Sometimes it appears that the U.S. military and the U.S. government are operating with a medieval mentality that closely resembles a cross between the Inquisition and Mein Kampf. We are supposed to be a democracy. We are supposed to be governed by the Constitution, not by off the wall interpretations of a hate-filled tome, full of fables, wanton destruction, and superstition.
The military has caught up with the '90s in technology but is still in the Middle Ages in sociology, sexuality and human relations. And a classic example of this papal attitude is the absurdity of a Neolithic policy, ludicrously named "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," - a policy that belongs in the Museum of Natural Idiocy.
Other nations have no such policy.
Recently I was asked to appear on CNN's "Impact" to discuss the issue of lesbian baiting in the military. In researching this topic and its present day prevailing attitudes I found the book "And The Flag Was Still There " by Lois Shawver. My first thought was how in the world would a married civilian clinical psychologist from California know spit diddley about the ramifications of homosexuality in the military.
Well believe me when I say she does.
And being a civilian, not inculcated in the phony philosphies about good order and discipline that should have gone out with the horse cavalry, she is able to clearly point out the fallacies and foibles that surround this discriminatory policy.
With a style that is brisk, candid, and extremely well documented Dr. Shawver scrapes the moldy and mildew laden attitudes of the fermenting military minds aside and gets to the real issues. Hiding behind buzz phrases like "detrimental to morale and unit cohesion" the misanthropic military weakly defends its Victorian attitude. Dr. Shawver hits this rusty nail right on its bent head!
In Chapter 7, a section called "Military Predictions of Disaster Unfounded" she states:
"But if we examine what the military means by the words "morale" and "cohesion," we will see that there are many ways to improve morale and that sometimes cohesion can be destructive. We will see that the argument for morale is often just a disguised argument for the importance of manly pride in the military, and of course, too much pride in heterosexual manliness, or heterosexual feminity, can create a kind of anxiety which, in the long run, does damage to morale, causing people to fret and worry about trivial homosexual interest."
"And The Flag Was Still There" needs to be studied, not simply read, by every student of the law, every judge, every legislator, and every military leader, and follower, in uniform or out.
However, be advised that it is not an eye-opener - it's a brain-opener.
Read it. You just might learn something! I certainly did.
If you'd like more information about this excellent book please visit the author's page where you will find an entire chapter to read.
And The Flag was Still There
The irony of it all is that for centuries we have had prominent personalities who happen to have been gay - gay popes, gay kings, gay philosphers, gay emperors, gay writers, gay psychologists, and gay statesmen - as well as athletes, priests, lords, politicians, czars, empresses, performers, and generals! Yes, generals...from Alexander the Great to Giles de Rais. But it is still a crime to be gay in the military. The strength of a nation is determined by its values - its weakness lies in its prejudices. Think about it!
This unsolicited review is strictly the opinion of this author and not that of Dr. Lois Shawver, or her publisher, and obviously not that of the Department of Defense.
1997 GLBTDVA AWARD
FOR WEB EXCELLENCE!
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