Monday, August 13, 2007

An Honest Word on Hetero Privilege

The public is shifting its attitudes on gays serving in the military!

Oh goody.

But frankly, unless "the public" has served or is serving, why does it matter what "the public" thinks about gays in the military?

Too often in gay debates, non-stakeholders make themselves out to be potential victims if the "gay agenda" gets its way. When the reality is this: what will really change in your typical hetero's life if gay people were given the legal and financial benefits of marriage or gays were allowed to openly serve in the military?

See, what chaps Middle America's ass is that if gay people were "given" the benefits of marriage, then heteros would then have to "subsidize" gay relationships with their tax dollars. Nevermind that the gays and lesbians are already subsidizing hetero relationships with their tax dollars. We pay for the government pensions that hetero spouses receive, we pay for the court system that resolves (the many) hetero divorces, we pay for the social security benefits that go to hetero spouses and not ours. For instance.

People on the anti-gay side of "the debate," by virtue of their hetero privilege, often like to make themselves out to be stakeholders and potential victims. They cover their fear, misunderstanding, and/or hatred of gay people with slippery slope outcomes such as "gay marriage will destroy the family" and "the public doesn't agree with gays in the military."

For instance, I recently partook in a "debate" (if you can call it that) with someone who instead of backing his position up with arguments, merely stated that he, as a hetero, didn't want the institution of marriage to be "tampered with." The debate grew tiresome as I quickly found that his way of "debating" is to pretensiously define arguments he doesn't agree with as "childish" and "un-scholarly" and, by using Big and Very Important Words he tries to intimidate his "opponents" by questioning their intellect and trying to humiliate them. Such tactics are surprising given his devout religious beliefs- beliefs that he seems to use mostly to judge other people (morally, intellectually, and religiously) than to further true religious inquiry and devotion.

But I digress.

Frankly, I don't care that people who are sitting pretty with their 1,000 legal and financial benefits of a state-recognized civil marriage funded in part by my tax dollars don't want "their" institution "tampered" with. Because, in reality, many gays and lesbians already have relationships that for all intents and purposes are marriages. And, civilization is still trucking along. Not to mention that the only major threats I see to civilzation are terrorism, endless war, and environmental destruction.

And, I don't care that people who are too cowardly to serve in the military, or people who have other options of improving their lives than the military, don't want our military to have gay people in it. The fact is, is that it does and it always will- whether some people are comfortable with it or not. So we can recognize that reality or keep on pathologically pretending that they don't and that arguments against gays in the military are predicated upon anything other than bias.

The "Gays in the Military" issue is one that I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, LGBT folk should be able to openly serve in the military and receive the benefits that serving can bestow on a person. You know, intangible benefits like confidence, honor, discipline, and experience along with tangible benefits like the GI Bill, federal hiring preference, and retirement/health benefits. And as a country, why would we not want willing and able people to serve? Especially in these times. But, our "uniter not a divider" president continues to make black and white, good and evil divisions among us.

But on the other hand, I sometimes question why LGBT people should bother joining the military. It is a military that doesn't allow gays but is now so desperate for bodies that it is accepting felons, racists, and gang members- all of whom seem more like national security threats than gay people do.

And, if and when they return from war, LGBT persons return to a country that refuses to grant them the full rights of citizenship, freedoms and rights that heterosexuals who have never served their country receive.

Sometimes, I think we give our country more than it deserves from us.


hammerpants said...

Why would I be proud to be an American if America is not proud of me?

Fannie said...

"hammerpants"- Good point.

"Gabriel"- I urge you to refrain from posting another diabtribe, no matter how much you want to get the last word in and prove that you have "won." I tried to engage you in an honest debate but you refused because, being the psychic that you are, you already "knew where it was going." You assumed my list of sarcastic arguments were my only ones- not realizing that they are SARCASTIC and HUMOROUS (oh, probably not to you) nor that this list of arguments have been around for years and they are not my own. And, sarcasm does serve the purpose of pointing out the ridiculousness of some of the anti-gay marriage arguments out there. Even if it is "un-scholarly" to use humor to make a point.

You are boring, and you don't debate honestly. And so I must break up with you. Ta-ta.

sjv4488 said...

You know I can't resist the urge to respond to this blog post.

Fannie, I think you may have been making a rhetorical statement when you asked why public opinion matters with respect to gays in the military but for the sake of people reading this blog let’s answer the question. I’ll shoot for 500 words or less but I may miss this target.

1. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" LAW can only be changed by Congress. Congress is held accountable by the electorate (“public”). Therefore, politicians can't do the right thing just because it is the right thing (I am being a bit sarcastic). Instead, Congress has to make sure lifting the ban won't effect cause them to be unassed from their seat during the next election.

2. At face value, it doesn't appear a newly elected President will be able to get rid of the law either. There is some uncertainty as to whether a President can simply issue an Executive Order making a statute null and void. I don't think it has ever been tried. But I do think the chicken case (Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States) supports my thought. This is question that is way over my little Army pay grade. I leave the rest of this one to you lawyers.

3. It is America's military. It is a reflection of all we have to offer. I served for the citizens. The public has great influence over their families and friends joining in this tradition of service. Many of persons in the public have made tremendous sacrifices for their nation already and have lost loved ones. It matters what they have to say even if a vehemently disagree.

Why bother?

I am gay, served for twelve year, lost my retirement because of this silly law and would like to serve again. With all of that said, I realize that I am not here for my nation to owe me instead I am here to give what I can to the people. Believe me, it comes back 10-fold in my favor. The reason to bother joining is because you give to something greater than yourself.

That's just one little soldier's perspective... 368 words.

Fannie said...


I was hoping you would add your insight, it's always interesting to hear what current and former soldiers have to say about the issue.

I don't know if I could have the positive outlook you currently have after having served for so long...??