By Sammie Hill–
Last week, the New York Post reported the possibility of a new look for Marine hats. Since then, the report has been disputed, but the possibility of this new hat nevertheless sparked controversy because many felt the hat looked too “girly.”
“We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats!” one senior Marine source ranted to the New York Post. “The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.”
The Washington Times went on to describe the hats as “more ‘girly’ than hard-charging.” This implies the two are contradictory, suggesting that something can’t be feminine and tough at the same time.
These statements reflect the association of femininity with weakness, a stigmatization bred by the overwhelmingly masculine nature of American culture and politics. Masculine things are considered tough and powerful, while anything feminine is considered weak and “sissy.”
Critics of the proposed new hat seem appalled and offended that the Marines would be expected to don anything that could be perceived as feminine. They feel that “girly” hats are not worthy of our soldiers because they imply weakness and inferiority, as if femininity and weakness are synonymous.
Meanwhile, approximately 13,000 females serve in the Marines— about 7 percent of the total Marine Corps.
The assertion that feminine hats are an embarrassment for the Marines is disrespectful to the undoubtedly “hard-charging” and heroic female Marines making tremendous sacrifices to defend the U.S., as well as an insult to women everywhere.
The idea that something has to be masculine in order to be respectable is a stigmatization that needs to be eradicated.
Just because something is feminine does not mean it is of lesser status or value than something “manly.”
Thus, for critics to imply anything else is disrespectful to the women serving our country and to women everywhere.