A Rose By Any Other Name1
Now about that liberal cargo cultism with regard to terminology and titles…
A couple of weeks ago the Secretary of the Navy, one Ray Mabus, ordered the Navy2 and Marine Corps3 to eliminate any titles that weren’t gender neutral. Of course, not wishing to appear anything but “hip” (do we still say that?) and “with it” (do we still say that, too?) or multiculturally sensitive and gender inclusive (I know we say silly shit like that), I support SecNav completely. Yes, of course I do. After all, as all right thinking people know, changing of titles can perform fantastic feats of magic, like reducing the weight of a tank’s treads by as much as 97% and lowering the weight of a one hundred and fifty pound rucksack to less than forty pounds. Moreover, science shows that, once titles are changed, no young men will thereafter be willing to do physical work for women – who, of course, become equally as strong as men by virtue of the changed title – for sexual favors, while no young women, being so terribly strong, any more have to put on the kneepads to get some young man (or men) to change heavy truck tires or carry their extra ammo. And, since changing the titles will make women every bit as physically capable as men, rape will go away as a problem, except in cases where women have morning after regrets. What’s not to love about this program?
It seems to me, though, that however progressive and advanced Secretary Mabus’ call for magical solutions may be, he’s missing a trick. You see, after untold millennia of patriarchal oppression and gender apartheid, it’s not enough to just change titles to be gender neutral. No, no, NO; we have to take that extra step and make them all include the term “woman.” Thus: Riflewoman, Signalwoman, Artillerywoman, Engineerwoman, and Boatswoman. Yes, every job title in the Navy and Marines must become not merely gender neutral, but more proactive in insisting that these jobs are for women.
If the Secretaries of the Air Force and Army should drag their feet in joining the Navy and Marines in this, I call upon the Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, to force them to. I’ll bet it won’t even be hard.
Moreover, it won’t be enough just to substitute woman for man. We all know that those evil straight males will still consider themselves as part of the boys’ club if woman isn’t in their job description. We must add “woman” to the title even where it’s already gender neutral; hence: Tankwoman, Machinegunwoman, Truckwoman, Machinist’s Woman. I suppose, if we’re going to be thorough about it, we could even go for nursewoman and cookwoman, just in case there’s any doubt. Moreover, we can call on Latin to make every “operator”4 in the group formerly known as “Delta” into an “operatrix.”
“What? Not ‘Tankgirl’?” No, no, no; even leaving aside the copyright issues, “girl” is inherently oppressive, patriarchal, and promotes rape culture.5 And what about Cavalry Scouts? We could say “Cavalry Scoutwomen,” I suppose, but maybe we should be more traditional and call them “Cavalry Side Saddlers.” I am not a fanatic on the subject, in any case, so “Scoutwomen” would do.
SEALs present a unique problem here, but I have called upon my legions of fans and supporters to suggest a replacement. One suggestion was “Manatees,”6 but that reeked of doubleplusungood “fat shaming,” which is, of course, serious thoughtcrime. The more civil of the others range from “Combat Operational Women Swmmers”7 (COWS) to the delightfully suggestive “Sky Land Underwater Team”87 (do you need help figuring that one out?).
I confess I especially like the latter for the new meaning it will give to the modern phenomenon of the “slutwalk.” Can’t you just picture it, several dozen overmuscled and very hairy sailors, with silly hats, sun glasses and MP-5s, taking a leaf from Major General Peggy Combs’ Army ROTC, and fumbling along in red high heels? Kind of tugs at the heart strings, doesn’t it?
Some things, as with changing operator to operatrix, become laughably easy: Pilotrix, Doctrix, Analatrix.9 That said, though, Analatrix may be inferior to Tactical Evaluation and Analysis of Threat Specialist.10
We need to look more closely at some of our awards and decorations, as well. One thing, in particular, that jumps out at me is the blue background for the Army’s dress version of the Combat infantry Badge. The versions sewn on battle dress won’t be a problem, since they match the subdued color or patter of the uniform, but that blue background just has to go, being replaced by pink.11 Similarly, the blue infantry shoulder cord must change, as must the blue discs around enlisted infantrywomen’s should insignia. Pink, pink, pink, and nothing but.
I admit, it’s going to become somewhat tougher to entice into service sufficient numbers of young men, but what’s national defense when compared to the power of magic and the grave importance of inclusivity? And if all the riflewomen and tankwomen and pilotrices end up on ISIS auction blocks? Well, so what? It’s not like any of them will be the highly protected and very privileged daughters of the political class or academia.
And then, most desirable of all from some points of view, when no men volunteer, period, because they’re men and don’t want to be called anything but “men,” and when we no longer have anything resembling a ground combat capability, the country will have the defense it’s demanded and deserves, for the decade or so America lasts after this blatant bit of politically correct nonsense.
1 This column is dedicated to INGSOC, Newspeak, and Big Brother
4 God, I detest that term.
5 One could make this crap up but who, who with two brain cells to rub together, would believe it? See: https://everydayfeminism.com/2015/06/grown-women-are-not-girls/
6 H/T Jay Stang
7 H/T Dave Cleric
8 H/T Mike Murley
9 I suppose fellatrix is a given, or would be except that it will never happen again once women are made just as strong and powerful as men through language control.
10 Partial H/T, Chris Greenstein
11 Partial H/T Steve Thompson
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images
Tom Kratman is a retired infantry lieutenant colonel, recovering attorney, and science fiction and military fiction writer. His latest novel, The Rods and the Axe, is available from Amazon.com for $9.99 for the Kindle version, or $25 for the hardback. A political refugee and defector from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, he makes his home in Blacksburg, Virginia. He holds the non-exclusive military and foreign affairs portfolio for EveryJoe. Tom’s books can be ordered through baen.com.
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