Quick fix

I’ve broken through!

I’ve got just a minute in between work and an impending blackout-communcation phase that will take me off line for a day or two.

There’s a big interview coming up involving me and Christina Kerley, a
master interviewer of blogging netizens of the blogosphere.

It should be up by this evening. You can check it out on her blog which is also a neat place to explore the effects of blogs and other new media on the world.

I’ll be around, friends! There’s much to do and blackout comms means no talking to anyone for a bit.

Sorry! I’ll be back. Let me know how the interview went. I was there, I realize, but seeing it is a little different!

***

Update: Well, it seems like the blackout is taking its time. Alright then…

***

A couple of days ago there was a show in town.

Every so often, an artist or troupe of some kind will make their way to our little slice of the world. Normally its up-and-coming country music stars, trying to get a little name recognition before hitting the mainstream. Other times it’s a smattering of sports figures or comics who give some of their time to see the troops.

Then there are the porn shows.

“Porn?!?!?” some might be asking. Well, I suppose it is a bit strong. Let’s say a “dance team.” Big-chested buxom blonds in mini skirts and thigh-highs, pole dancing–I mean, performing a routine in front of hundreds of gaping, drooling, sex crazed men–I mean, attendees.

Now lets not fire in to the “you must be gay” rhetoric just yet. Women are wonderful, there’s no denying that. And life sans beauty can have a pronounced effect on the psyche of an American male, for sure. Especially when coupled with all of the pressures and uncertainties of combat.

Granted.

Still, I have a bit of a problem with shows like this that prey upon the already sexually tense situations here in theater.

Can we pigeonhole women into the sexual-object stereotype any further with shows like this? Is standing in a crowd of drooling men, gawking at a woman as she squeezes her breasts the sort of thing I want the military to pay for?

“There were women there,” said our equal opportunity sergeant–incidentally, one of the most chauvinist, indiscreet men I’ve ever known.

“Oh please,” said the female finance specialist who works in our office in the mornings. “They went because it was a show, not because they wanted to see it.”

“There was dancing. It was more than just a chance to see ’em.”

“Oh yeah, dancing. That’s what I want to see, bikini-clad women dancing.”

“Oh come on! You know you wanted to go.”

“No I didn’t. It makes me feel uncomfortable.”

“Oh please! You can’t expect the military to bring in shows for women, it’s just not cost effective.”

Priceless.

Back in November, Monster Garage approached my unit with the offer to film the final episode of the series at one of our motor pools. They wanted to highlight the work of soldier mechanics and welders by showing their talents on the show and bolstering the image of the Army. Another unit eventually picked up on the offer, but my command rejected it because it “didn’t send the right kind of message to the public.”

What and these types of shows do?

Ladies, you’re beautiful and I love you, but you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to shake your “thang” so that I’ll appreciate you. I just hope the pay was good enough to put up with all the groping, leering and more-than-being-friendly smiles.

###

About salemonz

Born in San Diego, Calif. Raised as a Navy Brat, I jumped ship and crossed over to the Army. Served as an enlisted journalist for a bunch of years, then helped the DoD figure out what the hell to do with social media. After the Army, now I drift down the river of life, trying not to be a jerk.

10 responses to “Quick fix”

  1. BWJones says :

    What are the current rules/regulations regarding sexual harassment in the Army? You’d think that after Tailhook and some of the other more notable(infamous) issues of late, that there would be more discretion or training of personnel.

  2. salmons says :

    Well of course it’s not tolerated and there’s a whole system of Equal Opportunity reps that are chosen and trained to be a pain in our necks with quarterly classes and training on how to be sensitive.

    Then there’s the reality of it, where the EO reps are usually a third or fourth priority, or just don’t give a rat’s behind.

    And then there’s the stigma that still clings to women (physically weak, prone to pregnancy to get out of deploying, use sex to work over supervisors); but then there are women who perpetuate the stigma.

    I imagine it’s the same everywhere.

  3. brogonzo says :

    Thanks for the props, buddy! You do well on the interviewee side, too. Glad to hear you’re still alive and well — and that NCO-dom hasn’t done too many awful things to your brain 😉

  4. ZNB says :

    Titty shows for the troops… Crazy.

    Nice interview!

  5. Felyne says :

    OMG I think I love you! Great and refreshing opinion.

    Not being a pretty sexy girl, I find that stuff more ‘rubbing my nose in the fact that I’m not all that’ more than ‘degrading to women’. If you think about it, its not degrading at all, because just one of those women has the power to hold all of those boys attentions above anything else (except for you by the sounds of it – props!). Thats a lot of power.

    No one likes being shown their faults in such a public way. That’s probably why chicks get so pissy about it. Would you guys like it if it was .. whats a male equivalent.. Manpower… instead of the girls? Thats probably pretty close to how we feel??

  6. Felyne says :

    Heya, can’t see you’ve got a trackback option, so I’m just letting you know I’ve tracked you back. 🙂

    http://www.felyne.com/stalkings/2006/07/hot_topic_this_.html

  7. BWJones says :

    Well, you are correct in that unfortunately it is everywhere, even in the “hallowed” halls of academia. I once had to “Call the ball” on a director of research for a well known neuroscience program after he had been sexually harassing another student who was going to drop out of the program because of his harassment. Mind you this was when I was a student myself and I can tell you….. it was scary $#!^. I worried that in reporting him I would get crushed, but I believed it was the right and honorable thing to do.

  8. finch says :

    Great interview bro – no Finch in there – but great nonetheless! ROCK – keep it up bro – you’re doing a service to us all – both Soldiers and the civilians!

  9. Beth* A. says :

    It does seem sorta like waving ye olde crimson flag at an already pissed-off bull.

    Anytime these type of things get turned around (i.e. have all the male soldiers go to the only show in town, with a buncha thong-clad guys gyrating around) it would probably make them uncomfortable too. I’m not advocating being unable to have shows, or to remind the troops what they are fighting for (can your Moms come visit and bring pies? ;-)) – but Bob Hope seemed to know the line to draw for that. Dial it back a notch or several.
    BTW, Josh Salmons, fortunate indeed is the young woman who finds you and has the sterling good sense to capture your heart. (If she hasn’t already) Amongst other things –

    You’ve got class.

  10. Felyne says :

    PML! Go Beth!

    “can your Moms come visit and bring pies?”

    Rock on!

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