Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Gender Sensitization – Humor in Uniform

Humor in Uniform

A Fictional Spoof

(This Story happened around 25 years ago – in the early 1990’s – when Women Officers were inducted into the Navy for the first time)


Office of the Commanding Officer (CO) of a “Stone Frigate” (Navy Shore Establishment)
Time: 0900 Hours (9 AM)

The Commanding Officer (CO) – a Captain – looks at the Executive Officer (XO) – a Commander – sitting in front of him.

Then – the CO says to the XO:

“Why have you given an “adverse remark” to Lieutenant Commander “Q” in his ACR…? Do you want to write him off…?” 

“No, Sir – I haven’t given him an adverse remark…” the XO says.

The CO picks up the ACR form of Lieutenant Commander “Q” and reads out from the “pen picture” appraisal:

“You have written “…The Officer needs “Gender Sensitization”…” in his pen picture. Isn’t this a bloody adverse remark…?” the CO asks the XO.

The XO says:

“Sir – Lieutenant Commander “Q” doesn’t know how to handle Lady Officers…”

“How the hell have you reached that conclusion so fast…? The Lady Officers have arrived just one week back – and there are just two of them…”

“Sir – I am getting reports – I have been observing, Sir…”

“Skip the bullshit – and get to the point…”

“Sir – Lieutenant Commander “Q” behaves in a very vulgar and crude manner with the Lady Officer in his department…”

“What do you mean by “vulgar and crude”…?”

“Sir – Lieutenant Commander “Q” constantly verbally abuses the Lady Officer in his department. Sir – yesterday – after “Both Watches” – I saw Lieutenant Commander “Q” shouting at the Lady Officer in full public view – in front of all the officers and sailors – and – Sir – he was using very foul language…”

“Don’t we all use profane jargon in the Navy…? In fact – I have seen you bullshitting sailors in the most “colourful” language…”

“Sir – but she is a “Lady Officer” – and – Lieutenant Commander “Q” was publicly scolding her using terrible expletives and “cusswords” – he even called her a “B****”…”

“Don’t try to be a “saint” – have you never used the word “B******” while shouting at your juniors…? Well – isn’t “B****” is the female equivalent of “B******”…?”

“Sir – we have to be careful with these Lady Officers – if they complain – we will get into trouble…”

“Tell me – has this Lady Officer complained about Lieutenant Commander “Q” – has she complained that he is ill-treating her…?

“No, Sir – but how can she complain…?”

“Of course the Lady Officer can submit a complaint if she feels that she is being subjected to cruelty and ill-treatment by Lieutenant Commander “Q”…”

“Sir – as per procedure – the Lady Officer has to submit a complaint through proper channel – which means she has to submit her complaint to her direct superior Lieutenant Commander “Q”. I am sure that she is terrified of Lieutenant Commander “Q” – so – she must be keeping quiet…”

“Okay – I have heard you. Now – I want you to re-write the ACR of Lieutenant Commander “Q” – do a proper performance appraisal – and make sure you remove that adverse remark about “gender sensitization” from his “pen picture” appraisal…” the CO says to the XO

“Sir – he even put her on “night duty”…”

“What the hell are you talking about…?”

“Sir – Lieutenant Commander “Q” put the Lady Officer on “Night Duty”…”

“So…? Are “Lady Officers” exempted from “Night Duty”…? Do the Ship’s Standing Orders say so…?”

“Sir – the Ship’s Standing Orders were written when there were no women in the Navy…”

“Is there any official order from higher Headquarters which specifically exempt Lady Officers from “Night Duty”…?”

“I don’t know, Sir – the Lady Officers have arrived just one week back – but the other Lady Officer is not doing “Night Duty” – her Head of Department Lieutenant Commander “P” – he has exempted his Lady Officer from “Night Duties” – but Lieutenant Commander “Q” insists that his Lady Officer does “Night Duty”…”

“Well – that’s his prerogative – I will not interfere in how an Officer runs his “part of ship”…”


“Please – I have heard enough. Now you take Lieutenant Commander Q’s ACR form – and you remove that adverse remark “…The Officer needs “Gender Sensitization”…” – okay – you remove it from his pen picture. Do you understand…? And – if you don’t wish to do so – please tell me – I will overrule you in writing – and that won’t look good for you…”

“Yes, Sir – I will do it, Sir…” the XO says, “Sir – I think it will be best to transfer this Lady Officer from Lieutenant Commander Q’s department to Lieutenant Commander P’s department – let both the Lady Officers be with Lieutenant Commander “P” – he is a “soft-spoken” and “refined” officer…”

“Hadn’t we decided to keep Lady Officers in different departments – and then – rotate them after 6 months – to give them all-round experience…?”

