sexual politics

The Navy No Longer Fears Women Serving in Cramped Submarines. Gays? STILL SCARY!


Isn’t one of the Pentagon’s biggest fears about letting gays serve openly in the military that homo soldiers will try to jump on their hetero comrades in the shower? Then why is the U.S. Navy thinking that having women serve in the cramped quarters of submarines, for the first time ever, would be no big deal?

It’s exhausting to hear the continued tired argument against killing DADT because it would make straight soldiers uncomfortable around their gay counterparts. (As if gay servicemembers automatically hit on straight people just because they’re of the same-sex. Sorry, we’re more selective than that. Even among hot soldiers.) Since everyone is on top of each other in small spaces, heteros will always have to be watching their backs! ZOMG!

This is what military leaders refer to as “preparedness.” How can gay soldier be prepared when they’ve always got sex on the brain?

The argument is also offensive: It assumes gay men and women cannot control their carnal desires when surrounded by so many hot bodies. Except: Gay and straight soldiers are serving alongside each other, openly or not, right this minute. And nobody is going B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Wow!

But evidently, straight sailors are able to keep their dicks in check, because the Navy is actually considering letting women go underseas with the men. This, despite some submarines hosting 140 sailors, with nine people to a bunk and just four showers!

Naturally, there are fears of sexual harassment with men and women almost literally on top of each other. And the girlfriends and wives of male sailors aren’t especially thrilled about their partners going off to sea with some gals — and no escape. (Concerns from female soldiers’ partners could arguably be greater, given the male-to-female ratio we expect.) Most of these complaints are surfacing on military blogs and Facebook, of course. And these fears popped up previously when, 16 years ago, female sailors were allowed to serve on combat ships.

But could someone please explain how the Pentagon — which is seriously considering lifting the ban, and could have women on submarines by 2011 — can rationalize putting (assumed) heterosexual men and women together in such close proximity (and for days and weeks at a time), but fears mixing openly straight and openly gay servicemembers would be catastrophic for military preparedness?