Skirts Now Optional for Women in the US Navy

Women serving in the United States Navy are no longer required to wear skirts as part of their uniform, due to changes to the Navy’s uniform dress code issued earlier this month. Previously, women were required to wear skirts for formal events, as well as pack them for sea duty. The changes affect the more than 54,000 women in the Navy, and were recommended after 40,000 sailors were surveyed, the Associated Press reports. Leisa Meyer, women’s historian and author of “Creating G.I. Jane: Sexuality and Power in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II,” told the Daily Press that the Navy’s willingness to change the women’s uniform demonstrates that it is more forward-looking than the other branches of the military, and also that the Navy is giving women more of a say. “They’re responding to things they’re hearing from women in the service,” Meyer said. “They might not have done that ten years ago.” All skirts that are part of the Navy uniform will now also have kick pleats, allowing the wearer to break out into a run. Women will also be able to carry their own handbag, as opposed to the one formerly issued. Other changes to the uniform include the option of wearing cell phones, backpacks, and carrying gym bags. JOIN the Feminist Majority


Associated Press 10/18/04; Daily Press 10/06/04

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