…that women were on the side of women.
This is a great victory in the name of equality. It’s a damned big step. It’s huge. It is something that has been on the minds of women sailors for a long time, and has been hemmed and hawed over by Navy Brass whenever it is brought up in a public forum by one of them. Not enough bathrooms, they said…a matter of money, they said…
Finally…ADM Mike Mullen speaks on behalf of women (it really irks me that it takes a man to speak up and say it’s OK, but that’s for another day…Focus, OYD, focus!) in the Navy…and when no one thinks anyone will listen to him, suddenly policy is being written and some of the wildest dreams of women sailors are starting to come to fruition. The right people are in place to make this happen.
Of course, my favorite loudmouth and yours, the oh, so experienced in military matters, Elaine Donnelley, says no, that women shouldn’t be allowed on subs (even though some have been serving for a while now, as medical officers and independent duty corpsmen). Her biggest argument? Not because of concerns for any actual women, oh no, but because of the health of pretend potential babies who don’t fucking exist yet. Yup, she points to a letter written by an undersea doctor almost ten years ago:
The concentration of carbon dioxide on a submarine is 10 times greater than in the open atmosphere, Scott said.
While studies on adult males have shown no ill effects, Scott said no such studies existed on whether submarine atmospheres would affect pregnant women.
“Consequently, no categorical assurances can be provided regarding the safety of the fetus to exposures to carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other hazardous materials found in the submarine atmosphere,” Scott wrote in the letter.
Scott noted that congenital birth defects have been found on animals exposed to elevated carbon dioxide levels, although those levels were about 1,000 percent higher than those found on a sub.
Not because, ya know, the concentrations of carbon monoxide might be dangerous to women, but to the poor little baybeez they might potentially be carrying.
Never mind that Navy vessels don’t go underway with a known pregnant woman on board. As soon as a pregnancy is discovered the woman is removed from the vessel.
Never mind that women have been serving on surface vessels for more than 16 years, and their uteri haven’t sunk any ships yet.
I wish they could get someone who has actually served in the military to work in her position. Really.
*rubs temples against Not Migraine*
Adding salt to the rub, via Shapely Prose, the AP has a wire article, which from the get go couldn’t be any more obvious in slant about women on subs, featuring a quote from a wife, supposedly representative of all women everywhere who have husbands or loved ones on submarines complaining that women on subs will just be the downfall of their relationships. See, the poor, animalistic men just won’t be able to help themselves when faced with women in close quarters (even though they have been doing it for years), and they will just have to have sex with them. Just have to, you see. It will all be the fault of women on subs. Those relationships couldn’t already be in trouble if those men would be tempted to stray, could they? Nooooooooo. Vaginas are going to ruin subs and marriages at the same time (and here, I thought pussies were supposed to be weak and frail…errr…something)! Frankly I am surprised that it wasn’t a vagina blamed for the fire on the Reagan after it was commissioned…
*ahem* Sexism is hurtful to men, too…
Is it too much to ask, with most of the world already slanted against women, that just when we are started to get things going in our favor that we actually stand on our own side? That we try to use reason or logic and maybe give our equality half a chance? Could we maybe, not piss in our own sandbox?
Enough w/ the patriarchal colluding already.