Military Mixed Sex Policy Should Be Put to the Sword

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), April 12, 1998 | Go to article overview

Military Mixed Sex Policy Should Be Put to the Sword


FIONA Stewart has become the first woman ever to receive the sword of honour as top cadet at Sandhurst in a ceremony seen as a landmark in the way our military services are now being opened up to women.

While 23-year-old Lieutenant Stewart as taking possession of her hand-crafted Wilkinson another ceremonial sword was at the centrepiece of another army ritual.

This was the court martial of Lt Colonel Keith Pople who stands accused of scandalous conduct among other things after his affair with senior Wren Lieutenant Commander Karen Pearce ended in a tawdry tangle of recrimination, jealousy and complaint.

The proceedings, which have gone on about as long as the Hundred Years War, have paraded before us the issues which now concern our unisex services. These have included detailed description of the use by the Lt Commander of that time honoured military de vice, the vibrator, and analysis of the way in which the take off pattern of Harrier jump jets from the deck of an aircraft carrier can be used to disguise the cries of a woman at the height of sexual pleasure. …

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