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What is wrong with having Women on Submarines?

Posted by mrfixit on October 20, 2010

Answer:   Nothing!  The question is not about women on submarines, really.   Ok… Then I could say what is wrong with having Men on submarines, same reply – Nothing.

Then what is the fuss all about?  Well this is where people get involved in emotion over reason and lose focus on the real issues.   The problem is not women, or men, when kept separate…  It is Men and Women TOGETHER on a submarine that is the problem!

I have said that an all female crew is conceivable and possible and the correct way to proceed if we now feel this is an area that women must be afforded opportunity.  I’m all for each individual attaining their dreams, especially when they are willing to make the commitment and bear the heavy burden that comes with harsh submarine life.

With that said, I’m a fierce opponent of the flawed concept of having mixed gender crews.  It is not out of a sexist view, it is from a view point of reality.  There is no amount of training that can be push upon young sailors that will ever suppress human instinct and sexual desires, and in the close quarters of a submarine, with little privacy these pressures will severely impact the focus on the mission of the ship.  This will harm our ability to perform.  It will add a heavy burden and cost to an already burdened and costly enterprise.

Having said that, it is now policy to start down this road, and despite my knowing that it is a mistake, I would most fiercely defend the women coming to the fleet, and work hard to ensure they have every fair and reasonable opportunity to succeed.  I know the odds are against them, and I detest those that would use these women (and men) as guinea pigs in their grand and flawed political schemes, which is what this is really all about.

There is no need to bring women on submarines, especially as officers.  That is where this starts.  The undermanned occupations in the Navy, and Submarine force pretty closely match the fields in the private sector, technical fields, nuclear power, etc.  There are more women choosing these fields than ever, but despite that they still are a small percentage in these areas.  Why?  Well let’s be honest here.  Many women just do not find science and math interesting.  I know some do, and I really encourage them to succeed, several such women work in my office, but looking at society at large, these women are rare compared to the larger number of women that choose more traditional female occupations, or careers.  The sad state of affairs is diminishing numbers completing science and engineering degrees in general, it is hard work.  We have more and more in our ever lazy society that just don’t want to work hard, but rather go to college to party.  Engineers do not party as well as liberal studies types!

So, we are pushing women to submarines for what?   Oh, of note, and not a small issue, women can and often do choose to become moms, and this is unique to women.  Why does that matter, well is it not reasonable to assume that the atrocious attrition rates of women at ALL ranks in the Navy (and military) might be somehow related with the natural desires they often have to be more involved as mothers?

(By the way, it was the Navy Women’s Policy Directorate that e-mailed me and admitted it was OK to have women only discriminatory programs and policy, due to the unique and extremely low retention of women in the Navy.  I have this as fact, not opinion)

Might it just be that like all of us with many priorities, many mothers choose to change careers to better support the priority of being a more involved and effective mother to their children?

This is perhaps the most important role in retaining civilized society!  We should not ever diminish the nobility of a mother to choose children over career; children ARE a career, with much more eternal rewards I might add.

So, we think we need to push women on submarines, but there is no need, it solves nothing, costs the nation a fortune, and in the end many women still choose to leave the service in pursuit of higher priority work, likely that of being Moms.

Well, it is clear where this leads.  We are breaking down the Military by living in denial of the problems these experiments will create; we are breaking down the family unit at the same time.  Men with wives at home are also affected.  Women with husbands as sea with other women will be affected.  Men who might marry a woman at sea on a submarine, well there is an effect there also. The chaos this will create will not end.  If we can’t stop it, we have to deal with it best we can, but it is going to be a rough ride.

Again, if we must, then work up the plan to create all female crews.  With an all female crew, there are few of the major problems of the mixed gender crew, and IF what the proponents of women on submarines are saying is true, there should be no reason that an all female crew would be any less capable than an all male one.  Since we have always had all male crews and they work, then to it follows an all female crew could work as well.  If that is NOT true, then we are being lied to.  I did have some women tell me that an all female crew is a very bad idea, but I’m not qualified to know, they’d be in a better position to make that claim.

I suspect there are some big whooper lies being spread as truth that the basis for pushing this agenda.


Here is the real agenda likely at work in this effort:



Here is a picture of a female Midshipman from the Naval Academy who was loaned the CO’s uniform coveralls underway on a 2 day orientation cruise back in the summer of 2000.  The other females also were loaned coveralls from various crew members, and this might remind many of the High School varsity jacket for girlfriends routine.

Now for those who say it will only takes strong leadership, explain how that works when the leadership might be part of the problem…


Here is the required form females have to sign that says health concerns are NOT KNOWN, and that they are strongly discouraged from becoming pregnant. I might ask why it cannot be said simply as “prohibited from becoming pregnant” while assigned to a submarine. I know that any male that intentionally acts to be medically not able to complete a tour of duty would be found guilty of malingering and punished. The standards must be EQUAL, we can’t grant special status to some and restrict others.


Look at the NAVMED 6420-2 form, read it, you’ll see we are making human guinea pigs out of the first women that will be part of the “study” to determine medical risks that will be found that are specific to women.

5 Responses to “What is wrong with having Women on Submarines?”

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