Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ElevatorGate: Thoughts and Concern for the Future of Feminism

In case you've been living under a feminist/athiest rock for the past week and half or so a major controversy has been ripping the atheist and feminist communities apart with debate. Unfortunately I'm going to subject my readership to this inane subject matter for an entry.

Here's a Re-cap for those of you with a life:

I am going to start off speaking my mind. I think that the focus on this is a huge waste of time. There are real feminist issues going on in the world right now. There are women being stoned to death for being unfaithful, genital mutilations going on in the third world (or on little boys in hospitals in the first world), women being denied the right to drive, vote and engage in a meaningful part of adult life. In the first world we have sex worker's being denied their rights, widespread attempts by the right wing to remove access to abortions, birth control and sexual health education. Media aimed at young girls often emphasizes the value of being attractive and well liked over values like building, constructing and thinking creatively. Female fashion models look almost nothing like the women that they are supposed to represent and magazines that claim they are trying to prop up our self esteem fill us with misinformation about health, sexuality and relationships.

There are real things to combat for feminists if we want truthful, scientific and accurate information to be presented in the place of demonizing female sexuality.

Society cannot legislate comfort or discomfort. I am not implying that Watson has no right to feel discomfort at the situation but I think that addressing the exact situation, in fact addressing the guy who asked her for coffee in the first place, puts an undue amount of emphasis on the guy. She doesn't indicate weather or not the man was inebriated, belligerent or crude, in fact she very vaguely describes the situation, leaving it up to the viewer to fill in the gaps with their biases. This is very intellectually dishonest to me.

I would understand talking about this situation if the man in question were belligerent or crude, but we don't know that. As far as the evidence shows she's demonizing some guy over an invitation to coffee. This seems to be a big to do about her personal hang-up with being asked out more than a feminist issue. As far as the public knows he didn't grab her and try to kiss or, he didn't try to sexually assault her, he didn't even imply that there would be sex.

As far as we understand the stituation. Anon asked Watson if she wanted to have coffee and she felt creeped out and said no. She exercised her right to not be involved in a situation that makes her uncomfortable. We're all perfectly entitled to make value judgements about who we want to spend our time with. But that doesn't mean we're free to impose some guideline on all men that they are never allowed to show sexual interest in any woman at conventions dealing with social activism.

Even if there were sexual undertones to the proposition, she still had the ability to say no, in fact she did. He didn't remove her agency or individual rights . This encounter that Watson had doesn't seem overtly sexual to me at all (and I'm a huge coffee lover). I think that even if he'd asked her to hook up that that wouldn't be a shameful thing.  The encounter described sounds like hundreds of encounters I've had with other advocates. I've spent many nights up with a pot of coffee deep into a conversation that was full of a free exchange of ideas. Those are some of my fondest memories in fact. Were some of those encounters sexual? Of course! People who take their politics that seriously tend to be attracted to others with similar interest.

Some of the most rewarding sexual experiences I had were with people who considered me their intellectual equal. A lot of the guys who I spent time with before I met my husband were glad to have a sexual partner who they could have a conversation with, have a meal with or watch a movie with someone attractive and interesting. They liked having that type of loose relationship not weighted down with an overblown sense of commitment

You cannot mandate to the entire freethinking community that sexual interest can never be acted on because YOU personally don't like it.

We get propositions everyday and some of them are not propositions we're interested in ever saying yes to. Right before I moved to Canada I had the opportunity to do shrooms with a few friends. I made the decision however that although the drugs were available that that was not a time where I needed to be using a consciousness shifting substance. I didn't respond to that proposition by going to youtube and making a video telling all people who do shrooms that it would be wise to never offer me shrooms again, because its not relevant to the larger issue of drug criminalization. I addressed the issue as soon as it came up and made it clear I wasn't interested in doing any hallucinogenic substances at that point in my life. No one scrutinized me or respected me less for asserting that boundary.

