Monday, November 08, 2010

Sexism to Conquer Homophobia? I Think Not.

Reader, sigh. Like every other thoughtful progressive person, I am in favor of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. It's discriminatory. It's reactionary. Oh, and active military members aren't supporting it, either:
“Service members said the most important factors for unit cohesion and readiness were the quality of their officers, training, and equipment,’’ said Laura Miller, a military sociologist at the RAND Corporation, a private research group that has long advised the Pentagon, which conducted the study along with the University of Florida. “Serving with another service member who was gay or lesbian was not a significant factor that affected unit cohesion or readiness to fight.’’

Can I get a DUH!? So why did Dan Choi, poster child of the DADT repeal movement, decide to invoke sexism to battle homophobia by calling Harry Reid "a pussy [who] bleeds once a month" in a recent Village Voice profile?

The Service Women's Action Network (SWAN) quickly called out this dumbass move in an open letter to Choi, excerpted below:
Your comments about women are irresponsible, indefensible and inexcusable, and you should publicly acknowledge that fact. As a human rights advocate, you should know that degrading one group of people to promote the rights of another disserves everyone. Your sexist comments also undermine SWAN”s efforts to achieve our policy objectives, which include promoting equality for all servicemembers.

As an organization that advocates for equal opportunity for all servicemembers and veterans, SWAN is keenly aware that there is still a tremendous amount of misogyny both within the military and the LGBTQ community, and that misogynistic and homophobic language is rampant in the military.

Comments denigrating women's bodies, or suggesting that simply being a woman is abhorrent, are unacceptable. Unfortunately, this type of language is all too familiar to women in the military.

As a direct result of misogynistic language, a hostile work environment for servicewomen–both heterosexual and lesbian–is allowed to thrive. Hate crimes, sexual harassment, lesbian-baiting, gay-bashing and sexual assault have flourished. Adopting and promulgating hate-filled speech against women only serves to increase the danger that servicewomen and LGBTQ servicemembers face on a daily basis.

Choi issued an apology via Twitter. Which is also lame. C'mon Choi, get it together. Because in 2007 women made up less than 20 percent of the Army and Air Force, but accounted for nearly half of DADT’s discharges.

My mind remains boggled that still, STILL! the very worst thing you can call a man is a woman.



Anonymous said...

i wish i didn't know that

Anonymous said...

Blech. Remember that old Gloria Steinem piece "If Men Menstruated"?
"Military men, right-wing politicians, and religious fundamentalists would cite menstruation ('men-struation') as proof that only men could serve in the Army ('you have to give blood to take blood')."

-- Winger

Professional Critic said...

Blech is right. I also wish I could un-know that or better yet that Choi could un-say it. But now that he has the world's attention, he could right the wrong.

We're waiting, Dan Choi.