Duplicity and Immorality: Women and Gays in the Military

On Monday, four star Marine General Peter Pace — speaking in his current role as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the United States military — said, like adultery, being Gay is immoral and that Gays should not be allowed to “openly” serve their country in the armed forces.
Over 65,000 gay and lesbian soldiers currently serve in the military under the current “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” fallacy of a policy that General Pace, pictured below, must enforce.

Yesterday General Pace tried to clarify his position without apologizing or backing away from his hateful comments:

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top general said Tuesday
he should not have voiced his personal view that homosexuality is
immoral and should have just stated his support for the military’s
“don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in an interview that has drawn criticism
from lawmakers and gay-rights groups.

Here’s how the Washington Post describes the current military policy on Gays:

The military lets gay men and lesbians serve if they
keep their sexual orientation private. Commanders may not ask, and
service members may not tell. More than 10,000 troops, including more
than 50 specialists in Arabic, have been discharged since President
Clinton signed it into law in 1994.

Are Gays in the military considered bad for morale?

Are straight women in the military good for morale or not?

Does the rape and sexual harassent of female soldiers in Iraq get the same Joint Chiefs hatred and attention as Gays in the military?

Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski
caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers
had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the
summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They
were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the
latrines after dark. …
The latrines were far away and unlit, she explained, and male soldiers
were jumping women who went to them at night, dragging them into the
Port-a-Johns, and raping or abusing them. …

Not everyone realizes how different the Iraq war is for women than any
other American war in history. More than 160,500 American female
soldiers have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East since the
war began in 2003, which means one in seven soldiers is a woman. Women
now make up 15 percent of active duty forces, four times more than in
the 1991 Gulf War. At least 450 women have been wounded in Iraq, and 71
have died — more female casualties and deaths than in the Korean,
Vietnam and first Gulf Wars combined. And women are fighting in combat.
Officially, the Pentagon prohibits women from serving in ground combat
units such as the infantry, citing their lack of upper-body strength
and a reluctance to put girls and mothers in harm’s way.

But mention
this ban to any female soldier in Iraq and she will scoff.
“Of course we were in combat!” said Laura Naylor, 25, who served with
the Army Combat Military Police in Baghdad from 2003-04. “We were
interchangeable with the infantry. They came to our police stations and
helped pull security, and we helped them search houses and search
people. That’s how it is in Iraq.”…
Rape, sexual assault and harassment are nothing new to the military.
They were a serious problem for the Women’s Army Corps in Vietnam, and
the rapes and sexual hounding of Navy women at Tailhook in 1991 and of
Army women at Aberdeen in 1996 became national news.

A 2003 survey of
female veterans from Vietnam through the first Gulf War found that 30
percent said they were raped in the military. A 2004 study of veterans
from Vietnam and all the wars since, who were seeking help for
post-traumatic stress disorder, found that 71 percent of the women said they were sexually assaulted or raped while in the military. And in a third study, conducted in 1992-93 with female veterans of the Gulf War and earlier wars, 90 percent said they had been sexually harassed
in the military, which means anything from being pressured for sex to
being relentlessly teased and stared at. …

“There are only three kinds of female the men let you be in the
military: a bitch, a ho or a dyke,” said Montoya, the soldier who
carried a knife for protection. “This guy out there, he told me he
thinks the military sends women over to give the guys eye candy to keep
them sane. He said in Vietnam they had prostitutes to keep them from
going crazy, but they don’t have those in Iraq. So they have women
soldiers instead.” …
“My team leader offered me up to $250 for a hand job. He would always
make sure that we were out alone together at the beginning, and he
wouldn’t stop pressuring me for sex.”

Let’s don’t forget what our own Urban Semiotic Sgt. Martha reported directly from Iraq in July 2005:

It is also very difficult being female in this type
of environment. Men generally don’t like to hear this because they
construe it as typical man-bashing woman bitching but I am not angry
about this — it is just another objective observation.

I guess because of the type of chick that I am, and what I like
to do, I’ve been in many situations (military, job, etc.) where I am
the only, or one of the very few, women present. Because of this I’ve
always felt that I needed to work three times as hard to prove myself
to the men.

I don’t have a problem with that at all, but the attitude
of the males over here gets really exhausting.

No matter how many times a female gets sh*t right, if she f*cks
up on something ONE TIME, she never hears the end of it. And it’s
always BECAUSE she’s a girl. The guys drive like maniacs, crash into
sh*t, lose vehicle parts — but if a chick so much as makes a wrong turn
(not during a convoy, of course — I mean on post where it doesn’t
really matter) it’s always “women drivers” and “no sense of direction”
that, etc. ad nauseam.

It doesn’t really affect me and I mostly try to ignore it, but
it p*sses me off that the few women over here aren’t given a chance
before they’re stereotyped and categorized.

Do you find the current policy concerning women in the military
duplicitous and do you believe it is immoral how Gays are treated in
the military as a matter of official armed forces policy?
Is there a predictable and dangerous disconnect between straight women,
Gay men and lesbians in the military and their fellow comrades-in-arms
and superiors?

If so, how to we remedy that unequal human reality
hitting the ground and lurking in the latrines?