Friday, September 26, 2008

Female Friendly Military Uniforms: A Boon for the Airsoft Gaming World?

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?

14 comments:

Diogenes said...

It's about time. Airsoft gaming clubs should avoid being a bastion of chauvinism. It's bad enough that Gov. Palin is promoting misogyny.

JANE MO said...

"Auntie Pat" Benatar has already warned us back in 1985 against using sex as a weapon. There should be a proviso in the Geneva Convention on this issue. Or did anyone of you remember a while back about Condoleezza Rice condemning the use of rape as a weapon during times of conflict? Have she just listened to "Precious Things" by Tori Amos on her i-Pod?
P.S. Your Airsoft team must be a "thinking person's" Airsoft team.

Lilith Fair said...

I did find it strange on how "Condi" Rice on extensive press coverage voiced her condemnation about the use of rape during times of conflict as a weapon of war. I do agree that someone may have smuggled Tori Amos' Precious Things or Little Earthquakes on Condi's i-Pod. And yet Condi Rice tacitly approves the torture of terror detainees in Gitmo by the Bush Administration. Speaking of Auntie Pat Benatar, her 1985 opus Sex as a Weapon suddenly gained popularity, either through Condi Rice's view on rape or that latest Guitar Hero release. I've played with Vanessa's Airsoft Militia and I do agree it is a thinking person's Airsoft team in more ways than one.
P.S. Do you find it strange that those female-friendly military uniforms are nothing more that Olive Drab / Camouflage Color Schemed versions of Hillary Clinton's pant-suits?

Nancy said...

Kind of strange isn't it. I've always thought that when it comes to developing female-friendly Military uniforms, the top-two that comes to mind are the Israeli Defense Force and the US Defense Department - even though at present the US Defense Department doesn't allow women in front-line battle duty. Looks like Spain has beat them to it.
Speaking of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice condemnation on the use of rape in times of conflict, I too assumed that she finally reached the part of her i-Pod were Tori Amos' Me and a Gun was stored. Or is Precius Things a more apt song.
Antie Pat Benatar was right - even back in the Reaganism of 1985 - that we shouldn't use Sex-as-a-Weapon. Maybe the current US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should check out these female-friendly military uniforms, given that they are nothing more than olive-drab and camouflage color-schemed versions of her famous 2008 US Presidential Race-era pant-suit.

Michelle said...

You must be all talkingabout UN Council Resolution 1820 about the use of rape during times of conflict as a war crime. The approval of this UN resolution was overseen by then US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice back in June 19, 2008. I too have thought that then US Secretary of State Rice has finally heard Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes album on her i-Pod.
Speaking of the female-friendly military uniform being fielded by Spain's Defense minister back in September 2008. It does look like a camouflage / olive drab-colored verion of Hillary Clinton's pant-suit. By the way, Hillary Clintonis nowthe current US Secretary of State.
Currently, I'm now running my own all-girl airsoft team. It was a hard concept to make reality at first, but it is possible.

Letiche said...

Have you seen that televised speech of President Barack Obama flanked by female members of the US Marine Corps? It seems that from the TV camera's perspective, female friendly military uniforms - which I assume that they wore - just looks like worn by the boys. Oh yes, the now-almost-forgotten UN Security Council resolution 1820 about whether rape and other forms of violence against women during times of conflict can be considered a war crime. Quite ironic that before June 19, 2008, there was still debate whether rape and other violence against omen committed during war time still wasn't defined as a war crime. I too agree that there is a high probability that the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finaly heard Tori Amos' Little Earthquakes album on her i-Pod back in June 19, 2008. More reasons for the ICC to arrest Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir.

Lilith Fair said...

After delving into the on-going extraordinary rendition / torture complicity of then Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, it seems kind of hypocritical of her to launch that UN Security Council Resolution 1820 about declaring rape as a war crime when she was the principal "enablers" of the Bush Administration-era torture of terror / al-Qaeda suspects. Even Fourth Graders in the US now question the credibility of Condoleezza Rice.
Assuming that she heard both versions of Strange Fruit - either by Billie Holiday or Nina Simone, Condoleezza Rice should have known better than to be a tool of the Bush Administration-era Neo-Conservative Cabal. Her life is fast becoming a show-tune but the show has not been written for it yet.

Lilith Fair said...

Maybe this is the Spanish Defence Minister's homage to the Anarchist Women's Movement of the 1930s.

Sherry Rashad said...

Kind of strange that the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sponsors the UN Council Resolution 1820 about rape punishable as a war crime when done during times of war and other civil conflicts while her Bush Administration cabinet mate Vice President Dick Cheney approves the torture of terror suspects whose complicity are yet to be determined in a Court of Law.
Speaking of female-friendly uniforms, I think this would encourage more women to participate in Airsoft clubs or start their own women-only teams. Check out my Airsoft blog at http://womens-liberation-army.blogspot.com
Remember a femeinist movement in Spain during the Spanish Civil War called Mujeres Libres or Anarchist Women's Movement to us English speakers. The concept of feminism is still too radical back then for the chauvinist-leaning Franco ruled nation that it was deemed as an "anarchist" political movement.

VaneSSa said...

It is more than likely that Spain's Defense Minister Carme Chacon or the women who enlisted in the Spanish armed Forces were influenced by the Mujeres Libres or the Anarchist Women's Movement from the Franco-ruled Spanish Civil War era Spain when they opted to introduced a more female-friendly military uniforms back in September 2008 . It is also worth noting that Ernest Hemingway is not the only English speaker who intimately witnessed the Spanish Civil War.
Speaking of women only Airsoft teams, it is not only the novelty factor that makes it cool, but also the political chic as well. Feminism is still too radical for most folks.

VaneSSa said...

P.S. please check out my Airsoft blog at http:// the-che-guevara-youth-militia.blogspot.com

May Anne said...

I think women's rights is still a too radical concept to most people that some of them view Gloria Steinem as an anarchist.
On female friendly Airsoft clubs, if none yet exists, we can always start one. Female-friendly military uniforms are already available aren't they? I think there's already a 6-millimeter mineral-filled polypropylene BB pellet with my name on it.

Kat said...

Are female-friendly military uniforms already available locally in the Philippines? If they are, I'll start wearing one for Airsoft games.

VaneSSa said...

As of late, the most "macho" of Spain's military branch - The Spanish Legion - had recently started accepting women trainees. The Spanish Legion - whose "ideal member has traditionally been a bearded macho man (Santa Claus?) has not only been "hiring" women as of late but has recently become the most secure employer in a country with a 25% unemployment rate. Looks like in Spain, girls are not only just want to have fun, but also seeking job security as well. By the way, the Spanish Legion's standard infantry weapon is the German designed G36 5.56mm X 45mm.