Robot 6

What will the repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ mean for Kate Kane?

From Detective Comics #859

I’d be lying if I said that, while following coverage this weekend of the Senate’s repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I didn’t briefly wonder what this development would mean for Kate Kane, the new Batwoman.

After all, she’s the most notable (if not the only) comic-book superhero whose origin is tied to the law prohibiting gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military: While a cadet at the United States Military Academy, Kate is discovered to be in a secret relationship with another female student. When confronted with the allegation, Kate chooses to resign from West Point rather than lie. The scene, depicted in Detective Comics #859 by Greg Rucka and J.H. Williams III, is a powerful one.

“Way back — waaaay back — when I knew I was going to be writing Kate, and I knew we’d be telling her origin story, I knew I would write this scene,” Rucka said in a well-timed post that appeared Sunday at DC Women Kicking Ass. “This was, in many ways, the first scene I wrote for Kate Kane, one I kept rewriting and rewriting in my mind until the time came to put it down on the page. I’d done a lot of research into West Point, and the Cadet’s Code of Honor had stuck with me, stuck with me all the more in the face of DADT. In my mind’s eye, even before ever seeing the Bat Symbol of encountering Batman, this was where Batwoman was born — in Kate’s need to serve something greater and to, at the same time, remain true to herself.”

Williams, who’s sharing writing and art duties on the new Batwoman series, commented this afternoon on the repeal, saying, “It’s just sad that this policy ever occurred in the first place. It was grotesque and shameful that we ever went there. And terrible that it took nearly two decades for the folly to be properly dealt with.”

“Now to figure out what this may mean for Kate Kane,” he continued, “we’ll need to acknowledge this in some way, but properly in the plot, much like the policy’s enforcement affected the plot for Batwoman’s origin. Like it informed her past, setting her on the path she now has, this new progress will have to inform her direction at some point in a significant way.”

As curious as I am about how Williams & Co. will address law’s repeal, I’m even more interested in how later writers — those a decade or more removed from the policy — will address the character’s past. The origins of Marvel’s character operate on a sliding scale, with someone like Tony Stark first being tied to the Korean War, then the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War and now (I think) the conflict in Afghanistan. But how will DC revise Batwoman’s history when “don’t ask, don’t tell” is just a relic of the shameful past?

News From Our Partners

Comments

66 Comments

Kate Kane and Steve Rogers are the characters most likely to be affected by the repeal of DADT.

All I know is that some retcons, like everything done with the character formerly called Chop Chop, are welcome.

We can only hope that when it’s time to change things, Rucka will be back to do it. I miss his guiding hand on Kate already.

Jebus H Christmas, will the canard that Iron Man’s origin was originally tied to the Korean War ever die? The Korean War had been over for just under ten years by the time Tony got hit by shrapnel in Vietnam. The seventh panel on the first story page after the splash page in ToS #39 explicitly places the action in Vietnam, which is feasible as Eisenhower sent he first military advisers into Nam a few years earlier, a policy which continued under JFK.

Still, your thoughts about the sliding time scale are well taken. That aspect of her origin will be retconned eventually as part of a universe wide reboot ten years down the line. Instead, she’ll probably have been outed and expelled from a religious fundamentalist private school in our current time, then have entered a military in which DADT was no longer in force.

Hawkeye can finally come out as Pink Arrow.

Look at this way:

Lois Lane was groundbreaking in the 40s as a columnist trying to break into investigative journalism, though now female journalists are accepted enough that her origin no longer makes it a plot point that she had to work her way into the paper as an advice to the lovelorn columnist.

Carol Ferris was groundbreaking in being a female character in charge of an entire company, it was a plot point that she had to overcome her father’s sexism to become the boss and had to quit dating Hal to gain respect at the office. Now when Green Lantern’s origin is retold, it’s an accepted fact that she’s the boss.

John Stewart’s origin story requires that he protect a racist presidential candidate who was arguing such wildly stupid… okay, this one they could probably just reprint and change the dialogue from uncovered racism to the coded language.

