Your Say: Women In The MilitaryGeneral Organa comforted upon hearing MOD ruling she participate in mandatory PT and meet weight requirements
In public statements after her promotion it was revealed General Leia Organa was required to lose almost 3 stone before being promoted supreme commander.
"They don’t want to promote all of me — only about three-quarters! Nothing changes: it’s an appearance-driven thing," she tells about feeling pressured to lose 35 pounds to achieve her promotion. "I’m in a business where the only thing that matters is weight and appearance. That is so messed up. They might as well say get younger, because that’s how easy it is."
Public reaction was mixed. Most commended her for achieving the highest leadership role in the armed forces. Others condemned a macho military culture that places unrealistic and unfair expectations on women's bodies and physical fitness. Opponents of her promotion said the government had watered down the weight requirements to facilitate her new assignment.
Your Say met with the brave women of our nation's defence forces to get the views of those who are in the trenches with boots on the ground because freedom isn't free.
"As a soldier in the defence force it's my job to be put in harm's way. Being physically fit ensures we are ready to meet the enemy in the battle space. All that matters is meeting the standard, be they for running, press ups, carrying our kit, shooting accuracy or weight. And if standards need to be diluted for women to achieve them, dilute them for both men and women so critics can't accuse women of receiving preferential treatment. Just bamboozle the public and then we can get on with the mission. Recruit more Gurkhas to pick up the slack."
"Crickey! How did she gain 3 stone in the first place? That's skipping physical training for a year or two. How did she get away with that? And what kind of message does it send to the troops? Lead from the front, General Organa. Let's not forget General Organa is also HRH Princess Leia. Time and time again it's the royals who are given a leg up. Privilege is what it is, and it ought to be called out. Frankly, General Organa could stand to lose another stone or two. But she's a rear echelon bastard and that's where standards are lax. Desk sitting paper pushers. And a royal. Yes, clearly she's a victim."
"As a military mum I know firsthand the stress of deployments on family life, and the military needs to be more family friendly. During deployments I wonder who's cooking their meals, how was their day at school, and are they being enticed by the Dark Side? Now that the public knows General Organa's son Kylo Ren is a senior leader of the First Order's Knight of Ren what's the effect on military children? My children are facing taunts and bullying from their classmates. "When are you going over to the Dark Side, Magnus?" and "Is your family filled with traitors too, Pippa?" If I were a man I doubt my family's loyalty would be questioned. Yes, it is a little problematic both General Organa's father and son achieved prominent positions within the enemy's force and are responsible for the deaths of millions and the destruction of entire planets. But I presume thorough background checks were conducted and General Organa has been found trustworthy. If duty calls I'm certain General Organa will give the order to kill her son, if not pull the trigger herself. It's what any military mum would do. Mission first."
"It is important the Army becomes more diverse. One of the Forces’ highest hurdles in the years to come is to make sure they better reflect the society they serve. Our society is fat, and our military needs to reflect that. Too many in the public erroneously think the defence forces' mission is to defend the nation from enemies both home and abroad, but this is an anachronism. The role of the military is to advance social justice and to ensure all voices are heard and all people are seen. I learnt this in boot camp, and it makes sense to me. Today's military is less about commanding and victory and more about listening and empathy. Absent of social justice any military victories we win will be hollow, in fact I wouldn't call them victories at all. I'm also excited that we'll be doing fewer combat-type missions and performing more community-based service projects such as flood control - just like when I was in the Girl Guides, which was loads of fun. I look forward to building dikes in the coming years."
"Our nation rests peacefully at night knowing our security is in General Organa's less pudgy hands. Being a black soldier I'm quite accustomed to taking orders from incompetent white officers, so what's the difference of following orders from a fat white one?"Edited by curzon - 1/6/16 at 3:13am