Women to Clear Final Equality Hurdle in the British Royal Navy: Submarines
We Can Be Heroes
Two years after the United States Navy (finally) allowed women aboard submarines, the British Royal Navy is preparing to follow suit. The ban is set to be lifted after it was determined that there were no health concerns related to women’s exposure to nuclear reactors. Women could start serving as early as next year.
A leaked memo that was addressed to Navy bosses stated that the “Navy Board is wholeheartedly committed to the principle of giving women the same opportunity as men,” and that in order to remain competitive, the gender barrier must be broken. Until it was disproven, it was thought that exposure to nuclear materials would cause cause miscarriages in pregnant soldiers. There were also concerns about women and men working in such close quarters, however separate showers and bunks will be provided. Women have been serving on surface warships since 1990 and make up about 10 percent of the Royal Navy personnel.
Back in late 2008, the United States Navy began their own move to integrate women into the submarine program, and like the Royal Navy, they shared concerns about women and men operating in extremely close quarters. While some (male) officials deemed an all-male submariner program “Narcissus-like” and dangerously out of touch with current society, some were still hilariously chauvinistic about allowing women aboard a submarine. Said Chief Petty Officer Doug Wilson at the time, which, we remind you, was late 2008 and not 1951:
“Close quarters with mixed crews produce romantic relationships. Our culture has given up on sexual purity, so why do we expect people will magically become ‘professional’ and abstinent once they are crammed together inside a 350 tube?” He shakes his head. “I went to submarines to get a breather from my wife and her mother. Especially her mother. Now I have to spend 60 days underwater with women? You know how long they take in the bathroom.”
And all that chocolate and crying and shopping all of the times! Amirite, guys?
Lt. Hanne Bright put it best: “Move over, sailor.”
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