Still, the Detective Comics origin story still occurred “years ago” so it can stay her official origin for the next decade or so easily. Afterwards I don’t think it’ll be hard for later writers to come up with a situation where Kate has to choose between lying to save herself or standing by the truth and being kicked out of West Point. Most likely, they’ll update it so it reflects the prevailing issues of that generation. Once the sliding scale of continuity goes into effect the original story itself will still be historically important for it’s political statement at the time as written.

What Ragnell said. To which I add that (personally) I just don’t care about the whole fact that she’s a lesbian. Stop cramming that in our faces, some of us could not care less about superheroes’ sexual orientation. Find some way to make the character interesting besides that (or simply for being a female Batman- that’s been done too.)

“Stop cramming that in our faces, some of us could not care less about superheroes’ sexual orientation.”

Yeah! It’s time for an end to the Superman/Lois Lane relationship! And Green Arrow/Black Canary! And Spider-Man/Mary Jane! And The Flash/Iris West! And Big Barda/Mister Miracle! And Reed Richards/Susan Richards! I’m tired of them cramming their sexual orientations in our faces!

Why does a cadet have a West Point ring? You only get that upon graduation.

Cadets receive them at the beginning of their senior year, during Ring Weekend.

There’s also an issue of how the DADT repeal will be handled. Will discharged personnel be offered reinstatement? Will this be tempting to Kate? She should get a chance to celebrate this civil-rights victory on-panel though.

Sijo:

What’s with Batman wanting to spank Catwoman since the very first encounter? And how many girlfriends has Bruce Wayne had, anyway?

Bruce Wayne has a lot more interesting things about his character than just his sexual orientation. Too bad Kate doesn’t.

There is an easy way to deal with this. Just do what happened to Lt. Dan Choi. Make it clear that Kate is too old to enlist in the Marines, and now has her only way of providing justice by being Batwoman.

@Justice~!

Well, Bruce Wayne has 70 or so years of development on Kate. So, I would certainly hope he’s more interesting than a character who’s only been in a handful of comics.

I disagree with Williams on the comment that DADT was a shameful policy. It would have been nice if the military (I was in at the time) would have allowed gays into their service, but that wasn’t going to happen, DADT was a stepping point into allowing gays into the military, before that point it was standard question to ask someone their sexual orientation before enlisting(I was asked that question, so yes I know for a fact that it was part of the interview process) DADT was originally planned to be a short-term solution stepping stone that got kept longer than it was ever intended. Clinton lost the battle for an outright appeal, but managed to sneak DADT into law. It didn’t have it’s intended result though. Military leaders used the existing anti-gay laws(which existed long before DADT) to get rid of anyone caught being gay. So now you had a military that was accepting homosexual people into the service, along with a military that was actively looking for gay people to discharge, factor in that under Bush they had a mandate to reduce military benefits to outgoing military personnel and they were hunting for any reason to reduce benefits, no matter the quality of the soldier.

@Justice~!
“Bruce Wayne has a lot more interesting things about his character than just his sexual orientation. Too bad Kate doesn’t.”

You tell ‘em! A character who’s willing to abandon her life-life dream because it directly conflicts with her core beliefs and who has the tenacity to stand up for what she believes in and to defend it at all costs, eventually resorting to vigilantism when working ‘inside the law’ simply won’t work, is TOTALLY not compelling in the slightest.

I mean, if you take away the side characters of her father who helps her train and network, her lover who she at times has to protect and at times work against, her sister-thought-dead-turned-super-villain; and the incredible art and writing associated with the character; and her rather unique costume design (wearing a wig over her short hair to further obscure her identity); and the *incredible* audience appeal she has generated *ESPECIALLY * among a demographic of women who typically would *never* touch a comic book outside of a character who they can directly relate to (like Kate) – then she’s just another throw-away character who has nothing to offer the DCU; like the new ‘Asian’ Atom or the new ‘Black’ Aqualad. Characters created solely for the sake of ‘diversity’ clearly have no place in our modern world where prejudice of any kind clearly doesn’t exist.

Thanks you for bravely being the voice of reason in this otherwise lunatic world.

edit: ‘who she has to work against’ should read ‘who she has to work alongside’
Apologies.

LOL @ swamprat. I appreciate the three paragraph synopsis of her character but my argument has nothing to do with diversity. There are lots of diverse characters out there that are interesting to read, Kate’s just not one of them for me. That being said, I’m sure a fictional character appreciates you leaping passionately to her defense. ;)

She faced an injustice that was later repealed–doesn’t affect her origin one bit.

Double standard.

Many straight characters have been a lot more “cramming that in our faces” in their relationships than Batwoman. And I do think her stories have been pretty good and the depiction of her sexuality has been very tasteful. And despite this key scene, the fact that she’s a lesbian isn’t a defining character trait in her stories.

You guys remind me of people that claim gays holding hands and hugging in public are being provocative, while straight people are free to make out, kiss, grab each other and do everything short of actual sex in public without it being “offensive.”

Greg Rucka is a smart writer who was probably aware at the time he wrote that scene there was a possibility that DADT would be repealed. Since this character was going to be part of the Bat-Family, DC (and Rucka) were betting on her becoming a timeless character, so I’m assuming they probably have something in place for when DADT becomes a relic of the distant past.

It won’t be as powerful, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they have one.

It’s so disappointing that the first thing you guys think about is: “How will this change in the real-life legal system affect how a recent fictional creation will be viewed when her origin story is retold twenty years from now?”

This is the whole problem with comics fandom. People are either living decades in the past or decades in the future. Usually when they’re living decades in the future, they’re looking through rose-colored glasses.

We should be so lucky that Kate’s even around ten years from now so that this issue matters.

We should be so lucky that a pseudo-Crisis event doesn’t wipe her away in a few years.

We should be so lucky that her solo series (the first issue of which isn’t even out for another two months) actually lasts more than a year.

But rather than actually think about a) reality, or b) how Kate can actually become the well-rounded character so many people want her to be, you guys are thinking about c) how we can scrutinize something that won’t even matter in the future to anyone beside a handful of pedantic nerds.

All you have to do with the origin story is just change it so that she was expelled for improper behavior. Even without DADT, cadets can still be expelled if their conduct is improper. So alter the origin 2% so that she’s expelled if someone lies about her coming onto someone “improperly”.

That’s just one of any number of fix-its. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t really matter.

“Many straight characters have been a lot more “cramming that in our faces” in their relationships than Batwoman. ”

True, I can’t help but facepalm at scenes like the one where Iron Man and She-Hulk had sex apparently for no reason other than to remind us how much both believe in Free Love, punctuated by Shulkie asking Tony how he gets away with not being called a perv for it. Reeeal subtle. I just don’t care for this stuff in superhero stories, OK? Save it for Lifetime Channel movies or such.

“You guys remind me of people that claim gays holding hands and hugging in public are being provocative, while straight people are free to make out, kiss, grab each other and do everything short of actual sex in public without it being “offensive.” ”

This is a double standard to be sure. But there’s a difference in changing *the laws* and changing cultural standards. How long was it after women gained equal rights but were still pressured to ‘stay in the kitchen’ to being accepted as career people and leaders? For better or worse, acceptance of public gay demonstration of affection is something that will take time to happen (and I think we have progressed a lot on this area already.)

The Hungry Tanuki

December 26, 2010 at 4:42 pm

As an out gay man… ( I really hate when letters, comments, posts, etc start like this, but alas)
I think this articles and writer show a great level of intelligence by just posing this question. This kind of meta-thinking is what makes comics so intriguing, It is about looking at the past and theorizing about the future. Thats the point. The stories are awesome but the best ones give you something to talk about and excited about what is to come. This question is only there to get people to think. Too bad is had to get bogged down in Dc bashing. but, whatever. I’m not the biggest Batwoman fan but that fact that discussion like this and the meeting of opinions it brings make her even more exciting and with greater depth. So think about stuff sometimes, it doesn’t hurt.

…It essentially is mox nix to Kate’s situation. The repeal is not retroactive, so those who’ve been outstered after being outed prior to the repeal have no recourse insofar as readmission to their respective academies and/or re-enlistment to any of the services.

