Saturday, April 11, 2015

Sexism: is it still prevelant in the USA?

This is a topic that has been beaten over heads of men and women everywhere. Chants of equal pay, equal opportunities, working woman have been echoed for decades now. The idea of how women were treated years ago, is now socially appalling.
                                              Like this for example. It gives me a headache to look at this.

It was normal for men to be in charge, and for women to have a house as a domain. Then demands of the independent woman began cropping up and we started seeing the working woman.
                                              This began an inspiring idea of the working woman!

And thus, social norms were changing. Women began to go to schools much more often and working became normal. There were still stretches and struggles, but overall, the woman life became much more equal to men.

Fast forward to now.

Stay at home dads are becoming much more common. A full time breadwinning wife and a full time worker is becoming much more common. You see men and women on near equal grounds. I can attest for that. As a working wife in the Marine Corps and a stay at home husband, it's normal and good for our relationship. He wants to be in charge of the home, wants to raise the kids, and wants to enjoy projects and not have a boss pressure the crap out of him. I want to work long hours, leave, come back, and I enjoy pressure from deadlines.
Look at that! It's happening more!
I've actually noticed that men are starting to have a hard time. With all the pressure to make women equal, now men are starting to decline. They are still expected to work full time and "provide" when they want to stay at home. They are pressured to be "tough" and only get what they're given, with now less opportunities than women. Or you see in media and television that men are incapable of raising children and can't handle simple menial tasks. It actually bothers me. My husband is the one staying at home with our future child, right? So we plan on formula feeding and he makes the decision on whether our son is circumcised and the sexual health of our child (because he has the parts and knows, I do not). While on convalescent leave, I'm going to mix breastfeeding and formula just so we can get some good antibodies and wean our kid to formula when I go back to work full time. We have a plan. And I've been told by people that I'm lazy and neglectful for letting my husband make these decisions, when I should be anti-circumcision and anti-formula. I'm pretty sure he's the stay at home parent with the male parts to make calls and he and I discussed these topics. So being told that he shouldn't have a say is offensive. It IS offensive and I always have to defend him. But WHY? Why should he have to defend himself when we have equal opportunity in our marriage?

This is happening to men everywhere. So much social pressure to be a certain way when the women culture gets a lot of opportunities. I'm not saying women in the WORLD are equal. Some women are killed in countries for being raped. Yes, because they're raped, they get killed. Because they drove the man to commit the act. Somehow. No, no, no. I'm talking in the United States. And yes, you can go on about the woman in the back country. Or the woman that still lives in an extreme conservative household. I'm talking about as a whole. I'm for equal opportunity, but I want it on both sides, not on just one side of the spectrum. If we continually make up for what has happened in the past, we can never look forward with a clear mind. And I believe that wholeheartedly. My husband has dropped everything to follow me and my career choice. I would do the same for him. It should be seen like that.

Now onto the point that has really been an unequal stance. Sexism in the military.

I work in the joint. I'm an active duty member of the Marine Corps. I went through bootcamp, went through Combat Training (for the non-combat MOS), and did my thing at MOS school. I'm now at my duty station. And yes, I am a bandsman (sue me, I love my job, and I love giving support to my fellow members and to civilians). I auditioned, and did my thing.

I know people in the picture. Oh, and I'm in this band. Just not in the picture or in this performance. Because I wasn't in that band yet.

I never personally have shown any interest of being infantry, although if I were called to be deployed (yes they deploy bandsman in time of need), I wouldn't protest. It's what I've signed up for. Seeing opportunities for women to take place in a study to see if they could be in infantry has been a great thing for me to see. It's to see if they could change the MOS in the future to equal sexes versus just males. They didn't lower the standards for the females: they had to pass male PFTs to take part in the course. They had to keep up with the same loads. But only a few wanted to try and a few passed (it didn't even give them credentials, it was only a study). But the great part was, a group of women passed! Not just ones and twos! Great!

I was excited. Because I love equal opportunity for men and women. And this was a step!

Unfortunately, women in officer training course, wasn't so successful, but so few tried! Only 29 women tried. OUT OF 13580 active duty (and many weren't even eligible because they're enlisted)! That's .21% of the entire female population of the Marine Corps. It was a shame, and it closed out before any got to graduation day.

I was disappointed, but I didn't take it too seriously. I knew that there just needed to be a different time and more training on the woman's part before it could be done again.

But I started to notice something that REALLY bothered me. Men everywhere making comments about how weak women are. How women should've never left the kitchen. How women can't do anything anyway so why are they in the military. Some are trolling, because they're bored. But I realized that SOME MEN in the military actually think this way. They think women are a waste of space even after they do the same training. But then they make excuses why it's not the same, even as they're raising the bar for women in fitness tests. It's still not enough. I know plenty of women who ignored the female PFT standards and looked at the male PFT standards. They would get perfect female standards and say, "that's not the real standard. I want to get the 300 male PFT." And it's how I think! It's how we all should think, right? I want to get to that point. I want to be the best. I mean why not? But there is so many discouraging comments from the male side of the community. Sure, there are great men and supporters of us women. Some even think it's badass of us to work that hard. Woo! But it's still pretty skewed for some people in the military. They honestly see women as nurses and secretaries. It makes me wonder how I convinced myself that women aren't struggling anymore.

Honestly, I do think I'm in one of the few male dominated fields. 7% of the Marine Corps is women. Seven. Percent.
   This is what 7% looks like. This is female population compared to male population in the Marines. Not a lot of people can grasp just how few this is. Army's is 15.7%. Navy is 18%. Air Force is 19%. Coast Guard is 15%. But the Marine Corps, even in it's smaller state still has smaller percentages. Many would say, "it's a man's job!" And it was....decades ago. Now, women are training with equal grounds and we still are a small amount of the Marines. I agree that there are mainly males in these fields. And many orders have been written to make things equal. Hell, the fact they were seeing how women would do in infantry courses made me happy! It means they're trying. It may not be time yet, to open up the MOS to women, but it's because we need more training. It is physically taxing on a woman, so they need to prep harder. You can't expect a 3rd class male to pass it, why is a woman any different? They need to be in pristine condition. I can't expect to get a 1st class without training. Same with a male.
The military is a different lifestyle. A lot less grey, a lot more black and white. It's straight to the point. I love it. It's in my personality. I'm full of grey, but I like how decisions are made.

I was just saddened to see this. I just hope it progresses. Equal opportunity.

I only realized there is still more work to be done. For men on the civilian side and for women on the military side. I don't want standards lowered and women to be babied. Just like I don't expect all men to stop working and ignore their careers or their desires.

All I want is equal opportunity for all without the oppression to our decisions. Stop making gender role labels. Stop seeing women as weaker and men as dumber. I'm tired of it. I'm ready for real progress in the gender roles when we don't have to think twice about it anymore. It's going to take some work, but I'm ready to jump in and make this world a better place by doing what I do best.

Working, supporting my husband in what he wants, and doing what's best for my family, my wellbeing, and his. If that means I'm an active duty Marine and he's a stay at home dad, then we are killing it! I just hope people can learn from example and someday it will truly be equal.

This is a picture of my handsome husband I and I almost a year ago. Aren't we cute?? :)


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