For all their obsessively bedazzled infatuation with Gabriel Byrnes, the chief character-actor in HBO's In Treatment, not all the female and guy/girl posters in HBO's forums on that drama-series' masterly creative breakthrough have been silly girlish stuff . . . far from it. Here, by way of a buggy effort to bring some rounder perspective on the intelligence and decency of most of the posters, is what he said just a few hours ago:
"After my trip to NY, I will reschedule my basic training and try to regain a little bit of my sanity. What am I saying, I am joining the Army Reserve at t 33 1/2, can't be too sane can I?" --- Taken from a post by PMungle
The bugged out reply:
All Americans who volunteer for service in our military have my instant respect and admiration, and doubly so when they are women. I wish you success in your alternative career --- and your willingness, given the need for our reserve units to move into battle areas around the world, to risk you life for the rest of us. Thank you
For decades now, women have shown that they can be the equal of men in any battle situation, even though they are generally not used in front-line combat units. Doesn't matter. In the kinds of warfare we're engaged in --- whether in Iraq or Afghanistan or a dozen other countries or regions --- the battle lines are always fluid, always unpredictable, always shifting with such speed that even a unit of women soldiers (or mixed units) to guard a transport depot or a hospital can suddenly find itself under fire from three or four directions. And always --- without exception, our women soldiers fight with the courage, cool-headedness, and disciplined aggressivity that inspire the respect of their male colleagues up and down the line of command.
Even the Israelis --- a tiny population of 5 million Jews and 1.3 million Arab citizens --- have been hesitant until recently to train women soldiers for front-line combat. Until the last couple of years, they have always drafted and trained women for military service, and as in Afghanistan or Iraq, certain support-units have suddenly found themselves in flaring fire-fights. Yet despite the overwhelming superiority of those Arab countries in population that the Israelis have had to fight --- about 400 million Arabs (plus 70 million Iranians) --- the general command has been reluctant to train and introduce women soldiers into front-line units.
That has changed, and not least because of the Israeli high command's respect for how women have performed as soldiers in the US military. Their changed policy has been very carefully implemented. National existence is also in play for the Israelis --- and possibly, with the spread of weapons of mass destruction, biological survival too.
And their success now rests heavily on the ability of women's courage, devotion, and discipline as the equal in every respect of their male citizens.
More generally, prof bug (me) has witnessed over the last 40 years how rapidly women --- once discriminatory barriers have been lifted --- have exploited the new opportunities open to them and moved upward into all the professions and skilled-labor areas of our economy. The same is true in academia. (Right now, women are the majority in the M.D. profession alone.)
Can't tell you how much these surges of womanly advance in all areas of our society leave me filled with admiration. And now I just want to remind you how much that admiration envelopes you.
Many of the female posters in these forums are too young to know what life was like for women before the early 1960s: know your place, get married young, raise a family, never assert yourself with hubby or the boss, never raise your expectations; accept a brain-numbing double-standard in sexual life, let hubby or lover boyo or your date of the night set the entire pace of love-making, never (even tactfully) insist on your own right to pleasure; never even think of a military career or a political careers or becoming our country's president.
And it is here, in this marvelously open, flexible, creative country --- hardly perfect (which country is: now or in the past?) --- that these radically new experiments in human relations were first spearheaded and then, with more pace and drive, have continued to propel this epochal upheaval in traditional male-female roles. And yes, to the advantage of all of us; not least helium-head heteros like me.
That's also why, despite some fun-poking --- can't help it; built into my DNA! --- I respect the struggles of the gay guys here to strive for a sexual identity that is more attuned to their own sensibilities and hope for happiness in life . . . everybody's basic right, whether or not even a modicum of inner-peace and sustained joy is ever obtained by any of us.
Michael (Gordon), AKA, click here: the buggy professor