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Slee's blog: "school stuff"

created on 06/28/2007  |  http://fubar.com/school-stuff/b96492
Eliminating Sexism in the Army through Policies and Training People everywhere deserve to be treated fairly. Treating people equal, promotes the feeling that we are equal, where as treating people differently promotes the idea we aren’t equal. Why treat someone different, if they are equal to you? Sometimes differences in intelligence, strength, and skill level have to be taken into consideration. If you limit someone with the proper skills from doing a job, or stop someone low in intelligence from being in charge of people, or making important decisions, then that makes sense. However important intelligence, and skill level are, the U.S. Army does NOT take those attributes into consideration when promoting people, and when it comes to how people are treated, intelligence seems to be looked down upon. One of the main attributes they do take into consideration when deciding how to treat someone is what kind of genitals they have. The longer your urethra is, the shorter your hair has to be. The Army feels the need to control people’s appearance, based on their anatomy. They feel it’s important for everyone to know at all times what types of reproductive organs everyone has. The easiest way for them to do this is by looking at their hair cut. It seems like since the knowledge of a soldier’s genitals is so important that they ought to just have it showing at all times. In the summer they could have crotch-less uniforms, and have see-through ones for the winter time. This would allow people to have their hair cut however they want it cut, without people mistaking them for having different body-parts than they do. The chest could also be cut out, and/or made out of clear plastic for further identification purposes. These enhancements to the uniforms would give all soldiers the freedom to look the way they feel dignified concerning their hair, nails, piercing, and dress uniforms. This would also allow men to carry umbrellas, while in their dress uniforms, instead of just females. When people can feel dignified, it leads to better self-esteem, and better self efficacy. These two things account for a huge amount of the effort soldiers put into their training, and doing their jobs. By having the same uniform for everyone, and allowing equal rights for everyone, not separating them by the way they dress, or do their hair, or the piercing they have, it will promote equality. The rest of the country can look to the Army to set the standard, and follow their example of promoting equality. The U.S. should be the leader, when it comes to setting the example of freedom and equality. Following the Army’s example, the rest of the country can promote dignity, higher self-esteem, and self efficacy in their workers. This will make the workers more motivated to perform at the highest level possible. The rest of the world can follow the America’s example of equality and freedom, making the world, a more equal, more productive, and better place over all. If only it were that easy… The U.S. Army has rules that enforce sexism. Forcing people to treat males and females differently in some aspects emphasizes that they are different, and encourages them to be treated differently in others. It destroys the idea of equality between sexes. My plan is to eliminate sexism in the military by getting rid of the sexist polices. Policies that aren’t sexist will be written, and then implemented by respected authorities through coercion and education. The education will encourage interaction, and role-playing to build cohesion, and empathetic understanding. The army tries to defend it’s sexist policies by using such words as “ uniformity “, and the phrase “ good order, and discipline”. Discrimination based on sex, is contrary to uniformity. The army forces males and females to look differently from each other, following different rules from each other, and then trying to defend it talking about uniformity. This reflects the vocabulary of the people who defend, and enforce the rules, and the difficulty of the nature of trying to teach these people anything else. I do believe it can be done, with some reasoning, and effort, and maybe a little force. First I will go over most of the sexist rules I intend to change. They are covered in AR 670-1. I have underlined the specifics for males and italicized the specifics for females. “ 1–8. Hair and fingernail standards and grooming policies a. Hair. (1) General. The requirement for hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population. Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative. It is not possible to address every acceptable hairstyle, or what constitutes eccentric or conservative grooming. Therefore, it is the responsibility of leaders at all levels to exercise good judgment in the enforcement of Army policy. All soldiers will comply with the hair, fingernail, and grooming policies while in any military uniform or while in civilian clothes on duty. (a) Leaders will judge the appropriateness of a particular hairstyle by the appearance of headgear when worn. Soldiers will wear headgear as described in the applicable chapters of this regulation. Headgear will fit snugly and comfortably, without distortion or excessive gaps. Hairstyles that do not allow soldiers to wear the headgear properly, or that interfere with the proper wear of the protective mask or other protective equipment, are prohibited. (b) Extreme, eccentric, or trendy haircuts or hairstyles are not authorized. If soldiers use dyes, tints, or bleaches, they must choose those that result in natural hair colors. Colors that detract from a professional military appearance are prohibited. Therefore, soldiers should avoid using colors that result in an extreme appearance. Applied hair colors that are prohibited include, but are not limited to, purple, blue, pink, green, orange, bright (fire-engine) red, and