Quickhit: “wives worry about temptation under the sea “

From newser comes this piece on the US’s consideration of allowing women as submarine crew:

Navy pushes to allow women on submarines; wives worry about temptation under the sea


“There’s just a whole lot less privacy on board a submarine,” said retired Navy Capt. Mike McKinnon, commanding officer of the Kings Bay sub base near St. Marys from 2004-07 and a former skipper of the submarine USS Kentucky. “But I think grown adults and professionally minded people can deal with those issues.”[…]

The Navy will have to work through a host of issues first. Would men and women get separate bathrooms and sleeping quarters, as is already done aboard surface ships? Would the process of integrating subs begin with female officers, followed by enlisted women? What would happen if a woman discovered at sea that she was pregnant?

“If women can be on space shuttles and on surface ships, I think they ought to be able to work on submarines,” said Lisa Goins, who retired in February after a 20-year Navy career. She served aboard aircraft carriers and at the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.[…]

On blogs and online networking sites, wives of submariners have warned that the close contact could lead to sexual temptation and other complications.

“I completely believe this would put strain on some relationships because there are trust issues,” said Jennifer Simmons, whose husband serves on a submarine at Kings Bay. “It’s asking for sexual harassment cases left and right. If you’re trying to go through a passageway together, guess what _ you’re going to touch.” […]

McKinnon, the former base commander, said he suspects unhappy spouses would be the biggest obstacle to a change in policy. He acknowledged that sailors serving undersea together for weeks without surfacing form close bonds.

“I think there’s this concern that if you have women out there, they’re going to develop feelings for each other and have bad things happen,” McKinnon said. “I think that’s a natural thought. But the surface Navy’s come through it.”

He added: “You work with women in the workplace. You should be able to work with them on submarines.”

Categories: gender & feminism

Tags: , ,

16 replies

  1. … of course it’s not possible that any of the men serving on a submarine might “develop feelings for each other and have bad things happen”… that could only happen if there were women present…

  2. Ugh ugh ugh. I’m cautiously hopeful all the same, if this McKinnon dude is going to have anything to do with it since his opinion seems to come back to LOOK THEY’RE GROWN-UPS IT’LL BE FINE.
    @mark isn’t the us navy subject to don’t ask don’t tell & thus going to operate on the assumption all their people are heterosexual? I could be wrong. >_<

  3. “Some sailors and wives warn that putting men and women together in extremely close quarters underwater for weeks at a time is just asking for sexual harassment cases and wrecked marriages.”
    How could anyone dignify that by putting it in writing? Gawd.

  4. Mark and Minna beat me to it – LOL!
    One of those could swallow up a small sub and you’d never see it again. Well, you wouldn’t want to.

  5. And did anyone bother to consider that some of these new submariners might be wives themselves? Are their husbands getting their tightie whities in a twist too?
    (And quite frankly, living at that close quarters with that many guys… it’s more likely to put you off them.)

  6. I spent 9 1/2 years, roughly, in the US Navy, with about half of that on surface ships. My co-workers (both male and female) spent a lot of time passing each other in teeny tiny passageways, and SHOCKINGLY nobody got accused of sexual harrassment for the accidental brush-ups that happened. Accusations of sexual harrassment got made when people were (SHOCKINGLY) going out of their way to harrass people. Hell, we didn’t even report the creepy guys who would come up behind you while you were on watch or in line for food and start pulling shit like sniffing your hair.
    @DeusExMacintosh – I chalk up my total reluctance to be in a heterosexual relationship to my time at sea. I heard how even the “nice” guys talk about women when they think it’s just other men around; I don’t want to be with anyone who’s going to pull that shit and since I have no way to know if any given man will, well, better to stick with dogs.

  7. I was going to say, slave2tehtink, from my understanding of ships in the US Navy, even on the large vessels, the quarters are quite cramped regardless…and co-ed.

  8. It’s nice that the article acknowledged that other countries already have women submariners.
    It’s amusing (and sad) to me how the US agonizes over GLBT folks serving in the military, women serving in combat arms, women serving in submarines when there are so many examples of other countries that have an inclusive military without all the whinging.
    Though I guess that goes for universal/single payer healthcare and same sex marriage too.

  9. @slave etc., Re your comment on what even nice guys say about women. I saw the movie Funny People yesterday. The way the male characters spoke about women made me absolutely sick and embarrassed. I think it’s kinda like internet porn – desensitizing us to the fact that well laydeez, this is what we really think of you, this is how we talk about you bitches – get used to it, cause you’re going to be hearing alot more of it. Fuck them.

  10. “What would happen if a woman discovered at sea that she was pregnant?”
    Submarine would blow up.

  11. “Submarine would blow up.”
    Instantly. In a shower of pink glitter sparkles, alerting the enemy.

  12. Lauredhel, that made me have to do a picture. Can has admin magix pls?

  13. Every time someone looks at that picture, a single tear falls down Tom Clancy’s face.

  14. OH! Rebekka! Can I borrow that pic (w/ attribution, natch!)! That is the funniest thing ever!
    Ya know, funny thing about the Navy. Women have been serving on surface vessels for 16+ years, and our uteri haven’t managed to sink a ship yet, ya know, despite our best efforts!

  15. You know, if my hubbie thought I was just a hormonal animal who’d be tempted by any dick-having creature that walked by, I might be tempted, too. Who knows? Sounds like she’s kind of boasting about her man and taking a swipe at those sea borne hussies. I know this kind of trope all too well—-their hubbies were could run the gamut, but the wives seemed to view military women with great suspicion. I don’t know. But adults don’t seem to have this kind of problem at all.
    Thanks for intoducing me to sea snot. I feel so much slimier now.

  16. You can totally use the pic, I’m pleased you like it!

%d bloggers like this: