people feel all warm and fuzzy because they thought it was progress... true progress is when we just won't care about it. Period.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I thought liberals were at the bottom of the list?
SO heck, people can come out of the closet and get their a$$ shot off? Nice! progress!

Chris Wood said...

Perhaps Obama wants to unleash the endless horrors gays are capable of on those terrorists.


I agree the don't ask, don't tell policy is ludicrous.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

I agree the Don't Ask policy was, well, plain stupid. But I think Clinton knew the nation wasn't ready to stop being stupid, and that it was a small step in progress from the Military's No Gays Allowed rule.

Let's hope Obama's intentions are pure.

fiwa said...

You always come up with the most though provoking posts. I guess I'll have to noodle on this one a little more, because I find myself torn between agreeing with what Rebekah said, and what Anndi said "true progress is when we just won't care about it. Period."

I'm with you though, I hope Obama makes this a priority, I hope we finally see some justice and equality for the gay and lesbian population.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Great post! You said it so well. I don't have a thing to add but applause!