Linda Maye Adams

Soldier, Storyteller

Where are the Voices of the women Veterans?


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One of the reasons I do this blog is because the women in the military often don’t really have much of a voice. In fact, for the most part, they largely get ignored as the camera focus is put on the male solder.

How many of you have seen a picture of an old man with the shadow of a soldier in the background? Has anyone seen a picture of a woman like this?

How many of you have seen a picture of a male soldier kneeling down to pet a kitten? I’d really like to see one of a woman soldier with a kitten, but I’ve never run across one.

At a science fiction convention, panelist Janine Spendlove, who is a Marine, related a conversation she had with one of her fellow officers.  She told him that he would always be known as a Marine, but she would always only be known as a female Marine.  The same is true for the army.  The men are the soldiers, and the women are the female soldiers.

I’ve tried finding photos of women soldiers for this blog, and it’s hard work finding any at all. What I do find is usually not something interesting or exciting. The Army seems to gravitate straight to the male soldiers.

It’s like there’s a default, and it’s to the guy. I see this in writing, too. A writer will write a novel and have a cast of over 100 characters, and maybe one or two will be a woman (Clive Cussler, I’m talking to you). I read Redeployment which was a series of short stories about the Iraq War. There were girlfriends of the male soldiers, but no female soldiers whatsoever.

So you’re getting the stories that no one else tells.

Next up will be “Washing clothes in Desert Storm” so tune in, same military channel, same military time tomorrow.

6 Comments

  1. If you aren’t limiting yourself to just the US, there are lots of pictures of Israeli women soldiers, who make up a fairly large portion of the IDF.

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    • But it’s kind of bad when your own military service doesn’t — especially after all the bad press they’ve gotten on how they work with women.

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  2. Kudos.

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  3. Lisa Love

    You’re absolutely correct! You don’t see many women in meaningful photos. I personally was offended (and I don’t offend easily!) in (Navy) bootcamp by my company commander announcing he just knew most of us enlisted in order to find a man. WTF????

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