Wednesday, July 14, 2010

More DADT Drama Now in Survey Form!

The Pentagon has sent out a survey to many active duty members of the military asking their views of repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. 400,000 randomly selected personnel were asked questions such as:

If don't ask, don't tell is repealed and you are working with a service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how would that affect your own ability to fulfill your mission during combat?

Pretty straightforward question, in my opinion. The whole of the potential effects of the DADT repeal could be summed up by this answer. However, then there are questions like this:

Have you been assigned to share bath facilities with an open bay shower that is also used by a Service member you believed to be homosexual?


If Don't Ask, Don't Tell is repealed and you are assigned to bathroom facilities with an open bay shower that someone you believe to be a gay or lesbian Service member also used, which are you most likely to do?

Apparently, the military is quite worried about your heterosexual/homosexual showering habits. There are questions pertaining to retention and readiness and willingness and all sorts of issues, but I am quite confused as to why they mention the showering thing so many times. And, I'm not alone.

A lot of critics of this survey have said that the wording of these questions leads respondents to give biased results, or presents situations in a manner that would guide the respondent to a particular answer. So, if I ask you if you're ok with gays in the military, you might say, "Sure!" But, what if I ask you, "Are you willing to shower with a gay guy in an open bay shower without any curtain or wall that would keep him from seeing your naughty bits?" What answer do you think the average soldier is going to give? And, if those are the questions that we're asking, and the way we're asking them, how willing are we (and by 'we' I mean those that are performing this supposed investigation into how to properly repeal DADT) to actually repeal DADT?

I'm not an idiot or some fanatic gay rights activist. I swear. And, I also understand the very real issues of housing and showering as well as retention, recruitment, and readiness. I am up for sending out an online survey to hundreds of thousands of service men and women to get a snapshot of the realities of repealing DADT. I don't, however, think that harping on the issues of showering, highlighting the lack of coverage in the open showers, or the other skewed language is necessary. It seems to be implying that the Powers that Be don't really want to get positive results from this survey. The vast majority of the population is pro-repealing DADT, but I'm not sure how many people would still feel that way when the focus of questioning is on the possible sexual predatory nature of gay folks.

Just because you're gay doesn't mean you find all men attractive. The same goes for lesbians. We're not going to become so filled with lust that we will slide across the wet open shower floor and hop on the happy pole to do the bad thing. We've got self-control, and, in all likelihood, we don't think you're cute. It's not a diss. Think about it. Do YOU think everybody of the opposite sex is hot and doable? Probably not. Same for gay folks. We're just folks.

What do YOU think about this survey? Comment, tweet, or email your comment to IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

4 comments:

  1. I love reading your blog! I have known a few that have recieved this questionaire and they are all for it being repealed! They need to send me the damn thing so I can voice my opion! I been in 17 years and think it's a freaken shame to put it lightly that gays and lesbians are not allowed to serve openly!

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  2. I have to say, 1st off, that I am a 50 yo hetero female. So, what do I know? In my daily life I would not want to shower with a man. I wouldn't care if he were straight/gay/bi. Matters not. I just wouldn't like it. I don't think I'd have a prob showering with a lesbian. I'm not swayed that way and I don't care that another woman sees my girly bits, no matter what her persuasion. BUT, I'm not in the military with girls my own age and I really don't know what it's like for them. I do think this is a sensitive issue for them and should be addressed somehow. Being wet and naked is very different than fighting side by side I would think. What in the world are they going to do? Will Homo men have to shower with the girls? Do the Lesbians have to shower with the men? Will all the Homo's have to shower together? This all seems rather complicated.

    Please know that I'm using these terms respectively. I'm not bothered by color/race/sexual orientation.

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  3. Hah Priscilla, careful giving them ideas. The Infantry will swap positions on this overnight if they think they will get Lesbians in the showers =p

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  4. My fear is that despite the actual numbers of service people that respond positively, they military "leaders" will find a way to distort the numbers to excuse ultimately not repealing DADT. Plus I find it a little hypocritical that they didn't see the need to survey service people in the nineties to see if they wanted their or their fellow soldiers careers destroyed because of this nonsense.

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