Plus it’s all pretty much irrelevant now as far as Kate’s concerned, isn’t it? She left that life behind her and became a costumed adventurer so I just don’t see how these recent changes to the law are all that relevant to the character as she stands right at this moment.

Like Marc C said, “She faced an injustice that was later repealed–doesn’t affect her origin one bit.” There’s no need to change anything now. Have her acknowledge her approval of it’s abolition, but beyond that, her life should go on as normal. As for far future retcons, that’s an issue for another decade.

In Germany we would say: Good question. Next question? ;-)

Yes. Eventually, the character of Batwoman will have to have a new background if she remains the next 20 years in the DC pantheon.
But as long as … As long as that lasts, her story can always point out that homophobia (still) affect life of lesbians and gay men.

Homosexuality is immoral. Adultery is immoral. Fornification is immoral. Pornography is immoral. Just because something is immoral does it mean it should be forbidden for service men and women? It is an interesting question and I hope it gets explored deeper in Batwoman. Adultery and casual fornification happens all the time on bases; these were once grounds for discipline but in the early 70′s senior officers and NCO’s started to look the other way. Pornography is now sold on bases, so views toward morality and acceptance on posts is changing. Morality never changes, but social values do. I think this makes for exciting comic story possibilities.

I’ve served in the military, the repeal is a bad idea in my mind; It just does not work to place a gay person in close quarters with frequently nude members of the same sex. It is counter productive to the military life style. I also know gay service members who do not want to be outed; the don’t ask don’t tell policy had problems but it allowed for serious career homosexuals to serve without undue turmoil in the ranks. It allowed sexual orientation to be a private matter, not anymore. Still I hear many folks who never served and never will serve like the idea, so maybe they are better equipped to discuss a matter they have no first hand knowledge of, but I doubt it.

The repeal seems to be more of a political move rather than an actual goal; as soon as the repeal was announced the gay rights groups immediately named a new goal, so the repeal wasn’t a real goal; it was a political stepping stone, territory to be taken. They had no interest in helping the transition or assisting both sides work on policy, it was “what ground can we take next?” Pretty sad mindset.

“I’ve served in the military, the repeal is a bad idea in my mind; It just does not work to place a gay person in close quarters with frequently nude members of the same sex. It is counter productive to the military life style. I also know gay service members who do not want to be outed; the don’t ask don’t tell policy had problems but it allowed for serious career homosexuals to serve without undue turmoil in the ranks. It allowed sexual orientation to be a private matter, not anymore.”

1. Gay people already are “in close quarters with frequently nude members of the same sex,” and have been since before there was a U.S. military. Further, your statement suggests gay people are unable to control themselves when exposed to same-gender nudity. That’s insulting and ridiculous.

2. The repeal of DADT doesn’t mean that gay service members are going to be “outed,” or that thousands deployed across the globe will stand up in unison and announce they’re gay. It means they won’t have worry that photos of them on vacation with their significant others, an overheard phone conversation, or an online screen name will trigger an investigation and lead to their discharge. But it also means they won’t have to hide who they are (something not required of heterosexual service members).

“The repeal seems to be more of a political move rather than an actual goal; as soon as the repeal was announced the gay rights groups immediately named a new goal, so the repeal wasn’t a real goal; it was a political stepping stone, territory to be taken. They had no interest in helping the transition or assisting both sides work on policy, it was ‘what ground can we take next?’ Pretty sad mindset.”

Sure, repeal was “a real goal.” But so is marriage equality, and an end to employment discrimination. There’s nothing remotely “sad” about saying, “We’ve won this battle, now let’s win the war!” Surely that’s a mindset that you, as someone who’s served in the military, can appreciate.

Sijo, you make good points. But honestly, I don’t have a problem with discussions about casual sex or homosexual people in superhero comics. The target public has changed and there are very few young kids reading the comics these days (and the reason they left has little to do with adult content, and more to do with price, acessibility, decompression and too little action in modern comics).

Steve, I suspect very few gay soldiers will “flaunt” their sexual orientation while in the army. Gay isn’t the same as stupid. They know very well that there is still a military culture that frowns on open displays of homosexuality and that laws aren’t going to change that. Like Kevin said, the real effect of the repeal is that gays are now safe from snoopy homophobic buddies snitching on them for improper behaviour.

