Friday, April 29, 2005

Don't Ask, Don't Look

As the merits (or lack thereof) of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military is being debated in Congress, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness in Livonia, Michigan, offers her opinion as to why gays should be excluded from military service.

The law recognizes that living conditions are often “spartan, primitive and characterized by forced intimacy with little or no privacy.” It also respects the normal human desire for sexual modesty. Servicemen and women should not have to expose themselves to persons who might be sexually attracted to them. It would be unfair to force the homosexual agenda on young people whose lives are difficult enough.

I think this viewpoint rests on the tired stereotype that gays and lesbians are hyper-sexed, always out to hit on everyone of their gender. There is no reason that one can't expect "sexual modesty" from gays and lesbians the same as they expect it from straight people. It's called common courtesy. We really need to get over ourselves if we're afraid to undress in front of people of the same gender because they may or may not like what they see.

Rules about who should and shouldn't serve should be based on behavior, not identity. Lewd behavior, gay or straight, should be disciplined. It shouldn't be assumed of an entire group of people before the fact. The word for that is "prejudice."


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