I recently read an article that spoke on the behaviors of others that women veterans experience when encountering men and women after the women veterans have served. The writer speaks about how the military, as well as society, see women as an inconvenience, everybody have to make provisions for women as opposed to the male counterpart- the men can tough it out, apparently they believe women can’t, we need additional amenities. The author furthers insist that the military urges women to view themselves on the same playing field as men if they desire to succeed-apparently there is an unwritten rule that mens levels are not the same of women. Further women are to show strength, confidence and expected to be judged on our merit- I’m assuming there are people who believe that women don’t come prepackaged with these things and we need to develop them. Other areas the author spoke about were ares pertaining to uniform conformity and lack of recognition during achievements and promotions- in the military women are to wear the pants to look like the men yet our dress uniforms are issued with skirts as well; we never wear them, we are to look as one, like men. In this case of promotions, women won’t typically get a deserved promotion simply because of being a woman.
However the area that intrigued me the most were the idea that others perceive women to not have direct military ties but to have merely earned their affiliation through others and the authors perspective on female veterans lack of connection with civilian women.
During my time of being active duty, I’ve had experiences of calling the military doctors appointment line and instead of simply asking for a sponsors social security number, the receptionist would ask “whats your husband social security number.” I recall a time I stated “I can give you he’s but it’s not gonna do you any good. My husband is a civilian I am the service member.”
*Side note, in the military environment, when you make any sort of appointment, the social needed. Its equivalent to an insurance card number in the civilian sector. No appointment can be made until its clear the sponsor (service member) is indeed a service member. *
I personally believe women veterans have had issues that were more extreme in comparison to male soldiers. Its sad but I’ve even had male soldiers to say they wouldn’t hold a door for me as we were going through a door simply because, I was a Soldier just as him. SO I ask, “would you want someone to treat your wife, mother or sister that way”. He replied “they weren’t soldiers”. My reply “WE were girls and women before we became soldiers. No matter what I do in life I will always have more experience with being a woman then a soldiers.” He walked off.
The other issues that I agreed with the author was regarding our engagements frcivilian women. In my personal experiences, I’ve noticed it but never really felt that it was a battle to fight. I feel that we as veterans, once Soldiers, and happen to be women, are seen by everyone as having strength. The author implies that only male soldiers act in this fashion and we as females have to show this as well, AS IF WE AREN’T ALREADY WORTHY OF HAVING STRENGHT. Women that have served, are strong. It shows a lot about the type of women we are when we raise our right hand. This strength definitely is evident to ALL women, even the ones that have served.
We as veteran women are almost like a different breed. Men that we meet either like our strength or not. Non-veteran women will either like our strength or not. It’s a double edge sword, however I believe it gives us a “one-up”. We aren’t looked at as “ones to play with”. People will know we are “fierce, dominating, a leader, and very tenacious. We are viewed as “Go-Getters”.
In any environment rather it to be military, corporate America, political or hustling in the streets, people will always see ALL women from the perspective of lacking… having to prove what we are capable of doing in the field. Yes, I agree veteran women are viewed and JUDGED from the gate, but nevertheless we have to prove what we are capable of, just as ALL women. We having the unique ability to adjust to any situation. We are leaders, capable of leading ALL regardless of gender or rank. For us veteran women, no amenities are needed. But if you want to make them, go right ahead. We don’t believe chivalry is dead. We simply make “lemons out of lemonade” BING
However, we are viewed as the epitome of STRENGHT.
I’ll take that judgement.
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