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S/O on DADT .... Can you understand this perspective?

I'm writing anonymously because I don't want any preconceived notions about me to interfere with the responses. I am being absolutely serious when I post this - I'm not trying to mock. I recognize your side of the issue, I want to know if you recognize and understand mine (or do my concerns have no relevance?).

Let me start with some background about myself.

I come from a fairly Christian conservative background, and I'm the only girl in my family among three brothers. I had always been taught modesty and to keep my nakedness private until I got married, and then to keep my nakedness between just me and my husband. Growing up I attended a Christian school for a few years and then went to public school from 6th grade until I graduated high school. My freshman year I joined the swim team. My first day I went into the girls locker room and was shocked to see that girls were getting changed into their swim suits in front of everyone else. There were girls showering naked, and girls showering with their suits on. Like the other newbies, I went into a stall to get changed. My brother's girlfriend was a Senior the year I was Freshman and when I told her that I felt uncomfortable changing in front of other girls, she assured me that no one was looking at me in any sort of sexual manner and that they just ignored the fact they were naked. I eventually got up the nerve to change in front of the other girls and not in the stall (although I always showered with my suit on), and trusted that no one was ever looking at me in a sexual manner. I remained on the swim team until my Junior year of high school.

Fast forward ....

I joined the Air Force in April 2003. I was still a generally naive girl, but when the recruiter was talking to me about what to expect during basic training, he mentioned the open showers and that everyone showered together at the same time. Remembering my experience on the swim team, I was still a little intimidated since I had showered in my bathing suit and that wouldn't be an option for me in basic training. But I again I reminded myself that of that trust between women that I had gained during my swim team years in high school, and I managed to survive showering at basic training.

DADT was obviously in effect when I went into the Air Force and I can remember girls whispering to each other about whom they thought might be lesbians because they were "caught" looking at another girl in the shower. This made me (naive Christian girl) nervous again. While I never "caught" anyone looking at me in the shower, the rumors still flew around. There were sometimes cat fights that broke out and even more rumors from other flights actually had lesbians who were open about their sexuality and doing sexual things after lights out (most of the military training instructors were men, and they stayed with the male flights where the female flights were mostly unsupervised at night).

Now that DADT has been repealed ... it has made me think about why this is such a contraversy. It isn't because we heterosexuals think that homosexuals aren't capable of doing a good job in the service. It also isn't because we think that the military aught to be "Christian." It isn't because we don't want to see lesbian or gay couples show up to the unit family functions. In fact, it has nothing to do with that. Most of us conservative girls were brought up to guard our sexuality and our nakedness from boys because of the sexual desire between the two genders. We came to trust other girls believing that no such sexual desire existed.

The problem with repealing DADT is that now we're going to know (and there will likely be an increased number) of people that find their own gender sexually desirable. And just like in high school where we sometimes couldn't tell if a boy found us attractive, now we are going to be wondering if a girl finds us attractive in the same manner. The difference is that for us, this is unwanted attention. For us, this violates the trust that we have between women to not have to worry about that. For us, this is highly uncomfortable. For us, being segregated from men gives us a sense of security, but that sense of security is not going to be there now.

Now, call this a false sense of security since there have been lesbians and gays in the military before DADT got repealed. I know this. But DADT gave gays and lesbians a reason to NOT violate this trust and sense of security that we heterosexuals have grown up with. Now there is no reason for them to violate that sense of trust. I understand all of the arguments in favor of repealing DADT, but those aren't the issue to begin with. This significantly effects those of us who have a conservative view of sexuality. And whether you agree with it or not, we are entitled to our beliefs. We are entitled to guard our nakedness from those that might find our bodies sexually desirable. And whether or not there is such a thing as "gay-dar," that is totally irrelevant to our right to protect our modesty.

Should the rule be "if you don't want to be viewed in a sexual way, even by the same gender, then don't join the military," rather than, "if you find the same gender sexually attractive, then don't join the military?" We essentially have the same problem as before. Nothing has been solved. The difference is that the tables has turned. And in the interest of fairness (because that is how the repeal of DADT has been touted) is it fair to turn the tables, and not elimintating the real problem?

