Sky penises and what they mean

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Sky penises and what they mean

So I wasn’t sur­prised that this happened:

Penis sky­draw­ing was our doing, Navy says

But should we laugh? Should we be angry? Should we tell the lady angry about hav­ing to explain things to her son to grow up, or that she is justified?

First, let’s not pre­tend this is a new thing. A lit­tle bit of search­ing revealed Iraq war dick photos

[cap­tion id=”” align=“alignnone” width=“720”] No, I have no idea who this is. But he’s kinda dumb for throw­ing this on the open inter­net.[/​caption]

And the Great­est Generation

[cap­tion id=”” align=“alignnone” width=“960”] The real suc­cess behind stop­ping the Nazis…[/​caption]

and I’m sure this hap­pened all the way back to the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary War, just in fancier sound­ing lan­guage and with­out pho­to­graphic evi­dence. Plus, it’s not lim­ited to the United States…I’ve seen archives from native Amer­i­cans, Turkey, Greece and other mil­i­tary muse­ums that had penis ref­er­ences. Just because it’s not in your his­tory book doesn’t mean it didn’t hap­pen. You see more of it now because we are so con­nected via the inter­net that shar­ing pho­tos, includ­ing inap­pro­pri­ate ones, is all too easy.

But does that make it OK? Nope. I don’t think it indi­cates a “rape cul­ture” though. What it is sig­nal­ing is a lack of engage­ment by fathers with their sons, and soci­ety with male behav­ior in general.

I had it recently pop up while dri­ving around some Cub Scouts putting out Scout­ing for Food bags. One of the young boys tried to tell a poop joke to get a laugh.

Yup, sec­ond graders and poop jokes. Is any­one sur­prised? I’m not.

My son looked at me for a reac­tion. Instead of doing the Cub­mas­ter “You shouldn’t say things like that” response, I tried a dif­fer­ent tack:

ME: Do you really think that’s funny?
SCOUT: Uhm, not really, but it’s funny in my class.
ME: It’s not really all that funny. Do you have a fun­nier joke?
SCOUT: Oh yeah!

And then he imme­di­ately leapt into a funny joke that didn’t involve poop. Between his dad and I, we’ve both been con­sis­tent on de-​emphasizing the fun­ni­ness of cer­tain things that his class­mates try to push on him. Given that he’s still doing well in school, I’m hop­ing it’s working.


Over a young man’s life he’ll have thou­sands of inter­ac­tions like this, where some­one tries to pass off behav­ior as accept­able, and he looks for guid­ance from oth­ers, espe­cially his father. A mea­sured response on what it means to be a man is crit­i­cal, or else he will go along with what­ever the crowd wants.

(By the way, this isn’t lim­ited to boys. Any­one who has seen the cliches that girls form, and the destruc­tive behav­ior that can become nor­mal for such cliches, under­stands exactly what I’m talk­ing about.)

This isn’t lim­ited to grade school. For my high school prom, the Catholic Broth­ers that taught at the school I attended talked to us about appro­pri­ate behav­ior. They specif­i­cally called out treat­ing our young ladies (I went to an all male school) with respect and dig­nity, both on and off the dance floor. In the Navy I attended more than a few for­mal occa­sions, where I quickly learned about appro­pri­ate lev­els of drink­ing, social inter­ac­tion and how to behave cor­rectly from older officers.

Any­more though, I keep find­ing we don’t do this. Proms have become an excuse for debauch­ery instead of a learn­ing expe­ri­ence. Any­more we see schools hand­ing out con­doms instead of call­ing on young men and women to behave prop­erly towards one another. Too many fam­i­lies don’t have fathers, or if they do many are work­ing two jobs to make ends meet. Plus we tend to demo­nize them any­way, such that it has become fash­ion­able to dis­miss them as bum­bling idiots.

I see this first hand in my own Navy orga­ni­za­tion. Plenty of my Sailors don’t talk with their dad, or dad was a crappy role model. My Oper­a­tions Offi­cer often tells me that part of our job con­sists of build­ing young men, most of whom don’t have a great base of morals and think­ing to start with. Try­ing to build them into a cohe­sive fight­ing force that will fight our ene­mies while also being upstand­ing cit­i­zens is a heck of a chal­lenge, espe­cially with the cur­rent pres­sures of an ever-​present inter­net and a lack of appre­ci­a­tion for manly input from fathers.

But it’s a fight we should have. We should push our young men in grade school, high school and beyond to become out­stand­ing cit­i­zens. We should tell them that poop jokes aren’t appro­pri­ate at school, or draw­ing penises with multi-​million dol­lar air­craft isn’t a good way of demon­strat­ing proper use of tax­payer money.

We don’t have to make it a black and white issue either. These young men aren’t rapists by default. They need some strong cor­rec­tion to be sure, but over-​reacting and treat­ing them like rapists will sim­ply drive the prob­lem under­ground. These young men need an older man that they idol­ize to tell them what is appro­pri­ate. Laws and reg­u­la­tions are sim­ply there to pun­ish behav­ior after it hap­pens. You can’t leg­is­late away prob­lems like this. You destroy them by inoc­u­lat­ing young men with ideals they can look up to when faced with these decisions.

