2010 September 26 Sunday
Gays In The Military: An Upside

In a discussion about gays in the military at OneSTDV's blog JHB made an interesting point about young sexually charged gay men sleeping in close quarters.

The troubles with allowing homosexuals in the military are homosexual molestation, homosexual rape, and homosexual politics.

I was an officer with oversight over a unit with a case of a fast-track senior enlisted member who was gay physically molesting two very young-looking junior enlisted while they slept. It didn't end well.

Guys, imagine at the age of 18, with that level of sex drive, having to sleep in close quarters with beautiful women for months at a time without the ability to do anything sexual. It'd drive you crazy, right?

I, at some level, understand: I cannot imagine sleeping and showering in confined quarters with young, attractive women for six months at a time. I literally do not know how I would have reacted to such a situation in my youth. I suspect that the temptation of beautiful young women sleeping so close to me every night would have overwhelmed me. That, in essence, is what happened to the gay enlisted man of whom I write.

This just occurred to me: There's an upside to gays in the military. Heterosexual men could come to view the military as gay. Hetero guys avoid doing stuff that seems gay (e.g. dressing sharply, becoming a ballet dancer, acting in theater). With a gay tinge to the US military joining it would cease to be a good way young hetero men to prove their manliness. Why is that good? Fewer American men would want to join up and serve as tools for foolish leaders who get into military escapades that cost a lot of treasury and blood while harming US national interest. A big reduction in willingness to enlist would restrain America's elites.

If you want a highly effective US military then keeping key parts of it (ships, combat units) hetero-only seems wise.

I don't support gays in the military for two reasons. First, I think that none of us should be compelled to dress, shower and sleep with those who might find us sexually attractive. Second, I suspect that having homosexuals in positions of authority over others of their own sex is more destructive to order and discipline than mixed-gender units, which are themselves a greater military challenge than single-gender units.

The US military is more powerful than is ideal. US misadventures in the Middle East and the Balkans demonstrate this clearly. Our leaders are not wise enough to be in control of such a powerful force. A reduction in its size would introduce some needed discipline in top policy circles. Neocons and liberals would be less able to use the US military to carry out their agendas. So gays in the military could yield a net benefit, albeit with some tragic costs.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 September 26 10:17 AM  Cultural Wars Sexual


Comments
Mike M said at September 26, 2010 10:39 AM:

Randall: In regards to:

"This just occurred to me: There's an upside to gays in the military. Heterosexual men could come to view the military as gay. Hetero guys avoid doing stuff that seems gay (e.g. dressing sharply, becoming a ballet dancer, acting in theater). With a gay tinge to the US military joining it would cease to be a good way young hetero men to prove their manliness. Why is that good? Fewer American men would want to join up and serve as tools for foolish leaders who get into military escapades that cost a lot of treasury and blood while harming US national interest. A big reduction in willingness to enlist would restrain America's elites."

Isn't one of the reasons that liberals favor the repeal of DADT is that they claim allowing gays in the military will make it even easier to enlist MORE young men?

James Bowery said at September 26, 2010 10:55 AM:

As the elites become increasingly incompetent at providing a viable political economy, "entitlements" becomes a survival necessity. (By "entitlement" I mean, of course, welfare including civil service and ethnic log rolling for access to corporate rent seeking.) The thing is, for young white heterosexual men "entitlement" means enlistment.

gcochran said at September 26, 2010 12:17 PM:

"I cannot imagine sleeping and showering in confined quarters with young, attractive women for six months at a time."


I can.

Michael L said at September 26, 2010 2:41 PM:

a military dominated by a minority group that has little regard for the majority of the nation's citizens (those homophobic radical evil bastards) is easier to use against that very majority by a government so inclined. Which is why certain elements of our government are pushing for more "diversity" of various sorts in the military. The goal is to have soldiers whose loyalty is not to their fellow citizens and the country at large but only to the politicos who gave them the job.

Mark said at September 26, 2010 5:31 PM:

The military is never going to "go gay." There simply aren't that many butch gay guys to go around.

The rest of the argument is specious as well. Sure, you might go crazy sleeping with, showering with, etc... members of the opposite sex, but you wouldn't if you had been doing so your whole life. I'm gay, and I've been showering and changing with guys in the locker room for well nigh fifteen years now. These are not erotic situations for me, and I'm pretty sure I'm in the majority here.