I get asked to go drinking at least once a month, I don't drink and find being the only sober person at the party quite awkward at times, that just means I go to fewer parties. I'm not going to demand that other people change their lifestyle to accommodate my lifestyle choices.

To me this whole situation is a step back for feminism. I'm shocked that so many people I like and respect are taking this seriously. We spend so much time on here defending people's rights to their sexuality and then choose to condemn someone for at best an awkward question. I'm not here to advocate against socially awkward situations (I'd be shit out of luck of being socially awkward was suddenly rampantly condemned), I'm here to advocate for real progress on real issues that affect all women, not just protecting one person from discomfort.

I recognize that Watson has legitimate feminist chops, but I think she is seriously misusing her soapbox (her blog and youtube channel) to forward an agenda with vauge ends. I for one will not be marching lock-step in the efforts against invites for coffee dates.

Richard Dawkins made comments on this situation that I thought were out of line. He was very insensitive to her. She has every right to feel uncomfortable, that's not what I'm questioning. What I am questioning is her using her platform online for such an inane cause.

And Need I Remind the Youtube Freethinkers I was essentially called evil incarnate less than a week ago? I think that that is a far more offensive implication against free thinking women than being asked for coffee. Both of these situations happened in the first world. I already asserted that I want nothing to do with this user and have spoken at length about why attitudes like his are harmful for women.

But Hell Judge for Yourself:

So which is worse, being called the devil essentially or being asked for coffee...You decide.

I'll take the coffee.

Monday, June 27, 2011

More Non-Answers From Republicans

I've written many political letters in my time as a political advocate, I write so many that on the sparse occasion when I do get a response I often have forgotten that I wrote a letter to whomever is replying to me in the first place. Its commonplace for advocates' questions and concerns to be summarily ignored.

As many of you may be already aware, a bill was introduced by Barney Frank and Ron Paul (HR 2306). This bill would remove marijuana from the classification of being a "Schedule 1" substances. A schedule 1 substance is a substance that is viewed as a substance that is highly dangerous and that has "no medicinal value". Being the marijuana advocate and American that I am I wrote Joe Wilson, I've written Joe Wilson probably hundreds of times by this point, he never really gives substantive replies to my queries but for some reason this time it really irked me.

In response to my well reasoned, well thought out letter listing the multitudes of reasons why this bill would be good for America and line up with his values as a republican I got a less than three paragraph long form letter that parroted many of the facts that I already stated in my original letter. I was pretty well offended to say the least, it doesn't seem to me an insurmountable task to say weather or not you support a bill, it would literally be one extra sentence to add "I Do/Don't support HR 2306. He wouldn't even have to list his reasons to gain my respect, he would just have to tell me the truth as a voter and an American I feel I deserve that respect. But no, all I get are non-answers and lip-service from the office of Joe Wilson.

At least when I wrote Jim DeMint about "Don't ask, don't tell" he had the political balls to say thanks for writing but I don't think that this is the right direction to go in. I think DeMint is a social conservative who would rather women stayed in the kitchen and gay people, by means he is not willing to explain, just went away all together, but at least his office is honest about its bigotry. Not so much can be said about the office of Joe Wilson, Mr. Wilson could afford to take a page from Mr. DeMint's playbook.

By the way I didn't vote for either of you :D

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Role of Online Advocacy

Believe it or not, with all the shit going on in this wide weird world of feminism, there are some people still questioning the effectiveness of online campaigns to raise awareness and petition the government for change.

The internet has changed how we do everything. Its changed how we socialize, how we screen employees and even how we meet people. Its changed the world on more than just a superficial social level. Any one who spends any amount of time online can vouch for the wonder that is the online community. If you are an outsider in your hometown, you can find a community online interested in what you're interested in and it's led to some interesting results.

