Responsible Use Of The Submarine Song?

Time to grow ... up, Navy. Nothing cute about 3 drunks spouting misogyny. - DaveinBremerton Retired USAF master sergeant

This issue has implications about language, profanity, and how people represent themselves and their organizations, including the U.S. Military.

As Heather Adam, USAF wrote:

"It is right for men and women to want to serve their country. It is right for men and women to volunteer to train and support the interests of their leaders. It is right for subordinates to respectfully obey their commanders. It is logical to assume that I need only fear the external enemy."

Military standards of conduct and create the perception that the enemy lies outside of the American chain of command. Patriotic soldiers who believe they are safe in a very imperfect system often fall into frequent abuse, including rape. Does the culture of the military perpetuate the abuse, and the consequences of abuse to individuals and to units? This is a historical problem.

I was told that submarining is a very insular profession. They do things that many people would find shocking, but are readily accepted within the submarine community. When the stuff they do gets made public, an interesting dialogue begins.


We must stand against misogyny in all its forms!

In his latest blog entry Responsible use of the Submarine Song, Joel Kennedy wrote:

Over the years, I've sent the lyrics to "The Submarine Song" to literally hundreds of Submariners, and while I don't know for sure that The Submarine Song contributed to the firing of the COB of USS Annapolis back in April, based on the new description of the events leading up to the firing by the Michael Melia reporter, it sure sounds like it might have played a part.

And other military people spoke up. Daily Kos blogger aznavy wrote:


"...the submarine song is funny? It is only funny to people who treat women as objects. The COB spent 7 hours drinking and created a scene that brought discredit to the U.S. Navy. I spent 21 years as a Naval Officer - my husband, who is a submariner, spent 24 years as an officer, 3.5 years of that as a Commanding Officer of a fast attack submarine. He would have fired his COB too over this. I certainly would have fired my senior enlisted over behavior such as this.

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Further Reading:
Experts Say Sexism Keeps Women Out of Military Combat Roles, article from The Good Men Project.

For Love of Country: Confronting Rape and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military, by
Terri Spahr Nelson

Coping With Sexism in the Military (Military Opportunity Series) by
Mary V. Stremlow

Women in the United States Military: An Annotated Bibliography (Routledge Research Guides to American Military Studies) by
Judith A. Bellafaire

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