Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Clues from an overlooked bastion of gender segregation

Thought you had it all figured out like the lady quoted below ... why women on submarines would not be a readiness issue? Think again.

"This time around, Congress should facilitate the Navy policy change that will eliminate one of the last bastions of gender segregation." - Taraneh Ghajar Jerven, Navy submarines: What’s really in the way of women serving?; The Christian Science Monitor, March 9, 2010.

If you were ever a submariner, consider some comparisons with another marvel and the last bastion of gender segregation...


Definition: close combat = face-to-face fighting. - Neither M1A2 tanks nor SSNs involve face-to-face fighting (although both contain small arms and trained combatants).

Road Speed: 42 mph; crowded, limited, emergency lavoratory facilities BUT do not approach submarines in typical duration of overnights away (months at a time). The M1A2's operational range is only 290 miles.

M1A2 Crew: 4 (commander, gunner, loader, driver) Which of those jobs can't a woman do? Compare to submarine crews where dozens of critical, simultaneous functions are required and wherein survival may depend upon the unhesitating action of the only qualified person available to respond with adequate knowledge and strength.

M1A2s are in use by the United States Army and Marine Corps, the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia (yes, the same country allowing women on their submarines which also rarely conduct lengthy overnight, and Iraq (2010). Unlike the US [M1A2] version, the Australian tanks will not use depleted uranium in its armour." So, Australia must certainly allow women in its tank corps, then? (Note 4)

Reality: Modern Answers Some Will Not Like
The original evolution known as Battlestations (during which highly cross-trained submariners have historically had to remain at their stations and pee into cans) is no longer a pertinent submarine issue because (Notes 1 and 2); women could simply 'wet' themselves at their battlestations. (Note 3).
Notes (but certainly NOT M.E.'s opinions):
1 - U.S. submarines have come to be considered glorified, underwater buses used to transport VIPs on show-and-tells, dependents on tiger cruises, missiles on deterrent patrols, and sometimes even SEALs on combat missons, but Navy subs are certainly no longer considered combat vessels by politicians and some latter day brass. It will be just dandy if subs are used to transport women temporarily out to sea until their helo medivac.
2 - Battle readiness is no longer a realistic paradigm for U.S. submarines. As sophisticated cruise missile and torpedo predators, our subs are safe from any prey, and automated systems provide unparalleled redundancy of major sea safety factors. In such an environment, women may be slightly more than inconvenient baggage, but at only 15% of the entire Navy, their presence could rarely rise to a level compromising a vessel's role or mission, as long as males provide the brawn.
3- When the first sub with a female crew on board is lost, the mainstream media (advised by DoD experts, no doubt) will gladly assert that her limited role and abilities had nothing whatever to do with the likely cause(s) of failure involved in the sinking. A sunk sub however, eliminates the primary political risk to female service on subs (Note 4).
4 - Un-Modern REALITY - After the establishment of the IDF women were removed from all front-line positions. This decision was based upon the possibility of falling into enemy hands as prisoners of war. It was fair and equitable, some had argued, to demand from women equal sacrifices and risks; but for women prisoners the risks of rape and sexual molestation are considered far greater. [16]
5 - Conflicted by their emotional zest for gender liberation, U.S. women remain complacently blind to the rising tide of male populations in Asia and the liklihood of a world war it may foretell. Likewise, the growing footprint of a religion that considers females breeding chattel appears not to threaten liberated American women in the least; Islam (literally the religion of submission) should frighten liberated women particularly. U.S. voters (a majority of whom those eligible are female) have scant reluctance making gender inroads that weaken our military readiness.
Submarines are always silent and strange.



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