I don't believe that a gay guy or lesbian isn't capable (or deserving) of serving our country in the military. I have no problem WORKING alongside of them, or enjoying a family potluck with the unit with them and their partner there. I have a problem with the fact that I can no longer guard my nakedness against those who find the female body sexually attractive. And regardless of your feelings about beliefs (perhaps being "old-fashioned" or "out-dated"), I'm entitled to them ... am I not?

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 2:05 PM on Dec. 23, 2010 in Politics & Current Events

This question is closed.
Answers (157)

  • All those other settings don't require showering together.

    Really, if it all comes down to showers- I can not imagine that can not be overcome. Only the coming months/year will tell what the real issues are and how to resolve them- I think it comes down to we must have a military that does not discriminate and so it will be done- heck we can shoot a missle through a key hole, we can figure out showers!
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 11:40 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • No, I can't understand your "perspective". You went in a nice wide circle there, but how exactly is life any different under DADT or not under DADT in a shower? The same gays and lesbians that were there before are there now. The same rules and code of conduct prohibiting sexual contact between ANY members, including the straight ones, are still there. They are still just at risk of getting in trouble as they were before, just for one less regulation than covered them before.

    The idea that you somehow thought under DADT nobody was looking at you IS your own false sense of security - women were looking at you in the shower and making judgments. Chances are they weren't even lesbians, and even if they were, you never knew for sure. Why should your own personal emotional issues (aka insecurity) impact someone else's career?
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:17 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • "But DADT gave gays and lesbians a reason to NOT violate this trust and sense of security that we heterosexuals have grown up with."

    Why do you think that DADT was the only thing keeping people from ogleing you in the shower? Isn't it possible that gays in the military have the morals to not invade your privacy without some discriminatory policy telling them not to?
    DEpley

    Answer by DEpley at 2:23 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • Perhaps you didn't read all of what I wrote .... "Now, call this a false sense of security since there have been lesbians and gays in the military before DADT got repealed. I know this. But DADT gave gays and lesbians a reason to NOT violate this trust and sense of security that we heterosexuals have grown up with."

    Nobody is going to violate it now either, unless they would like an article 15, loss of rank or even court marshall out of the military. DADT doesn't mean homosexuals are going to start molesting you or anything, it means they can be free and open about their sexuality, the same way you are free and open about being a hetero.
    tnm786

    Answer by tnm786 at 2:22 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • Perhaps you didn't read all of what I wrote ....

    No, I did, I even referenced it in my reply - did you bother to read that? It says it IS your false sense of security, and that there are other regs that still prevent them from outright looking at someone in the shower or acting on it - the same ones that keep female enlisted from feeling up people's husbands behind the barracks (and vice versa). What I'm saying is that you having some hangup or phobia is not a good enough excuse to invade someone else's life.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 2:27 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • I would not a join a military that didn't respect my beliefs, but I am stuck in a military that is trying to make a culture shift, and I have no recourse.

    Not sure if its a culture shift or just doing what it must to represent the USA. As a govt we simply can not allow that type of discrimination. You should perhaps talk with a counselor about how you are feeling- there may be some type of discharge you can take and if not, you can not re-enlist when the time comes. I understand that you may feel robbed of your career-but in the end, it really is your problem and not the Armed Forces. They can not represent the US and all it stands for and continue to discriminate like that.
    soyousay

    Answer by soyousay at 2:47 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • Ummm, no I don't understand how gays should have to be "hidden' in order to make you feel more "secure" within yourself. Gays were there before, they are now. They had self control then, they'll have self control now.
    No difference.
    sahmamax2

    Answer by sahmamax2 at 3:16 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • It's called a sexual harassment policy and it's there for a reason. It applies whether you are gay or straight. Why would gay soldiers who fought for this repeal so hard screw themselves by getting in trouble/booted for sexual harassment? That just seems ridiculous.
    Jenniejen77

    Answer by Jenniejen77 at 3:25 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • And under the sexual harrasment and fraternization policies a straight male could not hit on you without risking you filing a complaint either and getting discharged for that. It's all covered under fraternization and sexual harrasment policies. You really don't have a leg to stand on with your claim that lesbians are going to start hitting on you now that DADT is repealed.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 3:33 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

  • Facts are nothing has changed except gay will be able to scream it to the world that they are gay and when they do they won't be able to be kicked out of the service. Everything else is going to stay the same.

    Yeah, they totally suck for wanting to be allowed to display pictures of their child and partner just like you do. How dare they????
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 5:08 PM on Dec. 23, 2010

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