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Women In Submarines? Cue That Sinking Feeling

The French navy has announced it will allow women to work in submarines starting in 2017. A Le Temps columnist contemplates whether that takes gender equality too far.

French women will be able to work in submarines.
French women will be able to work in submarines.
Rinny Gremaud


GENEVA — The French navy has announced that it will allow women to work in submarines starting in 2017. Goodness, I thought to myself when I heard, are they all losing their minds? You can’t confine a woman with a hundred crewmen nonstop for more than two months.

In nuclear subs, a routine exercise usually lasts 10 months. And where can you feel more locked up than in this closed-door machine? To understand this, you just have to watch The Hunt for Red October, K-19: The Widowmaker or Crimson Tide.

What kind of woman — enraged, gullible or perverse — would want to expose herself to such a situation? We don’t want to admit it, but isn’t there a natural limit to gender equality?

And then I stopped for a moment to think about my opinions. Because what came to my mind at first was how men are all like animals in breeding season, slaves of their sexual organs and incapable of behaving correctly with a woman in the professional field.

The worst is not that certain men think this is the truth and even say it loud and clear. The worst is that I am so consumed with common preconceptions that I can’t move beyond them. I hear “women in submarines” and suddenly think about the risk of them being sexually assaulted.

As if every woman was doomed to disturb any group of men unintentionally. As if men behind closed doors never stirred each other. And as if submarines were not ranked and extremely codified places, where social control is intense.

I remember when I was young, I spent a month alone on a container ship between Europe and Asia. It had nothing to do with a nuclear submarine — but still. I found out that the merchant navy is actually a respectful environment of individuals.

Women have been working there for years and make up almost 25% of the staff in some shipping companies. But they are never transferred in oil tankers, as I was told one day. Why? Because oil tankers make few stopovers. Meaning: When the tanker stops, the crewmen can pay other women to relieve their stress.

The sailors and submariners’ life is quite strange. In movies, these characters are so romantic. But in real life, I am always wondering what type of person would do this job. And by “type” I also mean “gender.”

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Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

Horror films have a complicated and rich history with christian themes and influences, but how healthy is it for audiences watching?

Should Christians Be Scared Of Horror Movies?

"The Nun II" was released on Sept. 2023.

Joseph Holmes

“The Nun II” has little to show for itself except for its repetitive jump scares — but could it also be a danger to your soul?

Christians have a complicated relationship with the horror genre. On the one hand, horror movies are one of the few types of Hollywood films that unapologetically treat Christianity (particularly Catholicism) as good.

“The Exorcist” remains one of the most successful and acclaimed movies of all time. More recently, “The Conjuring” franchise — about a wholesome husband and wife duo who fight demons for the Catholic Church in the 1970s and related spinoffs about the monsters they’ve fought — has more reverent references to Jesus than almost any movie I can think of in recent memory (even more than many faith-based films).

The Catholic film critic Deacon Steven Greydanus once mentioned that one of the few places where you can find substantial positive Catholic representation was inhorror films.

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