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Don't ask, don't tell.

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Mare Tranquillity, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Now that we have a new President, one who is not inclined to discriminate against gay people, what's it look like for an end to the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy that has prevailed in the US military?

    Personally, and I know this will come as a shock to all of you, I think that gay people should be allowed to serve openly in the military. We know they're serving now--why the secrecy? It doesn't make them better soldiers to have to hide who they are for fear of being discharged. And recognizing publicly that gay people are serving their country faithfully in the military will be another sign of recognition that gay people are just people, that it's time to end their 2nd class citizenship and let them be equals.

    We went through a process very much like this when black people began serving with white people in the military--it was stupid then and it's stupid now.
     
  2. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the thread Mare,

    As for homosexuals being in the military, I have no issue with that anymore than I would with women in the military or minorities in the military, they are all welcome. The one thing that does bother me is this....


    Right now men dress, shower and sleep separate from women right? But why is that? They are not discriminating against women by giving them their own private place to shower, dress and sleep; they are giving them a place for privacy.

    If someone who is homosexual…. let’s say a homosexual woman.

    Does she not see other women the same as a man would, so if you are showering, dressing exc. with her then it’s not much different than doing those things with a man in the room.....at least according to the reasons we separate men from women during those events. Of course they all work side by side and eat side by side and goof off after ours side by side, but we do separate them during the more private things like showering and dressing and sleeping.

    So how would that be dealt with is my only question. I think the current system is not working except for during the shower/dressing department. Dressing in front of a woman who you assume thinks about a woman’s body the same way you do is harmless, but if you know they think about it differently then you could be more likely to feel uncomfortable. I would, just as I would if a man were in the room.

    I ask this because when I was in Middle school we had a gym teacher who was openly homosexual and it was very uncomfortable when she would hang out in the locker room and watch the girls dressing and showering. I ended up with an F in PE because I just was not going to dress down and shower after PE. I did not care that she was homosexual but dressing and showering in front of her seemed no different than if I were dressing and showering in front of a male PE teacher. The rest of PE was fine, I never had issue with her directing us in class or in any thing else just like I would have had no problem with my male PE teachers but I would have not dressed or showered in front of any of our male PE teachers either. I asked other girls if they felt weird and many said yes but they were not willing to take the F like I did.

    Now this PE teacher was extra strange because it was obvious she really liked the dress down/shower part of the day better than the rest of it. Normally you would not have that issue because being homosexual does not make you a perv as she apparently was.

    As a teen us girls would sleep in the same bed when we had sleep overs and never thought anything of it but we would not have done that with our male friends even if it was as innocent as it was with our female friends, getting dressed in front of our female friends was as natural as doing it alone but not something we would have done in front of our male friends and all for one reason, we knew the males even though we were just friends looked at our body differently than our female friends did. It was not about discriminating against our male friends; it was about not feeling comfortable.

    So what do we do with the people male and female in the service who would feel strange doing private things like showering exc. with someone they know looks at their body differently than all the others in the room?

    I can not figure out how to solve that and its something I have been wondering about since Clinton first started the “don’t ask don’t tell.”

    I am not even sure that I think the sleeping part would be an issue, its not as though they share beds or anything. but the dressing and showering part..... is where I would have a really hard time if I were in the military
     
  3. Dawkinsrocks

    Dawkinsrocks Well-Known Member

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    What is wrong with gay people showering in the same showers as straight ones?

    Do you refuse to use swimming pools if they don't have hetero only showers?

    When you were at chool you were young and lacking in experience and self assuredness. Part of becoming an adult is the understanding that things that worried you as a child are not really a threat.

    Co-showering happens all the time now anyway, it is just that most people are unaware of it.

    And I am sure that soldiers would find their own way of resolving issues like the potential for leering.

    But your post indicates that gay people have no self control

    Which is ridiculous.

    Fact is, there are gay people in the army now. They just have to hide the fact.

    Because of medieveal views.

    Mare, your post is excellent and I am sure that one of the many important changes Obama will bring about is the end to sexual discrimination.
     
  4. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    not arguing here but..... soldiers don't really understand the nicities of political correctness and if some gay dude starts hitting on the wrong guy...well... he may just end up having his food fed to him through a drip....bummer if you're in a war zone (no pun intended!!)
     
  5. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    THE BATTLEOF TRAFALGAR - 2005 version

    Nelson: "Order the signal, Hardy."

    Hardy: "Aye, aye sir."

    Nelson: "Hold on, that's not what I dictated to the signal officer. What's the meaning of this?"

    Hardy: "Sorry sir?"

    Nelson (reading aloud): "England expects every person to do his duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability. What gobbledygook is this?"

