So, let's look at this headline that appeared in the Seattle Times(and several other papers) yesterday.
Women could soon begin serving on Navy submarines
Now...the clarifying sub-header gets it right, saying that enlisted women may begin showing up on submarines in 2016...but it still fails to point out that female officers began reporting to submarines back in 2012, and so far, there have been no major complications. Nothing major enough to make it to the papers, and heck, nothing that an ex-submariner has even heard a peep about from old friends.
I didn't think there would be problems though. The fact is...the way our navy works, people are on submarines because they want to be(well, except during drills and field day). They may be strange, and they may be creepy, and the boredom may drive them to occasionally do weird things...but deep down, they are professionals. I knew if the women that showed up operated as professionals, their sex wouldn't matter.
Oh...I'm not saying that the men folk don't crack jokes about them, or make what most of society would say is 'inappropriate comments' when they aren't around...but the fact is, the guys do the same thing to other guys on a submarine.
What is going to lead the biggest problem as they integrate more women on subs is the separate berthing/showering spaces. The female officers all share a stateroom, but there are the same number of women in the stateroom as their are male officers in their stateroom. They use the same shower/bathroom facilities as their male counterparts, also.
With enlisted women, it's not going to be that easy. They are going to ask the rest of the crew to sacrifice some of their precious space(the crews lounge, which we didn't have on fast-attacks, but pampered boomer sailors did), to give the enlisted females their own berthing/sanitary spaces. And...standby for the high pitched whining if those spaces aren't equivalent down to the square-inch per person.