Monday, February 15, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Former Congressman Duncan Hunter, a Republican from California, was interviewed by NPR's Melissa Block about his opinion on Don't Ask Don't Tell (the law that says homosexuals must stay closeted to serve in the military). He was not even asked about intersexuals, but his answer managed to include them, and was offensive and perpetuated the status quo of intersexuals as invisible second class citizens.

BLOCK: You are not in favor of a repeal of don't ask, don't tell. Why not?

Rep. HUNTER: No, because I think that its bad for the cohesiveness and the unity of the military units, especially those that are in close combat, that are in close quarters in country right now. Its not the time to do it. I think its - the military is not civilian life. And I think the folks who have been in the military that have been in these very close situations with each other, there has to be a special bond there. And I think that bond is broken if you open up the military to transgenders, to hermaphrodites, to gays and lesbians.

BLOCK: Transgenders and hermaphrodites?

Rep. HUNTER: Yeah, that's going to be part of this whole thing. Its not just gays and lesbians. Its a whole gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual community. If you're going to let anybody no matter what preference - what sexual preference they have that means the military is going to probably let everybody in. Its going to be like civilian life and the I think that that would be detrimental for the military.

The one thing I will say in Hunter's favor is that he realized queer inclusion. All gender and sexual minorities are oppressed by the same sociopolitical forces, and as such, our fates are all intertwined. You can tell, just by his word choice, that he has nothing but contempt for anyone who does not fit into his pseudo-fifties view of gender and sexuality. He might as well have said if gays are allowed to serve, then we'll also have to let the real freaks in. He obviously has very little respect for our troops, both gay and straight and their ability to find common ground. Civilians have adapted greatly these last couple decades to work with gays, and now are working on other gender variants, our military personnel can do the same. Personally, I think anyone who wants to serve their country should be able to. There is no evidence of negative outcomes to a more open acceptance policy. The majority of Americans, both civilian and military support repealing DADT, and other countries that allow open gays to serve, like Great Britain, have not been any worse for it. To unilaterally block a minority group like that is not only discriminatory, it's also hateful and mean spirited. Plato, the father of western thought, would also disagree, he said gays were ideal for the military, because it would make them fight harder to impress their lover. In the case of intersexuals, there are probably several already in the military, we are so hidden, and it is such a taboo topic, they would never know. Intersexuals are already becoming more known in other parts of society, why should the military be any different?

No comments:

Post a Comment