stewardess: (bob winnix got a light by mrbnatural)
[personal profile] stewardess posting in [community profile] monstrous_regiment
Title: Sailors and Sexual Identity: Crossing the Line Between "Straight" and "Gay" in the U.S. Navy
Author: Steven Zeeland
Publication Date: 1995

First: this book is hot. But I recommend it because it's one of the few books on gays in the military that explores how complex sexual identity is for everyone, not just gay and bisexual people.

Each chapter is a first-person recollection from a serviceman, some of whom identify as gay, some bisexual, some straight, some not sure. All have had same-sex sexual relationships.

Zeeland advances an interesting theory: that the military fears equality for gays not because they are worried about gays enlisting, but because it will force them to be open about the strong element of homo-eroticism in the armed forces. By denying that there are gays in the military, the military can keep its head in the sand. Zeeland points out that homo-eroticism has been a part of military bodies for thousands of years, with traditions that go back centuries. It's extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Oh, and hot. :)

Date: 2010-06-28 02:01 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: pin up girl reading kant (Default)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
that the military fears equality for gays not because they are worried about gays enlisting, but because it will force them to be open about the strong element of homo-eroticism in the armed forces

That sounds interesting, and is certainly something that seems initially plausible.

Thanks for the Review.

Date: 2010-06-28 07:30 am (UTC)
damned_colonial: Convicts in Sydney, being spoken to by a guard/soldier (Default)
From: [personal profile] damned_colonial
I am not surprised to hear this. Not even remotely.

Date: 2010-06-28 02:42 am (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
but because it will force them to be open about the strong element of homo-eroticism in the armed forces.

I realize this book is fifteen years old to boot, but is he also suggesting that the US military in PARTICULAR has that strong homoerotic element, or is he making a blanket statement of all militaries?

Date: 2010-06-28 07:43 pm (UTC)
recessional: a small blue-paisley teapot with a blue mug (Default)
From: [personal profile] recessional
I suppose I am dubious because, as a Canadian, our military comes from roughly the same background, allowed queer servicemembers in 1992 (three years before the book was published) and certainly never did anything like "[becoming] open about the strong element of homo-eroticism in the armed forces." We just had queer servicemembers.

So I am wondering if Zeeland is identifying something special about the USF that's different from the CF, despite their intensely shared history and similar cultures, that would require that, or lead to that particular fear in face of evidence in other countries to the contrary. (Or if it's another case of "wait, other countries are DIFFERENT from us?" which also happens.)

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