    Hardy: "Admiralty policy, I'm afraid, sir. We're an equal opportunity employer now. We had the devil's own job getting 'England' past the censors, lest it be considered racist."

    Nelson: "Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco."

    Hardy: "Sorry sir. All naval vessels have been designated smoke-free working environments."

    Nelson: "In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle."

    Hardy: "The rum ration has been abolished Admiral. Its part of the Government's policy on binge drinking."

    Nelson: "Good heavens, Hardy. I suppose we'd better get on with it. Full speed ahead."

    Hardy: "I think you'll find that there's a 4 knot speed limit in this stretch of water."

    Nelson: "Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow's nest, please."

    Hardy: "That won't be possible, sir."

    Nelson: "What?"

    Hardy: "Health and safety have closed the crow's nest, sir. No harness. And, they said that a rope ladder doesn't meet regulations. They won't let anyone up there until a proper scaffolding can be erected."

    Nelson: "Then get me the ship's carpenter without delay, Hardy."

    Hardy: "He's busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the fo'c'sle Admiral."

    Nelson: "Wheelchair access? I've never heard anything so absurd."

    Hardy: "Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier-free environment for the differently abled."

    Nelson: "Differently abled? I've only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn't rise to the rank of Admiral by playing the disability card."

    Hardy: "Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under-represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency."

    Nelson: "Whatever next? Give me full sail. The salt spray beckons."

    Hardy: "A couple of problems there too, sir. Health and safety won't let the crew up the rigging without crash helmets. And they don't want anyone breathing in too much salt - haven't you seen the adverts?"

    Nelson: "I've never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy."

    Hardy: "The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral."

    Nelson: "What? This is mutiny."

    Hardy: "It's not that, sir. It's just that they're afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There's a couple of legal aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks."

    Nelson: "Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?"

    Hardy: "Actually, sir, we're not."

    Nelson: "We're not?"

    Hardy: "No, sir. The Frenchies and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy, we shouldn't even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation."

    Nelson: "But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil."

    Hardy: "I wouldn't let the ship's diversity co-coordinator hear you saying that sir. You'll be up on a disciplinary."

    Nelson: "You must consider every man an enemy who speaks ill of your King."

    Hardy: "Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it's the rules."

    Nelson: "Don't tell me - health and safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?"

    Hardy: "As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there's a ban on corporal punishment."

    Nelson: "What about sodomy?"

    Hardy: "I believe it's to be encouraged, sir."

    Nelson: "In that case, kiss me, Hardy."
     
  6. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    scotsman, if a man asks a woman out and she did not want to be asked out then she says no thank you. It shouldn't be any different if a woman asks a woman out. It only becomes a problem if the woman doesnt take no for an answer.

    It doesnt seem right to hit them for asking you out unless they keep getting in your face about it.

    Though I think people should be careful before they ask anyone out. 3 times women have came on to me... hmm I guess that is how you put it, one case she put her hand where she shouldnt, I did not even know she was homosexual. I was polite about it but we never were friends again. Not because I did anything mean to her but I think she felt wierd being around me after I said please move your hand.

    another friend just flat out asked me and I said no and was polite about it but our friendship also faded after that and the third girl was simular to the second.

    I have had the same issue with men who asked me out then avoided me after I said no, so people should be more careful or have thicker skin I guess but no one should get mad if a person asks them out, just say no if your not interested.


    dont you think?
     
  7. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    I was at work today thinking of this thread and came up with a possible solution to dont ask dont tell.

    since its people like me who have the problem with showering and dressing, then have a special time for showers for prudes. that way the one who gets looked at funny are the people who had the problem and those same people get the privacy they feel they need.

    does this seem reasonable enough?
     
  8. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    Of course it's reasonable, but the Drill Sergents in boot camp won't put up with it.

    Your previous post hit the nail on the head: being asked out is a compliment and it should be alright to refuse politely. Unfortunately so many men are afraid that if a gay man asks them out it means that they (the straight guy) is somehow effeminate or something and so he's got to beat the crap out of the gay guy to prove his manhood.

    Relax, men, what if every woman you asked out felt like she had to beat you senseless if she didn't want to go out with you? As long as hetero and homo people are polite and take "no" for an answer, then I don't see any problem.
     
  9. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    It is for some reason hard for men or boys. One day my son (16 years old) was shopping with me and we were in the hair coloring isle. Out of the blue he said, mom do I look gay like those men on the hair coloring boxes? I pressed him for a bit to explain what he means and why was he asking me this..... Long story short he said he was at the home depot with 2 of his friends buying something for a car and one of the men who worked there asked my son out. My son had never been in that situation before and this was a grown man so I think it was extra strange. He said no and the guy followed him around the home depot making "you’re cute" "nice butt" comments.

