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Dec 19 2010

The future is sort of now

Turkey flashmob
Turkey flashmob surrounds the canine compound at Spinster HQ. Cottonmouth County, October 2010.

You could have knocked me and Phil, my secretary, over with a feather when we heard some guy on the radio freak out about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. It was the fact of the repeal, not the radio guy freakout (“we’re gambling with our national security over political correctness!”), that made us stop what we were doing (it was Saturday, so we were lookin’ at turkeys) and cock an attentive ear.

“Damn,” said Phil. “Didn’t see that comin’.”

It’s just so uncharacteristically progressive of the Central Junta to take such a wild plunge and throw its tacit approval behind the whimsical notion that homos are somewhat human enough to join the warrior class. So uncharacteristically progressive is this plunge that my suspicions are 99.7% confirmed: There’s been a breach in the spacetime warpmatter horizon-continuum.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that a famous non-heterosexual spinster aunt from the future, Holly Clitoris, recently came back through a dark energy vortex-hole. She bought a bean-and-cheese with guacamole at a taco stand in South Austin, which set off a chain of events that altered our old universe into the kind of universe in which social policy reflects the idea that gays should sometimes be mistaken for people.

In Holly Clitoris’ time, being gay is such a non-event that “gay culture” is just culture, and straight people only have one TV channel.

108 comments

  1. Pinko Punko

    But what is the subtext on straight TV? Maybe it is just a test pattern- but that could be construed as a rainbow. Maybe just snow static, if the kids even know what that is.

  2. DancesWithCats

    I’m afraid to let myself fully believe this. I keep waiting for the REST of the story; maybe some Repub found a magic loophole that will repeal the repeal.

  3. janna

    We’re just at the stage of Gay Rights where gay people are good enough to die in heterosexual wars, but not marry or adopt children or visit loved ones in the hospital.

  4. nails

    If repealing DADT did destroy the military, it would officially be the best thing ever. Without tons of people to sacrifice via the military US global dominance would be much more difficult to maintain.

  5. JK

    I think a friend of mine (an awesome queer organizer of color) put it best: “DADT is repealed in the same political moment that the DREAM Act didn’t pass. I can’t handle that the mainstream gay movement is celebrating their participation in the war machine and all the violent, racist, imperialist, sexist, heterosexist implications this has, at the same time that immigrants and children of immigrants just got denied access to higher education. I am thoroughly grossed out.”

  6. Xandy

    It’s hard for me to get too excited about this, because the military is awful. I suppose the recognition of human-hood is nice, but can anyone in the military really claim that the state thinks of them as human beings?

  7. AlienNumber

    Jill, I don’t understand today’s message: I thought the whole concept of Gay Republican blew a lobe.

  8. Noanodyne

    The U.S. military sees their recruits as humans? Who knew? I thought the whole point was to dehumanize people. Perhaps it’s just that they finally saw their mistake in not allowing non-humans to take part. And, really, thank goodness lesbians will now have more opportunity to be sexually assaulted, but doing so as out lesbians, huge progress, huzzah!

  9. sonia

    oh, they only care because some gay folk are men.

  10. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    They repealed that odious, disgusting bit of discriminatory fag-bashing, but not without the usual we’ll-fart-around-with-it-until-the-cows-come-home stipulations. Still, it’s kinda fun to watch all the conservatives flutter around and clutch their pearls in consternation.

  11. Jill

    “The U.S. military sees their recruits as humans?”

    No. Not the military. Loudmouth activists.

  12. yttik

    People have just developed a healthy skepticism. Our government is quite good at delivering empty promises and unintended consequences.

    Not trying to pee on people’s parade, but there is nothing written in this repeal that will stop military discharges or allow gays to serve openly. That is the bill’s intent, but it’s not written anywhere in the legislation. This repeal is completely dependent on political and military will to follow through on the intent and to make it happen. We shall see.

  13. chicago dyke

    uncharacteristically progressive

    hardly, sweet spinster. no, it passed because:

    1-various democrats in actually liberal enclaves have to have *something* to make campaign ads out of, come ’12. so far they’ve been able to show mostly jack and squat.

    2-the military, now being led by politicians who were not homeschooled and went to patrick henry college, actually understand that without competent translators, they’ll never “win” in any of these wars. well, winning isn’t important but they sure as hell won’t achieve any TV=version victories that can also be used for campaign fodder.

    3-there are enough younger closet case republican politicians now, and they’d like to take their forcibly closeted boyfriends in uniform to the cool parties. they’re “progressive” like that.

    4-the gAyTM hasn’t been as open as it should be, of late. this is a great way to get all those uniform worshipping manhattan trustifarians to stop being so bitchy and coy, and open those wallets back up.

    5-it only affects .00001% of the population, unlike the DREAM act, which would’ve improved the economy and helped millions (of brown) people. as we all know, this is the age of “bi-partisan compromise” and a large democratic majority in both houses can’t ever pass more than one thing it desires at a time. better to pass the one which won’t piss off corporations who make all that money off undocumented slave labor.

    6-it only cost $800B in tax breaks for the wealthy, so it’s obviously the cheapest way to get this done.

    7- it allows the administration and dems in general to say “fuck off queers. we gave you a bone, stop whining about actually meaningful legislation like EDNA or DOMA. get back to the end of the bus and shut the fuck up for the next seven years.”

    8- it gives Mr. Campaign Trail Homophobe cover in time for ’12. see, he loves gays! no, really! nevermind all that other stuff he said, did, or didn’t do over the last 7 years.

    9- Anderson Cooper’s new TV show needs a ratings boost, what better way than to make this issue a Hawt Topic.

    10- oh, it didn’t really “pass,” not in the sense that it’s official military policy. the DoD recently released a missive to all in uniform, “not so fast, homos. there’s still the signing ceremony and final passage and the waiting period and all that crap.” this moment in ebullience allows them to drum out those last, pesky, political opponents in what will be a completely overlooked period of political gamesmanship inside the individual services. “oh, you commented on a gay blog, you liberal traitorist scum who was about to complain about those civvies i just tortured? gotcha! you’re dishonorably discharged!”

    i’m not sorry they drummed me out the Corps for it, frankly. it was a teaching moment, and one i’ll never forget. meanwhile, all the republican, jeebus loving, patriarchy enforcing, torturers and murderers in the services who just happen to be queer? why, nothing has changed for them at all, and they’ll stay right in that closet where they look oh so sexy to all the other closet cases who like playing “spank me, Captain HeMan, and make me suck your dick.”

  14. Twiss Butler

    @Sonia “oh, they only care because some gay folk are men.”

    Right, Sonia. And they only conferred the 14th Amendment’s promise of equal protection of the law on Black people because some Black people are men. It would have been awkward to say right out that they didn’t mean Black women so Black women had to settle for (ostensible) protection against racial discrimination, but not against sex discrimination then or now. The liberal drafters of the 14th Amendment made sure of that by those references to male citizens in the 2nd section.

    In the wake of the Women’s Movement (itself in the wake of the Black Civil Rights Movement), Gay men tried for awhile to press their case by (correctly) calling their oppression sex discrimination and brought lawsuits under a claim of violation of their right to privacy – a claim cobbled up by wily Wm. Brennan to push through legalization of abortion in a shaky way that gave men the out they wanted without empowering women.