Seriously, wouldn't this argument lead to banning gays from high school sports teams and gym programs? If no, why not?

Roland Dobbins said at September 26, 2010 5:52 PM:

The most effective way to discourage wars of choice is to reintroduce universal manhood conscription. By ensuring that at least some proportion of the armed forces consists of the sons of the wealthy and powerful, and that the solidery isn't limited to a self-selected, increasingly isolated minority of the population, we ensure that civilians and military personnel understand one another (indeed, that many have life experience in both roles) and also make it far more difficult to embark upon armed adventures which aren't directly related to the national interest.

Also, the draft ensured that Americans from all walks of life spent some time with others from different areas, classes, backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses, thus providing the sort of common experiential bond which is a necessary precondition for any hope of reversing our degeneration into mere democracy and embarking upon a restoration of the Old Republic.

OneSTDV said at September 26, 2010 6:41 PM:

I can accept that the criticism of the military in the sense that it's used for democracy building and unnecessary aggression (the kind that does nothing to advance our interests) in foreign lands.

But I don't like the anti-military way of thinking that this often leads to. The military is a symbol of hegemonic nationalism, a palpable meme that stirs passion amongst our citizenry, and a sometimes necessary tool for defending this country. With all those decidedly conservative aspects, the military should always be a requisite component of right-wing politics.

Randall Parker said at September 26, 2010 11:08 PM:

OneSTDV,

We need a right wing that does not need the US military to get it animated enough to fight for the national interest in the political arena. The focus on the US military has not done the right wing any favors. George W. Bush ruthlessly exploited right wing support for the military to act against the national interest not just abroad but also domestically.

Roland Dobbins,

The US military doesn't want conscripts because they perform poorly. The neocons will oppose them for similar reasons and also because conscription will create the political opposition to war you describe. The general public with children will oppose conscription because they do not want their kids to even have a chance of getting sent to war. Plus, time in the military delays career start.

Roland Dobbins said at September 27, 2010 5:50 AM:

@Randall Parker:

Either we rebuild the Old Republic, along with the duties and responsibilities of citizenship - which includes serving in the military - or we admit defeat, and go along with the slide into Incompetent Empire.

Linda Gottfredson's Apprentice said at September 27, 2010 8:34 AM:

The probability of war in the next ten to twenty years seems high, if only to distract the populace from the fact that it is all going bad.

As always happens with a highly politically oriented military, things will not go well initially (Cf, the Chinese incursion into Vietnam).

Fortunately for the US their likely adversary likewise has a military that is not used to really fighting ... but it is not saddled with some of the shit the US is saddled with.

Black Death said at September 27, 2010 11:52 AM:

Sounds wonderful. We could have an elite "Gay Corps" with tight-fitting pink uniforms, unless they preferred drag. And they could prance or swish instead of march. It would give new meaning to "The Charge of the Light Brigade."

miles said at September 27, 2010 12:54 PM:

A "gay corps" idea? Well, the gays would probably like that, they'd be showering and sleeping with other gays, and the straights wouldn't be under gay supervision or availed to unwanted sexual desire. Its better than having gays in officer positions over straights. If there is too much of that, it really would hamper enlistment given a good economic conditions in the country.

If the economy didn't have 10% unemployment, and there were more decent paying jobs for kids right out of high-school, I dont think as many 18 year olds would be signing up now. Many in my estimation are economic refugees from the economy with no other way to recieve career training or college money. Its not as if kids are born wanting to go to war in places like Afghanistan and various other middle eastern deserts.

Randall Parker said at September 27, 2010 6:11 PM:

Black Death,

If we want an effective military then all gays who want to get into combat units should get into pure gay combat units. Then we could see what the effects are by comparing hetero and homo units.

gbo said at September 27, 2010 6:19 PM:

Why not eliminate all sexual barriers and remove sex/sexual orientation from the equation? Open bay barracks and showers for everyone, male or female, gay or straight.....

It's the military, not a social experiment. Women in the military have felt similar pressures since they have been a part of our fighting force. We have made great strides to combat sexual assault, but where the genders meet, you are bound to have 'interaction.' Gays would be no different, but let's stop trying to put every military member in a protective little cell and call a spade a spade.

