Senate Let's Talk: Feminism

Discussion in 'Community' started by blubeast1237, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. harpua Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2005
    star 9
    I don't think you understand irony... or depression.
  2. Souderwan Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6

    That's a pretty accurate assessment, David. Thanks.

    I have to admit that I was surprised when the Submarine force decided in 2010 to welcome female officers onboard. The logistical issues were significant and in a fiscally constrained environment, I figured there were just too many excuses for the misogynists in the Navy to prevail. But thankfully, we had the right leaders in the right place to cut through the chaff and put this issue to bed for good. Now we're only a year away from women on attack submarines and maybe 2 years from having female enlisted Sailors on submarines.

    I've met many of the women who have been assigned to submarines so far and every one of them is almost certainly going to be more successful in their Naval careers than I have been. They are smart, professional, and incredibly motivated. I cannot overstate how impressive they are. I look forward to the day when we finally have a female commander of submarine forces. I'll be retired by that point, but I'll be celebrating from the sidelines.
  3. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Well, the standards for the Army and Marines aren't all that high either, per se. What I mean is that both branches have 2 annual tests a year. The first which is just a baseline. The basic test is ranked with a minimum passing score. But no one strives for the minimum. Just doing the minimum, no matter if male or female is looked down upon. If you try your best and don't quit, then that matters almost more than the actual results. Maybe there is a woman who is a fast runner, but can't do push-ups. As long as she doesn't give up on doing push-ups, no one cares. Maybe there is a male soldier who does a lot of push-ups, but can't run very fast. As long as he doesn't stop to walk during the test, no one cares.

    Besides the baseline physical fitness test, both the Army and the Marines have "combat fitness exercises." The Marines have a standard assessment, while the Army seems to tailor theirs to specific commands. For example, the Army, under the 3rd Infantry Division's "Marne assessment," soldiers run through an obstacle course, of which dexterity definitely plays a part. After the course, then you have to go on a cross country march with pack and weapon under a certain time. Again, physical strength is less important than determination. The Marines have an obstacle course and dragging a simulated dummy casualty a certain distance, and sprints and such.

    At any rate, someone in this thread said that no one in the military wants a body builder's physique. That's absolutely correct except for the few people who actually do body building. (a small portion of the military) You want a well rounded physique which touches on all aspects, topped off by a sense of never quitting. Men and women are just as likely to obtain this.
  4. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I have to say, I was shocked when I learned there are no women enlisted submariners in this age. But I'm glad it should be headed that way.
  5. EmpireForever Chosen One

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    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    As a marine, I can tell you that, as regarding the pft/cft, no one here cares if you tried your best. If you tell someone your score and it is low, it is looked down upon, despite the effort exerted. The score is all that matters(this from an infantry unit perspective; how it is in the rest of the corps I can't say).
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    There are still a lot of positions not open to women yet, unfortuately. I believe the Air Force has the most, nearly 100% open to women. The Navy is next, and it looks like submarines are opening, while despite the Demi Moore movie, SEALS are still closed to women. The Army is next, with Special Operations and Rangers still closed to women.

    Unfortunately, the Marines have the most jobs still closed to women-70,000 positions representing 30 some specialties. I think this may be due to a structural bias within the Marines. For example, the Marines opened up the Infantry Officer Course (which is used as a career asset) as a test to see which positions should be opened to women. No women out of the 10 who took the course passed, but the criticism there is that in addition to tactics and theory, the course tests bench press and deadlifting, which influences the results. But the Marines are very hesitant to change the make-up of the course out of tradition, which is important.