    More recently, it dawned on Gay men that they – being men after all – could shuck that icky abortion-tainted privacy stuff and claim their 14th Amendment right to equal protection of the law doggone it. And when they did, especially after dramatization of the AIDS crisis (a brilliant reversal of “they got what they deserved” into the tragic loss of talented men), the movement really picked up steam and made this latest lurch forward no surprise. Just as with arguments over same-sex marriage, the majority of references are to Gays, not Lesbians. And won’t it seem right after a while to protest that marriage can’t be refused to the heroes who volunteer to fight for their country?

    A needed aside here. One of the favorite arguments against ratifying women’s right to equal protection of the law (ERA) was the (gasp!) prospect that women would be drafted (i.e. used in combat) and at the very least, would destroy military effectiveness. And, Catch 22, you had to be a memnber of the class that would, if called upon to do so, jump right up and fight for your country in order to claim full rights of citizenship. That quietly went out with the need for more bodies, but the misogyny didn’t. So men are still free to use every anti-competitive means they can devise to hound the women out, just as they have always done in the better-paid jobs despite Title VII.

    So now where are women as an inclusive class? Still stuck with no constitutionally acknowledged right to equal protection of the law against any form of discrimination except racial discrimination that doesn’t mean much unless men experience it too. Sexual orientation discrimination is still sliding by without official admission that it is, in fact but not in law, sex discrimination. And the fact that sex discrimination remains constitutionally acceptable is not mentioned.

    I haven’t heard one news woman dare to ask, for example, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Admiral Mullen if he expects that the big program to end harassment of Gays in the military will be accompanied by stern measures against harassment of and violence against service women? An honest man would answer “Don’t hold your breath, sister.”

  15. AlienNumber

    To add to Twiss Butler’s excellent point — is it a wonder that under DADT, Black lesbians were disproportionately targeted and yet the face of the repeal “movement” is that of pretty white boys? That the Gay Revolution was started by Black transsexuals and yet the face of the movement is that of pretty white boys?

    I’m a lesbian and I’ve always thought it made more sense to fight for women’s rights because then gay rights will follow; instead of fighting for gay rights and hoping (in vain) that women’s rights will also follow. Once again, IBTP, and I continue to not give a rat’s ass about the repeal of DADT. I look forward to the day when we repeal the military.

  16. JBT

    Look, I know it’s not cool to praise the military on progressive/leftist blogs, but I will do it anyway. The US military is a jobs-training, socializing institution that tries to make up for the failures of the family, schools and society. Naturally, the give-peace-a-chance crowd has nothing, no actual assistance, for people trying to survive in the real world, so those of little means may join the military as a last resort – you know, to survive economically. I don’t deny that it is a sad state of affairs, but many of the US soldiers I trained, while on loan from the most-evilest-military-evah (another knee-jerk belief of foolishness), told me that they would be dead or in jail if not for joining the military.

    You should also know that the US military is the largest source of funding for pure scientific research in the world – and much of this research is not for the purposes of killing people or breaking things.

    Anyway, I find it unsurprising that many gay people, especially lesbians, find themselves with no financial or social resources. Often rejected by their own families, the military is very attractive (ahem) to gay folk. As in the gay community, it is the one place I have ever seen that promotes (nearly requires – camaraderie is the military term) and sustains friendships across racial, religious and cultural divides. Certainly, it is not perfect, but there are shades of gray that critics rarely address, let alone see. Huah!

  17. AlienNumber

    JBT, but that is such a painful argument. It’s not a choice between the military and the hippies-who-offer-no real- alternatives, it’s a choice between military and no military. The money that goes into the military and is then used for pure scientific research can just go into pure scientific research. Why not?

    I’m sure we could come up with an alternative to the military to offer to the ones who would have ended up dead or in jail that gives them camaraderie and education and doesn’t ask of them to fly to poor countries and shoot at the population (or just, you know, scare the crap out of the population). Or what about we have a military that is not armed? The camaraderie without the killing?

  18. JBT

    Military people are not stupid, malicious, war-mongering maniacs. They, more than anyone, understand what war entails. I am a veteran of 25 years and I am not a supporter of war for war’s sake. We could come up with an alternative, sure, but we haven’t.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for social change that frees women from oppression, thereby freeing everyone else – but I don’t kid myself about the world we live in, actually. The reason that the military funds the lion’s share of scientific research here is that private sources of funding (even American sources) no longer consider the USA to have what it takes to produce the best results. That money, long ago, left for India and China.

    I’m not proposing a simple either/or, but honestly describing the situation on the ground. I appreciate your vision, I do, but some folks (like gays in the military or poor Americans pushed to the breaking point) need solutions *now.* May I ask what you have done to make your vision reality?

  19. minervaK

    Dang, Twisty, you’ve been working on your vocabulary!

  20. Nepenthe

    JBT, if you must present your support for the freedom of women from oppression caveats, can we safely ignore the rest of what you have to say.

    The military is an arm of the patriarchy that even a fun-feminist can understand oppresses women by its very nature. Having padding on the boot on my neck doesn’t change the fact of the boot.

  21. speedbudget

    I look forward to a repeal of DOMA in a few years as a direct result of this repeal. I then look forward to marriage for ALL Americans as a direct result of that.

  22. Tehomet

    JBT, with all due respect, I see your point, but I can’t support the military (any military) any more than I can support, say, the Roman Catholic Church on the grounds that it runs schools and hospitals, or the Roman Empire on the grounds that it built a good road network. Yes, certain people benefit personally from joining the armed forces, but the patriarchy wouldn’t still be in power if no-one ever benefitted, would it?

    If you ask, ‘may I ask what you have done to make your vision reality?, well, today, I didn’t join the military and go kill the political enemies of the patriarchial overlords. I inadvertently sound sarcastic, but I merely mean to point out that one of the ways that the patriarchy keeps getting people to join up for military service is by making sure that there are no other options.

  23. Xandy

    @JBT

    The US spends drastically more on its military than any other country in the world. Proposing that this 350 billion is worth it because “The US military is a jobs-training, socializing institution that tries to make up for the failures of the family, schools and society” is a disingenuous account of the purpose of our military and its intended effects. That a side effect of this brutal over-funded imperialistic organization is jobs-training and socialization does not change its highly problematic nature.

    Additionally, if we were going to evaluate the military efficacy as a socializing organization that gives disadvantaged people a second chance, its record of injuries, PTSD, rape-culture, and violence show that its not doing very well.

    The military is a killing machine. You can argue about its necessity, but to argue its nature as benevolent is obfuscatory and misleading.

  24. yttik

    The military is neither benevolent nor is it a killing machine. Besides combat, they are also involved in delivering relief supplies and providing security for people in crisis, either because of political unrest or natural disasters. It’s not accurate to label the military good or evil, just as it is not acccurate to declare that the purpose of a police force is to intimidate, harass, and terrorize women. Where I live that certainly appears to be their mission statement, but in the larger scheme of things, police were designed to serve and protect and in some areas manage to do exactly that.

  25. Xandy

    The police were modeled after the military and designed to view citizen’s as enemies. Lip service might be paid to “Protect and Serve”, but the design of the cars, uniforms, police equipment, and the prevalent attitude instilled over time in its workers are designed to intimidate.

    If we evaluate institutions by taking their claims of purpose at face value, we obviate the usefulness of our analysis. We have to look at the actual effects of the organization to understand its real purpose. You could say that the effects are not necessarily what the organization was intended to do, but that simply means that the organization is broken and corrupt.

    Police are designed to enforce the oppressive patriarchal laws of the US through the use of power and intimidation. The extent to which you feel those laws protect and serve the average citizen is the extent to which you feel the police actually protect and serve those citizens.

