Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All Wet

Despite the fact that the majority of just about everybody thinks that the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is a good thing, there is still a small group of people who are so freaked out by the idea of gay and straight men showering together. Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness is one of them.

Showers are “huge issue,” Donnelly said. “To pretend that throwing up a few shower curtains solves the problem is tantamount, again, to saying, well women should share close quarters with men, we’ll throw up a few shower curtains and that will take care of it.”

“I don’t know about the gyms where you go or most people go, but the gyms that I’ve seen have a sign inside the door, and the door says inside the women’s locker room ‘no boys of any age are allowed.’ Now there’s a reason for that,” Donnelley said. “It in no way is a negative reflection on anybody, it is just a sign of respect for modesty in sexual manners.”

“Knowingly, you don’t expose yourself to somebody who might be sexually attracted to you. Does it happen unknowingly? Sure,” Donnelly said. “It’s something that again, when you introduce an element of sexuality in an environment that previously did not have that, that is problematic. There will be consequences from that, because people are normal, they’re humans, they’re sensitive to that.”

Ms. Donnelly is clearly someone who has issues far beyond military readiness; her ideas of what goes on in communal showers comes right out of Starship Troopers. She’s also not impressed with the argument put forth by Rep. Barney Frank, but it’s not because he’s right — gay and straight men have been showering together in the military for as long as there have been militaries and showers. She attacks him for something else entirely, proving that if you can’t refute the argument, go for the “Squirrel!”

What is really repellent about groups like CMR isn’t just their homophobia; you have to take that as a given. It’s that they think soldiers can be trained to fight a war but might not be able to control themselves in a shower. That’s not exactly what I’d call supporting the troops.