    But the technical deadline is 2016, so its unclear if the Marines are dragging their feet against the inevitable, or they will be allowed a waiver and keep some positions closed. (Part of the order opening up jobs to females allows the branches a review for exceptions to the policy)

    EDIT- EF well, that certainly wasn't the case with any of the Marines that I knew- assuming you passed. Admittedly, none from infantry units. But then again, Marine Infantry Battalions are kind of institutions in themselves.....
    Last edited by Mr44, Aug 9, 2014
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Can't they dust off the old BS line from the "Gays in the military" question of 20 years ago and complain the espirit-de-corps would be affected if wimmens and gays served? Because what if a gay raped you in a foxhole, or if shrapnel tore uniform to expose breast and vagina?
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    At the same time? That would be a bad day.
  9. EmpireForever Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2004
    star 8
    This--along with the "omg but the male marines will go out of their way to protect the femaaaales" is the general consensus.
    anakinfansince1983 and Ender Sai like this.
  10. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    @VanishingReality well i dunno that crying at work means you're depressed necessarily

    wrt the military, the ridiculous prevalence of rape in the military presents an interesting/horrific dilemma for women who serve. maybe someone wants to dig up statistics, but last i checked a woman in the military is something crazy like 5 times more likely to be raped than a woman not in the military, which, i mean, given the unacceptable rape prevalence in civil society, i guess that means that if you're a woman in the military you are going to get raped, full stop. however, i think this says more about the institution than it does about gender roles, since mil-rape was horrifyingly common long before american women were present in military settings in their current numbers (just ask the filipinos or okinawans, for instance)
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Aug 10, 2014
  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 8
    Good.

    Looking at what 44 said about the Marine positions, I think there is a difference between "women are allowed to take this test but none of them passed" and "women are not allowed to take the test for this position at all."

    What started this conversation is whether there is any good argument to treat women unequally. Fewer women in a position does not inherently imply inequality of opportunity. "You may not apply for this position unless you are a man" does.

    It seems that even the old holdout boys-club positions in the military are starting to admit women, based on what you all have said. This is a good thing.
  12. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    I have always found it interesting how the submarine services have not really changed since the inception of the submarine. Psychologically the standards have been the same. You can't just ask to be assigned to a submarine. You have to be psychologically able to handle being in a submarine. You have to be a firefighter and a plumber before you can even become a cook. You have to deal with situations that on a regular boat, you would just abandon ship. There is no saving the boat. On a sub you either save the boat or die. So just being selected as a submariner means more then just being a regular sailor. Hell, until the accident on the USS Forestahl during the Vietnam war, navies only trained a select few to be fire fighters. But the submariners were always taught.
    So women becoming submariners is a big thing. Sure they may have been worried about the confines of the ship and the bad things that could happen to them but Submariners aren't subhuman. They got what it takes and I would not think an issue like that would occur on a sub. The men respect their captain to much. Besides if they did, I am sure the perps would be let off the boat wherever it is. Even if its the middle of the Atlantic.
  13. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    Aug 18, 2002
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  14. Souderwan Chosen One

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    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6


    To be fair, the logistical problems of putting women on submarines were (still are) pretty significant. Officers are much easier than enlisted for two main reasons:

    1. Berthing: Officers already live in segregated berthing from enlisted. Additionally, officer berthing is at 3-to-a-stateroom, in general, while enlisted live in community berthing areas of 21, at a minimum, and up to 90 at the maximum, depending on the class of ship. Even more challenging problems exist for bathrooms and showers. The CO and XO share one bathroom; the rest of the officers (12-20) share another; the senior enlisted (about 10-15) share another; and the rest of the crew (about 120-150) share a total of 4 other showers in two bathrooms.

    2. Physical design: Basically, officers don't really need to be able to operate anything like valves, pumps, switches, etc. But enlisted absolutely do. The design of the majority submarines in service were built to accommodate males between the 5% and 95% range for height, strength, etc. Although there is some overlap, it does statistically preclude at least half the female population.

    There were other problems, of course, but these two were extremely expensive problems to solve on Los Angeles (both problems) and Ohio Class (the latter problem) submarines. And virtually no one is interested in spending more money on the military. But the good news is that we're building new Virginia Class boats every day and are designing the Ohio Replacement submarine right now so we have factored solutions to those problems into the design process now, for very little additional cost.

    Hope that makes sense.


    I love you, man, but I seriously disagree with your overall message here.

    Let me start of by acknowledging that the military does indeed have a terrible history of rape and that rape/sexual assault does happen at a higher rate in the military than it does in the civilian world (about 2 times the rate, not 5). I'll also say that while I disagree that the problem is as prevalent as is often presented in the news, the fact that is has been presented as a significant crisis has been a good thing for the military because we've put significant resources and training and effort to stopping it from happening and we probably wouldn't have done so otherwise. But what I seriously take issue with is this statement:

    That's just not true. Even if you accept the data at face value, there just over 203,000 women in the military and about 12,000 (statistically adjusted) women reported that they experienced unwanted sexual contact, up to and including forcible or coercive rape. That's terrible. But hardly every woman. Not even most women. About 30% of women in the military have reported that, at some point in their career, they experienced unwanted sexual contact, the majority of which went unreported. That's pretty terrible. But again, not every woman or even a majority.

    The big problems we've had are two-fold.

    One is that we have a bunch of neanderthals in the military that need to be found and expunged, but the military does tend to attract those very kinds of turd-burglars. The good news on that front is that our leadership has become extraordinarily intolerant of sexual misconduct (arguably to the point that they are almost too aggressive and are ignoring due process, but that's a whole other topic). The Navy has been the most aggressive (mostly because we've been the ones who have the worst history with this, I think) and the Army seems to be the one most needing to step up to the plate. But we're getting there. Moreover, we address this topic at least twice a year now, at all levels of the chain of command. So there is a heightened awareness, which I think will help curb these horrible assaults.

    The second is that, for a long time, victims were not reporting the crimes. This is also changing as a result of new policies (restricted and unrestricted reporting systems, Sexual Assault Victim Advocates, Sexual Assault Regional Coordinators, etc) and training on these policies.

    It's not all better and there's a lot of work to be done. But the idea that if a woman is in the military, she's going to get raped is simply not true. Moreover, statements like that encourage women not to join the military, which is the exact opposite of what we should want to happen. The military owes it to women to provide them as safe and open a working environment as they provide the men and where they have the same opportunities as any man to reach as far and as high as they want to in their careers. In my 19 yrs in the military, we've never been closer to achieving that responsibility as we are today. There's more work to be done, but we are absolutely heading in the right direction.
  15. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Clearly, Souderwan, the problem with woman on a submarine is that they can't masturbate as easily as that horrible article you linked to about what happens on board.

    I'm still bleaching my brain... :p
    Souderwan likes this.
  16. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    @Souderwan, you didn't touch on imbeezel's post?!
    Souderwan likes this.
  17. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    @Souderwan i do have cautious respect for the military's ability to react, once "the writing is on the wall", in a pretty quick fashion to "catch-up" with the rest of society

    there's really nothing i find disagreeable in your response to my hyperbole in that one statement, and until i hear a differing update, i will go ahead and assume my guess was way off on the statistics
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Aug 10, 2014
  18. Souderwan Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2005
    star 6

    lol. I'm not sure what I'd respond to. So...yeah..


    Fair enough. Just felt like I needed to make sure we all agreed it was hyperbole.
    Rogue_Ten likes this.
  19. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    @Ender Sai beezel posts are the internet equivalent of dadaist sculpture. the only valid response is "stop that"
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Aug 10, 2014
    Souderwan likes this.
  20. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    He's an expert though Maik.
  21. Chyntuck Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2014
    star 4
    Thank you @Souderwan, that's really interesting. Could you please comment on gender discrimination in the US Armed Forces other than sexual harassment? In my country, Greece, which is quite old-fashioned when it comes to gender roles in general, women in the armed forces and other traditionally "male" professions (eg firefighters) find themselves pushed into office jobs whether they like it or not because the higher-ups think that it's where they belong. Do you find that this sort of thing happens a lot in your work, or is it something that has been/is being overcome? Also, are there many women in the higher officer ranks?
  22. Diggy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2013
    star 5
    I want to read the article regarding the masturbation.
    blubeast1237 likes this.
  23. dp4m Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2001
    star 9
    Diggy, you don't. YOU REALLY REALLY DON'T.
  24. Diggy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2013
    star 5
    Now I do more than ever.

    I want the non-joke answer to the question, :what's long, hard and full of se(a)men.
  25. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Suddenly I had the notion of analyzing beezel's posts for their bizarre literary composition: the staccato bursts of stream of consciousness, the lack of transitions, the need for strangely reflective proverbial epiphanies and universalisms...

    But then I realized this would be the biggest waste of time in the history of human civilization.