The Image of Women in the Navy

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Naval Wives Protest

Service women often had an image problem concerning their sexuality, with them portrayed as nymphomaniacs. The proposal to send women to sea in the early 1990s created a peak of media interest in relation to this image.

Naval wives considered the idea of the Wrens being at sea with their men such a threat that they took to the streets in protest. A small group of naval wives even marched to Downing Street.

The Navy officially disapproved of relationships between male and female service personnel, although some inevitably still occurred.

However, the feared outbreak of 'sailor snatching' did not happen, and overall the integration of female personnel into the Navy proved that men and women could work alongside one another, even in the confined space of a ship. There are even indications that the amalgamation has improved discipline, making the majority of servicemen think more about their behaviour and in some cases, even their own appearance!


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