“Finally, if women are in the armed forces, they would obviously have sex with the men…”

Good grief, I’ve been teaching a long time! This gem graced an essay on whether women should serve in combat…

…and the way my author finishes this response will surprise you.

The reasoning is incisive:

“Finally, if women are in the armed forces, they would obviously have sex with the men. Strategically this is another advantage over enemy forces. While men’s weak point is sex, then the enemy would not be able to make a drastic move such as women operatives to set time bombs while posing as hookers.”

I like the notion that sexual activity is so inevitable as to be an “obvious” consequence of mixing the genders. “Men’s weak point,” after all, is sex. They just can’t help themselves if the opportunity, ahem, arises. But follow this: since men can’t resist sex, having women around who are on our side will keep them busy and happy, and so the enemy can’t take the drastic step of sending “women operatives” into camp toting bombs.

How would they “pose” as hookers, do you think? Generally “hooker” garb doesn’t leave a lot of room for concealed shivs, let alone time bombs. But maybe they’d carry big purses. Or maybe the hookers aren’t really coming into camp: maybe they’re just lolling there on the side of the road, flirting with potential Pvt. John Does while surreptitiously tucking bombs under the weeds and paving stones. But if men are so unable to resist the allure of sex, those fake hookers wouldn’t have much opportunity to be setting time bombs, by the roadside OR in the camps.

No matter: this hooker ploy will no longer work. The women in the armed forces will “obviously” be having sex with the men in the armed forces—or, even better, they will be having sex obviously, deterring those operatives from even trying to worm their way onto the base. You’ve got to have a pretty good brain to be a useful operative (I’ve read my Perry Mason), and as soon as the fake hookers saw that obvious sex going on they’d realize there was no longer a market for them.

Iffy syntax aside, this defense of women in military combat divisions is the most original I’ve ever seen. I’m surprised no one thought to resurrect it during the DADT debate. Playing one set of stereotypes against another, my student was certainly thinking outside the box—although I wouldn’t want to try to specify just how far outside.

About RAB

Teacher of English writing and literature (college-level); academic-freedom activist; editor and copy editor; theater director, costumer, actress, playwright. View all posts by RAB

2 responses to ““Finally, if women are in the armed forces, they would obviously have sex with the men…”

  • RAB

    Speaking of hookers…

    The world is full of engaging mistakes, not all made by students. When I first moved to Connecticut (Bridgeport), I subscribed to the local newspaper to get to know something of my new home. One evening I opened the paper to find the startling headline “Hooker Moms Plan Orphan Benefit.” “Wow,” I thought, “talk about the whore-with-the-heart-of-gold! Prostitutes who are mothers are getting together to plan some kind of fund-raiser for orphans! Maybe the orphans are children of some former co-workers prematurely fallen victim to disease or violence. Ah, it’s a sad life. But there is goodness still.” Then I started to speculate about what the fund-raiser might be: Casino Night? Bake Sale? Uh-oh: special performance? Raffle????

    These musings coming to naught I cared to muse on further, I began reading the article to find out the details. There I learned, to my relief but also to a certain degree of disappointment, that the Hooker moms were the P.T.A. of the Thomas Hooker School, a K-8 school in Bridgeport. I don’t remember now what the benefit consisted of, but money was being raised for a local orphanage. Nice people, nice place, good cause, no hanky-panky. Oh well.

    Did the copy editor who wrote the headline assume all readers would know about the Thomas Hooker School and intuit that “moms” were a parents’ organization, or was he at that very moment chuckling to himself as he imagined readers by the score sitting stunned in their easy chairs wondering what kind of town they lived in?

  • OyiaBrown

    Thought provoking!

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