artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


12 February 2010

This poll will change again when it reaches the unit level.

"Don't ask, don't tell, and don't pursue" works very well.

Although the unwritten "don't care a damn either way" and "I don't want to hear about your sex life at work" line of thought really sums it up for most service people, there is an ongoing civillian driven obsession to ?fix? something that is not near being broken or in need of repair.

A good exercise in poll wording.
posted by buzzman 12 February | 08:40
"Don't ask, don't tell, and don't pursue" works very well.

Works well for whom?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 February | 09:31
75% back letting gays serve openly according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
posted by kirkaracha 12 February | 10:04
According to the 25 countries that don't have such bans, plain old honesty works well, too.
posted by BoringPostcards 12 February | 10:09
Won't somebody think of the bigots?!?!?
posted by danf 12 February | 11:00
This makes sense to me, though I can't quite articulate why. "Homosexual" is so outdated, and it's the term used by people who hate 'homosexuals,' so there's necessarily more stigma attached to it.

"Don't ask, don't tell, and don't pursue" works very well.

I know you're military, buzzman, but TPS is right. Your blanket statement misses the mark. You'd be more accurate and more honest if you said it worked well for you and your straight comrades, because the denial is more comfortable for you. It doesn't work so well for many others -- including one of my exes, who aspired to and would have been quite excellent at a career in the military, but was discharged (during peacetime) simply for being gay (and single). If you like it, that's fine. But don't presume to claim that it works for the greater good of humanity, because it doesn't.
posted by mudpuppie 12 February | 11:33
Perhaps we are seeing the Fred Phelps effect with the wording.
posted by warbaby 12 February | 12:17
I think it's just that the phrasing "gay men & lesbians" reminds people they're talking about human beings.
posted by BoringPostcards 12 February | 12:27
When I see the word "homosexual" I can't help but hear it pronounced in my head in the voice of the late Strom Thurmond, racist Dixiecrat extraordinaire:

Just imagining that voice makes me a little bit hateful already. Perhaps that's skewing the results?
posted by Atom Eyes 12 February | 13:18
I am only speaking of what I have seen and heard of from many other members. I know it is not perfect.

There is an enormous amount of pressure to deviate on females in athletics at the college level. Some branches of the military share this pressure. I know people who have left the service because they did not want to confrom to this pressure to change or alter their sexuality.

I feel for people that feel they are bearing a great burden by having to hide their sexuality; but at some level we all have to hide or not be open about our personal beliefs or mores.

I was dismissed from a department once because I chose to have my CDC donation go to NORML. NORML used to be on the federal CDC campaign, but not listed. Every year; I would look up their campaign # and have a monthly donation from my check. Well; somebody looked up the numbers that people had used and -zip- I was out of that department.

I can't say I've got any gay friends in the service, but I have worked elbow to elbow with a number of gays in the service. 99% of ?us? don't care. And a lot, a lot of the people I work with simply wonder about me because I am ?not like? most people. So I can say that I am certain more than a few people think I'm gay. That used to bother me for the longest time even before my military time.

As much as other things are screwed up like our health care system; don't ask don't tell still manages to function albeit at a patially disfunctional level. And the "don't pursue" part is rarely discussed in any media; but is part of every branches annual training on the "don't ask don't tell" policy. Yes, every year; every service member receives training on the "don't ask don't tell don't pursue" policy.

I'm one little small person in a large machine. I like what I do. I knew about some of the rules when I came in; and I stopped (and do not discuss) anything I did before service that is now against regulations/laws/rules.

Being indiginous to the group being discussed (military) I felt my contribution might shed some light on the discussion. I have no apologies for my feelings; and the overall feelings I discussed are those of the indiginous group being discussed.

"Don't ask, don't tell, and don't pursue" works well for 99.8% of the military.
posted by buzzman 12 February | 14:11
I think it's just that the phrasing "gay men & lesbians" reminds people they're talking about human beings.

This was exactly my thought, too, BP.
posted by deborah 12 February | 14:55
As a veteran of the US Marine Corps and a bisexual, I may disappoint most of you with my response.

buzzman wrote, "Although the unwritten 'don't care a damn either way' and 'I don't want to hear about your sex life at work' line of thought really sums it up for most service people, there is an ongoing civillian driven obsession to ?fix? something that is not near being broken or in need of repair." Emphasis mine.

Because of a vocal minority (whether biased, misinformed or just plain lying--yeah, you libs are just as guilty, ;-P ), the public perception is that this issue is a big problem in the military. Perhaps a few outliers were let go, but for them, the question is 'why?'. Was the reason because they were gay, or because their crusading was interfering with their assigned tasks? Most likely, the latter. I knew a lot of non-rates who were kicked out because their anti-gay attitudes were detrimental to unit morale, and that was back in the early 80s, long before DADTDP. They just happened to piss off the wrong gay sergeant or officer.

Want another anecdote? I worked across the hall from a sergeant who had since graduating high school openly lived with her girlfriend, a first lieutenant, and that, dear friends, is blatant fraternization. Was anything ever said? Nope. The closest analogy I know is the well respected, unwritten rule of smoking pot in Amsterdam: imbibe all you want in the cafes but don't smoke it on the street.

Anyway, one thing the military does well is react in kind to the pressure laid on it by the POTUS. If Obama lynches a general or two, the lower ranks will lockstep mo riki-tik and that will be the end of that.

Besides, gays don't have it nearly as bad in the military as us atheists. heheh

- luv m
posted by Ardiril 12 February | 15:38
"Don't ask, don't tell, and don't pursue" works well for 99.8% of the military.

So what of that 0.02%? What of the fact that the policy is disproportionately enforced against female soldiers, often after the soldiers are subject to sexual harassment? Shouldn't a policy that perpetuates sexual harassment and silence from victims be reconsidered?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 February | 16:19
Shouldn't a policy that perpetuates sexual harassment and silence from victims be reconsidered?

Isn't that what Obama is doing?
posted by Ardiril 12 February | 16:23
Exactly. It's all the policy defense here on this site that confuses; of course the policy works well for the people it doesn't discriminate against.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 12 February | 16:33
Conversely, consider this. How many (pseudo?) gays and lesbians are using DADT expressly to get the fuck out of the military? In my day, it was pregnancies and positive piss tests. After all, a dishonorable discharge hasn't meant squat since the 70s; it's just another way to get fired. Also, since the military is the first job for so many, they don't even list a DC on job applications. Further, how many HRs even check up on a possible military history?
posted by Ardiril 12 February | 16:46
TPS, the mid-to-late 90s events that are mentioned in the paper you cited would not be allowed today. Certainly not by the fellow servicemembers in a unit (large group peer pressure can be a mighty force against a bully), nor by the regs; which would bring a full brunt force "Stop. Stop what you are doing and saying about _______." The harassing person would have to sign paper acknowledging the counciling. One or two more incidents; and the harassing person would be gone/discharged/separated from the rest of the unit until processed out according to regs.

Yes, some branches have literally done round ups complete with near-interogations of females concerning sexual orientation. DLI is one base that I recall received some media (and Army/Navy?Air Force Military Times) attention around 1999-2001 for this type of illegal behavior. As with most media; the specifics are hard to really see in a few column inches and 400 words or less.

I have been at commands where they have done middle of the night barracks room checks. Oooops! Same sex in the same bed and different branches even? Uh-oh, not supposed to have overnight guests. And that was the end of any counciling there. No investigation. No Article 15. No punishment of any sort, save for maybe a "You had overnight guests in your barracks room after hours, and you have extra duty for 7 days".

This has happened on about half a dozen occasions I know of personally at three different geographical locations. Nobody cares. I mean, it isn't a hush hush we don't speak of that type of quickly silenced gossip. It is a "uh, old news, so what. Which facility are we going to get lunch at today? Is there an inspection on Friday?" next topic issue.

Our teens and 20-somethings grew up with open sexuality in their schools. They do not care about a persons sexuality. Many of these young people are in service. They do care about how much a person can contribute to the duty day. Teamwork, all as one, skills, group think, professionalism, etc. They still don't give a foo about a persons sexuality. Commands really, really don't want to mess with a "DADTDP" mess of discharge paperwork (and accompaning negative OMG press).

I've been at one command; people came out; they got moved to different departments. They were angry. They didn't want to be serving gay; they just wanted out. They just wanted out.
I've been at commands where ST8s decided they were gay to get out. They just wanted out.
I've been at commands I had such a dislike for that if I was gay; I would have jumped right thru the DADT door. I'd contacted the various DADT support groups, done my reading, on and on. But I am not gay. In some ways, perhaps this was my own vicious version of a gay person not being able to come out. I was straight; but I could not lie (and insult by being dishonest and claiming a false state) solely for the purpose of a DADT discharge.

DADT is a door way for many to leave as well as they can. A DADT type discharge today isn't even a "dishonorable'; and I believe it can be changed after a year. But as Ardil pointed out; nobody cares. Most employers have no clue about types of discharges even. Anything other than an AWOL (as in "this person has vanished and we are wondering where they are for the sake of their own selves safety") and it is a head-shaking 'so what?'.

I can get a double meat hamburger, or a single meat cheeseburger at a dining facilty. But I can not get a double meat cheeseburger. It hurts my mind to overthink it. Just give me the piece of cheese!!! But that is the way it is. Jobs are not burger-kings. I hope the over simplification is not insulting or demeaning; but if a double cheeseburger for lunch was that important I would go to work somewhere else.

tl;dr. I'm going to step away because this thread is distracting me from chores I need to do now; in the real.
posted by buzzman 12 February | 17:15
AWOL - My nephew went AWOL for three months last year. On the third day he was gone, the Army called my sister to see if she knew where he was, was he ok, did he need money to get back, blah blah blah. On the seventh day, the Army called her and said that if he just wanted out, the paperwork was ready for his signature, and if he showed up before noon, he could be gone by the end of the day. After a month, they said he could just show up at any recruiter's office--Army, Navy, whatever--and they would fax the paperwork.

However, she hadn't heard from him at all. When he finally did show up, it all was as simple as that. He even got a check for the few days he had worked during the next pay cycle. Of course, he had to forfeit everything thereafter.
posted by Ardiril 12 February | 17:44
Photo Friday : Asleep || Watch this