While some people talk about knitting or cooking online other people have found communities that are interested in social and political advocacy. I grew up in the south, there are not that many Bisexual, Socialist, Sex positive feminists just wandering around, so understandably it can be hard to find to people to talk shop with and feel safe doing so. When I found the Youtube Sex Positive Community I found a safe place to talk about a lot of the things that were not safe conversation topics in face to face gatherings at home. My internet journey took a wild left turn and I wound up re-locating because of it, but that's not the issue at hand. The issue at hand is what are we as a community really accomplishing.

Its really hard to tell demonstratively what we are doing. We don't keep statistics on how many people sign the petitions that we promote or how many people phone because of a  video they saw from us. We have no way of performing such tasks. We have not drafted any legislation. And there has been no massive mainstream acceptance of our movement, so as it stands right now there's no real way to know the true effect of our specific movement. But all movements start that way, weather they be online or in the flesh life.

Anyone who's ever been with an organization from the early stages of its forming to the growth into a larger entity knows that no organization starts out as a million man march. Most flesh life advocacy movements start with 3-10 people in a room fed up with things being the way that they are, that 3-10 people with proper organization and motivation can eventually grow into the million man march, but it always starts small, with a small group of people who want to change the world.

I believe that the Sex Positive Community on Youtube is that proverbial 3-10 people in a room who are fed up with the way things are, that room just happens to be located online instead of in a physical place. As a movement we may not reach the number of people that the larger woman's rights movements reach, but its because we are a young movement. But we reach people, people who wouldn't normally hear what we have to say. We bring fresh ideas to the table and we're eager to learn new strategies and collaborate with others. As an advocate I can never disparage anyone who is spreading the word, no matter how they can feasibly do it. Weather its emailing a petition to their entire family, making a youtube video or pounding the pavement handing out fliers and carrying signs. That's more people who will hear about the cause and that's what is important to me.

So the fact that some people have the nerve to disparage other activists for their online advocacy is fucking disgusting to me with the kind of legislation that is coming at women from all angels. We should be using every tool at our disposal to make people aware of these bills that are being debated about. Not claiming that talking about the issues in a youtube video is not going to do anything. Nothing comes of Nothing. I think if you had the chance to make a video on the subject and you didn't you're wrong. Plain and simple. This isn't about interpersonal differences. This isn't about anything but doing everything to make sure that this legislation does not pass. The internet is a valuable tool to that end

Moreover online campaigns have proven effective. A youtube user named Joniversity not too long ago got the Youtube Community in an uproar about the alteration of a UN resolution about executions. The UN has a list of things that are not valid reasons to execute someone and being LGBT was on that list. Several nations got together to remove LGBT from this resolution. Joniversity got a hold of this information and he launched the Human Rights Campaign. The Youtube Community jumped on the opportunity and created these videos:

And guess what happened with the collaboration of so many different groups of people? It fucking worked.

To say that it was JUST the online campaign would be dishonest, but so would saying that the online campaign had no effect at all is just as dishonest. This is but one example of the effects of online advocacy.

Anyone watching the news lately has no doubt seen whats going on in Egypt, Tunisia and a few other counties. Seemingly out of nowhere groups of protesters have mobilized with the aim to get the current leadership to step down. Where did such a dramatic show of activism start you may ask? Well it started on facebook.

Is it any wonder that nations like China and North Korea try to censor the internet for their populations? They know the power of this information.

Anyone remember Wikkileaks? I know the attention span of this nation is like two seconds long and its like a second and a half on youtube, but remember the shitstorm that wikkileaks caused not even two months ago? Many governments are not happy with their dirty secrets being publicized on the internet with no spin. The internet is changing the game in a big way, that's why people like Julian Assange are viewed by people who want to keep the government opaque as such a threat. Wikkileaks was founded on the notion that governments should be transparent. It has opened up the discussions on freedom of information, government transparency, freedom of speech and countless other issues. Governments are afraid of something like Wikkileaks because it forces them to have to answer for their bad behavior and they don't like that. It could one day lead to a more transparent government although for now the jury is still out on that.

