A colonel who suggested that "ugly" women should be used to convey the ideal image of a female soldier has quit her post leading a gender integration study for the Army.
Col. Lynette Arnhart had agreed to step down as the head of the Training and Doctrine Command study she was leading for the Army, Politico reports
"In order to protect the integrity of the ongoing work on gender integration in the Army, Col. Lynette Arnhart agreed to step down as the gender integration study director," Army spokesman George Wright said. "Concurrently, TRADOC suspended Col. Christian Kubik from his position as the public affairs officer pending the outcome of an investigation."
Kubik was suspended for his involvement in the email chain begun by Arnhart, Politico reports.
TRADOC is the Army's Training and Doctrine Command Analysis Center. Arnhart, who headed a team of analysts evaluating how best to integrate women into combat roles, is stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Politico reports.
In the original email
, Arnhart said, "In general, ugly women are perceived as competent while pretty women are perceived as having used their looks to get ahead."
"There is a general tendency to select nice looking women when we select a photo to go with an article (where the article does not reference a specific person). It might behoove us to select more average looking women for our comms strategy," she added.
She attached an article
which included a picture of a female soldier in make-up, saying it might make people ask "if breaking a nail is considered hazardous duty."
Arnhart said another photo of a woman soldier with mud on her face "sends a much different message — one of women willing to do the dirty work necessary in order to get the job done."
Meanwhile, Kubik had forwarded Arnhart's email to public affairs officers, adding: "A valuable reminder from the TRADOC experts who are studying gender integration — when [public affairs officers] choose photos that glamorize women … we undermine our own efforts. Please use 'real' photos that are typical, not exceptional."
The email's disclosure led critics, including some women legislators, to charge that a woman's looks should not matter, so long as she can complete the task.
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