You may have thought that, well, it's 2013 now and we've all become a lot more relaxed and live-and-let-live about traditional manifestations of gender. You may have concluded that, outside of certain hardcore churches, most people in America can't be bothered anymore with the strict policing of gender uniformity.
But it's not 2013 in Murdoch Land. Especially if the fag-baiting involves the military and our allegedly America-hating, homo-coddling, metrosexual president.
The New York Post published this today:
Obama wants Marines to wear 'girly' hatsI love the anonymous quote (does this "senior Marine source" know any of Tom Friedman's cabdrivers?), I love the reference to the French (once you're the object of wingnut hate, it's for life), and I really love the notion that this is the result of an "Obama directive," as if he has nothing better to do than personally oversee military uniform changes.
A change to the Marine Corps' uniform hats could take the hard-nosed Leathernecks from the Halls of Montezuma to the shops of Christopher Street.
Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a "unisex" look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marines' iconic caps with a new hat that some have derided as so “girly” that they would make the French blush.
"We don't even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women's hats!" one senior Marine source fumed to The Post. "The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous."
The thin new hats have a feminine line that some officials think would make them look just as good on female marines as on males -- in keeping with the Obama directive....
So what does this horrible, garishly effeminate, testicle-shriveling hat look like? Well, it looks like this:
If, like me, you're not a Marine or from a Marine family, you're probably thinking what I first thought: Which is the one that's supposed to be "girly"?
It's the one on the right.
I guess it's "girly" because it has a narrow crown -- never mind the fact that it's being called the "Dan Daly," after a legendary World War I Medal of Honor winner who (as I learn from the Marine Corps Times) managed to be pretty tough despite testosterone-sapping crownlessness:
Oh, and the Times tells us that rank-and-file Marines are being surveyed about the changes, and their opinions will be taken into consideration before any changes are made. So this isn't some gay sexual assault on our troops.
And the implication of the Post story -- that Marine Corps uniforms are eternal, and changes (this one could cost $8 million! more than 2 cents for each U.S. citizen!) are being made only because evil Obama wants them -- is ridiculous. In fact, the Marine Corps Uniform Board has made or proposed changes to uniforms on a fairly regular basis over the years:
In 1999 tests were conducted that included adding blood stripes to women's skirts. In 2002, a white belt and more red piping were tested.A white belt? Red piping? In 2002? When manly George W. Bush was president? Say it ain't so!
In both cases, both men and women rejected the modifications.(Oh, and here's a story about the Marine Corps Uniform Board changing female drill instructors' hats. But that was in 1996, when Evil Bill Clinton was sullying the Oval Office.)
Aside from changes to Marine covers [hats], the [current] survey addresses the possibility of authorizing microbraids for women in uniform and modifications to the existing supplemental clothing allowance.
The right-wing noise machine is America's bullying, litigious neighbor, endlessly seeking to disturb the peace with unreasonable complaints, which it knows how to get taken seriously. I Google around and I see this story being reproduced at local news outlets across the country, as if it's an innocent statement of fact, rather than an attempt to inject yet more poison into our discourse. So the bully is having his way, as usual.
Rupert Murdoch is a pestilence. America will be a much better place when it's finally rid of him.
UPDATE: Yes, I realize that this story has since been officially debunked -- see Stars & Stripes. And yes, I know that Lieutenant Colonel Robert Bateman, blogging at Charlie Pierce's place, suggests that the story originated at the Duffel Blog, a humor blog much admired in military circles, but I can't find the story at the Duffel Blog. If you find it there, please post a link in comments.