Thursday, October 24, 2013


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' hats

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....
I 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.

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.

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.
(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.)


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.


Victor said...

I was expecting a feathered chapeau!
Or, some veiled thing that a 30's or 40's movie actress would wear.

And let's say, ok, as a Marine, don't like the cap, it's not like you're wearing it in combat.
That's your parade cap.
And, last I looked, Marines marching in parades, don't exactly look like the West Village Gay Pride Parade.

And, wouldn't a cap you consider silly, make you act tougher?

Philo Vaihinger said...

Though silly in the present case it remains true that men and women don't dress alike.

You have a problem with that?

Want to borrow some lip gloss?

Anonymous said...

It looks fucking stupid and is worse than what they have. Possibly due to my bias for having been in the Navy and liking the American style cover compared to the French style.

It would also be shoving the Marines as being the only service to go down this particular road.

That's also not a "parade" cover. To give a better example in the Navy I had a cover for cammies, ball cap for working clothes, and then that silly sailor cap which was both working whites and dress whites. So while at an office or in the US, I often had to wear it. The sailor cap was hated for various reasons (it's a pain in the ass, hell whites are hated because they are a pain in the ass).

Any uniform change should have a damn good reason, and they always cause freak outs. Parts of the Army went apeshit over their authorize those black covers for everyone.

maha said...

As long as they don't mess with the traditional white U.S. Navy sailor suits with those cute neckerchief ties, I don't care what the Marines wear. Sailor suits are so adorable.

Anonymous said...

The US Navy enlisted dress uniform is a royal pain in the ass to maintain.

It's also the most different between men and women, and the most discriminatory. So by advocating for it, you remove all right to complain about different dress standards forever in any situation. Because you clearly support a difference between men and women, with men getting the power of tradition and women just being second rate.

And yes that is an issue. Only the Navy discriminates so much against women in their uniform structure. Of course many people who normally complain about this sort of thing support it here because they think the uniform is cute.

Which is typical, and why most advocates can be blown off as not really believing what they claim they do.

Glennis said...

If occasional updates and adjustments to armed forces uniforms are a common occurrence as it appears, then Murdoch is just screwing with his audience. It's like playing a trick on a cat for amusement.

How gullible Murdoch's audience is. How easily manipulated. Let him fashion an outrage of the day to keep them paranoid.

maha said...

"The US Navy enlisted dress uniform is a royal pain in the ass to maintain."

I'm sure that's true. I hardly ever where white, unless I have to. But, just to look at, those uniforms are so sweet. A few weeks ago my daughter and I climbed around on the battleship New Jersey, docked at Camden, and they were having some kind of ceremony on the deck. The sailors were so cute I swear I wanted to wrap them up and take them home. I'm serious.

maha said...

"How gullible Murdoch's audience is. How easily manipulated. Let him fashion an outrage of the day to keep them paranoid."

If the wingnuts saw a headline that said "Obama Wants You to Eat Potatoes" or "Obama Wants You to Adopt a Gerbil" they'd take it as proof he's a fag/communist/Muslim/whatever. It's like tossing chum to sharks, or marshmallows to alligators.

Examinator said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Examinator said...

Really ? no, seriously really?
What defines gay or effeminate bright colors funny hats?
The Aust current PM is a staunch conservative, catholic, long married father of three in his 50's, an ex boxer of note, who regularly competes in iron man and triathlete competitions. He also Regularly wears Bright orange Jumpsuits... Yes I said Bright Orange ... Like the other 2000+ Male and female alike Australians all last week. ....He's a volunteer Rural Fire fighter and they were fighting wild fires on 100's of kilometres front that melted refrigerators in burnt out homes.
Oh yes in Aus all construction, miners etc must wear Flouro colored vests or shirts (male and female). They're high visibility for safety.

A few weeks ago I watched (the gods only know why) a documentary on a number of Brits who joined the French Foreign Legion who, and if what I saw was standard basic training. well let's say it makes Army basic training look like a holiday in the sun! Given their record... Rupert(what sort of a name is that? clearly his parents didn't like him either!) Murdoch, good luck with telling any of the above they're girlie (what ever that means). Surely it's what the Marines DO that's important.

It seem to me the news media consumers that read and believe his twaddle need to get a real lives. maybe JOIN the marines!

BigOnion said...

Dear Mister Nice Blog-

You need to fix the Murdochistan blogpost ASAP, as the entire point of it is wrong. The real skinny of it is that the "Obama Marine girly-hat" story is the product of "The Duffelblog", an Onion-like news parody site, run by military members, w/ a military focus. In other words, the NY Post bit on a parody and ran with it as though it was real news. They found a story that they thought would make Obama look bad, and couldn't help themselves but run it without fact-checking. Lt. Col. Robert Bateman explains over at the Esquire politics blog.

Steve M. said...

Bateman links the story to the Duffel Blog, but I can't find it there:

Is he just saying that it reads like something on the Duffel Blog?

marieburns said...

Jennifer Hlad of Stars & Stripes: "The story is sweeping the Internet: President Barack Obama is trying to emasculate male Marines by making them wear a girly cover with their famed dress uniforms. The only problem? It’s not true.... 'The president in no way, shape or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover,' according to [a] Marine Corps statement. 'We are looking for a new cover for our female Marines for one overriding reason: The former manufacturer went out of business. … The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover.'”

Mart said...

Today read a guest blog by Lt. Col. Bateman over at Charlie Pierces Esquire blog. Lt. Col. is an instructor at West Point. He lets us know the source of the Washington Times - New York Post stories is a military version of the Onion. A fcking spoof story that I will hereabout until the day I die, 'cause Al Gore invented the internet.