    Police are the instrument used to maintain the status quo. I think we can all agree that the status quo is awful.

  26. cermet

    Damn… I don’t like this repeal. Now if I get drafted I actually have to serve :(

    I think the recruiting and the military should be separate. If we had a government recruiting office that would place people that needed it in government funded jobs then military would just be one of many possible choices. I like helping people, but not when it hurts more people later :/

  27. AlienNumber

    JBT, “may I ask what you have done to make your vision reality?” This is kind of a cheap shot (on your part), but here we go. I did NOT join the military (despite my “credentials” which, except for my sex and sexual orientation, make me the target demographic for the war-mongering killing machine) and got an education. Still in my 20s, but I intend to build a state just like the one Catharine MacKinnon sketches in her “Toward a Feminist Theory of the State.” As for what I’ve done to help the (other) poor, I’ve found that in the absence of a political office, using Western Union to send money from the US to places where $300 goes a long way, is, well, a pretty efficient way of helping the poor. (Why don’t you try that instead of praising the institution that spends a lot of its time shooting at the poor and/or bombing the crap out of their country’s infrastructure?)

    Which reminds me, the police is also awful. Thank you, Xandy, for this:
    “Police are designed to enforce the oppressive patriarchal laws of the US through the use of power and intimidation. (…) Police are the instrument used to maintain the status quo. I think we can all agree that the status quo is awful.” I took a class on legal issues in higher education and learned that it is very difficult to find and train campus police officers. They need to unlearn all the brutality instilled in them at the police academy to be able to work with students and protect them instead of harassing them. It was an eye-opening lecture.

  28. Ayla

    ::Does the “Jill’s Back” dance and runs around in circles before settling in to read the multiple posts she missed::

  29. mearl

    The military will be obsolete when there aren’t any men kicking around looking to blow shit up and be heroic/acquisitive.

  30. JBT

    Well, the post is about DADT. I’m not trying to persuade anyone to join the military, or to make the military into Santa Claus, but I will say that there are real people, not caricatures, serving there. I believe I outlined why the military is attractive to many gay people. The culture of the military is certainly attractive to me as a gay person, although I serve in a military which has never persecuted homosexuals or placed conditions on their service.

    Alien Number, I appreciate what you say and I like your vision, I do. I wasn’t trying to take a cheap shot but to make it clear that intentions and beliefs are necessary, but realizing that vision is slow when people need help now. Many people tell me they joined the military to provide quality healthcare for sick family members or for themselves. Too, the military provides education for those who can’t afford it. The military paid for my education, thankfully, because I could never have managed it otherwise.

    Trust me, I get that the military is not perfect (as I believe I wrote) and I get the anti-military sentiments. My vision of a perfect world does not include the military, either. Yet, in the real world, my military service sent me to Haiti after the earthquake to render medical aid.

    Xandy, I think that people tend to downplay the socializing, educating, healing functions of the military because they don’t want to see the failures of society to help the poor or to accommodate other elements. Yes, it costs a great deal to get just one person a GED, and then, train them to do a job. Again, do not downplay the socializing function – this is often the first time these kids have any stability in their lives whatsoever. They will tell you themselves that the military provided them with the first trust or respect they had ever received. I understand that this will be unsatisfactory to you, but let it be an inspiration to make those changes you so want to see.

    Oh, Nepenthe, I invite you to google my name in the sidebar to read my other comments. My feminist cred is well-established. You may not agree with me, that’s cool, but my dearly beloved and I hooted with glee at the idea that we are fun-feminists. The military is not the only arm of the patriarchy. Why, I do believe I see it everywhere because I find patriarchy to be a totalist structure (as I have written). Outcomes for women in patriarchy: PTSD, rape-culture, violence, etc. Yep!

  31. AlienNumber

    Okay, JBT, so your point is that the military is good (or, rather, not all bad) because it is a place for the poor, the gay, and because they sometimes – some of them- help some people in Haiti, some of the time. You know what other institution is just like that: the Catholic Church.
    Well, actually, from a fun and feminist point of view, the Catholic Church is marginally better, because they don’t throw actual grenades at people’s faces (anymore).

    p.s. You’re a member of the Israeli army? (judging from your link). The only thing that makes that army better than the US army is that it requires that everybody serve. Well, everybody sort of, with some exceptions made for the religious crazies, for the pacifists, and the women who get married young (a female’s potential for fulfilling her primary purpose – baby-making – apparently increases when she marries and therefore she is allowed not to serve in the military anymore). And also, among the other redeeming features of the Israeli army is the fact that it’s not the super well-funded and extremely brutal military of the world’s superpower.

    p.p.s. what exactly is your larger purpose? I don’t understand why you’re defending the military on a radical feminist blog. Unless. Are you a fan of Donna Haraway’s Cyborgs? Then, we’re cool.

  32. Noanodyne

    Thank you, Xandy, for your advanced patriarchy-blaming skills.

    “If we evaluate institutions by taking their claims of purpose at face value, we obviate the usefulness of our analysis.”

    Well said.

  33. veganrampage

    This blamer calls total bullshit on the US or Israeli military, or any military being a force for good. War is terrorism, period.
    That doesn’t mean I hate (all)the people that are in said orgs., especially the young folks. I lobbied hard for DADT though I did it with a sick heart. And Dan Choi ain’t white, but point taken.

    Here’s what Chris Hedges had to say about military comradeship vs. friendship and the “intoxication of war” during his first and last commencement speech at Rockford College in 2003. A bit difficult to hear him above all the catcalls and booing, but his words proved prophetic as unpopular as they were at the time.

    It was sickening to hear The Prez waffling on gay marriage today after he signed DADT. Cool to kill and torture and rape but not kosher to love and gasp marry. I hate everybody- present company excluded.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB_5XSUWJdM

  34. Jezebella

    Veganrampage, do you *know* any soldiers (or former soldiers) who used the military to climb out of grinding poverty? I do. More than a few. Yeah, there’s a cost. Yeah, the military is a war machine. Yeah, you might end up dead. But a good many people – poor young people in particular – do benefit from their service. Would that there were a non-violent institution that could provide the socialization, education, and financial benefits of military service without the downside… but right now? There isn’t such a thing. Military service is one way out of poverty, here in today’s U.S. of A.

    I think it’s entirely reasonable for JBT to be defending military service on a radical feminist blog when the post she is commenting on is actually about *military service*.

  35. AlienNumber

    Yes, it’s reasonable, but she’s not doing a great job at it. No. Wait. It’s not reasonable. The military is wack. 1000 poor Americans lifted from poverty are not worth tens of thousand of dead Iraqis, dead Afghanis, hell, you name it. Their GI Bill and subsequent social climbing was paid for with the blood of foreign innocents.

    What is going on here? Are your sorta anti-classist glasses too nationalistic to notice that it’s still wack? Are American poor lives worthier than the non-American lives lost to their guns? What are you going to defend next? Maybe the Patriarchy… cause it allows some poor (women too) to climb out of poverty and better their lives (e.g. Evita Peron).

    Defending military service on a radical feminist blog is completely inconsistent with the premises of radical feminism.

  36. Shinila

    ’1000 poor Americans lifted from poverty are not worth tens of thousand of dead Iraqis, dead Afghanis.’

    Uhh this. There’s a blooded and dying elephant in the room we might notice. I’d rather defend prostitution than countries blowing up members of poorer countries to give people jobs. As radfems we should question the military, its air of heroic young thick men going out to shoot thousands of ‘turban heads’. I mean of course men don’t need education, they should be nationally and publically awarded and put on a platform for being better than women and blowing up foreigners.