Did repealling DADT also repeal the previous laws? Can they ask again and deny you entry if you say yes? In any case being gay in the military is not going to become easy any time soon. In fact, the backlash from the DADT repeal will probably make things harder on gays for the immediate future. Workplace discrimination against blacks has been illegal for decades but it still happens and people still get away with it. Batwoman’s origen will need to be tweaked in ten or so years to be sure, but not by much.

I am really sorry…this is such a non-issue…the fact that Congress is once again making military decisions is stoopid to begin with…as a Libertarian Leaning Conservative I really don’t care what your preference is but it should be up to the commanders on the ground and not the people who legislate …we have lost too many good soldiers to that type of mentality…

Bill, Congress maintains the authority, as provided by the Constitution, “to make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces.” It’s been that way since 1789; nothing about that has changed.

At risk of sounding insensitive, with regard to comics, I’m of the “Didn’t Ask, Don’t Care” mindset.

As long as Batwoman’s book is entertaining, I’ll buy it. (Detective stories, action packed, etc.)

When it fails to do so (dwelling on news and identity politics, preaching about the way it ought to be in the ideal world), I won’t.

A $3.99 price tag and an action less story get me to drop much titles faster than any character’s background.

Thanks for the legal scholarship. Kevin!

Bill: the military maintains a Uniform Code of Military Justice because certain things should not be up to the personal preference of commanders on the ground. A commander can’t just decide to segregate the base or brigade on grounds of race, religion (and now, sexuality) because of personal beliefs about unit cohesion. A commander can’t just decide to ignore the Geneva Conventions out of convenience.

This is because the U.S. Military is supposed to represent a society based on the rule of law: not on the whims of those who wield power.

Besides: the Pentagon’s own study determined that most military personnel supported the repeal of DADT– so even arguing that ” it should be up to the commanders on the ground and not the people who legislate” is irrelevant here.

@Sijo: “Stop cramming that in our faces, some of us could not care less about superheroes’ sexual orientation.”

When would you say it’s been “crammed in our faces”?

She’s been on a few dates; most of them have ended pretty much the way Peter Parker’s usually do.

About the only thing I’ve found exploitative about it is that Montoya is her ex-lover and Sawyer is her current interest. Do all the lesbians in the DC Universe REALLY have to know each other?

Anyhow, her sexuality’s an element of her character, and it’s an important element of her (rather clever, IMO) origin story. But it’s hardly the single defining aspect of her.

Kevin, you’re going on the assumption that the Batwoman title will even be around in a decade or so.
I don’t see the title lasting that long. She doesn’t have a broad enough appeal to give her the staying power. The character will then be ignored or a new Batwoman will be written for new story lines if needed, much like Stephanie Brown being the new Batgirl and taking over for Cassandra Cain..who took the batsuit with her but isn’t Batgirl..for now. See how it works?

Oh and just to inform you Kevin…the no fraternizing regulations of the military still apply in Kane’s case, pre or post DADT repeal. This was reiterated by the Pentagon since the repeal of DADT and will remain in place. Kate Kane could still be discharged for franternizing with another cadet. Rucka should have researched his story much better considering tbat he sat on it for so long. Her history still wouldn’t change with the repeal of DADT because she’s still breaking regulations that can be punishable by discharge. The military also has laws prohibiting sodomy, not that it would apply to Kate Kane.

I get the impression Rucka was more concerned with the socio-political statement and ginning up sympathy for Kate Kane, rather than the reality of serving in the military. Kate Kane took an oath and subsequently placed herself under the auspices of the U.S. Military after taking that oath and agreeing to the regulations of the U.S. armed forces. She broke regulations and heterosexuals are subject to the same punishment for the same infringement. That’s the reality Kevin…not the feel good sentiment you and Rucka would like to impose or the dramatic device of making Kane some kind of martyr for her personal integrity. Kane should have been smarter and certainly better disciplined as an officer cadet.