As with any civil rights battle, most of the victories do not happen over night. That does not lessen the importance of the contributions made by our movement. We care. We want to help and we are willing to devote our time to these causes. The internet is the new frontier for activism. Its already rapidly changing the game, many are just not aware of how much power this medium can have when used by the right people. So please if you support pro-choice politics help us spread the word. Don't disparage our efforts to change the world.

And if you are just one of those people who wants to disparage and not contribute, then get the fuck out. We don't have time for your immaturity.

Peace, Love and Respect,

Krissy M.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

HR3: A Letter to Congressman Wilson

Dear Congressman Wilson,

I am writing this letter in regards to the HR3 that is being debated right now by the house of representatives. This bill as you are probably well aware was written by Chris Smith of New Jersey. I know that you are staunchly pro-life but I am writing this letter to encourage you to please stand in opposition to this bill. This bill would re-define the definition of rape to only include rapes which involved the use of physical force or involved the usage of a weapon. This new definition would exclude rapes that occurred as a result of the use the the date rape drug (GHB). If a woman is unconscious she cannot consent to sex, therefore this definition of rape should remain. This new definition would also exclude incestuous rapes which often occur under only emotional duress and not physical duress. The new definition would also exclude statutory rape. This means that if a young teenage girl consents to have relations with someone in a position of trust or authority over her (such as an employer, teacher or coach) than that will also not count as rape.

If nothing else you should at least question these new definitions. Rape is something that is hard for a woman to recover from and a rape is no less traumatic if physical force is not used as a tool of manipulation by the perpetrator.

This bill would also eliminate the tax exemption for organizations such as planned parenthood who not only provide affordable abortions, but they also provide STD screenings, prenatal checkups, gynecological check ups and counseling about birth control and condoms. This move is a very thinly veiled anti-woman action.

The banning or limiting of abortions that this bill seeks will do nothing to cease the performance of abortions, it will only put the lives of the woman getting the abortion in danger. I would hope that my country's representative would be interested in protecting the lives of its people, by reducing harm by keeping safe, affordable abortions legal and not passing the HR3.

Thank you for your time,

Kristen S Aldrich

Columbia, South Carolina

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dispensaries are NOT Responsible For Elevated Teen Pot Use

A few weeks ago I was checking in on my advocacy blogs as I do every day and I saw an entry on the NORML blog that peaked my interest. Apparently the Drug Czar is now blaming elevated teen marijuana usage on medical marijuana laws instead of on his failed policies.

His logic follows this general pathway.

1) Drugs are bad MMMKAAYYY
2) Marijuana is a drug
3) Marijuana is bad MMMMKAAYY
4) People say marijuana is medicine and are giving it to sick people.
5) At the same time that this is happening you see an elevated number of teenagers smoking illegal marijuana (not from dispensaries).
6) At the same time you see marijuana either in a neutral or positive light in the mainstream media.
7) At the same time you have a large movement proposing the full legalization of marijuana.

Conclusion: elevated usage of marijuana is 100 percent the fault of medical dispensaries. It has nothing to do with ineffectual laws or Americans being angry at the billions of tax dollars fighting the drug war that never ends. Its totally the fault of medical dispensaries which you have to have a doctor recommendation to receive medicine from and in most cases (but not all) you also have to apply for membership within that specific "club".

I'm sorry Mr. Holder but I'll have to disagree with you on this one. Let's examine this argument a little closer.

Drugs are bad MMMKAAYY

Well, that's actually pretty subjective. There's no doubt that some drugs cause a lot of people life shattering addictions. But for many people one person's poisin is another person's medicine. We have a strange dichotomy in our society, where some drugs which are mind altering in nature are completely legal and sold as medicine. Many of these drugs are extremely habit forming (despite what the fancy little commercials may tell you) and can be obtained from a doctor. These drugs are designed to treat any disorder from ADHD to depression. In an ideal medical system drugs designated for medicinal purposes would only be prescribed to people with those disorders.

