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Discrimination in the Military

Posted by silversword 9A (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 3, 12 at 11:31

I have no proof of the following, so you'll have to either take my word for it or not. A friend was studying for a test in the Marines. Questions were fairly simple, with the instruction pages offering mnemonic devices to help remember.

One of them was for something like BGG. I don't remember what it stood for, but it had nothing to do with STDS. The mnemonic device was Black and Gay = Gonorrhea.

Now. As he tried to explain that he didn't write it, I tried to explain just why my jaw was on the floor and I was having a hard time breathing.

I suppose I knew the military was like that. I tried to explain that institutionalized acceptance of discrimination shocked me, of how he would feel if his body were such that he could not change his color or sexual orientation and had to see study materials like that one.

I don't know how well I did, because I had to just stop finally. I know it's not something he did, personally, but silence is acceptance.

Does anyone else know of this? Is this really how our military operates? Is this ok? I'm so mad and upset over this and haven't been able to see straight enough to formulate a reasonable, calm argument explaining my views.

Anyone?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Discrimination in the Military

Stereotyping and discrimination are not the same thing. But I agree, if this is true, which I don't know, it should be eradicated.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

Ok. You're right. But stereotyping goes hand in hand with discrimination and prejudice. Allowing such stereotypes, IMO, would lead to a higher incidence of discrimination or willingness to consider such acts (using study slurs) "normal" and accepted.

What about SRI as an acronym.... Southern + Redneck = Incest ? or RCCH... Republican + Christian = Closet Homosexual ?


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

whoa-you are so right. How to fix this? The military doesnt thank anyone for pointing out problems to management but how does a civilian get access to someone in the command structure who could do something. This is offensive not only to gays and people of color but to anyone who has to read it.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

The military is a representation of our society. Some good, some bad. Even some units that we like to make believe are the best of the best (Navy Seals) have some scum bags in their units.

Women marines were often referred to as BAM's...

figure it out.

Bill will know the answer.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

"stereotyping goes hand in hand with discrimination and prejudice" I agree, sad stuff in either category.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

The mnemonic device was Black and Gay = Gonorrhea.

Was the study guide issued by the Marines? If so, maybe forward a copy to your congressperson voicing your concerns. Or to Senators Boxer and Feinstein.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

If it gets back to his unit where that guide came from, his butt is toast. First and foremost of ANY Marine's concerns is the Corps. Semper Fidelis is not just a saying. It's an oath.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

Brush: "Even some units that we like to make believe are the best of the best (Navy Seals) have some scum bags in their units."

I don't think this is an issue of scumbaggery. Prejudice does not indicate lack of intelligence or heart or mean a person is scum, in my opinion. Often it's a byproduct of (quite recently) culturally accepted (and in some cases, encouraged) ignorance.

I don't want to ask for a copy of his paperwork, or get particularly involved at this point. I'm trying to clarify my thoughts so I can have another conversation with him about it later. ;) I think the best way to foster change is within an organization rather than from the outside.

Nancy, it was not issued by the 'Marine Corp', to my best of my knowledge.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

  • Posted by batya Israel north 8-9-10 (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 5, 12 at 2:59

Silver, this bothers me also, a great deal. Would the military use Jew for the letter J? How about the N-word? What about the nasty C-word for lady parts? What would any female Marine in her right mind (and there are many brave, smart women there) do? From what I know, she would probably keep her mouth shut, so as not to stick out as a b-female dog-type/feminazi, and add it to the list of humiliations she deals with every day as a woman in a male-dominated, macho, mine-is-bigger-than-yours ruled environment. We here have this issue a lot with the military society and how it's reflected in the language, and when women bring it up, we are called the most appalling names, and aspersions are cast on everything from our patriotism to our sexuality.

I agree with you about change from the inside, and I agree with you about culturally accepted ignorance as opposed to this being promoted by bad people. The grumbling about letting those fags and ladies into the Marine Corps gets louder every time something like this is brought to light, with the defenders complaining that if you don't like it, you can take your politically correct ideas somewhere else. The issue to me seems to be that the espirit de corps, brotherhood, us versus everyone else is honored, as Bill says, as an oath, and perhaps it should be. But the independent thinking members who have new-fangled ideas about women, gays, whatever are forced to stay silent while the issue you discuss becomes inviolate, as if discussing this would somehow break their morale and sap the group's cohesiveness.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

What about the nasty C-word for lady parts?

I don't know about the rest of it-- there are heavy penalties for racial discrimination-- but as for this one specifically, you can bet on its use. Always had been, and I'd be shocked if it isn't now. When the camera isn't running, you can bet that a spotter helping a sniper dial in a target will be directing left or right by a "C" hair.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

I think I understand Bill. There is a culture of crude in the military. Get a whole bunch of boys together for any activity and their inner animal comes out. ;)

What I don't know is if that is necessary or even beneficial to our troops. Surely there are more precise units of measurement than the hair of the female pudendum. For one thing, a "hair" is one word shorter than "c-hair". For brevity's sake alone it makes more sense to use the former.

For another, it's derogatory. Regardless of how long and for what reason, minorities (like women, people with black skin and people who prefer to be intimate with their same gender) are in the military and therefore are part of the team. Team America. Go USA. How does making slurs that are insulting to some team members make us better? For what good?


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

  • Posted by batya Israel north 8-9-10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 7, 12 at 3:48

The swagger and crude and "inner animal" has been part of the military since they were using horses and spears. Methinks it has something to do with the necessity of hardening yourself to the things that you do and see, of making sure that compassion and respect are hidden (not gone) so that you can shoot another person and still sleep at night.

Whatever your opinion on what is is that soldiers do, it's what they do, and often it's nasty and horrifying and against our deepest felt ideas about compassionate humanity. I'm not defending the misogyny, the racism, the machismo. I am, however, aware of their need for Us vs Them thinking. Up until very recently, Us was straight, male and in this country, white. Anyone outside the group is seen as weak (not strong like Us), inferior (We are the elite), and always outsiders. Incorporating women, people of color, gays, etc - although creating a cadre of fine, brave and high quality soldier - threatens the cohesiveness of the group.
The derogatory slurs, the racism, all of it, allows them to in some way function. The idea that you are insulted means you have thin skin, that you're not strong enough, that you take things personally, that you are weak. Believe me, I have seen my sons go through this, and the pain that they experience when they get into an army that has a monstrous dose of machismo and sneering at the Other.
It was benficial before, it's not beneficial now, dcue to the incorporation of all these others, but changing the culture of crudity is nearly impossible. Insulting the women by calling a xxxxxxxxx a xxxxxxxxxx may change, equating gay with disease may change, insulting blacks may change, but it will be defended by those who think all of this makes them better soldiers. And they really do think it does.
The depersonalization of the Other is first and foremost drilled into them from the first day of boot camp.


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

Oh Batya!

I agree with you.

~Silver


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

FWIW, DH came home from work yesterday stating that the PC police swept through the military base clinic (offices, waiting rooms, exam rooms...the entire clinic) where he works and confiscated all magazines and other material which had images of "scantily clad" females (Good Housekeeping, Cosmo, news magazines, etc.).

This post was edited by funnygirl on Fri, Dec 7, 12 at 11:14


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RE: Discrimination in the Military

The swagger and crude and "inner animal" has been part of the military since they were using horses and spears. Methinks it has something to do with the necessity of hardening yourself to the things that you do and see

It would not surprise me to find that crude talk like that releases testosterone into the system, which, up to the point where the military started allowing women bigger roles in the military, wasn't something the military would want to avoid. Same reason for all the shouting.


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