So what do we tell the angry mother? That’s pretty easy. Have the kids father tell his son that behav­ior like this, while it might cause us to chuckle, isn’t appro­pri­ate. Tell his son that the guys that did this (and we don’t know if it’s just guys by the way) have a father just like they do, and when their son gets pun­ished at court mar­tial, he’ll have to explain that to his dad, and that con­ver­sa­tion is going to suck. And above all, it would be absolutely shame­ful if he was to do things like this, now or in the future.


This post rep­re­sents the views of the author and not those of the Depart­ment of Defense, Depart­ment of the Navy, or any gov­ern­ment agency. And no, the author does not think draw­ing gen­i­talia is appro­pri­ate, unless you’re doing med­ical draw­ings for a textbook.

Please donate to Da Tech Guy, because who else will give you the insight you got here?

So I wasn’t surprised that this happened:

Penis skydrawing was our doing, Navy says

But should we laugh? Should we be angry? Should we tell the lady angry about having to explain things to her son to grow up, or that she is justified?

First, let’s not pretend this is a new thing. A little bit of searching revealed Iraq war dick photos

No, I have no idea who this is. But he’s kinda dumb for throwing this on the open internet.

And the Greatest Generation

The real success behind stopping the Nazis…

and I’m sure this happened all the way back to the Revolutionary War, just in fancier sounding language and without photographic evidence. Plus, it’s not limited to the United States…I’ve seen archives from native Americans, Turkey, Greece and other military museums that had penis references. Just because it’s not in your history book doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. You see more of it now because we are so connected via the internet that sharing photos, including inappropriate ones, is all too easy.

But does that make it OK? Nope. I don’t think it indicates a “rape culture” though. What it is signaling is a lack of engagement by fathers with their sons, and society with male behavior in general.

I had it recently pop up while driving around some Cub Scouts putting out Scouting for Food bags. One of the young boys tried to tell a poop joke to get a laugh.

Yup, second graders and poop jokes. Is anyone surprised? I’m not.

My son looked at me for a reaction. Instead of doing the Cubmaster “You shouldn’t say things like that” response, I tried a different tack:

ME: Do you really think that’s funny?
SCOUT: Uhm, not really, but it’s funny in my class.
ME: It’s not really all that funny. Do you have a funnier joke?
SCOUT: Oh yeah!

And then he immediately leapt into a funny joke that didn’t involve poop. Between his dad and I, we’ve both been consistent on de-emphasizing the funniness of certain things that his classmates try to push on him. Given that he’s still doing well in school, I’m hoping it’s working.


Over a young man’s life he’ll have thousands of interactions like this, where someone tries to pass off behavior as acceptable, and he looks for guidance from others, especially his father. A measured response on what it means to be a man is critical, or else he will go along with whatever the crowd wants.

(By the way, this isn’t limited to boys. Anyone who has seen the cliches that girls form, and the destructive behavior that can become normal for such cliches, understands exactly what I’m talking about.)

This isn’t limited to grade school. For my high school prom, the Catholic Brothers that taught at the school I attended talked to us about appropriate behavior. They specifically called out treating our young ladies (I went to an all male school) with respect and dignity, both on and off the dance floor. In the Navy I attended more than a few formal occasions, where I quickly learned about appropriate levels of drinking, social interaction and how to behave correctly from older officers.

Anymore though, I keep finding we don’t do this. Proms have become an excuse for debauchery instead of a learning experience. Anymore we see schools handing out condoms instead of calling on young men and women to behave properly towards one another. Too many families don’t have fathers, or if they do many are working two jobs to make ends meet. Plus we tend to demonize them anyway, such that it has become fashionable to dismiss them as bumbling idiots.

I see this first hand in my own Navy organization. Plenty of my Sailors don’t talk with their dad, or dad was a crappy role model. My Operations Officer often tells me that part of our job consists of building young men, most of whom don’t have a great base of morals and thinking to start with. Trying to build them into a cohesive fighting force that will fight our enemies while also being upstanding citizens is a heck of a challenge, especially with the current pressures of an ever-present internet and a lack of appreciation for manly input from fathers.

But it’s a fight we should have. We should push our young men in grade school, high school and beyond to become outstanding citizens. We should tell them that poop jokes aren’t appropriate at school, or drawing penises with multi-million dollar aircraft isn’t a good way of demonstrating proper use of taxpayer money.

We don’t have to make it a black and white issue either. These young men aren’t rapists by default. They need some strong correction to be sure, but over-reacting and treating them like rapists will simply drive the problem underground. These young men need an older man that they idolize to tell them what is appropriate. Laws and regulations are simply there to punish behavior after it happens. You can’t legislate away problems like this. You destroy them by inoculating young men with ideals they can look up to when faced with these decisions.

So what do we tell the angry mother? That’s pretty easy. Have the kids father tell his son that behavior like this, while it might cause us to chuckle, isn’t appropriate. Tell his son that the guys that did this (and we don’t know if it’s just guys by the way) have a father just like they do, and when their son gets punished at court martial, he’ll have to explain that to his dad, and that conversation is going to suck. And above all, it would be absolutely shameful if he was to do things like this, now or in the future.


This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any government agency. And no, the author does not think drawing genitalia is appropriate, unless you’re doing medical drawings for a textbook.

Please donate to Da Tech Guy, because who else will give you the insight you got here?