Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Raise a Concern

Terribly confused at the moment.  This is the annoying part of trying to do an unpopular thing that you believe is right.  It reminds me of Rihanna's song 'Cheers (drink to that)' when she says people gonna talk whether you're doing bad or good.  As my father has reminded me, when you voice your opinion you must expect opposing views.  And I do expect those, but it doesn't help when people make the exact assumption you don't want them to make.  How do you stop people from jumping to conclusions?

It's a common problem, when you feel like someone is overstepping the boundaries of what is appropriate to say and what is not appropriate to say, you're caught in the middle of this awkward situation.  How can you raise your concern without offending this person?  And is offending them only going to make it worse?  And this isn't isolated to gender issues, because it's the same with any potentially non-P.C. topic nowadays whether that topic is sexual orientation, gender, race, or class.  While the song, "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist" from Avenue Q is funny and makes light of the subtle prejudices we tend to hold even if not spoken out loud, there comes many a point and time where you feel awkward around people you consider friends as they flirt dangerously with the edge of a topic in a way that makes you uncomfortable.

The right thing to do can leave you feeling strangely lonely.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MOOTW - Why Modular Units Excite Me

In the Army the overhaul of the organization of units from the old style of armies and divisions is exciting because it acknowledges the assymmetrical nature of modern warfare.  In fact the Army is seems to be constantly engaged in MOOTW:  often small-conflict and sustainment operations.  I just learned today how the Army is moving away from labeling the Front Line and instead referring to a 'Non-Contiguous Battlefield'.  The fact that support and maneuver units are more closely resembling each other in risk is also indicative of the whole Army approaching the moment when gender barriers can be lowered and eventually -hopefully - dropped.  On top of being the absolute right thing to do, the new structure is part of improving the entire organization.  Loosening the restrictions on what positions women may have serves to expand our society's ideas of gender roles in a way which allows both male and female employees to be more productive.  Diverse organizations are more successful organizations.  Success is more and more dependent on drive and innovation than gender.

Second, I was not the only little girl who loved G.I. Jane.  I am not the only motivated young woman in the Army.  And I'm certainly not the most qualified when I think of the high-speed I know who have been to SAPPER or who express an interest in EOD.  The problem is it really takes the wind out of your sails if you know you don't have to try as hard because you aren't allowed to pursue all the different avenues of advancement in the Army.  And on top of that, RANGER school is a Leadership School.  A leadership school, and why do guys go?  Is it because it's an all-male environment?  Is it because men love that sort of thing?  No, it's because they want the challenge.  Well, some women want that challenge too.  A friend told me that people are afraid standards will drop because of false charges of sexism.  They should be afraid at all times that standards will drop for all sorts of reasons, whether based on gender or the national level of fitness.  Obesity is a real and rising problem in the United States, but you can change your level of fitness through training.  You can't change your gender no matter how many pushups you do.