"We Join to be Challenged, We Don't Join to be Victims": Mapping Experiences of Women in the U.S. Military.
Goldstein, Andrea N.
- Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Abstract: Military servicewomen live with coexisting identities that are dissonant with conventional gender roles. There are nearly two million women veterans in the United States, comprising the fastest growing population of veterans in the nation. Women are promised at ... read moreenlistment or commissioning that there is a place for them in the brotherhood, only to find that women are constant outsiders. Servicewomen are isolated, and misunderstood by both the institution in which they serve, and by the society they are sworn to protect. It is why, 70% of the two million living American women who served in the military do not self-identify as veterans. Combining perspective written by woman veteran and social science researcher, this Capstone captures the voices of hundreds of women veterans who feel invisible and misunderstood. Three key milestones of women’s military service communicate that women are constant outsiders: boot camp, a mid-career institutional betrayal, and experiences after separation that reinforce previous experiences of “otherness”. This paper combines feminist theory, empirical data, policy recommendations, and also poses questions about how academic research can help servicewomen and women veterans find their own voices to understand and contextualize their experiences.read less