9 March 2014 – Stealing Moments
I stole this moment while on Safari
Have you ever met someone and wondered what planets or stars had to align to allow your paths to cross?
Did you ever meet a person who you instinctively decided that it might be a good idea to keep your distance from in the interest of self-preservation?
Were you ever in a situation where a person, with a word, phrase or action, cut you down and made you feel that something you have accomplished is insignificant?
I have, I did, and I was.
The long awaited article that was published was a great article…not just because it celebrated a milestone in women’s achievements in the military, but because it was just damn great that I finally got to tell my story…something that many women have very few opportunities to do. I felt privileged that I could speak out about a career that at times I love and other times I wish was over. As with any interview, the question were pointed and geared so that they conformed to the overall theme…the celebration of International Women’s Day.
But it’s sad that I sit here today and write this because there is still a long road ahead for women to be respected…and this writing isn’t necessarily the posture of the majority of the military, but more from the minority…those that are still in “the ol boys club” or at least perceive themselves to be.
Until they are gone, until the next generation takes over, until women reach that level of equality (which this person claims can never happen because physically we aren’t equal) , the articles are meaningless. Why are they meaningless? Because the “Ol Boys Club” make them meaningless…the conversation last night after dinner saddens me, because it woke me up to the fact that, although there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve certain ends, some people will never be able to celebrate the fact that a long road has been travelled to get where we are today and that there’s nothing wrong in celebrating that milestone.
The article was referred to as a “feel good” piece which didn’t portray that there are still widespread issues in the military with women filling the boots….but that wasn’t the point of the article. Celebrating these milestone’s is what International Women’s Day is all about! And we can never know how far we’ve come unless these articles, with individual stories, are put out there. So the author, a woman, was essentially seen as a writer of “fluff” by that statement. The wonderful photographs that accompanied the article were downplayed because the comment was that she should have been in the pictures too. So, in one fell swoop, the female author, the female interviewee, the female photographer…all cut down.
Later in the conversation this same person went on to describe how they find it difficult to work with women who are attractive because it distracts them from being able to connect with them on an academic and intellectual basis??? REALLY??? Dear god! This person also made the general statement that women are the same with men, to which I replied it’s a good thing I’m more of a man than a woman! I was really trying to get past this uncomfortable conversation…but it’s scary that this is how some people think…at least to me it is.
This isn’t the first time I’ve come across this, nor is this person the only one that has these issues..of this I am sure because I have it heard it from other women I have worked with over the years. So yes, we do have a long way to go…this person proved it! But the changes aren’t going to come through women doing any more or less than they have been..it’s going to come when men decide that they are ready to move to the next phase of integration….in defence of the males, there are a LOT who are already there..this is not meant to be a men bashing blog..not in the least. But those men need to speak up more to other men with this mentality…stop the locker room talk, defend the positions of the females that work for them (if it’s possible…there are still a lot of women out there that I would have a hard time defending) and look at each individual as just that…an individual..someone filling the boots.
So, with a few phrases, a couple of words, and some more pointed comments throughout the evening, my moment was stolen…and you can’t get those moments back.
I wonder if I have ever inadvertently done this..stolen someone’s moments…if I have, I would like to take this opportunity to give them back and apologize for it. They weren’t mine to take in the first place.
That’s it for today
soldiermomma signing off