By William T. Hathaway
The US Special Forces is a bizarrely gendered world, as I found out when I joined it to write a book about war. This all-male bastion is sexualized in a truly perverted way, particularly in its methods for turning young men into killers on command.
Being the epitome of patriarchy, the military creates soldiers by forcing them into the role of the lowliest creatures in patriarchy: women. The recruits’ sense of personal power is stripped away, and they are required to obey commands from the men higher in the hierarchy and do the military’s “housework”: scrubbing and waxing floors, dusting windowsills, washing dishes, cleaning toilets to meet the standards of the commanders. They are forced to be obsessed with their appearance and to stand passively at attention while the older, more powerful men inspect them from a few inches away about how closely they’ve shaved, how neat their hair looks, how correctly they are dressed, often insulting them, calling them pussies and queers.
This intimate domination stirs homosexual feelings and at the same time represses them, creating psychological conflicts that are then channeled into aggression. A confused inner rage is generated in the young men, then given an outlet: the enemy.