    Is it these same poor disadvantaged males who we hear raping women and routinely putting women in their place? I don’t have sympathy for the woes of dudes of the military. Patriarchy and the women it tortures, murders, are more a priority.

    This is a problem when we paraphrase the cliched good-will of the left. So much of it is baseless bullshit structured around the patriarchy, prioritising women last.

  37. Cybelene

    Careful Blamers, your knee-jerk hatred of the military is blinding you to what is actually being discussed. What JBT and Jezebella are saying is that, perhaps unbeknownst to the patriarchal elite, the US military HAS helped some people, especially poor and gay people, change their lives. Fact.

    It is obvious that some people are against war at all costs — hell, no thinking person is for war all the time — but sometimes it is a necessary evil. Kind of like abortion.

    AlienNumber, I take execption to your implication that the “tens of thousand of dead Iraqis, dead Afghanis, hell, you name it” were innocent.

  38. AlienNumber

    Also, who are we kidding? The military is one of the most homopatriarchal institutions in existence.
    DADT is redundant and so is its repeal. But we live in Absurdistan, so it makes the news.

  39. nails

    I have lived in military towns, and have a lot of military people in my family. I also see how many homeless people are veterans of war and how a lot of people on full disability for PTSD suddenly have only 30% benefits, and theres no way for them to fight it.

    The people who get out of poverty and stay aren’t all that numerous, the benefits can be taken away at any time, and are. Its a fake promise.

  40. Noanodyne

    There’s defending the military and then there’s defending people who go into the military to escape poverty. We can pillory the former for being the patriarchy made real and we can understand the latter, just as we understand that many women must do whatever they can just to survive.

    And we have to ask – as with every other institution that is Patriarchy-compliant – is the military actually good for those who acquiesce to its demands? There have been reports coming out in the last few years that show significant numbers of military personnel living right around the poverty line – their circumstances weren’t changed for the better or they were made worse. And other reports that show how horrifically bad the medical care is and still others that show how screwed former soldiers are in terms of mental health, poverty, homelessness, etc.

    Just as the patriarchy continues to grind women under its boot heel even when they capitulate, many soldiers and former soldiers are consumed and discarded by that same machine.

  41. veganrampage

    Absurdistan. Good one AlienNumber. You got that right.
    Nails as always you make the good sense. Now get the fuck of Utah before you lose your precious mind.(A gentle suggestion written with lurv.)

    Christ on the cross Jezebella anecdotal evidence ya want? You have to l-i-v-e to climb out of anything. Maybe your experience didn’t involve combat vets. I only “know” beloved members of my family.
    Perhaps you could watch “Wartorn” and learn how the US has treated vets like garbage since the Civil War. Homelessness, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse to blot out the horror, compounded by the total disregard BY THE MILITARY and our fucking government for any and all mental health problems if and when vets get home in one piece/s.

    Walter Reed anyone? Tennis?

    Women vets have 3 time the suicide rate of their civilian counterparts. How many have been raped is unknown and the beloved military is flaccidly unconcerned.

    http://www.emaxhealth.com/1275/female-veterans-have-high-suicide-rate

    The last two pages of “Johnny Got His Gun” are the among the clearest and finest ant-war words ever written. Each generation forgets what war is, and this is no accident. Myriad powerful forces have worked their propaganda on the Amerikan mind. “Manufacturing Consent”- Noam Chomsky.

    There is a plethora of free information at one’s fingertips, but hurry hurry hurry as Obama just signed the (NON) Net Neutrality Act succumbing to ATT. This corporation with personhood has spent millions lobbying Congress (this is only the reported dollar amount-let your sick imaginations run wild) and has more lobbyists than there are members of Congress.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary.php?id=D000000076

    Gee wilkers Aunt Mabel I wonder if ATT will prioritize a radical feminist patriarchy blaming blog?

    I’ll miss being oppressed by Twisty and her impossible pronoun/punctuation internet radfem standards.

    Emoticon omitted.

  42. bbz

    Ah C’mon. This is a good thing. A step is a step. Nuff said.
    Jill! How the heck is the knee?

  43. AlienNumber

    “A step is a step” is not how politics works. They repeal DADT and temporarily confuse the population and in the time the population is confused and celebrating (or wasting time talking about the Greatest SortaCivilRights Victory Since the 1970s– sadly) they block the DREAM Act, they don’t sign CEDAW, equal pay for equal work does not pass either; oh, and the wealthy get more tax cuts! In the meantime, a lot of military dudes get interviewed on the radio and get to feel important and talk about patriotism and killing poor brown people and how great it feels and how it brings freedom etc.

    The politicians give you a little carrot so you get distracted from all the other things – in my opinion, way more important – that did not pass or are stagnant. It’s always give some to take some and vice-versa.

    The fact that people are satisfied with this carrot and not starting a revolution right now simply shows that the politicians know exactly who their audience is.

    (in conclusion:) Down with the homopatriarchy!
    (I’d insert an emoticon, but I fear the wrath).

  44. yttik

    After we help more people to be able to serve in the military, we can then move on to that other icon of equality, marriage.

    Bah humbug.

  45. thebewilderness

    Happy Hollandaise, Jill! Here’s hoping a speedy recovery and a Happy New Year back in the saddle again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6dx8AfTmQk

  46. Speedbudget

    Yttik, this repeal will lead directly to marriage equality. Trust me. I think the domino effect from this will be unbelievably good. Here’s to 2011!

  47. Unree

    Speedbudget, depends what you mean by marriage equality. If it’s same-sex marriage you’re probably right. The Pentagon will have trouble explaining why it denies death benefits to the widow or widower of a gay war hero. But I think yttik had a different (and more elusive) meaning of equality in mind when she brought up marriage.

  48. Noanodyne

    “Marriage equality” is right up there with the other great oxymorons of our time. Lesbians getting legally married is not going to stop the patriarchy in its tracks and short of that, we will always be subject to its many inequalities, not the least of which are those inherent in state-approved marriage.

  49. yttik

    It seems like people have been fighting for the oddest things lately, gays to join the military, to get married, the right for Muslims to oppress women just like any other religion does. For me, something is just missing in all these great social causes, something like women’s rights. While the pundits bicker over potential male shower horror stories in the military, nobody even seems to care that more than half of those DADT discharges have happened to women, women who make up less than 20% of our troops. Half the discharges!! And those women who aren’t blessed with DADT discharges, get to experience unbelievably high incidents of rape and sexual harassment.

  50. ivyleaves

    Not to mention that the Dream Act has military service as a pathway to citizenship for those who can’t afford tuition as a non-resident. Ask veterans like the Hmong from Laos who were promised citizenship how well that worked out for them.

  51. veganrampage

    The most brilliant illuminating comment that would have been known to humankind was stuck in mod and now has been disappeared.
    O the humanity!
    (Spending 3 hours one evening and 4 hours the next day with homosapiens that share much of DNA has guaranteed another year of steady employment for my therapist.)

  52. AlienNumber

    “AlienNumber, I take execption to your implication that the “tens of thousand of dead Iraqis, dead Afghanis, hell, you name it” were innocent.”

    What does this even mean? Of what exactly were/are they guilty? They are the innocent victims of illegal wars- neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked the US, nor were there WMD.

    I think Americans have been a little too isolated from actual war (you know, in your country, on your land, right here in and on your faces) that you’ve become a nation of trigger-happy (oil-hungry) sadists. Yes, most people dying because of war – abroad – are INNOCENT. Them Americans (gays or not) who shoot (bomb, maim etc) them — not so much. They are guilty. And if they’re gay and guilty, guess what: still guilty.