Ian Thal…..Bruce Wayne has cultivated the “frivolous playboy” image to protect his Batman identity. It serves an important purpose for him. He’s not just “picking up a date for the night” as Kate Kane was seen doing recently at a night club. indeed Bruce Wayne’s seen many times dumping the “bimbo” (and no “spanking” took place) at a well timed moment to don his cape and cowl to get on with his plan as Batman. His relationship with Selina Kyle has a greater personal investment for him than just “spanking Catwoman” as you put it.

The recent “Sex and Violence” story line in X-Force between Wolverine and Domino was closer to what you’re describing.

Dick Grayson’s intimate life is depicted on occasions but again, the women he’s intimate with are usually more important to him than just “a roll in the hay”. Heck even when Catwoman flirted with him she still made it clear, it’s Bruce Wayne she’s really serious about.

I really wish this thread had gone the way of continuity wank rather than a debate on sexual orientation.

Kevin you said:

Gay people already are “in close quarters with frequently nude members of the same sex,” and have been since before there was a U.S. military. Further, your statement suggests gay people are unable to control themselves when exposed to same-gender nudity. That’s insulting and ridiculous.

You are human right? You do understand how nudity and desire work together? I would imagine you have heard of a strip club? There is nothing insulting or ridiculous about using common sense.

You’re comparing the experience of gays sharing a shower with people of the same sex — something that occurs virtually every day on countless military bases and college campuses, and in fitness centers and high schools, all without incident — to the titillation generated by shoving dollar bills into the g-string of a gyrating stripper?

Yes, that’s ridiculous and insulting.

Kevin, in your zeal to answer Steve, you’ve forgotten that the character Kate Kane is discharged because she’s indeed been intimate with another cadet. Steve in that instance (fictional as it is) has the merit. Rucka has used the scenario Steve is describing but you’re saying isn’t happening.

Kate Kane was discharged for not being able to control herself in a shower filled with other women?

Even if the shower hypothesis had any merit (I don’t think it has), I don’t see that it has anything to do with DADT. After all. a closeted gay or a discreet gay serving under DADT would have the same trouble controlling their urges.

Personally, I’ve frequented a gym for three years now, and I live in a neighbourhood with a sizeable gay population, and I have never seen or even heard of any incidents in the shower.

Seems to me the DADT is not for the benefit of gay soldiers that would want to serve without their sexual orientation interfering with the service, and more for the benefit of idiotic homophobic Flyover Country soldiers that don’t want to know that some of their buddies in the armed forces are gay and are scared that they could be attacked in the shower or other silly nightmare of straight guys that never had any gay friend.

No Kevin, Kate Kane could be discharged for breaking regulations and fraternizing with another cadet at the academy. I’ve already educated you to that fact. She broke regulations whether or not Rucka or you were aware of that. Again we’re speaking about a fictional character. And again, Rucka used the scenario to gin up sympathy for Kane (and make a socio-political statement) without realizing the military was well within it’s rights to discharge her and her girlfriend (or had she been hetereosexual, her boyfriend). Aren’t we all concerned about everyone’s rights today Kevin?

The broader picture that Steve is alluding to is something Rucka used for the character. Kane was an officer cadet, seeing another officer cadet at the same academy on an intimate basis. They’re in close proximity to one another, they interact with one another. They shower and eat together and they clearly titilitated each other enough to draw them together. From subsequent stories, we also know that Kane looks for casual partners at homosexual night clubs, so the visual stimulus that Steve alludes to is clearly part of Kane’s libido. You failed to note that also Kevin. Again…i’m well aware we’re talking about fictional characters here so let’s keep that in perspective.

Back to the non-fictional world….from the studies we have, there doesn’t appear to be a dramatic spike in fraternizing and unwanted sexual advances in militaries that have homosexuals serving openly. Nor is there a reported lowering of morale and troop cohesion. But seriously Kevin…if you were a homosexual would you report that you’re seeing another guy on the base knowing it’s against regulations? Heterosexuals aren’t reporting it either, they have to be caught at it.

Sorry, I made it as far as “I’ve already educated you to that fact” and gave up.

ummmm Rene…you said ” DADT is not for the benefit of gay soldiers that would want to serve without their sexual orientation interfering with the service”. Are you saying that their need to proclaim they’re homosexual is interfering with their profession? Do you have the same need to proclaim you’re heterosexual or else your job suffers for it?

