Shhhh; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

I wrote this post for my other blog, but as it relates to the military, I wanted to share it here, too.

It’s been in the news lately about the policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and how it was found, on Sept. 9, 2010, to be in violation of the First and Fifth Amendments (First: Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, Petition & Fifth: Indictments, Due Process, Double Jeopardy, Self-Incrimination; Rules for Eminent Domain).

My husband, who is in the military, and I were discussing this topic, and here is what I had to say about it.

As far as I am concerned, sexuality, plain and simply, should always be a non-issue.  Don’t make it an issue for yourself, and don’t make it an issue for everyone else.  In a perfect world, who you love shouldn’t matter – man or woman.  Sexuality should be a non-issue for service members, where it’s not discussed for anyone in terms of how it relates to your job, your duties, and your service.  You are what you are.  Don’t let it get in the way of your serving, such as the case for every job, in or out of the service.

I think Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) has been continued for the fear, stereotype, that because someone is gay or bisexual, they are going to want or rape YOU because you are the same sex.  Excuse me, but do all straight men go around wanting to have sex with EVERY woman they come across?  Do we as women have an irrational fear that anyone with a penis wants to rape us?  Are men truly wolves?  Because we have always kept sexuality behind closed doors; we awkwardly discuss how babies are made with our children and how that relates to sexuality (man and a woman), we deny feelings that are otherwise natural, we are very conceited and at the same time reluctant about sex, we do not know enough about it, and that scares us even more into hiding.  What’s different, and sometimes even normal, is too much for us to handle.  We, as Americans, were founded and established by prudish and perverted men.  The same ethics drive us today, at the same time we’re fighting for rights and freedom from prosecution for simply being human.  We are being asked to deny who we are, and being punished for the truth.

What you do behind closed doors is your business.  It shouldn’t be a public issue, and it shouldn’t be anyone else’s business.  As a straight woman, who I sleep with, what we do, is never called into question.  If I were a lesbian or bisexual, all of a sudden everyone’s curious – why, who, how?

The big problem is that we do not understand it.  People were afraid because it was different to them.  It’s been “normal” in our society to love the opposite sex.  So when a man says “I like men,” how do we know what to do?  Common sense would be to try to understand why.  Understand what and how they are feeling, and accept it.  But we didn’t do that.  We made the men and women who love differently feel shamed, we reprimanded them for feelings they couldn’t help, couldn’t deny.  We made them public spectacles for our jokes.  We made what they feel, how they make love something dirty, something to be feared.  We circulated the idea that all homosexuals are perverts, they are sex-crazed maniacs who want to have sex with anyone their gender.  They were even labeled as pedophiles.

Homosexual does not mean pedophile.  Straight people can be pedophiles, sexual preference obviously is not a determining factor.  Neither does it make them sex-crazed – heterosexuals can be sex-crazed as well.  Homosexual isn’t dirty.  Bisexual isn’t dirty.  Heterosexual isn’t dirty.

Sex is sex.  And who you choose to love is who you choose to love.

As far as the military service is concerned, your sexual preference shouldn’t be an issue for your service membership.  Because someone loves their same gender doesn’t mean they will be any less of a service member than their heterosexual counterparts.  The only time “sex”, not even sexuality, but sex should be an issue, is when someone in the service rapes or sexually harasses or has unwanted sexual contact with someone else.  Anyone.  Man on woman.  Woman on man.  Woman on woman.  Man on man.  A sex crime is a sex crime, no matter the sex of the victim, no matter the sex of the assailant.

We can repeal DADT, but without the proper understand of what it is, I see more issues stemming from the law than I do the good.  We cannot create special laws for groups of people.  It is either everyone, or no one.  I am for equality among EVERYONE, no matter their sexual preference, race, religion, or creed.  The only people I see as being not held at this standard are criminals, murderers, pedophiles, and those who do not contribute to life or society.  But that’s a whole other topic.

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