“Sir – I never thought that Lieutenant Commander “Q” would be so tough with Lady Officers…”

“No – Negative – Not Approved – the Lady Officer continues with Lieutenant Commander “Q”…”

“Sir – if she complains to her father – we will be in big trouble…”

“Her father…? Who the hell is her father…?”

“Sir – her father is a General…”

“Is it so…? Someone told me that most of these female officers are daughters of “big-shots”. But – I don’t care. Now – let’s get to the next point…” the CO says to the XO.

“Sir – I have already moved the Lady Officer from Lieutenant Commander Q’s department to Lieutenant Commander P’s department…” the XO says sheepishly.

“What…? Don’t you know that it is the Captain’s prerogative to allocate duties to Officers…?”

“Sir – I know, Sir. But you were on “Casual Leave” yesterday – and – after seeing Lieutenant Commander “Q” verbally abusing the Lady Officer yesterday morning after “Both Watches” – I thought the matter was urgent – and I wanted to prevent matters from getting aggravated – so – I asked the Lady Officer to move to Lieutenant Commander P’s department immediately – and – I thought I will take your “ex-post-facto” approval…”

The CO looks at the XO – and says:

“You have put me in a very awkward position – you are my “second-in-command” – and – I don’t want to put you in an embarrassing position by overruling you – okay – you have your way – but next time…”

“Sir – I am sorry, Sir – from now on – I will take care to take your approval…” the XO says, contrite.

And so – the Lady Officer from Lieutenant Commander Q’s department is transferred to Lieutenant Commander P’s department – and now – both the Lady Officers would work under Lieutenant Commander “P” – who is a most “soft-spoken” and “refined” Officer…”


Wardroom Officers’ Mess of the “Stone Frigate” (Navy Shore Establishment)
Time: 2100 Hours (9 PM)

The party is in full swing – and – the CO is in “high spirits”.

The Lady Officer (who had been transferred from “Bull-shitter” Lieutenant Commander Q’s department to “Soft-spoken” Lieutenant Commander P’s department) – she approaches the CO – and she says to the CO:

“Sir – may I have a word with you…?”

“Sure…” the CO says to the Lady Officer.

The CO thought that the Lady Officer had come to thank him for “liberating” her from the clutches of Lieutenant Commander “Q”.

But – from the expression on her face – it was clear that the Lady Officer was unhappy.

The Lady Officer says to the CO:

“Sir – why did you transfer me…?”

“Well – the XO felt that you were unhappy working under Lieutenant Commander “Q”…”

“Sir – I was very happy working with Lieutenant Commander “Q”…”

“I was told that Lieutenant Commander “Q” used to verbally abuse you and treat you in a cruel manner…”

“Sir – I have joined the Navy – I don’t want to be mollycoddled…”  

“So – you had no problems with the way Lieutenant Commander “Q” treated you…?” 

“Not at all, Sir – in fact – Lieutenant Commander “Q” is the first officer I met who does not have a condescending attitude towards me just because I am a Lady Officer – he treated me as equal to Male Officers…”

“But – I was told that he shouted at you in public – and that too in profane language…”

“Sir – I made a mistake – and – I deserved the “bottle”. Sir – Lieutenant Commander “Q” shouts at others in the same way as he shouted at me. His tongue may be rough – but his heart is clean…”

“So – what do want me to do…?”

“Sir – I want to be transferred back to Lieutenant Commander Q’s department…”


“Sir – one more thing…”

“Speak freely…”

“Sir – the other Lady Officer – she also wants to be transferred to Lieutenant Commander Q’s department…”

“Why…? Isn’t she happy working under Lieutenant Commander “P”…?  He is a “perfect gentleman” – a most “soft-spoken” and “refined” Officer…”

“Sir – on the outside – Lieutenant Commander “P” may seem to be a “perfect gentleman” – but hidden inside – masked by his patronizing manner – he is a ****** – Sir – we women can sense these things…”

“Okay – I’ll talk to the XO…” the CO says to the Lady Officer, “go on – enjoy the party – and just tell the XO to see me…”

When the XO arrives – the CO says to the XO

“Lieutenant Commander “Q” doesn’t need “Gender Sensitization” – it is you who needs “Gender Sensitization”…” 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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