Sorry…I made it to
Kevin Melrose
December 27, 2010 at 3:30…..and gave up.

Steve, your neanderthal views on this subject confirm what I’ve always susoected — that opposition within the military to repealing DADT comes from two groups. Group one consists of men who are confused about their sexuality and who fear that being around openly gay men will provoke an existential crisis they’re not ready to deal with. Group two consists of misogynistic douchebags who think that all gay men will look at them the way they look at women, i.e. purely as sex objects. Believe it or not, Steve, not only is it possible for gays and straights to shower together without any orgies starting up, it’s even possible for men and women to shower together. You know, if the men are above the mental age of 12.

Alan…the U.S. military isn’t a social awareness group. They are professionals who’ve chosen to take on a job you don’t have the testicular fortitude to do. Steve served honorably and he has my gratitude (and he should have yours) If Steve was a homosexual and served, he’d still have my gratitude. Furthermore, men and women in the armed forces do not bunk and shower together for good reason. If don’t understand why, you have my sympathy.

Tel, I don’t have any need to proclaim I’m straight in my job. But I also don’t have to fear that I’m going to get into trouble with my boss if he happens to hear that I’m dating some girl outside the office. And that is the problem with DADT, that gay soldiers could be investigated if there is any “credible and articulable evidence of homosexual behavior.”

That is quite a separate issue from inter-office romance (or, in military parlance, “fraternizing”). So yeah, if Kate is having an affair with another cadet, then she’d still be in trouble, DADT or no DADT. So Kevin’s article about retconning is a moot point.

Honestly, if I had to shower with some of the hot women that frequent my gym, I would have major trouble hiding my arousal. Once I asked a gay friend of mine why is it that he (and gays in general) don’t have this problem in gym showers, and he told me that:

a) He is simply too used to shower with other men in a non-sexual context. It’s old news to him.

b) He is well aware that some straights can get very hostile when faced with unwanted flirting, and since he’s not crazy, he has learned from an early age to not initiate anything in any environment that could result in an ugly situation.

Rene..I have very little sympathy for a homosexual who joined the armed forces, knowing they’re already breaking regulations by joining. That’s their personal choice and the chance they took. And I’d expect the same attitude towards me. Personal accountability. The military is not a democracy, nor a social encounter group. The success or failure of this repeal should be up to our military to determine, not the courts or a bunch of congressmen, most of whom never served. Seeing what happened with the political correctness gone mad in the Major Hassan situation within our military, I don’t hold great hopes for an honest assessment.

As I noted earlier (and Kevin played the churlish child by pretending to ignore it)….other countries are reporting no recognizable difference in incidences, troop morale or cohesion with having homosexuals serve openly. I hope for our military’s sake that’s genuinely the case here too, not for homosexual advocacy’s sake, but for our troops’.

Re: “This is the whole problem with comics fandom. People are either living decades in the past or decades in the future. Usually when they’re living decades in the future, they’re looking through rose-colored glasses.”

This again?

Unfortunately, what you see as being the “problem” is what built comic book fandom in the first place. Discussions just like this which led to the creation of fan magazines like Alter Ego, which led to comic blogs. Talking about a characters origins and the “what if’s” of their future (What? Ultron built the Vision using the body of the Golden Age Human Torch?!). Yes…the history of a comic book character is actually fun for comic fans to discuss. WHO KNEW!? The detail, the continuity, the glorious minutia regarding a comic book character’s history is…believe it or not…entertaining! You know…just like it’s fun for you to post your angry little comments decrying such discussion.

“But here’s the thing: It doesn’t really matter.”

Well…since discussion of and appreciation of things just like this has, for over half a century help build the network of fandom that led to blogs like this, I’d say it does matter to a great deal of people. As to the angry little snobs like you, on the fringe of fandom who think they’re edgy and wise, who like to poo poo these discussions….that’s another story.

Will discussing the origins and the future of Batwoman cure cancer or end the war in Afghanistan? No. But it is fun to talk about. Because it’s comic books. Paper with pictures and stories inside. Loosen up…you’ll live longer.

