What You're Projecting Ain't Saying Much For Ya

[Trigger warning for discussion of sexual violence.]

So, according to Marine Corps Commandant General James Conway, if "Don't Ask Don't Tell" is repealed, the Marines should consider "voluntary" sexuality-segregated quarters, because a lot of Marines are "very religious" and have "moral concerns" about homosexuality and thus "don't want to room" with gay peers.

Okay, ignoring the incoherence of axiomatically equating "religious" with "homophobic," let's break down this logic: Religious (ahem) Marines object to rooming with anyone who engages in any activity that they deem immoral. Except not. Because there's no movement to create separate quarters for Marines who have premarital (straight) sex, or adulterous (straight) sex, or who gamble, or who take the lord's name in vain, or who fail to honor their mothers and fathers so it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Once again, we meet a special argument reserved especially just for the very special case of gay people and their specialized sin.

Why would straight male Marines have a special concern about bunking with gay peers? Well. It's not fashionable for homophobes to say it these days, unless it's framed as a don't-drop-the-soap "joke," but they have the same fear as did the homophobes of yore, back when it wasn't politically incorrect to flatly say: "I don't want them queers trying to put the moves on me."

Nowadays, it's "politely" couched as a "moral concern," as if a religious (ahem) Marine's delicate sensibilities can tolerate killing another human being but not sharing sleeping space with a man who kisses other men.

But the reality is that what underlies their fear are pernicious narratives about gay recruitment and the stereotype of gay men as predatory and sexually aggressive.

Which itself is a projection created by straight homophobic men, who—by virtue of socialization in a patriarchal culture that casts women's bodies as men's property, to which they are rightfully entitled, and frames straight sexuality as a game between male hunter and female prey—assume that all men are sexually aggressive and indifferent to the concept of consent.

In short, they fear gay men treating them the way they treat women.

One would think that might make them reconsider their own philosophies on respect for bodily autonomy, ownership of self, and consent—but it just never seems to work out that way.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus