Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Capt. Owen Honors
"Male bonding" expert on Navy scandal -- An anthropologist says the ribaldry that got a captain fired is often used by men to create a sense of belonging Navy Captain Owen Honors has been canned for showing raunchy and politically incorrect videos (below) to his crew aboard the USS Enterprise, a Pentagon official confirmed today. The self-directed films feature jokes about masturbation, rectal exams, homosexuality, bestiality and -- edging into the rich comedic terrain of 5-year-olds everywhere -- poop. There's also a shower scene starring two servicewomen (shown only from the shoulders-up) which led to yet more jerk-off jokes from male colleagues in later videos. All that is to say: The videos behind this scandal are just about what you would expect from the stereotype of the salty sailor, which is a bummer for the many servicemembers who defy the infantile, homophobic, sex-crazed model. But there is no denying that the videos reflect a very real aspect of the sexual culture in all- or mostly-male institutions, especially ones in a high-stress environment like war. I went to anthropologist Lionel Tiger, author of "Men in Groups," for a little context. Unsurprisingly, Tiger, who popularized the term "male bonding," says this kind of ribaldry is extremely common.
- TRACY CLARK-FLORY
Read more: http://www.salon.com/life/gender/index.html?story=/mwt/feature/2011/01/04/navy_scandal&source=newsletter&utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Salon_Daily%2520Newsletter%2520%2528Not%2520Premium%2529_7_30_110