Unfortunately this does not happen. The problem lies in the fact that medicine is a profitable business in the US. A doctor's primary objective is not to treat as many people as possible, a doctors objective is to make the most money. How do doctors get paid? They get paid by the number of procedures they perform and prescriptions they write. In a virtually unregulated for profit medical system a doctor has a high insentive to over-prescribe, over-test and over-treat patients who they percieve have the means to pay. Its the same principal as a mechanic who fixes everything in your car but the thing that's wrong with it forcing you to keep returning for the same problem, only instead of ruining your car, the doctor is ruining your body.

On the other side of this false dichotomy are recreational drugs which are largely illegal. This dichotomy becomes for confusing when you consider that many recreational drugs are legal and unregulated and virtually unheared of to most (e.g Datura, Salvia, and Wild Dagga). Meanwhile some drugs are legal and regulated in an extremely half hearted manner (eg tobacco and alcohol). Lastly you have intoxicants which are extemely illegal and as a result of their illegality are more widely known about and available. It would literally be better to have no policy on these intoxicants than to have the current policy (and this is coming from an unapologetic socialist).  

I suggested as a policy idea for the US to adapt a model that is being used in Portugal.

But back to the topic at hand. Drugs are the problem they are now because of overly strict punishments which have made leaving the drug dealing life impossible for those who want to start over. The adage "You can over come a drug addiction, but not a drug conviction" comes to mind. Human beings have been altering their conscienceness since the begining of time. Our society just doesn't agree with many of the meathods, in some cases unjustly. Marijuana is one of many of those cases.

So the drug in and of itself is not bad. It is the circumstance in which the drug is used which is often bad.

Marijuana is a Drug

I"m not one of those marijuana advocates. I'm not going to sit here and try to tell you that marijauana is not a drug. It is a drug. It has both medicinal and recreational value. While it is not habit forming it is mind altering. Marijuana is a drug, but that's really a moot point.

Marijuana is Bad MMKAAYYY

Again we've crossed over into territory which is highly subjective. For the majority of people I have encountered marijuana use has been a positive experiance. I find that the majority of recreational marijuana users fall into 3 categories.

Regular Users

A regular user will smoke anywhere from once a week to everyday. They consider marijuana use to be an important part of their life and the majority of their friends are also marijuana smokers (not because they don't like people who don't smoke, regular users just tend to have more in common). They tend to be free-thinking and of a calm disposition, but its important to understand that marijuana users are as diverse as any community people from all walks of life fall into this category (the highly sensationalized media tells us so) so don't expect all regular marijuana users to fit into a specific stereotype.

Moderate Users

A moderate user will smoke anywhere from once a week to once every few months. They like smoking but they won't go out of their way to obtain marijuana. They most likely won't turn it down if the opportunity strikes, but its not a major part of their life. The moderate user has an even mixture of friends who smoke and don't smoke which will land them in situations with and without marijuana. The absence of marijuana does not bother the moderate user.

Infrequent Users

An infrequent user will smoke anywhere from once every few months to once every few years. For whatever reason the infrequent user isn't that into smoking marijuana. Either it has an effect on them they do not like or it just isn't their cup of tea. For whatever reason this user will turn down marijuana in most situations unless the mood really strikes them. The majority of the infrequent users friends will not smoke marijuana but they will have a couple friends who they can smoke with from time to time.

People who don't smoke marijuana tend also fall into a few categories.

Tried it and Hated it

Some people who smoke marijuana experiance effects the find undesirable. Some people get paranoid, some people get lethargic to the point of discomfort and some people just don't enjoy having their conscience altered. In this category you tend to find two subcategories


People who have tried it and hated it but are neutral realize that marijuana use can be a positive experiance for others and don't condemn it. They just choose not to use the substance because they have a bad experiance doing so.


People who have tried it and hated it but condemn the usage of marijuana tend to assume that their bad experiance is the experiance everyone has when using marijuana. They will be staunchly anti-drug and use their personal story as evidence for why marijuana should be illegal.

