“Trading everything that is sparkly and girly to dark and boring uniform is not easy.”
Today I am featuring a guest post from Jane. I found it very interesting and inspiring to read about her experiences as a woman in the traditionally male-dominated field of the military. I hope you enjoy it too!
In general, men dominate the military. It is the most structured organization I have ever known and most of its leaders are men in their uniforms. But behind this hasty generalization is the equal participation of women in the military.
I am from a military school which opened its gates for female cadets in the late 1990s. As expected, there is so much resistance from the male population. Arguments like ‘they are not for the military’, ‘they will lower down the standards’ are all but normal. Fortunately, the armed forces matured over time. Female officers and enlisted personnel are now accepted as co-equals of their male
But what has my military experience taught me so far?
Before I entered the service, I am an ordinary teeny bopper who loves adventure and fun. I was raised in a family who sheltered me from childhood to teenage years. Trading everything that is sparkly and girly to dark and boring uniform is not easy. I had my share of down times and I am proud of those because I know I am a better person because of them.
In the military, we work with people from all over the country. We came from different ethnicities but we managed to get along easy. Men dominate the organization thus they usually have the higher ground. They are our bosses. Our peers. Our subordinates. But again, gender is not an issue. Having been in the armed forces for quite some time, I have learned to deal with men as if they are not my competition but my allies. Working with men made me aware of my strengths and weaknesses.
There really is no point of comparison. I am military woman and I admit that there are things which I couldn’t do and I know for sure that men are not supermen. Like me, they too have their share of fortes and failings.
Work is demanding and I have to cope with that. Everybody has to. The military helped me to know myself better and be the best person I could ever be.
So, am I happy?
Yes, I am happy to be part of the armed forces. I am not trading it for anything. The chance of serving the country is not given to everybody and most especially not to all women. At the end of the day, I know I can meet the expectation laid before me. I know that the organization is still a working process. The acceptance of women is just part of that evolution and a brighter future waits because of the
presence of women in the military.