    In different news, it really saddens me to see that there are so many war-defenders (military-defenders, same crap) in the Blametariat. What did Twisty teach us about how violence begets more violence and how it’s a tool of the Patriarchy etc. And if you’re so poor that you need to join the military what about this novel idea: Don’t Join the Military. Take the less morally-objectionable route: homelessness. Or, even-better: REVOLUTION.

  53. AlienNumber

    What is actually most disappointing is Jill going into temporary insanity over the (faint) promise that DADT will expedite gay marriage (and other legal rights for lesbians and gay men) and then writing the above blog entry. Maybe she saw a future in which she can leave her vast estate to her female companion of choice, legally. Eh.

    Gosh, this post and some of the resulting comments really upset me. Wah.

    p.s. only bitter because I’m obviously not the female companion of choice.

  54. nails

    The increase in acceptance of gays and lesbians has happened very quickly, and the number one determinant of gay acceptance is personally knowing a gay person. It was a shift of a large amount of people not accepting gays who now do, who now think that gays should be treated with respect. Gays are on television on shows where they aren’t the punchline. Its a lot of progress in a short amount of time. Allowing a whole bunch of gays and lesbians to come out will undoubtedly help other gay rights causes, it has helped in civilian life even within conservative groups. The activism of being openly gay has helped even in places as homophobic as Utah. The military is one of the only places (besides church and boy scouts) where sheltered people could still avoid gays as a reality of life and pretend that gays were something other than normal people. I still hate the military though.

  55. Noanodyne

    I’m with you, AlienNumber. I don’t come here for happy talk (or patronizing explanations) about the lukewarm spit in a dixie cup that the patriarchy expects us to be happy to get. I’m just not all that excited about getting the privilege of killing and dying in its wars and/or paying fees and fealty to be allowed to be committed to our beloveds.

    I booked a ticket to Savage Death Island, fer crissakes.

  56. shopstewardess

    The military go where they are told to by the politicians, and do what they can when they get there with what they have. The blame for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for the tens of thousands of innocent people killed, lies with the politicians who sent the military to those countries. (Individual incidents of unlawful action are the responsibility of the military.)

    Possibly the blame for those wars also lies with the people who elected those politicians to positions of such power in our so-called democracies. Perhaps some blame even lies with those of us whose opposition to those neo-colonialist adventures was so ineffective.

    As long as there are nation states, there will need to be military forces. Given the imperfectability of the human condition, I’m not expecting to live to see any other situation. In the meantime, repealing DADT is better than the alternative.

  57. AlienNumber

    shopstewardess, your argument fails not just because of the words “human condition,” but also because you forget to mention the basic premise: in the US, enrolling in the military is voluntary. To use that favorite word of fun-feminists all over the world: it is a CHOICE. A dumb evil choice if I’ve ever heard of any.

    [My image of the readers of IBTP all of a sudden has faint imprints of "support our (gay) troops" magnets.]

  58. Noanodyne

    shopstewaredess, have you ever heard of the military-industrial complex? Your quaint notions of U.S. politics and related realpolitick would be cute except that you are whitewashing decades of reality.

    “As long as there are nation states, there will need to be military forces.”

    Did I stumble into DailyKos by mistake???

  59. nails

    AlienNumber- if you were poor, and heard all the promises about college and benefits and money, how much choice is involved with enrolling if few alternatives exist? The unemployment rate for demographics like black males is really high all the time, and its not any wonder that the military is disproportionately black in light of that.

  60. AlienNumber

    Nails, it is still a choice. There is no draft in this country.

    Also, despite how nice it sounds, the military is actually not highly disproportionately Black (about 12.5% self-identified Blacks in the general population, no more than 15% self-identified Blacks in the military overall).

    These stats, from the military websites (although from 2004), show some trends: enrollment for Blacks is going down, and also, proportionally by sex, there are more Black women in the military in the female population than Black men in the male population:
    - http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/docs/demographics/FY04%20Coast%20Guard%20Profile.pdf
    - http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/docs/demographics/FY04%20Air%20Force%20Profile.pdf
    - http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/docs/demographics/FY04%20Marine%20Corps%20Profile.pdf
    - http://www.armyg1.army.mil/hr/docs/demographics/FY04%20Navy%20Profile.pdf.

    Also, just because some people may feel coerced to join the military because of a perceived (and actual) lack of choices, it doesn’t mean that most people who join the military do so because of coercion, since there is no draft in this country. It also doesn’t mean that the choice to enroll in the military is right.

    I guess in my grand moral schema I value the life of the poor abroad as much as I value the life of the poor here and don’t think any of them should get the chance to shoot at the other. Just say NO to the military.

  61. AlienNumber

    My comment is awaiting moderation (*gulp). Happy New Year everyone! It’s been good.

  62. Alexa

    Happy new year blamers!

    Reckon they’ve ran out of bile yet and hated us so much that 2011 is the year we finally realise we’re through with bullshit? Here’s to 2011!

  63. Enid

    Nails, good one(s). I teach at a conservative college and I have often told whole classes that “Everybody loves somebody who is gay. If you think you don’t, they just don’t trust you yet, and that is not THEIR problem, it’s yours.” Most students nod, but among the resistant I get anger, sadness, indignation, and after a year or so, an office visit with a guilty, sometimes tearful admission that I was right.

  64. joy

    chicago dyke — be my internet friend?

    edj.uv.reason -at- gmail.com

  65. Bushfire


    chicago dyke — be my internet friend?

    edj.uv.reason -at- gmail.com

    Oooh… juicy internet hookups!

  66. pheenobarbidoll

    I have to say that I seriously doubt anyone who has been threatened or had grenades thrown at them really gives a flying fuck that the person tossing said grenade is doing so only because it was an escape from poverty. The victims of (any) military are real people too, and really fucking dead. Or raped. Or maimed. Or living in poverty AND terror that they will never escape.

    If I stuck a pistol in your face and you asked why, I doubt you’d be too understanding if my answer was ” well, my family needs medical insurance, but don’t worry, after I shoot you in the fucking face, I’m going to go help earthquake victims”.

  67. iorarua

    Look, I know that the US rules the world and all that. Just ask them.

    However, for the rest of us populations that the US seems to assume are much more backward than the great nation that Thomas Jefferson and co. founded, all this DADT business is all a case of been there done that.

    Our gays join the military by simply filling out an application form, just like a part-time gig at McDonalds. If they’re gay, they’re just gay. Ir’a no big deal and it doesn’t affect the way they cook their french (oops freedom) fries.

    I don’t really understand why the US thinks it’s such a beacon of all things blindingly enlightened, when at least 30 years ago the rest of the developed world ditched most of the regressive crap that the US still steadfastly clings to.

    I mean, I live in a community at the bottom of the world (Australia), where a 15-year-old can get an abortion just by asking her GP to book a time. And chances are the whole procedure is covered by Medicare.

    I wouldn’t mind having the US bossing my government around all the time, and maintaining military bases on our precious soil and staging war games on our pristine beaches and turning us into reluctant terrorist targets, if I felt the US was capable of stepping out of the 1950s for 5 minutes.

  68. joy

    Bushfire, want in on the email party?

    It’s just thrilling to find other unapologetically punk-ass people on a radical feminist blog. There aren’t a lot, which is surprising and frightening.

    “if I felt the US was capable of stepping out of the 1950s for 5 minutes.”

