tovasshi (tovasshi) wrote in womenwarriors,
tovasshi
tovasshi
womenwarriors

:/

Every job I've had I had the feeling that no one really took me seriously. This job is no different.

I'm on course. I'm the only girl on my course. There are 4 girls on the entire program right now, a new course is coming in tomorrow, so maybe the number will go up. There are about 8 courses I think of about 8 to 16 people. So you can imagine I am outnumbered quite a bit. I am constantly made to feel by other course mates that I am a moron. That my accomplishments amount to nothing. That my input is useless. Only two people ask for guidance, two other will ask if I am near by. Everyone else would rather fail the program than to ask me for help.

I get dirty looks from my course mates when I walk by. They whisper about me behind my back. They spread rumors about me. If I get one question wrong, it is amplified and someone feels the need to make a smart ass comments about my fuck up.

I was assaulted in basic, I was made to feel like shit for even reporting it by a female staff member. Reporting it and going through the process was made to be extremely uncomfortable. She didn't want to do her job. I had to request another staff member, luckily things got moving properly.

I suffered a uterus infection while out in the field during basic. I was accused of faking it. I was accused of making it up just to get out of doing work. You can't fake an ultra sound, you can't fake blood work, you can't fake half your stomach sticking out 2 inches on one side. I was yelled at for crying due to how much pain I was in. They tried having me charged for self mutilation. Yet they gave all the sympathy in the world to the guy on my platoon who had a penis infection when it only hurt when he peed.

I try talking to my female school mates as a way to relate, I am often greeted with either the "Well, I am a x year old lesbian, you have no idea what discrimination/harassment is like." or "You are in the military now, suck it up, you are the reason no one likes women here." I have found only a few female friends here and there who understand and know exactly where I am coming from.

I tried talking to my staff just to inform her of what was going on. She was livid. I told her I didn't want her to say anything. She addressed the course, and used my name. They were all already against me, now its just going to get worse.

I have the second highest grade in the class, I have a 92% average so far in the highest academic NCM program in the military (as I am told), I have a 4cm grouping when I shoot, my uniform is always perfect, I can outrun quite a few guys on my course, I can do more push-ups than quite a few guys on my course.

I can't keep up with the fastest man in my course, because I am a woman. I don't have the highest grade, because I am a woman. I can't do the most push-ups because I am woman. If I make any mistakes, it's because I'm a woman. If I do well, it's because I'm fucking someone. If I get an award, it's because I'm a woman.

But it's the only job I've had that I haven't gotten fired for turning my boss down for a date or for reporting someone for grabbing my ass.
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I'm sorry, that sounds really miserable. I'm in a course now and I know one of the reasons I'm fairly happy is because there are a lot of women (relative to the branch and the army), and therefore whenever I do anything, I'm not judged as a woman. Some of the women suck, are at the bottom of the (easy) class, and I'm towards the top, and it helps.

I don't think you're going to find much of a way to get women who haven't already supported you to do so. Is there any way you can make some guy friends to kind of buffer what's going on? Study with them, talk sports with them, let them know you have the same goals as them? Or are they all competitive sexist assholes? Because maybe that would help you find some support. All I can say for now is that maintaining a very positive and cheerful public exterior and exduing positive energy is something you should do. It may be exhausting, but it's probably the best way to silence people who are trying to drag you down. I went to someone about harassment as a cadet, and it got out, and I was silenced for weeks in the field, so I know you're probably not going to be happy about what's coming, but just try and put on a really good face and maybe that will mitigate it.
Sounds ALOT like my experiences on army courses! The better you do the worse it is. I got through it by speaking with a counsellor.

When I was on course we had 10 women for about 200 guys.

The strangest part is that a few years after the course my instructors have nothing but praise for my time there. I thought I was hopeless but apparently they had pegged me as one of the best students! Even though I felt that I had no team cohesion with my coursemates, and thus no teamwork/soldierly skills...

Sometimes situations seem worse than they are because of the situation. THAT doesn't make sense but I can't explain it better.. basically because in the army everything is disproportionate - like as a civilian you wouldn't be having to deal with those same people 24/7 and there would be other people to speak to who are unbiased.

Anyways, all I can suggest is you stay true to yourself. Don't listen to the naysayers, ignore the assholes and just pay attention to people who are nice to you. People who are horrid are only horrid because you make them feel small (through no fault of your own).

Remember you goal and that the course is only a small part of your time in the army, let alone your life. Good luck!
I agree with the above two posts.

It sucks, but you will survive. And you are not alone.
Some people just don't adjust to the military. I'm not being harsh, but realistic (since I'm an 8-year veteran who COULD use any number of excuses, but never has). If you don't fit, you're not going to start now. Perhaps it's time to think of a new career. Again, I'm not being harsh - but if you go to war, who's got your back?
I have been at CFSATE for several years now and have seen this happen alot. Although the military is trying very hard to abolish this kind of "attitude" there will always be peeps that go through the cracks to "better harrass" others.