    What my son took from the encounter was that he had done or said something to make this happen and it was something about the way my son looked that made this happen. It really did affect him, he stopped dressing nice, combing / cutting his hair and turned hmm... scruffy?

    By the way the home depot refused to do anything, not even talk the man who worked for them about it. I boycott them to this day.
     
  10. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    OK if this wont work then what do you think would, because the current system is not working and just saying suck it up is not going to work either
     
  11. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    That's too bad, I hope you were able to explain to him that the man was out of order and if it happens again he should call the store manager. I've been hassled in Home Depot more than any other store too, I don't know why.

    This should be an object lesson to your son about being careful with women and not follow them around making the kinds of remarks for which young men are notorious.

    There are people in all groups who behave badly, it's a sorry truth with which we all have to live.
     
  12. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    I did explain to him it was not about him but he did not buy it. He was with two friends and they did not have any problem so he felt he had done something or it was the way he looked so he changed his attitude and the way he dressed and carried him self.... it did damage

    I called the store manager and he said he would not do anything about it and to basicly get over it. so instead I boycotted them and I share this story when ever possible.

    The guy was a jerk and that is no reflection on other homosexuals, its a reflection maybe on this guy and his parents. but after seeing how it effected my son I see that some guys getting hit on makes them think they look or act homosexual and some have thicker skin and can get over it and some are like my son and it really effected him. I hope that doesnt happen to other kids but I am sure it does and I dont know what can be done about it
     
  13. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    People on both sides of this issue have to learn to behave. If you consider how much stupidity goes on between men and women and how long it's been happening, it's easy to see that even in hetero circles these problems are not sorted out.

    All the men are showering together now, they all know that some of the men are gay, so what? Knowing which ones shouldn't change anything, should it? The gay guys are obviously keeping a low profile now, why should that change? My experience has been that men are afraid of gay men because they think the gays will be as predatory towards them as the straight men are towards women. I think that being confronted with the idea of reverse predation might make men consider how they behave towards women... okay, well probably not, but it's a good idea anyway.

    If men are not being assaulted and raped by gays in the military now, then changing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy isn't going to make any difference.
     
  14. Mare Tranquillity

    Mare Tranquillity Active Member

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    The only thing I can think of to do about this is to reduce the stigma attached to being gay. Your son is upset because of the fear of implied "gayness", if he had been accosted in exactly the same manner by a woman he'd be alright, being hetero is ACCEPTABLE. It isn't gay people in general doing the damage to your son, it's his own culture that has taught him that being gay is horrific, evil, bad, sinful, and disgusting (look at the stuff Siho writes).

    Sorry to say that incidents like this with your son are the kind of thing that sometimes lead to men who bash gays for revenge. Men with little self-esteem are so put-down by the enculturation that says if a man finds you attractive then you must be "gay" somehow that they have to keep proving their manhood to themselves by hurting others. It's twaddle, gay men like men, you son is probably just that: a man, and thus attractive. It's wrong for the guy at HD to hassle him though, just like it would be wrong for a guy at HD to hassle me (which has happened a number of times).
     
  15. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    I never thought for a moment there was a worry about men being raped in the military by homosexuals. That is not my concern

    my concern is for men and women.


    I am female so Ill stick with female examples


    If I were in the military with other women with this dont ask dont tell. Homosexuality would not come up or be a topic, I would not know if any girl in my unit were homosexual or not, so when its time to shower I would not be thinking about that.

    now we have a new policy coming, lets say 3 girls in the unit let us know they are homosexual now that its legal to say they are. It would be hard for me to be in the shower with them because I would feel like I am showering with a guy. Not because would all the sudden seem manly, but because now I would know this person sees other women the way a man does.

    It would not matter if that person was sexually attracted to you or not. I would not be able to shower in front of a man even if I knew he was not attracted to me or even liked me as a person. Men look at women differently than women look at women. A homosexual woman (it seems) would look at women the same way men do.

    I wouldnt worry or fear about being raped by a woman or even being hit on but it doesnt seem any more reasonable to ask a women to take a shower in front of a homosexua woman as it would to ask the woman to take a shower in front of a man.

    As a kid I got dressed in front of my mom, she sometimes came in the bathroom when I was taking a bath and it never bothered me. I would have flipped out had a dad come in the bathroom or one of my brothers, but not my sister, and that is not because they had a penis but because males look at females differently and it does not feel the same and its not a comfortable feeling to be in.
     
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