Women on subs: Farce or folly?

Published On:
Friday, October 9, 2009
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Despite accounting for roughly 15 percent of the U.S. Naval force, women have been banned from service aboard submarines. However, top military officials are pushing for a lift of the longstanding ban.

In a recent interview with Reuters, Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, argued for the integration of women into the submarine force. By doing such, the military plans to disassemble one of the very foundations our military system is built upon.

First off, women are not banned from submarines at all. They are perfectly able to apply to work as civilian technicians and are allowed on board during ROTC training exercises.

The logistical problems with the allowing of women onto submarines cannot be denied. The sleeping arrangements would be called into question, considering most submariners must share beds due to lack of space. Combine this with the habitual blanket stealing of women and serious issues are certain to arise.

Sleepless nights can combine with a lack of adequate bathroom time, leading to in-fighting within submarines. This may lead to unwanted outward aggression toward our enemies, or worse, our friends. We don’t want another war on our hands, people. Those things are expensive.

Under less adverse circumstances, I will admit that equal rights between genders are probably a good thing. However, to risk another war for the sake of continuing the age-old “Anything you can do, I can do better” argument seems a bit steep.

And while we’re here, another important fact must be faced: Women are terrible drivers. If even the most standard compact motor vehicle cannot be mastered, a fully armed, 500-foot structure with a displacement capacity of nearly 40,000 tons can safely be ruled out of the question.

Combining their massive bulk with the questionable driving adeptness of women would unwittingly turn these machines into aquatic animal killers.

While sharks are admittedly a serious problem, unintentionally hunting the notoriously vicious marine predators with submarines is not the answer.

But sharks are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Female- operated submarines will also endanger marine wildlife of a much cuter disposition.

With killer 500-foot underwater tanks prowling about unabated, fishing nets would be the least of dolphins’ concerns.

Sea lions would no longer worry about polar bears, having other, much bigger and more heavily armed predators to avoid.

The manatee would be finished off for good.

Even a turtle or two could be damaged, although their shells would obviously partially protect them from serious injury.

The decrease in marine wildlife, in turn, decreases the amount of food contained in an already scantly nourished, over-populated world.

Increased rates of starvation leads to increased aggression amongst nations, which may lead to a war even the U.N. can’t stop.

While I agree that women should have equal rights in any practical circumstance, we must ask ourselves: At what cost? At the cost of the inevitable endangerment of our future children? At the cost of the world?

A line must be drawn or else we will continue to move forward, against the current, slowly sailing toward our own destruction.

See faults in my logic? Let me know at mpitonia@asu.edu.