    Exactly, iorarua, and it’s not.

    You make excellent points. Especially telling is the fact that Australia isn’t exactly the world’s most progressive place in terms of misogyny (this is the country that advertises for women to come breed with good-old-boy miners, ’cause everyone knows if a man doesn’t at least objectify if not prong one woman per day, his head explodes).

    If a country that essentially places the nationwide equivalent of a Craigslist “no strings attached” hookup ad is light years more progressive than America … [purposeful ellipsis indicating a trailing off of thought; reader must carry it to its logical and obvious conclusion.]

  69. Bushfire

    Bushfire, want in on the email party?

    What should I bring? Chips? Cannabis?

    veggie _ master @ hotmail

  70. JBT

    I am very surprised at the responses I received because they have tremendously misunderestimated, if I can quote the Shrub, my position. I am not advocating for a military world order – on the contrary – yet I find responses rashly blaming me for the military failure to make appropriate restitution to the Hmong, to recruiters who lied about golden opportunities to be found in uniform, to incomprehension that the military puts guns in faces and shoots people dead, etc. It seems that the writers of these responses want me to justify these things, but I won’t because I can’t. I wouldn’t dream of trying. Then, there are the usual suspects drawing lines in the sand and casting aspersions on my feminism in the time-tested, “No true Scotsman” fashion. I might as well have uttered the dreaded “cuntalina.”

    Maybe I did not make myself sufficiently clear, and if so, the fault is mine, but these are my points: For various psychological reasons, the military is attractive to gay people (Should it be attractive to gay people is *not* the question I’m addressing) and therefore, given that there are gay people serving, right now, under closeted conditions, I am absolutely in favor of overturning DADT. Secondarily, because of circumstances beyond our control, many of us do not, or did not, have the opportunity to make the free economic choices available to the lucky few. Some of us, living right now, in the real world, in 2011, enlisted in the military as a last resort to survive, economically or health-wise. I, too, would prefer a Fairy Godmother for all of the really fucked-up kids I trained to survive in Iraq, but alas, like Santa Claus, she let me down. To say that I appreciate these real individuals, who told me that the military literally saved their lives, does not blind me to the fact that militaries the world over have taken lives, both military and civilian, and wreaked ruin. Nonetheless, I stand by my original statement that, in the real world, the military does assume the socializing functions of many of society’s failed institutions. That doesn’t mean that I like it, only that I accept reality (and Pheeno, very few people are prouder of their military service than Native Americans. Few people are aware that the actual person who rescued Jessica Lynch was Hopi SPC, Lori Piestewa, later killed in action. Here is a link to an article about the Cherokee Nation honoring a number of veterans: http://www.cherokee.org/NewsRoom/FullStory/3329/Page/Default.aspx ).

    And, if you do end up in the military because of circumstances beyond your control, you’d be damn lucky to have me as your commanding officer, because I frickin’ rock. While I hold the talking stick, I will speak my truth, even if my truth does not tow the pomo, suitably prog line. Maybe we cannot agree on this, but I pass the talking stick in the spirit of understanding.

  71. pheenobarbidoll

    Well thank you for telling me something I already know. Hey, did you know female soldiers are really proud of their service too? At any rate, I’m not disagreeing about the reality of military service nor why people join. I’m stating that it’s not a justification for joining. Not a good one anyway. The ‘just doing my job’ approach is a weak excuse for participating in immoral action, and aiding some people does not erase or soften killing other people. Whatever your reason, you chose to join a P invented, P run, P supporting organization that routinely murders people. That’s also the reality of it. I’d rather live in a van down by the river than join a group that engaged in P sanctioned murder. The timing of DADT repeal doesn’t escape me either, as it comes on the heels of reports that fewer people are joining the military and they’re in need of warm bodies to kill other bodies or be sacrificed for the P. In other words, that the military is getting less picky about their cannon fodder isn’t shocking nor is it a sign of enlightenment.

  72. joy

    pheenobarbidoll, there’s nothing wrong with a van down by the river.

    If one has the necessary firepower for self-defense against P-intrusion. A handgun works fine, but a rifle looks more impressive and sounds more frightening when it’s being racked.

    Exceptional souls can get away with knives and/or baseball bats, but they tend to necessitate combat (ie, potential rapist is not necessarily going to run from the sight of your slugger or blade, you may need to stick ‘im or pound ‘em before he gets the message). That may not be a bad thing.

  73. pheenobarbidoll

    I have a detailed plan on how to outfit a van into a zombie killing death machine. Actually, I have several Zombie Apocalypse plans. With a little tweaking they could be useful in P killing death sprees.

  74. joy

    Hell yeah.

    My plan for van was more like … livin’ in ‘em, full time. Which I’ve done, and it was pretty sublime. But one needs some serious protection when one is a lone female who lives in a van.

    If the house-van could double as a machine for P-killing death sprees (getaway vehicle and more) … then whoo doggy!

  75. ivyleaves

    JBT: “I am not advocating for a military world order – on the contrary – yet I find responses rashly blaming me for the military failure to make appropriate restitution to the Hmong, to recruiters who lied about golden opportunities to be found in uniform, to incomprehension that the military puts guns in faces and shoots people dead, etc. It seems that the writers of these responses want me to justify these things, but I won’t because I can’t. I wouldn’t dream of trying.”

    My comment on the Hmong was intended to debunk the glories of the DREAM act. I guarantee that my comment about the Hmong had zero to do with asking you to justify or explain anything about anything, let alone “rashly blaming” you. I didn’t have you in mind at all and I’m not sure how you can come to that sort of conclusion, actually.

  76. Helen

    What an auspicious start to 2011! Twisty will be delighted, nay honoured, to find out she’s no. 1 in the Loosefemme Feminist Blog Contest, nominated and judged entirely (it appears) by Loosefemme. The thumbs up from this apparently rising star in the humour writing(?) (of the type “this is humour because I say so) universe will no doubt bring a warm fuzzy feeling to Twisty’s battered lobe. But watch out, because every one of LF’s immortal posts contains a formal copyright warning, because you can imagine how thousands of people would be lining up to steal this stuff.

  77. Xandy

    @Helen

    Did you see her “definition” of feminism?

    “Feminist means establishing and defending equal political, economic, and social rights and equal opportunities for women. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist One ground rule is that the blog must be written by a woman or women.”

    The wikipedia link is just the cherry on top.

  78. nails

    Good to see you back pheeno. Military service always brings up all kinds of conflicting emotions because of what you mentioned. It is totally murderous and horrible work, the main tool of US imperialism. The way the military is treating Bradley Manning is sorta instructive though- they have had him in solitary for like 7 months. He grew a conscious during military action and did something about it, and now he is being tortured without being charged with anything.

    I had a thought awhile back that if the police and military could be organized the establishment wouldn’t have much power anymore. They need them to break up strikes and beat up protesters. I wonder if the way Manning is treated could be used as a way to organize military officers?

  79. Bushfire

    Here’s some more random reading material for you:

    An evo-psych article about how women’s tears lower testosterone in men.

  80. AlienNumber

    In Celebrating Twisty: (Part II). Someone I went to highschool with wrote me an email to thank me for putting up links of Twisty’s essays on occasion. She told me this has made her go forth and read about feminism and even though it was really hard and it took her a long time, she recently finished The Female Eunuch. She feels like a new woman now, like her blinders are off. While I’m still suspicious that 20 something years of indoctrination into femininity in an Eastern European country can so easily be brushed off, that’s what her email said. Thank you, Twisty.

  81. ew_nc

    I read that piece of drivel, Bushfire. Possibly the worst quote of the article was:

    “Testosterone also affects levels of aggression, so if you reduce the degree of aggression, you enhance the survivability of the woman,” added Hirsch, noting that eventual clinical applications could potentially be used for sex offenders or those with sexual aggression problems.”

    So hopefully soon, if you’re a violent sexual predator, you just swallow a vial of women’s tears and that will make you all better. Because dog forbid a man should have to control his impulses on his own.

    Bleck.

  82. Twiss Butler

    I tol’ the pup dog and I tol’ him you can do electoral/legislative politics or you can do human/civil rights advocacy, but you can’t do both at the same time without failing miserably at both.

    The latest demonstration of the accuracy of this maxim was a rally held yesterday at the nation’s Capitol by some politicians and women’s rights leaders to protest Justice Antonin Scalia’s statement that the 14th Amendment does not prohibit sex discrimination.

    Accusing Scalia of “sexism” for telling the plain truth, NOW’s president announced renewed determination to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Come again?? If sex discrimination cases that repeatedly fail or that succeed only because they involve sex discrimination against men are not consistent with men’s historical refusal to allow women the constitutional protection that they guarantee for themselves, why call for a constitutional amendment?

    As a further example of the constraints imposed by political friends of the women’s movement, Representative Carolyn Maloney, who seconded the demand for an ERA, would exclude legal barriers to abortion as a primary form of sex discrimination to be constitutionally prohibited because “It’ll never pass with that on it.” (The same argument civil rights poliicians used to exclude rape from hate crimes legislation.)

    Instead of catering to the self-serving women politicans, lawyers and academicians who who have been shielding American women from the truth all these years, rally participants should have been thanking Scalia for making the factual case for a strong Equal Rights Amendment.

    Seneca Falls Conference got it right in 1848: “Resolved: That the women of this country ought to be enlightened in regard to the laws under which they live that they may no longer publish their degradation by declaring thmselves satisfied with their present position, nor their ignorance by asserting that they have all the rights they want.”

  83. TwissB

    With apologies for previous typos, corrected copy follows.

    I tol’ the pup dog and I tol’ him you can do electoral/legislative politics or you can do human/civil rights advocacy, but you can’t do both at the same time without failing miserably at both.

    The latest demonstration of the accuracy of this maxim was a rally held yesterday at the nation’s Capitol by some politicians and women’s rights leaders to protest Justice Antonin Scalia’s statement that the 14th Amendment does not prohibit sex discrimination.

    Accusing Scalia of “sexism” for telling the plain truth, NOW’s president announced renewed determination to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Come again?? If sex discrimination cases that repeatedly fail or that succeed only because they involve sex discrimination against men are not consistent with men’s historical refusal to allow women the constitutional protection that they guarantee for themselves, why call for a constitutional amendment?

    As a further example of the constraints imposed by political friends of the women’s movement, Representative Carolyn Maloney, who seconded the demand for an ERA, would exclude legal barriers to abortion as a primary form of sex discrimination to be constitutionally prohibited because “It’ll never pass with that on it.” (The same argument civil rights politicians used to exclude rape from hate crimes legislation.)

    Instead of catering to the self-serving women politicians, lawyers and academicians who have been shielding American women from the truth all these years, rally participants should have been thanking Scalia for making the factual case for a strong Equal Rights Amendment.

    The Seneca Falls Conference got it right in 1848: “Resolved: That the women of this country ought to be enlightened in regard to the laws under which they live that they may no longer publish their degradation by declaring themselves satisfied with their present position, nor their ignorance by asserting that they have all the rights they want.”

  84. phio gistic

    Bushfire, that piece of crap research is on the front page of the LA Times and the Washington Post. It’s amazing how many people want to believe it, to the point of planning future use of tears against sex offenders. The mind boggles. I sincerely *wish* that women could secrete a substance that would shrivel dicks but somehow I just can’t buy into a tiny research finding in a tiny research project in which they stuck moist bits of blotter paper under a few men’s noses and asked “Do you feel more horny now?”

  85. nails

    I haven’t read the study, but I do know that measuring testosterone in the bloodstream is tricky. It varies a lot depending on the day, and is is highest in the morning. A lot of draws/exposures to the tears would be needed to prove causation in light of that. The average concentration would need to be lower rather than any particular reading.

  86. Bushfire

    I sincerely *wish* that women could secrete a substance that would shrivel dicks

    Maybe we should carry around vials of menstrual blood as a dick-shrinking agent?

  87. pheenobarbidoll

    Well….if we could cry enough to drown the fuckers that would work.

    What’s that?

    A pool of tears.

    *blubgurgleblubblub*

    Mwahahahahaa

  88. tinfoil hattie

    I’d rather live in a van down by the river

    Aaah, pheeno, how I have missed you!

  89. Hermionemone

    All right, who let the saltwater crocodiles into the pool?

  90. Nepenthe

    Does the van have to be down by the river? I hate mosquitoes.

  91. Rae Kay

    Hi Jill,

    The breaking news du jour is an assassination attempt made yesterday on U.S. congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. The young gunman shot others too; the dead list includes several women from age 9 to age 79.

    Giffords is one of 20 congressfolk whose districts had been designated by crosshair-style gun sights on a map courtesy of one of Sarah Palin’s facebook pages for Tea Party nuts. But of course it was just a metaphor, yep.

    If you’d care to address the issue, I’m sure there’s some relevance to blaming. My head is reeling; that bullets-over-ballots crap does not make for a country I’m happy to live in. And a strong, “uppity” woman got the brunt of it. What else is new?

    Arg. IBTP.

  92. Comrade Svilova

    Many news outlets have noted, however, that Congressperson Giffords is a relatively conservative Democrat, as if it would *make sense* if a really wacky progressive woman were shot, but *this* is totally bizarre.

    Others have noted that the shooter likes Ayn Rand, Mein Kampf, and the Communist Manifesto, so he’s clearly a member of Obama’s secret commie terrorist cabal.

    A sad day.

  93. Jewell

    But I do have a dick shrinking talent. It’s called pointing and laughing. Works every time!

  94. madeleine

    The interpretations smell of evo-psych, the New Scientist regularly does suck in a major way, but if you read past the first part, the tears/testosterone experiment appears to be a bit more complex than asking ‘Do you feel less horny now?’

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19922-the-scent-of-a-womans-tears-ward-off-men.html

  95. nails

    I am going to brace for the rehashing of the Palin Wars now. Ugh.

  96. Carrie

    Miss you. The patriarchy feels like it’s closing in on me in my conservative panhandle town. Need some blamin’ to counteract the Palin.

  97. Barbara Rubin

    Re: Military- DADT will also lead to better treatment of women choosing to enter that profession. Despite the misuse and abuse of our troops in places we’d rather not see them, don’t pretend a nation doesn’t need a military. I’m from NYC and watched 3,000 of my neighbors go up in smoke. Literally, the sidewalks were stained with their ashes.

    Just because that tragedy was used as an excuse to acquire oil fields in Iraq; build pipelines in Afghanistan and obtain lucrative contracts for Haliburton doesn’t mean action to counter terrorism in response wasn’t required in some manner. Women in uniform put it on for many reasons, not always because of a need to become one with the patriarchy. We all do so by definition, regardless of our role in the economic system or we don’t eat.

    Too bad we aren’t using our troops to bring home Afghan women looking for political asylum instead of having to set themselves on fire. That would be a good use of our troops right there – moving a ‘product’ like the sex class out of arm’s reach is the only way to alter their treatment.

