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