Rep. Patrick Kennedy got all fired up on the floor of the Congress Thursday, March 11, 2010, veins bulging, spittle flying....why? He was angry that while the Congress debates Afghanistan and the $3 Billion dollar a year escalation there are two members of the press corps there; he contends because the rest are too busy talking 24/7 about former Rep. Eric Massa's personal woes.
He's right. I did the same rant on my radio show yesterday (you may hear that here). But for different reasons.
You see, while the media was chasing down poor, helpless ex-Navy men that had the scarring and emotionally damning experiences not of war but of being groped by a guy, formerly unreported events that should have probably remained such, I was reading an email from an extended family member that had me quite upset. Upset because it wasn't the "what" of the email but the "where." He had just left Kabul and was in some outpost in Afghanistan. My extended family member, my fabulously gifted and remarkably handsome engineer is now one of the number I spoke so much about, the 30,000, one of the troops that now costs us one million per year to support; he's back, for the third time.
My heart stopped when I got the email. My thoughts went to his wife, immediately. I wanted to hug her, bring her down to my house, go for facials. Because if she's anything like me, she now goes to bed and wakes up hoping he's OK and saying to ourselves that if one hair on his head is harmed....
Meanwhile, as I sat worried, Massa deconstructed on TV, including going on Glenn Beck, a move so ridiculous that the man is obviously having a breakdown and no one stopped him. Truly, when one is in a room with Glenn Beck and Beck appears to be the sane one, something is wrong.
His family must be in such an uproar, and his life is unraveling. The one thing this man has probably never dealt with, the fact that he obviously wants to explore men sexually on some level, has been ground in to grist for the media mill and he is literally falling apart under the glare of the spotlight. He is unstable, in huge denial, struggling internally to hold on the "self" he thought he had and the "self" that everyone now sees. He can't reconcile the two and he's come unglued in some areas. I'm no psychologist, I've just been gay my entire life and have seen this over and over again.
And the media, including liberals on liberal radio started screaming for him to come out, bringing more salacious details about past allegations to the foreground. Everyone began the horrible news cycle of replaying his rantings, the obviously unstable talk from a man trying not to drown. I feel nothing but pity for him. He has lived a closeted life and now the door is wide open. Not that he's gay, he may not identify as such. There are 307 million Americans and 307 million different sexualities. But why the media is on a gay witch hunt is beyond reason at this point. Why they insist on not stopping until he is outed or outs himself even after he has resigned is just malicious. HE DOESN'T KNOW WHO HE IS YET, give him a minute to find out. And then, really, it's none of our business unless he wants it to be.
Me, the guy over here that doesn't care, I lost a Universal Health Care supporting Democrat, and they're hard to come by. As for the allegations about staffers, I find it hard to believe that men can truly be sexually harassed. I am a man, and it would be hard to harass me. Because I can say No! and I have the ability to back that No! up. So did each and every other sailor on that ship or any other ship. Sexual advances are only harassment if the person doesn't want them, otherwise, it's dating. Some people don't wait for an answer, they're boorish and jump in. Smack their hands, send them away with a warning. They do it again, report them or flatten them. You're a guy, man up. And for the record, when someone muffs your hair and says they should be "frackin'" you, it's a compliment not harassment. Since when is being told you are sexually attractive to someone an insult? Have we become that society? A society where someone making their sexual interest known, even in a boorish way, is harassment? Man up.
None of that applies to women. Between men and women it's always a power thing. Always. Men have been harassing women since the caves. In fact, many women I've heard comment about the Massa case say, ya, our world, welcome to it, man up and move on. When a man harasses a woman it's always about power and then sex, whether the man knows it or not. When a man harasses a man, it's just sex. Unless it's rape, and no one has alleged that. And at any point any of those staffers could have ended any harassment.
Oh, but they might have lost their job. Well, if your boss makes such a demand you're screwed either way so pick your poison. Either it's literal, or you end up in a big HR thing, people getting fired, reprimanded, investigated and that's a mess, too. Of course report them and screw them by ruining their career; But for a mess of the hair? Truly. If someone refuses to stop and continues the behavior, take them down professionally so they learn. And if like Mark Foley the object of their attentions are under age or wards of the government, go after them. But nothing in this case really smacks of anything but some closeted guy trying to cop a feel every now and again. The grabby icky family member that is always doing inappropriate things...
And after he resigned why does anyone care? There were no criminal charges. No sexual claims in the Navy, and the ones that have come to light in office have been dropped or ended with the resignation. Nope, this is just a gay witch hunt. Make him come out. He's a groper. He likes men. He's a dirty abusing fag hypocrite in a closet and should be exposed, at least the media thinks so. Even Larry King got the "are you gay" question out...instead of, "are you an abuser? Do you abuse your office to get sexual favors? " Nope, are you gay. And the diversion answer he gave was classic of someone not wanting to answer truthfully. You don't have to watch "Lie to Me" to figure that out.
Meanwhile, while all this raged, it appeared Rep. Patrick Kennedy and myself were paying attention to Afghanistan. Maybe he feels he has a horse in the race, I certainly do.
So I'm drawn back to my letter to President Obama. Yes, I wrote one the moment I got the email from Afghanistan. The talk topic became very real, and suddenly Massa...who cares? Poor guy, he'll probably end up in gayhab, repaired through the Lord. Whatever. Unemployment went up in 30 states on the same day (down from 43, but still), 100 Americans on average died from lack of access to health care, 1600 more on average went bankrupt because of medical bills and my friend had to go to sleep in deplorable conditions only to get up and go on a patrol that may be his last. All in the one day Eric Massa chose to deconstruct. So like Kennedy, I really think there's other things to focus on unless you're TMZ. Maybe we need a political version of TMZ for all this kind of stuff so MSNBC and CNN, Fox Noise, etc, can leave it alone.
And if one does focus on Massa, focus on the abusive aspect, not the gay aspect. When something is repressed like that, the person acts out. These were incidents where he was acting out, the whatever part of him that wants to be with men coming to the surface, reason be damned. He joined the Navy for God's sake. He put himself on a ship with men at sea for long periods of time. If your branch of service has a Village People song about it, something's up.
And you know what, thank society for that. If men were allowed, like women, to explore sexuality with other men without repercussion it would all be different. Two women get together in college, on an all females ship, or any time, and not only does the heterosexual society not care, but most straight guys would want to be there. Two guys try it out on any level even once, QUEERS! HOMOS! The heterosexual porn industry bears that out; two women often get together in those films, never, ever two men. That would then be Bi. Such a ridiculous set of rigid rules and double standards it's no wonder we have Massa, and let's not forget State Senator and homophobe CA Rep. Ashburn coming out in messy, messy ways. It's scenes just like the Massa one that will keep other men from actually saying, I'm not gay, but I have always wanted to...or, I'm secure enough to explore this side of my sexuality or whatever Massa could not tell himself, kept his attractions so pent up even he couldn't recognize them when they surfaced and ended up being that grabby guy no one really likes.
Meanwhile, today, this very day, 100 Americans on average will die from lack of access to health care, 1600 more on average will file bankruptcy because of medical bills and my friend, and hundreds of thousands of other people's friends and families will be in Afghanistan or Iraq, unemployment in my state, CA, will still be at 12.5 %, and on a personal note, I'll still be single. Yes, it jabs at me that closeted Republicans or Democrats with families are getting more male attention than myself. What a world.
So leave Massa alone -- he's a hot gay, bi or questioning mess who is having a stress related breakdown. Do not repeat what he says in the news if you care at all for his sanity or his process. He hasn't hurt you, America, at all. He doesn't deserve to have such a gayhunt after him. Foley? Yup. Craig? Yup. Ashburn? Yup. Massa? Please.
And let's refocus as Kennedy has asked on Afghanistan for just a minute or two. I drafted this to the President, maybe it's time more of us do.
Dear President Obama:
I usually address my messages to you on air, but tonight, I'm writing you for a reason. You see, today, I became invested in the wars again, because a family member of mine is now in Afghanistan. A kinder, more intelligent person you'll never meet, and a fierce and brave warrior.
So I need you, Mr. President, to really make the right decisions in that theatre. I'm not telling you what that should be. I don't see the PDB's you do, I don't have the full picture. But remember this: someone I love as much as any other human on this planet is now one of the 30,000 sent over, and there's 29,999 others this year alone with family just like me.
So Mr. President, as Commander in Chief I want you to know I am holding you personally responsible for his safety. He trusts you, and the military, and has served it well. Do not betray his, or any trust, by keeping them in harm's way any longer than need be. Make sure his mission, all missions are clear, that objectives are not muddy, that the goals are obtainable. Listen to the generals and commanders, but then use the wisdom that we elected to make sure our men and women, particularly one of them, comes home unscathed.
I support you Mr. President, but now I have a horse in this race as well. A thoroughbred really. I know to him he's no more valuable than any other member of his squad, but to me, he's an American hero.
Please, keep him safe, support him and his fellow army soldiers, and know I am watching every single thing and I'm a voter. Please make the right decisions for the overall objective, and for the troops on the grounds.
You'll never meet each and every soldier, Mr. President. But know this: if they are half the person my family member is, then you command an Army of Americans that cannot be replaced, is not dispensable and is deserving of your full attention and support both in the wartime theatre and when they return home.
Charles Karel Bouley
I sent my letter to President Obama. Why not take the five minutes you might have spent in the Massa saga today, and write one yourself about Afghanistan. Let him know we are all still very focused on it as well.
Do so here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Follow Charles Karel Bouley on Twitter: www.twitter.com/therealkarel