By Eric Beasley
Today I decided that I was going to write yet another edition of “My Unpopular Opinion.” I have been seeing articles posted for the last few weeks all over about Anne Arundel County’s policies on dealing with Transgender issues; what sports team they play on, bathrooms, and sleeping arrangements during field trips.
I was sincerely hoping this would just hurry up and die out. Based on my Facebook feed, it is quite apparent that this story will never go away. This morning was different than the others, I actually started thinking about the issue, wondering if there really is a right or wrong answer to this situation.
Then it hit me. I realized that I have actually chaperoned a field trip with 10-16 year old boys and girls. Then I realized that during this trip, we utilized coed sleeping facilities.
Some readers may be aghast right now, wondering how we managed to keep those raging hormones under control. The solution was very simple, structure and discipline.
You may recognize this structure as a GP-Medium. This tent, which can house about 20 sleeping adults, was our sole sleeping facility for an overnight Field Training Exercise that myself (PFC Beasley at the time) and SPC Roberts conducted for a group of Sea Cadets (Navy JROTC) in Savannah, GA circa 2005.
Notice that I identified her as SPC Roberts. She was not a male soldier, female soldier, gender non-conforming soldier, or some other nonsensical categorization of a human being. She was, and still is, a soldier in my eyes. Except these days, I just call her “Amber.” I later deployed with SPC Roberts to Iraq and still make the trek to upstate New York to see her when able.
Roberts and I volunteered our time on the weekends to instruct and mentor these kids about life in the military and taught them some basic soldier tasks and drills. With some help from a few NCOs out of Fort Stewart, we worked them from dawn until well after dusk. We had them do fireguard, military vernacular for a middle of the night watch shift. Our unit allowed us to sign out a variety of training equipment for the weekend, leading to some enriching activities. Here are the Sea Cadets putting together dummy claymore mines.
What do you see in this picture? You see men, boys, and girls. Black, white, Hispanic, Purple, all wearing camoflauge.
We even set up a training lane for them. React to enemy contact, suppress enemy contact, triage the wounded, continue on mission. As you can see, their first run through the lane did not go as planned and they sustained heavy fake casualties. However, these boys and girls adapted. They learned from their mistakes and reassessed the situation, performing much better the second and third go-around. Instead of demanding a safe space, they exercised personal resiliency and fortitude, rising to the challenge instead of avoiding it.
What’s the point of all of this? Why am I taking you 11 years down memory lane to talk about “boys sleeping with girls”?
Our event was without incident. There was no hanky panky in the tent, no harassment of any non-military kind, and no incidents that alarmed their parents. In fact, the kids spent months talking about how much they enjoyed our field training exercise.
I understand the concerns with coed sleeping arrangements. I get it, the worst is assumed and God forbid something nefarious happens.
The problem is not where kids sleep, the problem is a lack of instilled morality and discipline in our children. The problem is that every parent believes their child to be a perfect fragile flower and no amount of behavioral misconduct reported to them by teachers can change that opinion.
Boys do sleep with girls, and girls sleep with boys. Everyone with kids knows this simple biological fact. Sometimes boys sleep with boys and girls sleep with girls, we all know this.
Perhaps instead of preventing our children from experiencing these situations, we should teach them the morality and discipline to deal with these situations? Maybe instead of telling them not to sleep in the same room as a boy/girl, we should teach them the emotional impact of coitus? In the event of carnal relations, maybe we should teach our kids consent principles?
But most importantly, we should teach our kids how to defend themselves in the event of non-consensual contact. If we teach our kids morality, the ability to distinguish from right and wrong, they also need to know how to protect themselves and others from immoral actions. Without this key aspect, our kids will end up being paper tigers, loud social-justice warriors that cry about inequality but do not have the fortitude to enforce it.
When Zane and Arthur are older, they will be learning this morality and discipline. They will learning right from wrong, and the ability to defend said morality. There will be no outrage from this parent if any of the alphabet-soup gender identities share a sleeping facility with them.
Eric is a former officer in the Republican Club of Frederick County and Frederick County Republican Central Committee between 2015 and 2018. Former guest host on WFMD and showrunner on WTHU. Avid gardener and food preserver. Graduated from Libertarianism to Anarchism as the corruption level in the state requires us to start over from scratch.