Wednesday, December 22, 2010

To Those Who Tell Us Not To Celebrate The Repeal Of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell:" Ask Yourself Why People In Your Workplace Can't Come Out, and What You Plan To Do About It

You might also want to take a little vacation from critique and let the rest of us enjoy the elimination of a law that went out its way to make life even more difficult for queer people, all in the name of progress. As for the killjoys who say that this won't prevent gay and lesbian soldiers from being harassed in the military, I say: true.  BUT: why don't you tell me a place where we actually are safe?  School perhaps?  The streets? At home?

Whether you believe in the military or not, and whether this is only part of the pie rather than the whole pie, shrinking the circle of legal stigma is a baby step to making this country a little more livable for everyone.

Photo credit.


Token Straight Breeder said...


Calloo, callay!

As a pacifist, I cannot celebrate anyone being sent into wars, particularly ones that represent complete failures of foreign policy.

But the repeal of hateful, discriminatory laws that bar my friends, neighbors, and other fellow Americans from serving the county we both love in the way they find most appropriate (along with career advancement for those shut out of other options)? Bring on the parties, the balloons, and the dancing persons-of-your-choice.

Comrade PhysioProf said...

Who's saying not to celebrate this advance in fundamental fairness and human rights? Well, other than the usual sicke-fucke right-wing jeezus-freake scum?

Tenured Radical said...

Well them, and then there are our fellow travelers on the left who view such reforms as pushing what could be the vanguard (disenfranchised queers) to a normalizing center where they replicate the oppressions formerly visited on them. Which is a good point in its own way, but it covers up a lot of $hit visited on all of us along the way.

Anonymous said...

Well, I say that if gay folks want to go get their asses shot off in the Bush/Obama wars, more power to 'em. Women who have the same desire should also be allowed to do so. And if the draft ever comes back, women and gays should be treated equally by the draft as well.


Comrade PhysioProf said...

the Bush/Obama wars

JDB: Channeling Fox News sicke-fucke extremist right-wing propaganda directly into the comments of the Tenured Radical blogge so you don't have to.

Anonymous said...

CPP, let's look at the facts (facts, not Fox--good slogan, eh?) Please peruse the following chart:

With respect to war, looks to me like Obama is to Bush as Nixon was to Johnson. Different person, different party, same ole' war (in this case, the "war on terror"). If you think differently, I'd love to see your reasoning.


JoVE said...

Here's a thing: if you are being harrassed it is helpful if you can actually make a complaint to the powers that be. Although they may brush it under the carpet and not deal with it, at least there is the possibility that they will deal with it if they know, officially, that it is happening.

Under DADT, you can't complain. That would be telling. And if gays and lesbians officially don't exist in the military then they can't be being harrassed. The problem doesn't exist and nothing can be done about it.

So that point about harrassment ignores that fact that ending harrassment takes a few concrete steps. One of which is official recognition of the problem, which relies on official recognition of the parties.

Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

Having the right to serve one's country is clearly a right of full citizenship, so the repeal of DADT is a necessary step on the road to full equality. We celebrate the legal victory, but, like Token Straight Breeder, kinda hope no one will sign up and no one will get sent to war.

I know, I know: Queers are already in the service and they need the protection repeal might provide. Here's hoping they get it.

Oh, and happy holidays to everyone in Radical-land. Here's to peace, love, and fabulously gay military uniforms in 2011.

Self Family Blog said...

I don't think this is an epochal victory, but neither do I think it's inconsequential. As TR has noted, if queer people (and other historically marginalized people) carefully selected those institutions in which to have their humanity and citizenship recognized, based upon, say, disentanglement from empire, sexism, class warfare, and the like, then most major universities, Wall Street firms, federal employment, and many, many other places would have to be rejected along with the military.

The sad truth, as JoVE writes, is that the only avenue to a better world is to force every institution (good and bad) to officially recognize the full citizenship of all people, and then work from there. Really, what alternatives are there?

Much more consequential in the medium term, it seems to me, is the news this week that the sunbelt has won even greater representation in Congress and that largely Republican state legislatures and governors will be redistricting to fill those new seats.

This will only have the effect of further entrenching retrograde politics that are out of touch with the American majority. On all issues, including queer rights and citizenship.

Historiann said...

Love your smart posts on DADT over the last few days, TR. I agree: celebration is in order.

Who could not be moved by all of the gay soldiers, sailors, air personnel, and Marines who have rejoiced in this bill's passage and who (if they were discharged) now say they want to re-enlist because they love the military and want to serve again? It's rather humbling, in my view, to hear of so many women and men who are so loyal to their branches of the service and to their country. The rest of us could learn something from it, I think.

Dr. Koshary said...


GiantIguana said...

Good point, where is the pressure on the sainted "private" sector to make the work place safe for everyone to come out? Where is the intensive training managers will receive at say Citigroup or BofA or Caterpillar corp., to "educate" straights about how to make the workplace safe for all of us?

Glad the miliary is accomodating, but the reality is, many fortune 500 companies do nothing to promote lesbians and gay people. Nothing. I'm the only out person in my company now. I'd say I am silently "tolerated" and have a few straight allies, but really it is still a rampantly sexist, racist, silently homophobic place. Wish Obama could sign a law dealing with my company!

Michael Dunn said...

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was clearly prejudicial and abusive and its repeal is certainly a triumph over discrimination. However, it is a twisted sort of victory that gives a new group of people the right to slaughter poor people throughout the world, have their own limbs blown off, suffer devastating cognitive and psychological trauma, and die, to protect the property and profits of the rich. (Transgender folks still won’t be able to sever, er, serve their country).

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