Two things….

May 6, 2009 at 9:11 pm 2 comments

Women in the Army have to endure at least two things that men don’t…

Sports Bras & Buns… Hair buns that is!  These two things alone usually scare males and females alike… but to females they are especially harrowing.

Sports bras are needed for physical training (PT) and recommended for daily wear under ACUs.  While mostly comfortable, they can be constricting or too loose, unflattering (uni-boob), and difficult to put on.  The stretchy fabric usually doesn’t come in a lot of color choices or sexy designs.  Frankly, a woman feels a lot more like a woman in a lacy, underwire bra!

Hair buns – allowed in the Army so that females can maintain a feminine appearance while keeping their hair secure – need to be tight, clean, and pretty much plastered to your head.  Buns have to be low enough on your head so that you can easily put on your covers and helmets, but high enough that they don’t fall below the top of your shirt collar.  They are sometimes so tight that you end up with a headache halfway through the day and you feel like your eyes have been pulled back like a child making a bad joke.  The amount of product that must be used per day to keep a bun in place could glue the rearview mirrors back on a lot-full of junked cars.  And washing it out daily is a pain in itself.

There are plenty of other things that females have to endure that men don’t… “that” time, ill-fitting uniforms, exemption from infantry (some see that as good, some don’t), cat-calls from the idiot males, a possible glass ceiling, other females in the barracks… I’m sure there is more!

My point is these two things… 1. women are inherently different from men, and 2. the Army should allow women to be women.

It used to be that females in the Army had to act like females.  WAACs wore skirts, hose, heels.  But they were also limited in their Army careers.  Now, we have a lot more rights in the Army (and society in general), but something seems to be missing.  Women in the other service branches except the Marines (they are a bit hard core) have uniforms that show them off as women much better.  They are flattering, in a sense, and allow a female to act as a female.

I am a woman/female, right?  But I can’t act like that in Army, even though I still have to maintain a feminine appearance.  Looking at me in uniform, the only things that would definitively give me away as a female are the blonde bun on the back of my head, and the slight bulge on the front of my uniform. I don’t think that we should be allowed to wear our hair loose, or that heels should be mandatory, but I think the Army needs to rethink how they look at females.  They went from one extreme to the other, and didn’t even hit the middle… now they need to work their way back.  Allow more fitted uniforms, allow us to act as females, allow us to work in all divisions of the Army… doing so will allow us be ourselves, to achieve more personally and professionally, to grow into our roles as adult females in society.  Let us have our cake, and eat it too!  I promise the Army will be much more productive in the end.

I would like to be recognized as a female because that is who I am.  In civilian life, I am about as girly as one can get.  I realize that the Army wants us to seem strong and independent and able to do anything.  But I already am strong, independent, and able to take on the world, and in a skirt to boot!


Entry filed under: Self. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Val  |  May 9, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Isn’t for the reason so everyone appears equal while doing their job? Something along that line…..That way there’s no bias? Just a thought. Of course, I’m not in your position so I don’t really know how you feel. Although, a bun would suck to wear every day…..

    • 2. erinisright  |  May 10, 2009 at 7:33 am

      It is so that everyone appears equal… but even still, you don’t appear equal… the uniforms don’t fit well, or comfortably sometimes… and women still have to keep a “feminine appearance”, whatever that means! In the end, it really doesn’t make a difference… IMO.


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