In an effort to create a more gender neutral military, leaders of the United States Military have pressured those who are serving to now change what they have been wearing for years. Women in the military have had separate uniforms that are different to what men wear. However, with the change of looking more “neutral” and becoming more unified, this can have a negative impact on the females who are serving, and will take place by October 2016.
The argument is that the uniforms that are created and are currently being worn by the females are being changed to coincide with what the males are wearing. The women do not want this, rather they enjoy their uniforms as they are. The differences, primarily in the United States Navy, include unisex covers, and the unisex “Dixie Cups”. Also included in this is the enlisted “Crackerjack” uniform that is so widely known.
The problem with integration of unisex uniforms is not that everyone will look the same- the argument is that they are stripping away the identity of female sailors by way of their uniforms and forming them into a male dominated and male verified uniform.
Women are the ones who will now be financially responsible for the changes in these uniforms. The uniforms are not cheap whatsoever, and it is up to the individual to pay for it on her own. “Male officers and chiefs are completely unaffected, and all enlisted personnel will receive a monetary allowance to cover the costs of new uniforms, leaving female officers paying for a uniform change few wanted in the first place” (Granville). Where as the men have no duty to pay for anything, since they have perfectly serviceable uniforms that do not require any changes.
Some arguments that are accompanying this deplorable act against the equality for women in uniform is to “grandfather in” those servicewomen who were commissioned or enlisted before this act went into place. This would allow them the option to go ahead with the change, or to keep their current uniform, but force all incoming members of the Navy to subside with this new act of neutralization. There is nothing that can be done to prevent this, as funds and contracts, and production has already been set up, but there is
One positive aspect to the uniform change, however, is that women can now have civilian purses on them at all times, as long as they are within “must be leather or synthetic leather and match the color of the uniform shoes worn — plain black, brown or white …5½ to 16 inches wide, and from 5½ to 14 inches tall, with a depth of 2 to 6 inches” (Navytimes).
It is great that the military is attempting to rid out any change of gender inequality, but at this point in time the uniforms, I believe, do not give way to such a thing. The uniforms, if anything, give more pride and respect to perservere and work harder to prove that women are capable if not more, than men to complete the tasks handed to them. The uniforms do not need to be the same in order to accomplish the same job.