fluorescent or neon colors. It is the responsibility of leaders to use good judgment in determining if applied colors are acceptable, based upon the overall effect on soldiers’ appearance. (c) Soldiers who have a texture of hair that does not part naturally may cut a part into the hair. The part will be one straight line, not slanted or curved, and will fall in the area where the soldier would normally part the hair. Soldiers will not cut designs into their hair or scalp. (2) Male haircuts will conform to the following standards. (a) The hair on top of the head must be neatly groomed. The length and bulk of the hair may not be excessive or present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance. The hair must present a tapered appearance. A tapered appearance is one where the outline of the soldier’s hair conforms to the shape of the head, curving inward to the natural termination point at the base of the neck. When the hair is combed, it will not fall over the ears or eyebrows, or touch the collar, except for the closely cut hair at the back of the neck. The block-cut fullness in the back is permitted to a moderate degree, as long as the tapered look is maintained. In all cases, the bulk or length of hair may not interfere with the normal wear of headgear (see para 1–8a(1)(a), above) or protective masks or equipment. Males are not authorized to wear braids, cornrows, or dreadlocks (unkempt, twisted, matted, individual parts of hair) while in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty. Hair that is clipped closely or shaved to the scalp is authorized. (b) Males will keep sideburns neatly trimmed. Sideburns may not be flared; the base of the sideburn will be a cleanshaven, horizontal line. Sideburns will not extend below the lowest part of the exterior ear opening. (c) Males will keep their face clean-shaven when in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty. Mustaches are permitted; if worn, males will keep mustaches neatly trimmed, tapered, and tidy. Mustaches will not present a chopped off or bushy appearance, and no portion of the mustache will cover the upper lip line or extend sideways beyond a vertical line drawn upward from the corners of the mouth (see figure 1–1). Handlebar mustaches, goatees, and beards are not authorized. If appropriate medical authority prescribes beard growth, the length required for medical treatment must be specified. For example, “The length of the beard will not exceed 1/4 inch” (see TB MED 287). Soldiers will keep the growth trimmed to the level specified by appropriate medical authority, but they are not authorized to shape the growth into goatees, or “Fu Manchu” or handlebar mustaches. (d) Males are prohibited from wearing wigs or hairpieces while in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty, except to cover natural baldness or physical disfiguration caused by accident or medical procedure. When worn, wigs or hairpieces will conform to the standard haircut criteria as stated in 1–8a(2)(a), above. (3) Female haircuts will conform to the following standards. (a) Females will ensure their hair is neatly groomed, that the length and bulk of the hair are not excessive, and that the hair does not present a ragged, unkempt, or extreme appearance. Likewise, trendy styles that result in shaved portions of the scalp (other than the neckline) or designs cut into the hair are prohibited. Females may wear braids and cornrows as long as the braided style is conservative, the braids and cornrows lie snugly on the head, and any hairholding devices comply with the standards in 1–8a(3)(d) below. Dreadlocks (unkempt, twisted, matted individual parts of hair) are prohibited in uniform or in civilian clothes on duty. Hair will not fall over the eyebrows or extend below the bottom edge of the collar at any time during normal activity or when standing in formation. Long hair that falls naturally below the bottom edge of the collar, to include braids, will be neatly and inconspicuously fastened or pinned, so no free-hanging hair is visible. This includes styles worn with the physical fitness uniform/improved physical fitness uniform (PFU/IPFU). (b) Styles that are lopsided or distinctly unbalanced are prohibited. Ponytails, pigtails, or braids that are not secured to the head (allowing hair to hang freely), widely spaced individual hanging locks, and other extreme styles that protrude from the head are prohibited. Extensions, weaves, wigs, and hairpieces are authorized; however, these additions must have the same general appearance as the individual’s natural hair. Additionally, any wigs, extensions, hairpieces, or weaves must comply with the grooming policies set forth in this paragraph. (c) Females will ensure that hairstyles do not interfere with proper wear of military headgear and protective masks or equipment at any time (see 1–8a(1)(a), above). When headgear is worn, the hair will not extend below the bottom edge of the front of the headgear, nor will it extend below the bottom edge of the collar. (d) Hair-holding devices are authorized only for the purpose of securing the hair. Soldiers will not place hairholding devices in the hair for decorative purposes. All hair-holding devices must be plain and of a color as close to the soldier’s hair as is possible or clear. Authorized devices include, but are not limited to, small, plain scrunchies (elastic hair bands covered with material), barrettes, combs, pins, clips, rubber bands, and hair bands. Devices that are conspicuous, excessive, or decorative are prohibited. Some examples of prohibited devices include, but are not limited to, large, lacy scrunchies; beads, bows, or claw clips; clips, pins, or barrettes with butterflies, flowers, sparkles, gems, or scalloped edges; and bows made from hairpieces. (e) Soldiers may not wear hairnets unless they are required for health or safety reasons, or in the performance of duties (such as those of a cook). No other type of hair covering is authorized in lieu of