"Don't Drop the Soap": Organizing Sexualities in the Repeal of the US Military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

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Guided by critical, feminist, and queer approaches to organizational communication, this paper critically analyzes the United States military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy and the Department of Defense's (2010) report recommending DADT's repeal. Rather than fostering genuine integration, the repeal report reproduces the conditions that marginalize queer soldiers under DADT, relegating gays and lesbians to the hyper-private (closet) while constructing an asexual veneer for the military organization. Such closeting remains necessary due to the threat that "openly" gay men pose to the image of the solider as an impenetrable predator. Finally, the recommendation to deny sexual orientation the status of a protected difference, as with sex/gender and race, points to the disruption of heteronormative organization evoked by sexual difference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-291
Number of pages23
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012



  • Heteronormativity
  • Homosexuality
  • Hyper-Private
  • Masculinity
  • Military
  • Organization
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

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