This interview just keeps getting better. After a thoroughly disheartening week of continuing to look for work, I am immensely inspired to keep plugging away at the job application process.
(Also, hi! Sorry for radio silence. You’d think with all this free time I’d remember to update my blog once in a blue moon.)
Article: Mitchelene BigMan: Native American woman warrior (Samara Freemark via Public Insight Netw0rk)
A three-part documentary from Vice News about female fighters of Kurdistan: Female Fighters of Kurdistan
“Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, found guilty by a military jury on Friday of 28 charges, was ordered to be reduced to lowest rank in the Air Force, to forfeit all pay and allowances, and given a dishonorable discharge. He will also have to register as a sex offender.”
Sexual harassment and gender discrimination remain volatile issues in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is sobering that it is more likely for a woman in the military to be raped than killed by enemy fire in Iraq. From Feministe: “Also reported is the ugly truth that of 2,280 cases where victims provided full accounts and evidence, only 317 cases were referred for courts-martial and 247 were referred for nonjudicial punishment.”
It should not be remarkable that Walker was found guilty by a military jury. For more about sexual abuse in the Armed Forces, here is a link to a 2009 blog from Feministe about rape statistics in the military.
Article: U.S. Air Force staff sergeant gets 20 years for rape, sex assault (Reuters)
“‘Whenever you have a culture in which it’s accepted that sexual activity as has been described is part of that culture — i.e. using local prostitutes — that is not going to be a culture in which women are going to be want to be in,’ said Milgram, who has advised law enforcement agencies on recruiting and retaining women. ‘Those are generally not cultures that want to have women.'”
Would the active recruitment of women to the Secret Service make the Secret Service less sexist, or would a less sexist Secret Service attract more women? While I think this article is blatantly capitalizing on scandal to make a point about Secret Service recruiting tactics, it’s also missing a critical component to changing organizational culture, particularly security organizations, which have remained largely immune to social change, and apparently, still retain a number of agents who believe women are unwilling to live the jet-set life outlined in this article, making them utterly incapable of adapting to the Service’s organizational culture — which, after reading this article, makes me think this culture is more an enclave, and agents utterly ignorant to the growing numbers of women entering the security field.
Recruiting strategies may have changed since the 1970s, but getting women into the organization is only half the battle. Keeping them is the real struggle, and unfortunately, this article falls short in detailing how mentorship and specialization can and should be used to counteract pervasive sexism in organizations reticent to admit to their entrenched “boys club” attitude.
Article: Secret Service prostitute scandal highlights lack of women in agency (U.S. News – MSNBC)