Nobody Asked Me, But. . . – Goodbye Bucket Cover

Women in the Navy command farewell to an iconic uniform detail on 31 October 2016. The bucket cover—a repair in one phase or another since women joined the WAVES during World War II—was retired as prescribed by NAVADMIN 236/15. For those in the naval service unconcerned with manner, the retirement of an outdated piece of headdress may seem of little consequence. For leaders of a divers pull, however, the epitaph of the bucket is a admonitory narrative on the slippery populace of sex politics, cognitive diagonal, and well-intentioned policy. The requirement for female officers and chiefs to wear either the option combination cover ( ACC ) or the male combination cover is the latest effort in establishing common uniform items in the Navy and Marine Corps for both genders. As Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus explained in a statement, “ These changes ensure greater uniformity in our servicing and ceremonial dress, but more importantly, they send a clear signal that we are one in dress, one in standard and one in team.. .. As you look out across a group of Sailors, you ought to see, not female and male Sailors, but Sailors. ” According to Secretary Mabus ’ sulfur logic, the change to gender-neutral uniforms is in keeping with the Navy ’ randomness ethos and its commitment, as stated in the Sailor ’ s Creed, “ to excellence and the fairly discussion of all. ” By reducing the differences in appearance among sailors, the deepen is intended to increase inclusivity and esprit-de-corps. The move toward unisex uniforms, however, has run into unexpected confrontation from many of the women it is designed to assist. In comments on social media, questions in captain ’ mho calls, and feedback across the blogosphere, the tide is running against the newfangled breed. Women object to its rapid presentation, the unnecessary cost of replacing serviceable consistent items, and the unfairness of placing the charge for gender neutrality on women.

While these concerns are getting the most play on social media, women ’ s resistance to the theme of sex neutrality in uniform attire may stem from the phenomenon in gender politics known as the “ double bind. ” The double bind involves the paradoxical conflict built-in to women in leadership positions. According to a 2007 Catalyst sketch, women leaders much must act in stereotypically masculine ways to be seen as competent. Acting “ less womanly, ” however, results in a female leader being seen as less sympathetic. Because both likeability and competence are used to judge successful leaders, women face a alone dilemma in balancing the two factors. The double bind is peculiarly prevailing in traditionally male career fields and in organizations where women are underrepresented in leadership positions. Researchers at Stanford School of Business found that one strategy that enabled women to navigate the double oblige successfully was to “ self-monitor ” by adapting their behavior in master situations. Women were able to overcome the bivalent bind by acting in stereotypically masculine ways—exhibiting aggression, assertiveness, and confidence—to project professional competence while still “ acting like a lady ” when the social situation called for it. The study ’ second coauthor, Dr. Olivia O ’ Neill, explained, “ These women were able to be chameleons, to fit into their environment by assessing social situations and adapting their actions accordingly. ” As a result, women who blended both male and female traits achieved better forwarding rates and more professional achiever than women whose demeanor was more binary. By removing the bucket cover from the sea bag, Navy leadership is removing one tool servicewomen may use to navigate the double bind. Conforming to gender norms through uniquely female uniforms, particularly on ceremony occasions where appearance is more relevant than professional skill, may give women a means to balance both sides of the likeability/competence paradox. subconsciously, both women and men judge female leaders harshly on the likeability scale when they tend “ besides far ” toward masculine leadership traits. If the Stanford research is adjust, being flexible enough to exude both competence in dungarees and femininity in gamey heels gives women an advantage with both genders, allowing them to build reliance, defend, and social capital with their shipmates.

affection for tradition is not justification for stopping the course of progress, in matters of fashion or equal opportunity. entirely time will tell if sex impersonal uniforms, designed to promote inclusivity, solution in better outcomes for women and the wide naval servicing. Trends suggest that the Navy will continue to adapt to and benefit from an increasingly diverse impel. By considering academician research on cognitive biases during policy formation, Navy leaders can reduce unintended consequences when instituting cultural transfer. Commander Hill, a 1997 Naval Academy graduate and naval aviator, recently commanded the VP-9 “Golden Eagles.” She is currently studying at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government as a national security fellow.

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