This week’s column was difficult to write. Not because of the content, of course - but because of what I had to leave out. I could have written this column about the Women’s Initiative’s new venture, the “Vagina Men” campaign (can I start a “Penis Women” counter-campaign?). But alas, I’ve spilled too much ink whining about feminist follies; this column, instead, will address something of actual consequence.
Twice a week, campus ROTC recruits have to wake up early in the morning to engage in physical training, which will prepare them for their eventual deployment. This task would normally be performed on campus, but our esteemed student government has exiled them to Georgetown. The explanation is thus: AU’s official code prohibits funding to any discriminatory organization. And with the military’s official “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy still in place, alas, what are we to do but ban the presence of the U.S. military?
Leaving aside the fact that the U.S. military has done more to make the world safe for gay people than any do-gooder college activist, let me state emphatically that yes, the military’s policy is asinine. Every civilized country on Earth allows for openly gay soldiers, and it’s a shame that our own military has been slow on the uptake. But it makes little sense to punish our perfectly honorable campus recruits for a policy they have nothing to do with. The only people punished by the student government’s policy are our recruits—most of whom oppose “don’t ask, don’t tell,” anyway.
Really, it is a perfect testament to the fact that the student government is filled with kids playing politician that they think that they’re “sending a message to Washington” this way. Washington’s not listening. Those of you in the Student Government ought to figure out what everyone else on campus knows: you’re not important. Leave our recruits alone and get back to doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Some of you, with your inflated egos, might actually get to be members of Congress one day. Right now, you’re just college kids in a student government. Stop trying to send the Defense Department a statement.
Fascinatingly enough, there actually is something that the SG could do about anti-gay campus culture that falls within their proper purview. If it really wants to cut off funding to campus organizations that promote anti-gay policies, I’ve found one that objectively violates this policy: Students for Justice In Palestine.
This week has been “Israel Apartheid Week” on campuses across the country. Groups such as AU’s own Students for Justice In Palestine have taken part in smear campaigns against the—well, I guess I’m supposed to call it the “Zionist entity” this week—instead standing up for a government that is about as friendly to gays as your humble columnist is to feminists. But I have yet to hear a senator propose cutting off funding to Students for Justice In Palestine, despite the fact that there is only one country in the Middle East where gay men can serve openly: Israel. Try holding a gay pride parade in “Palestine” and see if you can get two feet before your life is endangered. There is simply no comparison between the policies of the two governments toward gays.
I’m not saying that the U.S. military’s policy is fair. I’m just saying that if the student government is going to banish the army from campus, we ought to banish Students for Justice In Palestine, too.
Also Women’s Initiative.