Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Love and war: Should a married couple be allowed to sleep together in a war zone?

I was just reading an article on Canada's Brig.Gen Menard in Afghanistan facing a court martial over hanky panky with a lower ranking forces member and came across the line "Military regulations prohibits soldiers, even married military couples, from having sexual relations while on deployment".

What? Really? Man. That is harsh. Good thing I never joined the Canadian Military! I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to have sexual relations (we talking Bill Clinton's definition?) at the workplace with my spouse, but hey,after a day's work,  when one is off the payroll, what business does anyone's employer have in trying to control that particular aspect of one's life? Who's to say that a married couple can't co-habitate when deployed to the same theater? This doesn't happen in the US or Canadian Navies apparently, they split them up, but in the army, it seems to happen and the couples are not allowed to touch each other, or acknowledge that they are even married.  I find certain military and para military organizations have way too much control over your life. It appears they can uproot you whenever they want and ship you halfway across the globe and if you don't like it you can quit. Controlling your sex life is just a whole other level. Work should have no place in your damned bedroom. I've heard military people say that it would not be fair across the board for certain members to have date nights while others are stuck far away from their spouses for months at a time but I think that is petty. I'm sure military couples have lots of drawbacks they have to deal with and they should take the good with the bad. We're not talking on a Submarine here, if it's not in your face and other people don't like it they should learn to live and let live.

To be fair, there are probably a good many reasons to split couples up in time of war. God forbid that a spouse get injured in combat in front of their partner and the other individual is not able to grieve and has to keep right on working, all the while absorbed in the loss of a loved one, but it's nothing that isn't happening all over the world as I type this, with bands of guerrilla fighters in dictatorships who are going through much worse things than we can possibly imagine.

The ancient Greeks used to have groups of soldiers who were all sexual partners (the Sacred band of Thebes). They were apparently very bad-ass and if one of them was killed the partner fought savagely to avenge that death. Interesting if you think about it. During the second World War the US appeared to group soldiers together from the same neighborhood, in the thinking that you would band together quicker with people you knew, and had a genuine like for, as opposed to Vietnam, where groups of strangers  wouldn't even bother to learn your name unless you could last at least 30 days first..

 The US military has recently lifted the no sex thing while in a combat zone in Afghanistan and Iraq. Maybe the Canadian military will follow suite. It kind of reminds me of when I was a teenager and I had a friend who worked at McDonalds and they told me of the "No Dating" rule they had there. Staff were not supposed to "hook up" and I guess they fired one or both of you in that case.

It's pretty hard to control human nature. That's millions of years of evolution they're going against..

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