the hairnet. The commander will provide the hairnet to the soldier at no cost. b. Cosmetics. (1) General. As with hairstyles, the requirement for standards regarding cosmetics is necessary to maintain uniformity and to avoid an extreme or unmilitary appearance. Males are prohibited from wearing cosmetics, to include nail polish. Females are authorized to wear cosmetics with all uniforms, provided they are applied conservatively and in good taste and complement the uniform. Leaders at all levels must exercise good judgment in the enforcement of this policy. (a) Females may wear cosmetics if they are conservative and complement the uniform and their complexion. Eccentric, exaggerated, or trendy cosmetic styles and colors, to include makeup designed to cover tattoos, are inappropriate with the uniform and are prohibited. Permanent makeup, such as eyebrow or eyeliner, is authorized as long as the makeup conforms to the standards outlined above. (b) Females will not wear shades of lipstick and nail polish that distinctly contrast with their complexion, that detract from the uniform, or that are extreme. Some examples of extreme colors include, but are not limited to, purple, gold, blue, black, white, bright (fire-engine) red, khaki, camouflage colors, and fluorescent colors. Soldiers will not apply designs to nails or apply two-tone or multi-tone colors to nails. (2) Females will comply with the cosmetics policy while in any military uniform or while in civilian clothes on duty. c. Fingernails. All personnel will keep fingernails clean and neatly trimmed. Males will keep nails trimmed so as not to extend beyond the fingertip. Females will not exceed a nail length of 1/4 inch, as measured from the tip of the finger. Females will trim nails shorter if the commander determines that the longer length detracts from the military image, presents a safety concern, or interferes with the performance of duties. d. Hygiene and body grooming. Soldiers will maintain good personal hygiene and grooming on a daily basis and wear the uniform so as not to detract from their overall military appearance. Regulations treating males and females differently are also found in the wearing of jewelry portion of AR 670-1 1–14. Wear of jewelry a. Soldiers may wear a wristwatch, a wrist identification bracelet, and a total of two rings (a wedding set is considered one ring) with Army uniforms, unless prohibited by the commander for safety or health reasons. Any jewelry soldiers wear must be conservative and in good taste. Identification bracelets are limited to medical alert bracelets and MIA/POW identification bracelets. Soldiers may wear only one item on each wrist. b. No jewelry, other than that described in paragraph 1–14a, above, will appear exposed while wearing the uniform; this includes watch chains, or similar items, and pens and pencils. The only authorized exceptions are religious items described in para 1–7b, above; a conservative tie tack or tie clasp that male soldiers may wear with the black four-inhand necktie; and a pen or pencil that may appear exposed on the hospital duty, food service, CVC, or flight uniforms. c. Body piercing. When on any Army installation or other places under Army control, soldiers may not attach, affix, or display objects, articles, jewelry, or ornamentation to or through the skin while they are in uniform, in civilian clothes on duty, or in civilian clothes off duty (this includes earrings for male soldiers). The only exception is for female soldiers, as indicated in paragraph 1–14d, below. (The term “skin” is not confined to external skin, but includes the tongue, lips, inside the mouth, and other surfaces of the body not readily visible). d. Females are authorized to wear prescribed earrings with the service, dress, and mess uniforms. (1) Earrings may be screw-on, clip-on, or post-type earrings, in gold, silver, white pearl, or diamond. The earrings will not exceed 6 mm or 1/4 inch in diameter, and they must be unadorned and spherical. When worn, the earrings will fit snugly against the ear. Females may wear earrings only as a matched pair, with only one earring per ear lobe. (2) Females are not authorized to wear earrings with any class C (utility) uniform (BDU, hospital duty, food service, physical fitness, field, or organizational). (3) When on duty in civilian attire, female soldiers must comply with the specifications listed in (1) above when wearing earrings, unless otherwise authorized by the commander. When females are off duty, there are no restrictions on the wear of earrings. e. Ankle bracelets, necklaces (other than those described in para 1–7b), faddish (trendy) devices, medallions, amulets, and personal talismans or icons are not authorized for wear in any military uniform, or in civilian clothes on duty. “ Having gender specific rules and regulations falls under the definition of discrimination and should not be tolerated. The first two statements of the regulation even seem to contradict each other. “. The requirement for hair grooming standards is necessary to maintain uniformity within a military population. Many hairstyles are acceptable, as long as they are neat and conservative. “ Uniformity can’t be maintained when there are many acceptable styles. It also can’t be maintained when males and females are forced to look differently from each other. Since uniformity can’t be maintained it isn’t right now. No matter what we do we can’t have uniformity because there is no way to make everyone in the Army look the same. ( aside from only allowing people that looked alike in the Army. But that isn’t even a conceivable idea and wouldn’t be right anyway ) And since it isn’t really maintained right now, and everything is functioning just fine, it then proves it isn’t needed for good order and discipline. Anyway, the standards should be kept the same for both males and females. An alternative to how it is now might be – All hair, and fingernails should present a clean and neat appearance. No dirty or unkempt ( combed ) hair is allowed. No hair should hang freely from the back of the head, over the ears, or be in your eyes while in uniform. And apply the same rules for hair ties and ect. It is easy to fix the regulations concerning jewelry. All you have to do is make them the same for males and females. My suggestion is simply to use the same regulation for that is used for females for everyone. In closing, to this part, rules may be necessary but gender-specific rules are not. They are as sexist, offensive, and create a hostile environment in the same ways as other sexual-harassment does. I plan on using central route processing to convince someone with ideosycrancy credits to convey my plan to the Department of Defense. This person, likely a well respected psychologist, or psychiatrist in the military, will convey my plan through both the central, and peripheral processing routes. He will bring in female soldiers to tell about their experiences of sexual harassment, and how it affects, and has affected them while in the military. This will bring to mind the seriousness of the problem, and the need to enforce rules that prevent sexism from happening. It will also bring them to a slightly depressed state, so their minds are working through central processing enabling them to think about the information given to them. This will be necessary to overcome past held beliefs based on ignorance. The presenter will further explain the consequences of sexual harassment, and other forms of sexism. Some of these include lower moral, lower work quality from lack of motivation and effort, depression, anxiety, and a hostile environment. Theoretically, after the people in the department of defense hear the information in a state of mind that they can think about it rationally and logically, they will agree that the changes will make the army a better place especially in the long run. They will then implement the changes to the rules with coercion through their respected authority. Integrating the new rules into the military will take some work, just as most anything worthwhile does. With complete, and strong support from all authorities, from highest to lowest, and proper education to the masses the changes will be able to take place. Once a year there will be a battalion sized ( 300-400 people ) meeting where the commander ( or person incharge of the whole element ) will give a class informing everyone of the new rules, why they were put in place, his/her seriousness in enforcing the rules, and the severe consequences breaking them will have. He/She will also convey commitment to the existing rules prohibiting sexual harassment and discrimination and enforcing them, letting everyone know how serious the issue of equality is. Bi-annually each company ( about 100 people size group ) will conduct a class reminding everyone about the rules, and the reasons for them. The seriousness of the battalion commander will be emphasized. They will also educate the company about women’s issues, and gender issues. This will increase the company’s understanding of women, and create empathy among the group. It will help people to realize that males and females are more similar than different. Similarity will breed liking and cohesiveness. Soldiers can bring up their questions, and issues concerning the policies at the end of the class. Quarterly, each platoon ( about 30-45 people ) will have a class regarding the rules. Everyone will again be reminded of what they are, and why they are. They will also be reminded of the consequences for breaking them, and the lack of leniency they will be afforded if they do break them. Role-playing will also be incorporated into these training sessions. They will see examples of behavior that is wrong, then they will be asked to act it out in such a way that it would be right, or correct according to rules enforcing equality. They will be thinking and acting as a team to solve a problem, and demonstrate quality behavior. The best skit can win a small prize. The teams will be made up of a diverse group of people, having them work together as a team will bring them closer together. Once a month each section ( about 10-15 people )will have a meeting reminding everyone of the rules, and the seriousness of them. Any concerns of the soldiers in the section will be solicited, as well as a reminder that the battalion commander will take them seriously and back them up if they have experienced discrimination from someone breaking the rules. Classes reviewing information about each sex, and respecting genders will also be included in these meetings. Each week, there will be a meeting on the team level. ( about 5 people ) The team chief will address any concerns his soldiers have, and any mal-treatment they have faced. The team chiefs will assure their teams that the battalion commander will take their concerns, and especially any problems with discrimination seriously. In this close knit group of people, they should be comfortable enough to ask any questions they have, to clear up any confusion that may be around after all the other meetings and classes. At first the rules will be enforced by coercion, but then eventually through the repetition of classes, and meetings they will become the norm. Both information and emotion will be used to convey the necessity for the rules, and help with teaching them while implementing them. People looking up to the military will see the positive results the non-sexist environment has and hopefully follow suit in their businesses, and everyday lives. It will become the norm, and habbit for soldiers while they are in the army. These soldiers will continue this positive mode of thinking after they get out, just as many of them continue the state of mind that the army incorporated into them while they were in, now. These soldiers will serve as future leaders of equality in the environments around them when they get out spreading it across the land.
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