The Pottification Of The Navy

Yet Another Reason Not To Enlist

Hoo, the Navy has gone funnier than when Junior put his tadpoles in Aunt Lu's milk. It's wonderful. Headline, the Washington Times: "Navy admiral wants to get rid of urinals."

On aircraft carriers. Yep. See, urinals aren't good for gender-equity, which is what the Navy is for.

Best I can tell, the admiral figures urinals make the girls aboard feel plumbing-challenged. It gums up their self-concept. And life, remember, is already tough for gals on warships. It's bad enough having those boomy old gun thingies everywhere, and those smelly airplanes. They make a hostile environment and all. But the worst is those disgusting white patriarchy symbols, stuck threateningly to bathroom walls.

Think about it. Every time a woman goes to the men's room, there they hang, row on row, in silent reproach, telling her she isn't Fully A Person.

The horror.

But now help gallops over the horizon, thumpety-thump. The help's name is Admiral John Nathman, and (incredibly) he's a naval aviator. Yes indeed. Potty John, the Carrie Nation of urinals, is going to make it all better. He wants "gender-neutral water closets."

When I was a Marine, I always wanted a commander who had an interest in urinals. None of them did, and they probably still don't. But the Navy, as Marines have always suspected, is a little different. And apparently getting differenter.

Personally I don't think Potty John has gone far enough in making the military resemble a sorority house. For example, a gal on ship stands out by virtue of having breasts, which must create a hostile work environment. (In fact I've never met a sailor who was hostile to breasts, but I'm being socially progressive here.) I think that as a simple matter of consideration for our warrioresses, men in the services should be required to have breast implants. Gender equity. This is, after all, the New Navy.

If compulsory surgery seems extreme this year, at the very least silicone strap-on mammaries should be mandated. Think of them as pre-loaded bras. Since servicemen have to wear uniforms anyway, minor additions could do no harm. Infantrymen carry packs, don't they?

I figure breasts might become insignia of rank. Enlisted men would get small ones. Officers would have big mommas. Potty John, being an admiral, would have three. The Chief of Naval Operations would wear an udder.

Look, I'm just trying to be helpful.

Let's be honest. Many unnecessary hardships are inflicted on women by the Navy. It's so…military. I figure the Navy might consider renaming a carrier or two in a more woman-friendly manner -- the USS Daycare comes to mind, or the good ship Terrycloth. Then there are family separations. I'm agin'em. So I figure a carrier's hangar deck could be divided into a labor ward and a nursery. Granted, weapons would have to be sacrificed, but all they do is encourage violence. (Onboard counseling might help to reduce this lamentable side-effect of testosterone. We could have caring, sensitive fighter pilots.)

Fact is, I admire Potty John for his willingness to be different from all those stodgy old male admirals we used to have. Can you imagine Bull Halsey (I guess today he'd be Heifer Halsey, or maybe Steer Halsey) focusing on urinal equity as he led the fleet against the Japanese? How about David Farragut: "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ah…Wait! Let's stop and talk about gender equity!" No. No urinals for them. They were fixated on violence.

My father spent four years at sea during World War II, first aboard the USS Greer in the North Atlantic, and then in the Pacific on DD-554, the Franks. He didn't talk a lot about it. He was there for some of the big assaults, doing close fire support with 5-inch-38s. Those were ugly days when blood ran on the decks and the kamikazes screamed in and you red-barreled everything you had at the nacelles and hoped you hit a fuel tank before the pilot hit you. I bet those sailors, mostly dead now, all of them forgotten, would be proud to know about Potty Consciousness.

Truth is, the military needs to be stripped of all manner of gender-unfriendly trappings. What could be more phallic than a tank gun? The very thought must be offensive to women, and make them Uncomfortable. Submarines are nothing but nuclear-powered phallic symbols. (With a propeller, which is a disturbing thought.) I reckon we ought to have gender-neutral, cubic submarines. Flowered wallpaper would add a homey feel and, if you got rid of those awful male torpedo-things, there might be room for a shopping deck.

The potty problem has reared its genderishly inequitable head for years in the mascara military. You just get in trouble for talking about it. Consider urinals and the Army. They were never a problem, because men regard the entire earth as a urinal in waiting. The side of the road, the middle of the road, a tree, the ocean -- they don't discriminate. The way feminists see oppression everywhere, men see urinals. It's a design feature.

Which means that if a battalion of trucks is maneuvering in the desert, guys don't care. Anywhere is as good as anywhere else. Women see things differently. They're embarrassed. They want a bush to go behind. In deserts there aren't any bushes. That's how you know it's a desert.

So they want all the guys to stand on one side of the truck while the ladies retire to the other. Of course, if the truck is in the middle of a group of trucks, this doesn't work. And if some dimwitted guy forgets he's not really in the military, and thoughtlessly goes to the wrong side of the truck to check the oil -- that's sexual harassment, buddy. Firing squad to the fore.

I'm dead serious: Research has been done on ways to let female soldiers pee standing up. If that's not gender equity, it's at least comic relief.

I have to agree with Potty John: For many reasons, none of which I can think of, men should not be allowed to stand comfortably while making a sacrifice to the Porcelain God. However, the Navy shouldn't simply write off its investment in urinals. Surely unmasculine uses can be found for them.

They would make splendid planters for flowers, for example: They have a robust watering system and good drainage. The lighting would have to be replaced with grow lamps, but this requires a mere changing of bulbs. Easy. We would have a win-win situation: Feminists would get even with men for being able to use urinals, and men would have flowers to look at. A window-box arrangement around them with drapes would be lovely.

See why I tell guys, Don't enlist in this silly circus?

I've gotta run. To my stockbroker's, to invest in implant companies.