Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Scary Gays and Lesbians

Pam reports on Elaine Donnelly's views on gays and lesbians in the military:

Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks.

"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier.

Ouch. Peeking into Donnelly's subconscious fears is not pretty.

She's an odd gal, our Elaine, best known for her great antipathy towards feminists and any expansion of the roles of military women. Maybe that explains why her take on sexual harassment in the military struck a very different bell only three years ago:

Imagine these scenarios: A junior female soldier has an affair with an infantry officer in Iraq. When the relationship cools she revengefully accuses him of sexual assault. Her e-mailed complaint activates the Office of the Victim Advocate in the Pentagon. OVA officials pressure the accused officer's commander to remove him from his unit on the eve of battle.

At the Naval Academy, a female midshipman willingly parties with a classmate. Both have broken rules against alcohol and sex in Bancroft Hall, but to escape punishment she accuses him of sexual assault. The male midshipman is threatened with criminal prosecution and dismissal.

Meanwhile a Marine is barred from his home because his wife told authorities she fears domestic violence. Civilians funded by the Office of Victim Advocate help obtain a court protective order, but not counseling to save the marriage. The accused husband's "treatment" requires him to sign a release disclosing his "violence history" to commanders and military investigators.

Scenarios such as this could become commonplace if Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld establishes an Office of the Victim Advocate in the Pentagon. Legislation to establish a high-level OVA failed in Congress, but Rumsfeld's Office of Military Community and Family Policy signed an undisclosed contract with Wellesley College Centers for Women to "study" prospects for one anyway.

Implementation of a self-interested Wellesley proposal could create a new job market for "women's studies" graduates schooled in man-hating ideology. Sexual assault is always wrong and should be punished promptly at the local level. An OVA in the Pentagon, however, would operate as an "Office of Male Bashing" that would nuclearize the war between the sexes.

"Imagine these scenarios" indeed. What connects the two quotes is the identity of the presumed victims in Donnelly's world: It's always the heterosexual guys who are threatened.