Will Spain’s defense minister’s promise of a female friendly redesign of their army uniforms issued to women enlistees be a boon to airsoft female players when airsoft supply shops start to stock them?
By: Vanessa Uy
Starting Thursday, September 4, 2008 military uniforms in Spain will get a female friendly redesign for women enlistees, the Spanish defense minister Carme Chacon said on Wednesday. Chacon was the first woman to fill the position has promised to change the uniforms to better suit “female body shapes”. “Men and women have the same rights, but they have a totally different physical make-up,” Chacon said during a meeting with dozens of women soldiers. “The uniforms should be changed to meet women’s needs,” the minister said.
The new uniforms will be designed to fit “women’s chest, hips and waistlines” better, the Spanish daily El Mundo said Thursday. The defense ministry says that the uniform redesign will be based on a recent study from the country’s ministry of health, which measured the body types of thousands of Spanish women. By the way, the Spanish armed forces did not start to admit women until 1988. The number of women in Spain’s military currently reaches 15,400 out of a total strength of 79,000.
It’s quite surprising that Spain spearheaded the program to design military uniforms specifically aimed for long-term comfort for women serving in the Spanish armed forces. Despite the burden of being the universally accepted stereotype of Spain being known as the spiritual and ancestral home of chauvinism (not to mention The Inquisition), it is quite refreshing that Spain is the first ever country to tackle this “relatively esoteric” issue. Esoteric to me because Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin never talked about the issue of female-friendly military uniforms publicly, not even on Saturday Night Live. Whether it is an effect of the spirit of EU egalitarianism manifesting itself or otherwise, the move is quite refreshing. But the female-friendly uniform design will undoubtedly revolutionize not only the world’s military, but also will trickle-down to law enforcement agencies.
Also, will airsoft clubs be not so far behind since women players over 14 are finding out that battle dress uniforms – even expensive ones that are currently standard issue to the US military – are not exactly designed with women’s long-term comfort in mind. This might kick-start the formation of an all women airsoft team, which just over a year ago seems almost inconceivable. Will female-friendly ballistic armor vests / body armor / bulletproof vests be offered soon?