Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Swedish Military Bra Crisis

Well, that headline perked you up, didn't it? Yes the Swedish military has a bra crisis, if you can call something that's been a problem for thirty years a crisis. Sweden, which has the largest active military in Scandinavia, began accepting women into its armed forces in 1980, and fairer sex now make up between 4 and 5 percent of the country's military.

Swedish men are provide with military grade underwear, but the women have always been forced to fend for themselves."The women have had to buy sports bras instead. But they are not tested for combat situations nor for fire safety, and they are not functional. They unhook too easily," said spokesman Paulina Rehbinder of the Council of Conscripts, an organization that doesn't even have a Wikipedia article.

While unhooking too easily may not seem like a problem to the men in the audience, if you're out on the trail carrying your gear and your bra comes undone you have to unload everything, fix the problem and load up again, a non-trivial problem if you happen to be under fire.

And because they aren't treated for fire safety they can melt onto the soldier's skin. (And that mental image just takes all the fun out of writing this article.)

The good news for the 1000 female recruits due to come in during the next 12 months, the military is now testing out a military brassiere and expect it to be available in the next year or so.

Honestly guys, how many of you are thinking about volunteering to perform the all-important how-easy-is-it-to-unhook test?

Wait! Before you label me entirely misogynistic, let me also point you to this article on sexual harassment in Sweden which (I'm not kidding) right now is listed on the front page of The Local website along with the bra article. Talk about your mixed Swedish massages messages.

The Local (photo)


  1. The US military also doesn't provide military-grade underwear to our female troops. Women are also forced to fend for themselves, so to say, here.

  2. Anyone who has ever served in the armed forces knows that any piece of personal equipment that is classified as "military grade" means that little consideration is given to the comfort of the individual soldier, sailor, or marine who uses it.

    That said, it doesn't surprise me all that much that women must find their own solutions with respect to undergarments. While it goes without saying that humans come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, men have pretty basic and straightforward needs when it comes to clothing, while woman are more varied, and thus harder to fit for certain pieces of equipment (...I'm not trying to sound sexist here; just stating a fact).

    Frankly, I'm surprised you didn't mention body armor in your post considering that, as more and more women serve in the world's armed forces, it becomes more and more challenging to fit them properly for this increasingly essential piece of gear. Since each vest must be custom fitted in order for maximum effectiveness, women either cannot wear standard brassieres because they're too uncomfortable, or must purchase expensive special purpose models designed for long-term use by the law-enforcement community.

  3. true, but lawl, bras unhook easily? hmmmm. never experienced that yet...xD.. well afaik sports bras are already the best when it comes to types of brassier women wear in extreme conditions. and afaik, bras only unhook that easy if the one she wears is bigger than her size...never thought that bras were problem.

  4. I'll give you recommend a sports bra, although it is a new brand, but regardless of quality, style, or the support of all good, but with a zipper front sports bra, easy to wear off, bright colors and this is yvette sports bra .