Are you a soldier, or not?

Linda Gottfredson's Apprentice said at September 27, 2010 7:19 PM:

gbo said at September 27, 2010 6:19 PM:

"Why not eliminate all sexual barriers and remove sex/sexual orientation from the equation? Open bay barracks and showers for everyone, male or female, gay or straight....."

I like the way you think. I think the Chinese also like it ... are they paying you?

"It's the military, not a social experiment. Women in the military have felt similar pressures since they have been a part of our fighting force. We have made great strides to combat sexual assault, but where the genders meet, you are bound to have 'interaction.' Gays would be no different, but let's stop trying to put every military member in a protective little cell and call a spade a spade."

Yeah, you go dude. You might want to tone down the racist comments, though. Hint, what did 'spade' actually refer to?

"Are you a soldier, or not?"

No, just someone who understands the different physical and emotional capabilities of males and females and why you do not put females in combat roles. If faced with units with females in them I would have my snipers aim for the women, but get them in the legs or so ... lost of guys would be running around looking after them and not doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is shooting at my troops.

Randall Parker said at September 27, 2010 9:44 PM:

gbo,

Your argument has the force of logic. If gay men who are attracted to each other are going to be together in the same barracks then why shouldn't heterosexual males and females be together as well? Why should heterosexuals be discriminated against? They should be able to see the sex they are attracted to naked in showers just as homosexuals can.

This is a civil rights issue. If gays are allowed to shower together then so should the 2 heterosexual sexes.

Linda Gottfredson's Apprentice,

I think gbo was referring to a plowing implement. In a naked shower there'll be plenty of plowing implements on display.

Can Opener said at September 28, 2010 5:12 AM:

Britain has allowed openly gay soldiers in its army for years with no problems. And they are not a bad army by any account.

Perhaps there is something in the American psyche that is causing problems on this front.

Linda Gottfredson's Apprentice said at September 28, 2010 7:34 PM:

Can Opener said:

"Britain has allowed openly gay soldiers in its army for years with no problems. And they are not a bad army by any account."

When was the last time Britain fought a real war? I am not talking about letting some women get captured by the Iranians or policing Basra or shit like that, I am talking about a real balls-to-the wall engagement, like, say Rourkes Drift?

You can bet that the poofters were given a bayonet up the arse in the real British Army!

Any soldier who is looking out for some other soldier because of a romantic attachment is worthless in a real engagement! Bet on it. And don't use Hollywood pap as your source of how the real world works. 'cause if you do, more fool you!

no i don't said at September 30, 2010 2:17 PM:

I'm all in favor of gays in the U.S. army. All in favor...

The more the better...

For the world...

NotProgressive said at October 2, 2010 12:00 AM:

My experience with gays in the military was bad. I was the Dorm Chief in basic training, and one of the troops was the first in and last out of the community shower. He told me he couldn't help himself especially when I pointed out physical manifestations showing. Upon PCS'ing into my new airbase, one of the guys in my unit was molested by a gay officer. It was during a drunken party. That was two careers ruined, and fortunately I didn't have to go to court as a witness. In the airforce at the time, many of the females were lesbians. Many lesbians are hostile to men, and that creates conflict.

What nobody says when debating the "gays in the military" question, is why? Why are gays so attracted to the military? If you didn't supress their numbers, there would soon be a percentage of military gays way out of proportion to their numbers in society. Homosexuals represent about 2% of the general population. Yet, lesbians alone probably 20-30 percent of the female military population. Gay men are also attracted to the military.

Why do we as a society continue to do things that are damaging to our body politic? If you want an effective military, then why have gays in the military? Their presence is generally negative to high level military functioning. Same goes for immigration. Why do we import people who are negative to the well being of the country. If we had a serious country that wasn't brain addled by political correctness, then ridiculous notions like having gays in the military wouldn't even be considered.

It is all sort of insane.

icr said at October 3, 2010 5:43 PM:

With all those decidedly conservative aspects, the military should always be a requisite component of right-wing politics.

Conservative politics in the first half of the 20th Century was generally not militaristic. The warmongering presidents of that era were two left-of-center Democrats.

Raymond Conder said at March 24, 2012 6:54 AM:

who needs to get saved today in vietnam?


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