The Air Force has removed several posters from the Langley Air Force Base after two organizations called the posters sexist.
The Military Religious Freedom Foundation first targeted two posters that referenced the word “faith,” The Virginian-Pilot reports.
“Men cannot live without faith except for brief moments of anarchy or despair,” one poster stated. “Faith leads to conviction – and convictions lead to actions. It is only a man of deep convictions, a man of deep faith, who will make the sacrifices needed to save his manhood. … It is obvious that our enemy will attack us at our weakest spot. The hole in our armor is our lack of faith. We need to revive a fighting faith by which we can live, and for which we would be willing even to die.”
The Air Force, however, was entirely unconvinced that the poster endorsed any particular faith, and so dismissed the complaint out of hand, even though MRFF tried to argue that the poster implied religious airmen were superior to non-religious airmen.
But that didn’t end the dispute. The National Organization for Women (NOW) hit from a different angle, namely that of sexism because of the use of word “men” and “man.”
“What message does that send to young women who currently serve, or want to serve, in the military?” NOW President Terry O’Neill wrote Air Combat Combat in early February. “What do you say to the women in your command who make the same sacrifices to protect their country as do men? General, there is simply no compromise when it comes to fighting the bigotry of sexism nor the prejudice of religious triumphalism. Women are just as patriotic, just as dedicated and just as worthy of our nation’s trust as their male counterparts.”
MRFF president and founder Mikey Weinstein also added that the poster communicates “male supremacy triumphalism.”
This complaint was far more persuasive. Air Combat Command agreed that the gendered language of the poster was unacceptable.
Air Combat Command spokeswoman Maj. Malinda Singleton told The Virginian-Pilot that “we concluded the gendered language used in the display interfered with intended messages about personal integrity.”
“We’ve chosen to update the display with something that reflects the diverse and inclusive force we are today,” Singleton added.
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