Has "don't ask, don't tell" created more "lesbians"?

"A weapon to get rid of troublesome females"

By Salon Staff

Published June 15, 2000 7:07PM (EDT)

Inside a lesbian "witch hunt"
BY FIONA MORGAN (06/07/00)

Holy Tailhook, Batman! "You won't sleep with me so you must be a lesbian." That is classic sexual harassment. Not homosexual -- just plain anti-female. Didn't it strike anyone that the military would turn "don't ask, don't tell" into a weapon to get rid of troublesome females? And it's working, too! I doubt that there is a disproportionate number of lesbians in uniform; I think there are a lot of women in uniform who are willing to brand themselves lesbian to escape intolerable conditions. Maybe somebody ought to look at this problem. It certainly wasn't covered in the article.

-- Kat Daley

I fear that Fiona Morgan's description of my book, "The Kinder, Gentler Military," may misdirect people who haven't read it yet. My book is about many things. One of them is how and why the Pentagon (driven by Congress) bungled the integration of women during the 1990s. It's about how and why an obsession with "gender-balance" took the place of necessary obsessions with military readiness; it's about how the brass threw themselves into a frenzied quest to achieve "a force that looks like America" (as President Clinton put it) even if they had to use quotas, double standards and double talk; and it describes today's Pentagon in the middle of a peculiar internal war with its own remnants of warrior culture.

In other words, women per se are not the problem in today's military, policies driven by political correctness and the more extreme brands of feminism are. As readers can see, my book is full of military women -- jet pilots, aviation mechanics, doctors -- who are as contemptuous as their brothers-in-arms about the surrealities of "the New Military." It looks to me like Morgan -- who is clearly intelligent enough to understand this subtle difference -- was looking for a villain, a big bad misogynist to spice up her piece. Fiona, baby, you should have looked a little harder and found the real thing.

-- Stephanie Gutmann

Salon Staff

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