don't show + tell

Maybe We Should Only Repeal DADT For Lesbian Soldiers

All of the dinosaurs in favor of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell usually groan on and on about how penis-hungry homos will make all our straight soldiers too nervous to shoot or shower correctly. That’s a load of horsecrap, of course. Most US allies allow gays in their military (without any big problems). But while the fatcats on Capitol Hill continue to mass debate, blogger Eugene Volokh from The Volokh Conspiracy wonders why the gay-ban exists for lesbian soldiers at all, seeing as lesbians are far more desirable (militarily speaking) than straight female troops.

In short, Volokh says that lesbian soldiers won’t likely undermine unit cohesion because they rarely serve in all-women brigades. He also says that it seems counter-intuitive to let go of lesbian soldiers seeing as they’re less likely to get pregnant, seem less likely to get sexually transmitted diseases, and that butch lesbians might have more desirable “masculine traits” than girly straight women. His STD claim is speculative at best and his assumptions about butch dykes definitely dabbles in offensive stereotypes; and while he might be correct about the pregnancy issue (how many lesbians do you know that get accidentally pregnant), as we’ve said before, immutable characteristics (like the ability to become pregnant) should not considered among criteria to serve. But then there’s another issue — that women are discharged under DADT at much higher, and extremely disproportionate rates than men.

It seems almost discriminatory (hah, get it?) that the entire conversation about DADT has revolved around fear of gay men rather than the reality that lesbians are more often the target of the homophobic policy—just another example of how society, and commentators, overlook lesbian women in gay politics.

But their exclusion points to the real culprit of the ban: man-on-man sex. As political talk show host Bill Maher once said, “Let’s face it. When people talk about homosexuality being unnatural, and abomination, they’re not talking about the women. No, no, they’re talking about the men. Nobody seems to find anything so abominable about Britney Spears tonguing Madonna. Or Gina Gershon in bed with Jennifer Tilly. Or anything else on the third shelf of my ‘library.’ No, in America, when a man puts something in another man, it had better be a bullet.”

But gay buttsex, as always, is just the bogeyman hiding the real issues at stake: our national security, equality, and the lives of those serving. Now that the top military brass and even some Republicans have joined the majority of Americans calling for a repeal of the antiquated homophobic policy, the dinosaurs’ cry has shown itself for what it really is: a desire to continue the humiliation of LGBT Americans of all stripes. They equate equality with anarchy and engagement with weakness. And we thought these guys liked battles.