Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Military's Precious Little Snowflakes

There was a fascinatingly stupid article on FanHouse last week about Kiss Cams at baseball games - you know, the annoying mid-inning JumboTron stunt where ballpark operators show people they suspect to be couples on the big screen and expect them to kiss, which they do most of the time - and how gay people shouldn't be on them. His rationale wasn't that we should stigmatize gay relationships, just that he didn't want to have to deal with explaining same-sex relationships to his kid. Jon Bois over at SB Nation gives this article the epic beatdown it deserves, and I won't rehash it here except to cite a line towards the end:
Anyway, I have this thing about spiders. They creep me out. When I have a kid, I'm going to make sure that my kid never learns that spiders exist until he or she is, say, twelve. I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to pull this off.
The point being, of course, that gay people exist, seeing them is part of life in 21st-century America, and parents need to deal with it. In short, we can't infantilize our children by shielding them from things that might make us or them uncomfortable.

Ironic, then, that I should read Bois' article on the same day that the Senate rejected a bid to end the military's inexcusable "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that prevents gay and lesbian soldiers from serving openly in the military. Ironic because a Web-based sportswriter just demonstrated that he is more mature than 42* U.S. Senators.

There are, of course, the hardcore bigots who will oppose allowing gays to go anywhere, and there's only one real response to them. But the majority of the Senators that voted against this bill aren't haters. They're nervous little nellies, eager to infantilize our troops because they, like our FanHouse friend, don't want to confront the uncomfortable-for-them reality that homosexuality exists.

News flash: our troops aren't fragile little snowflakes who need to be protected from anything that might disturb them. Our troops are adults who are perfectly capable of doing their job and serving their country next to someone whose personal conduct meets with their disapproval. Teetotaler Baptists serve next to people who drink like fish. The pious serve next to those who curse God's name every day. If Bois' points against avoiding difficult topics make sense for our children, they absolutely make sense for people we're preparing to send into the most uncomfortable and disturbing environment imaginable: warfare.

*43 senators voted against the bill, but Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), a supporter of the effort to repeal the policy, voted no for procedural reasons.


Mike said...

Only thing I would add is this: not only are our servicemen and women completely capable of doing those things, but they have way more important things to worry about. All of this is posturing for people who have never worn a uniform, which is frankly deplorable if unsurprising.

Also, the Kiss Cam are a stupid and intrusive "tradition" that needs to stop right away.

So to sum up: the perfect solution is to allow gays to serve openly in the military, and then have President Obama order an all-out assault against Kiss Cams.

Murphy said...

Wait, our troops know that spiders exist, right?