    If we are going to exist under the P, we are forced to try and regulate its excesses and who better to do that than men and women who aren’t required to hide the fact they are lesbians. Maybe if the game of ‘pretend’ didn’t exist, fewer men and women would have given up their humanity over at Abu Grahib to play Nazi

  98. Noanodyne

    The straight women who are raped in the U.S. military aren’t going to be helped one iota by the military overlords’ lukewarm support for LGBs serving as cannon fodder. Lesbians may some day get as much support when they are raped as straight women currently get, which is to say, virtually none.

    I can’t believe that anyone who reads this blog and really takes in what Jill/Twisty has said wants to get on here and defend one of the patriarchy’s most virulent anti-female, anti-human institutions. It is the inherent nature of the military that not only KEEPS it from making women’s lives better anywhere it goes, but in fact usually makes them much worse. It is the very nature of the military to dehumanize people both inside it and outside it. That good people serve in the military because they have to doesn’t change these facts one bit.

  99. redpeachmoon

    “Need some blamin’ to counteract the Palin.”

    Love that! I check for a new post from Jill before checking my own mail and messages.
    Her brilliant spinster perspective is greatly missed.

  100. Barbara Rubin

    Last note from a victim of ongoing crime (combo of corporate and hate crimes). It doesn’t matter how bad the military is because it replicates the same climate of hatred endorsed by the rest of society. If/when society alters, it will as well, a statement much better expressed above by someone from within that system. Institutions reflect the culture that generates them.

    Women raped outside of the military don’t feel the better for it.

    I’m not holding my breath for improvement in my lifetime but neither will I say the military is unnecessary as an entity. Just like medical care is necessary whether or not abortions are freely supplied, military protection is required when nations are attacked. Half my family never made it out of Europe. Someone just sent me a video of a dancing swastika and it wasn’t out of love. A comment calling me “Jew” was left on my blog a few weeks ago and it didn’t accompany any complements.

    I hope to see more female cops and more female military because huMan nature is really ugly and we need women to step in and make it human. I can hope their duties become boring and unnecessary eventually without their succumbing to the mentality we abhor.

    But I’m not holding my breath.

  101. kate

    I blame the patriachy, means exactly that. Read the blog. If you are defending the patriachy, go find another website. Is there no corner of the internet free from people who don’t “get it”. The military is the patriachy, military people should go somewhere else.

    Kate, old lady 47 fly in fly out mine site engineer in western australia, lurking for my feminist fix and confused about what military people are doing here.

  102. kate

    Also I can’t spell, it’s patriarchy of course. I disrespect it so much I can’t spell it right :)

  103. shopstewardess

    It would be lovely to live in a world that is so peaceful that it has no police or military or weapons of any kind. The fact that I don’t see that coming in my lifetime doesn’t make me a militarist (OED: “a person having military attitudes or ideals”). It also doesn’t stop me doing what I can to make the world a better place in the meantime, using what (non-military) power I have, for people who suffer discrimination.

    The only nation I can think of in recent times which has had neither a military, nor the support of a country with a military, nor the protection of the UN and its military/political power, is Tibet. Bad luck, Tibetans.

    I wouldn’t join the military myself, and wouldn’t want anyone I know to join. But I’m glad that in the US military life for those who do join will be slightly better, and hope that the ending of discrimination in the military may help move public discourse towards less hate more generally.

  104. Barbara Rubin

    Speaking of ‘the P’ and their aggression towards women, there’s an ad out on the internet recommending I be ‘barbecued’ for my political stances.

    No military protections for me though. The misuse of chemicals like pesticides isn’t an enforceable law in the US. Women are all soldiers, like it or not. Jill, continue please with ‘basic’ training, if you will!

    http://armchairactivist.us/2011/01/14/where-are-the-responsible-professionals-in-pest-control-i-know-youre-out-there/

  105. Nepenthe

    @shopstewardess

    Far from being the “zen” peaceful types that one finds in popular Western depictions of them, Tibetan have a fairly aggressive and militaristic culture. Khampas in particular are notoriously violent (as one would expect with a nomadic group with an imperialist history) and put up quite a fight when the Chinese invaded. They managed to repulse a British invasion in the early 20th century. Tibet was actually a huge empire for a long time in the European Middle Ages.

    The only strictly non-military society I can think of off the top of my head is the Hadza, but they don’t have much in the way of social organization at all.

  106. Noanodyne

    Shopstewardess: “But I’m glad that in the US military life for those who do join will be slightly better, and hope that the ending of discrimination in the military may help move public discourse towards less hate more generally.

    But thank jeebus, this blog isn’t about being happy with the little crumbs the pat throws our way. It’s about the fact that everything it has wrought is shit from the start. You can’t make shit nicer or better or prettier or happier.

    Let me quote from one Jill Psmith her own self (from her FAQ) since she has takeneth a powder:

    “Why blame the patriarchy?
    Patriarchy, which invisibly persists as the world’s most popular social order, is a really bad scene based on an oppressive paradigm fetishizing dominance and submission. Benefits in this culture of domination are accrued according to a rigid hierarchy at the top of which are rich honky adult males and at the bottom of which are poor female children of color. Within this hierarchy, women, regardless of race or any other status markers, constitute a sub-human sex class. I Blame the Patriarchy endeavors to expose to feminist scrutiny and critique the many schemes and gambits — legislation, adjudication, media, medicine, culture, religion, Oprah, tradition, etc — through which the dominant culture controls the sex class and sustains the global humanitarian crisis that has ensued as a result of its ceaseless violence.

    [Surely the military is one of these gambits, no?]

    “Women will never enjoy fully human status until patriarchy is dismantled.

    “Then what?
    The Twistolution envisions a post-patriarchal order free of [count which one of these is institutionalized by the military] male privilege, rape, misogyny, theocracy, corporatocracy, gender, race, deity worship, marriage, discrimination, prostitution, exploitation, godbags, the nuclear family, reproduction, caste, violence, the oppression of children, the oppression of animals, poverty, pornography, and government interference with: private uteruses, non-abusive domestic arrangements, drug habits, lives, and deaths.”

    You can’t defend the military in any form once you get that the point here is to revolt against all of these things.

  107. shopstewardess

    @Noanodyne: Jill’s post describes the ending of DADT as “uncharacteristically progressive”.

    I have stated that the world will continue to have military forces for the foreseable future. I haven’t said that this is something I want, or that it is a good thing. I have said that, as it is the case, the ending of DADT makes life a bit better, and that I’m glad about it. That is a small development of Jill’s post, but not I think contrary to it.

    I also said, in my earlier post, that decisions to go to war (in the context, in a so-called democracy) are taken by politicians, not the military, and that war is therefore a political failure. It has been argued that shile that is formally the case in the US, in practice in the US the decision is made by the military-industrial complex, and not by a process which is subject to political influence. I don’t know whether that’s true of not, but it’s not going to stop me arguing against war, politically speaking, when I can.

    If when Jill returns she says that I’ve expressed an unacceptable level of support for the patriarchy I will of course rethink these positions. In the meantime I think I’ve leave it there.

  108. Linda

    “If when Jill returns she says that I’ve expressed an unacceptable level of support for the patriarchy I will of course rethink these positions. In the meantime I think I’ve leave it there”

    Well yeah you could wait and see what Jill thinks about it all, or you could decide for yourself. Most of us who read here are more than capable of assessing our respective situations, independently of our beloved Jill.

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