The following article is from the Sunday Herald Sun 26 May 2019.
SOLDIERS are being lectured on “gender awareness”, with a Defence Force document defining female recruits as “Xena personalities”.
All Australian Army recruits are taught about gender issues during induction week.
“(They) attend a number of lectures on issues such as gender awareness and appropriate behaviour, personal security and Army safety,’’ the army’s official 2019 training module states.
New soldiers are pointed to the Defence Force’s 237-page gender guide, which likens female recruits to the fictional 1990s TV character Xena: Warrior Princess.
“Army should aim to be the home of ‘Xena’ personalities,’’ the document states. “Don’t be scared of Xena, enable her and get out of the way.’’
The gender guide, called Teaming, aims to prepare the military for the “coming era of equality’’ and calls for more attention to “herstory’’ as well as military history.
It recommends that the army consider social media background checks to identify recruits who have “deeply troubling attitudes’’ such as racism or antipathy towards women or gay recruits.
And it calls for more focus on emotional intelligence.
“Greater understanding on women’s strengths and unique approaches will only come from more attention to Herstory as well as History in military history, ethics and leadership curriculums,’’ the guide says. It also warns that male soldiers could perceive charismatic females as a threat, or regard them as “hot’’.
“A preventive strategy in this area is to prepare the ground for the current and future ‘Xenas’ of the Army by pointing out to men that such charismatic female personalities are not sexual objects, nor threats, but just leaders and therefore, calm down and treat her as such,’’ it says.
“The reverse, of course, applies to female soldiers at risk of ‘falling in love’ with charismatic males.’’
To help army leaders deal with “sexual chemistry’’ and “awkward scenarios’’, the Defence gender guide includes a discussion topic on “the touching issue and personal space’’.
It suggests that soldiers describe themselves as The Cactus (who dislikes workplace touching), The Sophisticate (who greets with airbrush cheek kisses), The Sports Buddy (who prefers back slaps), The Bear (who likes to give all-body extended hugs) or a Cuddly Bear (who is physically affectionate).