Pink Boots and the “Boob” Card

Last night was the “big” night.  I took over as the commander for my VSO.  It should have been one of the proudest nights of my life…it wasn’t.

I did okay.  I didn’t have any real communication with the outgoing commander, so I had to plan for anything.  Mostly, I had to remind myself over and over that I didn’t get this position by drawing the short straw…I was voted into the job by my fellow VSO members.

The outgoing commander asked me if I had anyone “special” that I would like to have give me the oath.  Knowing that this has forever been the role/responsibility of the outgoing commander – I replied that I felt that he was special (damn – can I lie when I have to!) and that I would be honored to have him swear me in.  After all, it is part of his job.  Yeah – didn’t happen.  He asked the chaplain to swear me in.  He is so angry and so petty that he couldn’t and wouldn’t complete his year as commander by giving the oath.

One of the things that he has hit on behind my back is, “Do you really want a girl as Commander?”  Yup, that’s right…he played the “boob” card.  That’s what I am calling it, too.  Everyone talks about the “race” card…I want to talk about the “boob” card.

Let me be very clear…When you are in line in Basic Training and they are about to issue you your first pair of Combat Boots – they don’t have different colors for boys and different colors for girls.  All the boots are BLACK!  It is not Pink for girls and Blue for boys.

A very large part of me wants to stand up and scream, “I am an American Veteran – I have served in the forces which defend my country and our way of life – I was prepared to give my life in their defense.”  In many ways – I gave my life in her defense and I can’t regret that.  I don’t regret it.  I volunteered – nobody made me do this.  I signed those papers out of love of country and honor and respect for those who came before me.  I didn’t give a rat’s butt about any “college plan.”  I was there for the honor of it.  (don’t believe me – ask Brigid…she will tell you I am crazy and telling the truth.)  I wish with all my heart that the outcome would have been different – but I am still proud of my actions.  I am also very proud of the fact that in spite of it all – I continue to serve Veterans.

Overall – I can’t say that the night went poorly.  I think that, all things considered, it went well.  I am just so tired of being identified as a “FEMALE” Veteran – instead of just as a VETERAN.  You don’t see the guys walking about saying – see that guy over there – he is a MALE Veteran.   Nope, you never hear it, they just say Veteran.

Same thing when I was a soldier.  I was always a FEMALE soldier.  If I acted like a female – I was raked over the coals for being a female.  If I acted like the males – I was raked over the coals for being masculine.  No win.  No matter what gender I acted like, I was always sexually harrassed as a female.  If I joked with the guys and I didn’t run to someone to complain the minute that a guy made an off color joke – I was considered lude and inappropriate.  Oh, and willing to have sex…don’t forget that one.  If I made the statement to someone that I felt they had “gone too far” or if I told someone that they couldn’t back me up against a vehicle and feel me up – then I was a bitch.

So, here I find myself once again playing at a table where someone has dropped the “boob” card.  Okay – you want to play this hand – let’s play it you little bastard!  I got just one question for you….




4 Responses to “Pink Boots and the “Boob” Card”

  1. enemyinthewire Says:

    My God, Joan! Did you borrow my brain/backbone/anger for this one or what? WOW! You go girl!

    And here I thought I was the beyond direct and uncouth one here! I am proud that some of me rubbed off on you!

    I say we get pink t-shirst made, and in camouflage print have it read “HOW DOES IT FEEL TO GET BEAT BY A GIRL?” Remember when we wanted to do the Monica t-shirts?

    Love ya man!


  2. enemyinthewire Says:

    I think we should get those shirts made!

  3. bookwitchery Says:

    You are certainly an inspiration. Please keep plugging forward. I know it’s painful…but you can do it.

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