To Be A Man Is To Be Heterosexual


Just when you think the Weekly Standard's institutionalized contempt for gay people could not get any worse, along comes James Bowman's defense of barring openly gay men from military service:

Facing enemy bullets--is inextricably bound up with ideas of masculinity. We also know that most heterosexual males' ideas of masculinity are inextricably bound up with what we now call sexual orientation. In other words, "being a man" typically does mean for soldiers both being brave, stoic, etc.--and being heterosexual. Another way to put this is to say that honor, which is by the testimony of soldiers throughout the ages of the essence of military service, includes the honor of being known for heterosexuality, and that, for most heterosexual males, shame attends a reputation as much for homosexuality as for weakness or cowardice.

Beneath the elegant prose and the admission that gay soldiers are as good as straight ones - and as American as anyone else - is an old schoolyard epithet: no sissies allowed, and all fags are sissies. Or rather, if others believe without evidence that they are sissies, the burden of proof must lie on those being calumnied rather than those expressing fact-free generalizations. It is true that for much of human history - with many many exceptions in the ancient world - masculinity has been conflated with heterosexuality. But that's because the gay men have been rendered so invisible and so oppressed that the counter-evidence has never been fully revealed - except in small circumstances and with individuals on the battlefield. But now we do know better - and the next generation of civilized men and civilized intelligent warriors understand this. Giving individuals a chance to prove their mettle as openly gay, and giving straight soldiers a chance to demonstrate that they care more about their duty than prejudice, is so obviously the right thing to do only bigots resist it at this point.

And, in case Bowman thinks I am somehow denigrating sissies, let me point out to this bigot that he might want to avoid a fight with a sissy, because many of them could take his sorry ass to the cleaners, and because many more, over the centuries, have fought and died for their country and are more men than he, from his armchair, will ever be.

And, of course, part of the reason for forcing gay soldiers into the closet and holding persecution over their heads is precisely to conceal the plain truth that these stereotypes are false. I remind Bowman that the first soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq war was a gay man. That he risked all for his country, that he showed immense valor, should make him a hero to his country and to his commander-in-chief.

And what did they do to him? They fired him. Get angrier.