'Manning' Is Sexist, Army Told
Hickley, Matthew, Daily Mail (London)
Byline: MATTHEW HICKLEY
A u40,000 study, funded by taxpayers, has branded the Army sexist for talking about 'manning' rather than 'staffing.'
The report also criticises senior personnel for calling female officers 'girls', even though 'our boys' is a common term for male soldiers.
Researcher Dr Rachel Woodward of Newcastle University said: 'The term "manning" speaks volumes because it presupposes an entirely male force.
'What also struck us was that a lot of men in command would talk about "girls". I know that in the media there is a lot of "our boys", but that has a different connotation. It implies that male soldiers are part of the family, whereas to describe a woman soldier as a girl is belittling.' The study, carried out for the Defence Ministry, said many male soldiers still believe women have no place in the military.
Dr Woodward and Dr Patricia Winter of Sunderland University found that efforts by top brass and politicians to promote equal opportunities over the past few years had failed to dispel the Army's 'traditionally masculine' culture.
Senior officers admitted they had struggled to implement equality policies among the ranks - where many men still saw women as a disruption - and told the researchers that changing attitudes was 'like turning a supertanker. …