Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hermaphrodites, Really?

The other day I was listening to some of the debate over overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell that has heated up so much since ADM Mullen spoke out in favor of overturning the policy the other day. I won’t go too much into my personal opinion on the matter, especially not on a semi-public blog because no matter how much I disclaim it, people will want to take my personal opinion as in some way reflecting the opinions of or in the Marine Corps. And, even if my opinion is a very common one in the Marines, I am not in any way authorized or inclined to speak or make representations for the Marine Corps.

All that said, I was listening to the discussions on
NPR the other night, and a former Marine came on ranting about how strongly opposed he was to overturning Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Without going into my opinions on the matter at hand, I will give my opinion of this guy’s argument:

It was asinine.

I don’t care what your opinion is, this guy just came off as an ignorant homophobe. What was this asinine argument? Basically, it was, “If we let the gays who are already in the military serve openly in the Marines (he specifically mentioned the Marines), then we will have to start letting hermaphrodites in.”

Really? No, NO, REALLY? Are you freaking serious?

Hermaphrodites? That’s your argument?


I’m sorry. One more time: Really? You must be screwing with me. I am absolutely dumbfounded (ok, I’m not – that rarely happens to me).


1) Do you even know what a hermaphrodite is? A hermaphrodite (or, more appropriately, intersexed person) is a person with an actual physical medical condition whereby they do not fall clearly into one category of biological sex. Some ignorant individuals (like you, sir), view this as a horrifying, terrible sickness or view it as making these individuals less human or “freaks.” While it can be very emotionally painful for the individuals in question, especially if not dealt with by informed or somewhat enlightened caretakers in early life, it is not some horrifying sickness and certainly does not make those people any less human, intelligent, or valuable. And I see no reason why a person with ambiguous genitalia who is otherwise perfectly qualified for military service should be denied that opportunity. In many countries/cultures around the world, hermaphrodites are treated *gasp* like regular people, or even honored. Some countries/cultures even recognize a third sex for these individuals. I strongly encourage anyone with limited knowledge on this issue to
read further. It is interesting and, in my opinion, will make you a more understanding person to know about. I know exactly how I would deal with it if Pip was born with an ambiguous sex. Do you know what you would do facing such a situation? Are you sure that’s the right thing by that child? At the very least, if you learn about this you’ll never sound like quite such an idiot on the radio.

2.) What the F does a hermaphrodite have to do with whether or not homosexuals should be allowed to serve openly? Someone please explain the connection to me. Are you trying to make some sort of point about genetic mutations? Please, please tell me that’s not the case. Because that is really, really stupid. Then again, I can’t think of any connection between allowing a person with ambiguous genitalia into the military and allowing a homosexual to be open about who they are in the military. Certainly not any connections that aren’t really, really stupid.

In conclusion:

That is one of the most asinine That is THE most asinine argument I have ever heard on either side of this argument. Ever. Please feel free to punch yourself in the face. And maybe think for a second before you go on the radio representing yourself as a “former Marine” and then act like a complete jacka*&. K? Thanks.

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