“The origins of Marvel’s character operate on a sliding scale, with someone like Tony Stark first being tied to the Korean War, then the Vietnam War, the first Gulf War and now (I think) the conflict in Afghanistan.”

Tony Stark was never in Korea.
His first appearance in Tales of Suspense #39 (1963) showed him injured and captured in VietNam.

My point was, and is, not about each individual commander but the armed forces as a whole. There is really only one color in the military and it is green…nothing more nothing less. Too often the politicians meddle in things in the Military that they have no business in and gets people killed in the extreme. I still see this as a non issue. Actually I was defending in a way because i dont care what you are…if you are willing to join up and defend your country you have my utmost respect. The same in the civilian world as well. I dont care what you are as long as you pay your taxes, are a producer and and not a moocher, no one is hurt and no kids involved have at it….

To Kevin Melrose: marry me! :D
Your comments are clever and wright. You are quite courageous to try to educate people here. You’re a hero.

@Tel: “The success or failure of this repeal should be up to our military to determine, not the courts or a bunch of congressmen, most of whom never served.”

One: the US Constitution explicitly establishes congressional authority over the military, and two: the top brass HAVE been pushing for this repeal.

These two points have been made repeatedly throughout the thread; you seem to be, to coin a phrase, “playing the churlish child by pretending to ignore them”.

And cute use of douchey phrases like “political correctness” and “homosexual advocacy”. You’d really save us all a lot of time if you’d just acknowledge you don’t like gay people.

Thad…I’m fully aware that Congress is the body that determines whether or not policies like DADT are imposed on the military.

I’m referring to the military itself DETERMINING whether or not the policy is actually successful or not…not homosexual advocacy groups, militant judges or a bunch of senators most of whom have never served.

Perhaps you should work on your reading and comprehension rather than coming up with banalities like “douchey”?

If you really do want to appear clever Thad…at least try to do it convincingly.

Tel, I have a world of sympathy for gay soldiers.

Not only are they heroic, willing to risk life and limb for their country, like any other soldier, but they’re willing to do it knowing full well that all the thanks they’d likely get will be distrust, ridicule, and ultimately expulsion. That is more than heroic, that is superheroic.

It’s pratically a Spider-Man or X-Men script in real life.

Tel — You mean like with that survey they did that showed 70% of the military was cool with doing away with it? You mean determinations like that?

I don’t get how DADT being repealed effects her character at all. all the army stuff is supposed to be a flash back, its not like she was thrown out yesterday. Its like the Iron man origin retcon, they only changed it from vietnam to the middle east after 30 years. how about we worry about this bit of cannon in 30 years as well. for now lets just read read batman.

“You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.” That was said by Barry Goldwater, a Republican politician.

I really, really miss the times when not all Conservatives had sold their souls to the Religious Right.

Ragnell….it was also reported on December 20, 2010 that 66.5 percent of U.S. Marine combat forces surveyed by a special Defense Department working group said that putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness in the field, and 47.8 percent of Marines in combat units specifically said putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness “in an intense combat situation.”
Question 71a in Westat’s survey of these Marine combat forces read as follows: “If Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed and you are working with a Service member in your immediate unit who has said he or she is gay or lesbian, how, if at all, would it affect your immediate unit’s effectiveness at completing its mission … In a field environment or out to sea?” The Marines were given 6 options for answering: Very positively, Positively, Equally as positively as negatively, Negatively, Very negatively, No effect.

The Marines in combat units answered as follows:

Very positively: 2.9 percent
Positively: 3.0 percent
Equally as positively as negatively: 18.8 percent
Negatively: 23.9 percent
Very negatively: 42.6 percent
No effect: 8.7 percent

Furthermore Ragnell….you seem to have the same reading and comprehension issues Thad has. I said that the military should be left to gauge (READ: DETERMINE) the success or failure of this repeal without pressure from homosexual advocacy groups, militant judges or political interests.

I’ll offer you the same advice I offered Thad…if you want to appear clever Ragnell…please try to do it convincingly.



Browse the Robot 6 Archives