Search
  • Chris Keen

Are Gender Neutral Ranks Required?

You may have read a newspaper article the other day about the REME (Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers) looking to change their rank of Craftsman to a gender neutral name (without the man part.)


Now my wife Kelly is in the REME so this caught my attention and is actually something I brought up a few years back regarding that role and a few others within the Armed Forces.


Names such as Rifleman (Army), Guardsman (Army), Aircraftman (RAF), Seaman (Navy), just to name a few however there are more.


To be honest I'm on the fence with this subject...


Reasons why I'm for a name change


- It shows that the British Armed Forces are moving with the times. So many organisations have moved this way so why shouldn't the Military do the same?


- It could be weird for a spouse to explain to somebody who doesn't have a clue about ranks within the Armed Forces that their wife is a CraftsMAN or a RifleMAN etc.


- It could make more females want to join the military in those roles, as they might think they're only open to men (because it has MAN on the end).


- Females already in those roles may support the name change, but may not want to speak up as 'its not the military way' (I have your back lol)


Reasons why I'm against a name change


- It may not actually change anything and could just be a box ticking exercise.


- Since the PostMAN Pat and FireMAN Sam sagas, I didn't want to get drawn into an argument like this ever again!


- The names have been the same for SOOO many years, carrying the heritage of their regiments and it's not affected the output of how incredible our armed forces are. Would a name change make them operationally any better?

I wanted to gauge the public opinion on whether a name change is supported, so I ran a little poll on twitter. As you can see, the 24 hour poll had 3,027 votes in total and the consensus was massively against a change in name.


The funniest thing about the poll that I ran was the amount of keyboard warriors having a go at me, thinking it was all my idea to change the name of military ranks lol.


Here are just a few of the comments I received...


"Personally it's people like you that are the problem, stop with this history changing bullsh*t


"Just another pussy libtart"


"What a daft fuc*king post"


"Why even ask the question"


"NO.. F*ck off"


Now if you read my blog regularly you will know me well enough to know that comments like these don't bother me in the slightest and are just laughable.


Anyway, there were PLENTY of other really constructive comments and some really well put together arguments that were fascinating to read.


Like I said I'm still on the fence with the whole name change, I think there are pros and cons for it.


Maybe we've been thinking about this in the wrong way though!


We're all Human right? So let's ignore the word Woman for a second...


Wait... I know what you're thinking but let me finish!


Just consider that the 'Man' part of these words, and in fact the word 'Man' itself is an abbreviation of the word Human. We're all human (man for short) and that includes all genders.


So going on this information there should be no offence taken by the following names:


Crafts(hu)MAN

Rifle(hu)MAN

Guards(hu)MAN

Sea(hu)MAN

Aircraft(hu)MAN


You see where I'm going...


Food for thought right!

244 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All