Being a woman, I’m all for gender equality, but the latest move by the RAF to ban their serving females from wearing skirts on parade seems like gender sensitivity gone barmy.
Apparently the trouser-only shake-up has been born partly from a desire to make the service more inclusive to transgender people.
An RAF source told the Sun that the updated uniform policy was designed to reflect the RAF as a “modern and inclusive employer.”
“We have men who want to live as women, women who want to live as men and personnel who do not identify with any gender,” the source said.
“The view was we need a uniform policy to cut through all of that and say there is one uniform for everyone and that’s that.”
But the move hasn’t gone down well some of the women currently serving in the RAF.
“We’ve all been told woman can no longer wear skirts on parade,” explained one female serving insider. “Everyone’s livid. We’ve been wearing skirts since World War II. It feels like political correctness. The world’s going mad.”
It has also been reported that the change also follows feedback from women that marching in skirts is uncomfortable. Indeed, servicewomen are still permitted to wear skirts on other occasions when not marching, but isn’t that a bit beside the point?
Maybe some women did find marching in skirts uncomfortable, but for those who didn’t, enforcing a trouser-ban means you’re taking away their individual choice. Some women might not feel comfortable wearing trousers and that’s totally their right.
The change was discussed at a summit of RAF chiefs who deal with issues such as diversity and inclusion. But in striving for gender equality and inclusivity for new transgender recruits, isn’t the new plan actually denying women the right to express their identity in whichever way they choose? Shouldn’t women be allowed to differentiate themselves from their male counterparts if they wish too?
By having and out and out ban on skirts the RAF is taking away a woman’s personal choice. Should they not instead be encouraging people to celebrate their differences and urge their service members to embrace whatever gender they identify with?
Insiders say the decision has been made but it has not yet been put into action. A spokesman for the RAF said: “Uniform regulations, including dress for formal parades, are regularly reviewed.
“No decisions have been made to make any changes.”
What do you think about the RAFs proposed no-trouser ban? Let us know @YahooStyleUK