SCHNEIDER – SCHNEIDER : Sound off! (fülszöveg)
The 220,000 women in the services make up 11 percent of the United States Armed Forces; 1.2 million women veterans have preceded them. How do women function in the traditionally male world of the American military, and how do they change it? While women's numbers and their expertise are now indispensable, other challenging questions remain, ranging from combat eligibility and coping with sexual harassment to whether to issue a maternity battle-dress uniform.
To find out what it is like to be a member of the female minority whose military careers are shaping the answers to these questions, in 1984 and 1985 Dorothy and Carl J. Schneider interviewed more than 300 women from all five branches of the military. Here the women talk about their experiences and offer their forthright and diverse opinions:
About being women in a man's world: "You walk in the door, and they go, 'Oh shit. Another goddamn female.'" "I work together with my platoon. They know what I'm thinking sometimes. They know what I want when I don't even say it. I almost feel like I'm married to them." "Some of my best friends have been male."
About their careers: "I operate the 140-ton crane. It's pretty easy. I thought it would be hard, the way they kept fighting for us [women] not to operate 'em." "My mother worked at a company for twenty-three years. I was making more than her in the military after five." "There's a lot of women that feel cheated. They've given their life just like the men to the service, but they are isolated from certain duties."
About having families: "A lot of men can't handle their wives' being the only female in the platoon." "It makes me mad that men think they can have families and kids but women can't if they're in the service. So that's something they're going to have to get over." "I've got pictures in my daughter's album of Mommy making Sailor of the Year while pregnant with her."
About women in combat: "Do you think I'm stupid? Do you think I want to get my butt shot off?" "What happens if I'm sitting on alert in Europe somewhere and something really happens? Does that mean that . . . the engineer can't go? Or do they just sneak me in and don't tell anybody that the engineer is a female?" "I consider myself in combat every day, 'cause I go up against guys who don't want me there, who don't like me being there, and sometimes that's just as nerve-racking as having the enemy shoot at you. Sometimes I'm not sure who the enemy is. He's probably right there next to me."
The authors weave such reports and observations into a candid description of the personal and professional lives of the women in the American military; an investigation of the problems they confront; and a discussion of the questions of public policy raised by their presence. This unique oral history vividly personalizes the women-in-combat issue confronting the American people, serves as an insider's guide to military career opportunities for women, and constitutes an important document of women's changing roles in a changing society.