Never Encountered it and Condeming 

People who have never encountered marijuana and condemn it are the most frustrating people to deal with as a marijuana activist. The majority of this ilk that I have encountered don't know anything about marijuana, don't want to know anything and get angry with you if you try to educate them. Needless to say dealing with entirely willfull ignorance is possibly one of the most frustrating things to deal with. But this is the by-product of generations of misinformation propagated by the government.

Never thought about it

Many people who don't use marijuana don't think about it. They sit through the drug education in elementary and middle school, take it at face value and never consider it after the fact. Some of these people are willing to consider alternate viewpoints if they are clearly presented and not clearly biased. Some however will tightly cling to the horror stories faithfully handed down to them by their educators and parents.  This is our proverbial swing vote that we have to contend with. As marijuana activists we cannot win everyone who falls into this category over, but the people we can win over are often valuable allies.

Marijuana is not good or bad. It is something that a large population enjoy using. It is not inherently evil, nor is it inherently good. Personifying marijuana as if it has a benevolent or malevolent agenda is an unhealthy way to view any substance. It is a plant, it has no agenda or personality. Putting marijuana users or non-users on a pedastal is childish. Marijuana usage should be a personal choice that has no bearing on how we view another person end of story. Its no more relevant to the content of someone's character than weather they drink coffee or not.

People say marijuana is medicine and are giving it to sick people

Many patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclorosis and many other debilitating illnesses find using marijuana increases the quality of their life and helps them overcome their illnesses. If the illness is incurable it at least makes the quality of life higher for many people who are suffering from these illnesses.

Marijuana also may help with many psychological disorders. Many people report that the symptoms of their disorder disapate with regular usage. However the research on this is incomplete as far as I can tell. Please note, Drugs affect every person differently. Please do not use this as a means for self diagnosis or take my advise over the advise of a medical professional.

Elevated Teen Usage of Illegal Marijauana

The Drug Czar has taken to blaming dispensaries for illegal use instead of his own failed policies and the failed policies of his predecessors. To my knowledge there have been NO cases of medical marijuana dispensaries selling marijuana to anyone who does not have a doctor's recommendation.

News flash: Drug dealers do not ID. The reason teenagers are getting their hands on illegal drugs is the illegality of the substance. It has nothing to do with dispensaries. No one under the age of 18 should be able to legally purchase marijuana from a dispensary intended for medical use. Its simple as that. If the dispensary is found to be doing so, then they should be shut down for violating the laws which specify how they are supposed to run their establishment. There are already legal precedents set for handling illegal business practices. Why is the drug czar acting as if a dispensary breaking business law is some sort of alien concept that has never been dealt with in any other industry. Just because its pot does not mean that we need to create a whole new set of redundant business laws. Get your heads on straight DEA.

Marijuana's Portrayal In The Media

It is true. In recent years we have seen an elevated number of either positive or neutral portrayals of marijuana.

This is because people are beginning to see the error of our nation's ways in all demographics. People from ages 9-99 are not seeing marijuana as a threat. Why is this? Well its for a lot of reasons. It has to do with word of mouth. Young people see their friends doing pot and see that nothing horrible like what drug education programs would have you believe seems to happen. People enjoy the feelings they feel when they use pot. This inevitably leads to more pot usage.

People are also seeing the benefits of medical marijuana, either in their own life or the lives of other around them and are realizing that this plant is not some great Satan. As attitudes in society shift, attitudes towards things in the media shift. the media acts as a mirror that reflects our society's values. In this case it is showing that we're fed up with people lying to us about pot.

The Legalization Movement

Many Organizations have put their eyes on marijuana legalization as a solution to many of the nations problems. As people have grown more open minded they are willing to look towards many different ways to fix the problems we have created and many are taking a second look at pot.

As a marijuana activist myself I can tell you that the legalization movement is not a homogeneous movement by any means. There are people from all demographics involved. The day of "stupid stoner" has gone. We have our intellectuals, our scientists, our collegiates, our laborors  and every other walk of life you can imagine. There is no accurate profile of a marijuana activist. I've met all different types of people from all walks of life in my short time as activist for the drug. Not all activists even use the drug. We are people who beleive in freedom. We believe in harm reduction. We believe in body autonomy (in varying degrees). That is why we are marijuana activists. We're not just a bunch of pot heads in a smoke filled room ranting against the government for no reason. We are a legitimate movement with real concerns.

In Conclusion

The Policy has elevated teen pot use. Not dispensaries. Get your facts straight, Mr. Holder.

Love and Respect,


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reply From Senator DeMint

Dear Ms. Aldrich,
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy for homosexuals serving in the armed forces.  I appreciate hearing from you on this issue.
As you may know, this policy was originated in 1993 by President Clinton and maintained throughout President George W. Bush's time in office.
While I admire the courage of every American who wishes to serve our country in the armed forces, I am concerned about the unintended consequences that may result from repealing the "don't ask, don't tell" policy.  The United States possesses the finest fighting force in the world and any proposed changes that may impact its ability to protect and defend America must not be taken lightly.  It is essential for American military commanders to agree on a policy that works, and I believe "don't ask, don't tell" has sufficiently met the military's needs
Rest assured, this issue is very important to me, and I will work to ensure that our men and women in uniform are given the undying support they need to be successful.
Thank you again for sharing your thoughts with me.  Although we do not see eye-to-eye on this issue, I hope you will feel free to contact me in the future about anything important to you or your family.  It is an honor to serve you and the people of South Carolina.


Jim DeMint
United States Senator

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Senator

Dear Senator DeMint,

I am writing this letter on the behalf of Homosexual and Bisexual Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, and Sailors who cannot speak for themselves without loosing everything dear to them. If these brave men and women were to come forward and write you themselves they would loose the careers they worked so hard to attain, standing dress right dress next to their straight companions.

I am writing of course on the topic of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This policy is a farce. It is bigoted against both the servicemen it would discharge and their straight companions. By continuing this archaic policy you are implying that the servicemen affected by this law are not as capable as straight soldiers, even in the face of evidence that this is largely untrue. Many high ranking enlisted servicemen and officers who were decorated with honors and skilled in their MOS have been discharged over who they sleep with.

This is a preposterous injustice against the military that so many republicans claim to have such an enormous respect for. By supporting this policy you are sending your servicemen into battle with fewer resources to turn to.

By continuing this policy you are implying that your servicemen are bigoted and unable to accept their gay companions if they were to have a picture of their same sex partner in their wall locker adjacent to the picture of their family. Would exchanging fond memories of dates with same sex partners with their buddies somehow harden the straight soldiers to the person who likely has saved their life in the throes of battle at some point, or cause the straight soldier not to save their gay companion, were they allowed to serve openly.

I would think that the distance that "don't ask, don't tell" forces upon Homosexual servicemen would be far more divisive than the openness of being able to share their life stories.

One of the main values taught by all branches of the military is respect. It is ingrained into every servicemen who marches through Basic Training. Does this value fly out the window if the soldier standing next to you in formation is gay? I don't think so Senator, and if you are holding back from moving to repeal don't ask, don't tell for the sake of the straight soldiers, than you are wrong. For I think the majority of straight soldiers would have their buddy, who fights by them every day and shares jokes with them when the crossfire stops. I don't think that the camaraderie between servicemen stops when one is gay, I don't think that the knowledge that their buddy is gay would stop them from sharing a smoke with them or dressing their foot blisters.

When you send gay soldiers home, you break up a squad, a platoon, a company. But you break up more than that Senator. A platoon, nay a company is a family. And by digging through soldiers private e-mails to find their orientation, you are breaking up families.

That is not very republican of you Senator. Come out in support of the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Senator. Stop breaking up families. Stop Crippling our Military with bigotry.


Kristen S Aldrich

Columbia, South Carolina