Apparently, there is a program called “Divas in Boots”. This program is:
The program had a worthy goal [Worthy to who?], to connect female soldiers on the post — and it featured two high-powered female flag officers who talked about balancing work and life in a male-dominated Army…
“Talking about sports bras, make-up brushes and couponing is a conversation that needs to be left outside of work, with a battle buddy or someone,” one female soldier commented. [Ed: In all fairness, make-up was apparently not actually mentioned in the session, but this soldier chick is right on.] “If we’re going to have classes like these then make them more specific to the regulations and standards that we have to uphold.”
But on the post, nearly 90 percent of the feedback has been positive, according to Col. Dianne Pannes, the military lead [Ed: On the Post? The Whole Post? ]. Pannes defended the addition of vendors, who had asked to participate in the event, and the classes (including couponing), as a way to spark connections between soldiers…
Fewer than 10 percent of soldiers on the post are women, said Pannes, who leads the dental activity at Stewart. Post commander Maj. Gen. John Murray requested the program to combat isolation and encourage the expansion of female soldiers’ networks….
Female mentorship initiatives have been springing up at Army posts, and are considered an installation commander’s program, said an Army spokesman at the Pentagon. They are not part of an Army-wide effort. Such groups have been reported at Fort Jackson, S.C.; Fort Shafter, Hawaii; Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., and Fort Bragg, N.C.”
First, if someone can please point out an equivalent, male-only program at any army installation, I’d be appreciative. A program targeted at males for being males. And for Male Networking. Maybe male interests, too.
Next, I’d like to point out that this is considered an “Installation Commander’s Program.” I couldn’t find an official definition of what a “Commander’s Program” is but I will bet you a wooden nickel that it means official sanction and probably funding, and probably time — so that these women can do this during duty hours. And classes, and couponing? Really? Even women in the Army can’t find it in themselves to defy Society and create their own gender norms? Or are they just being ironic, and couponing in the line of duty as a way of ironically disregarding the testosterone heavy environment?
So what we have here is an exclusive networking opportunity for women. Does it contribute to military effectiveness? Doubtful. Does it contribute to the stated feminist goal in getting women into every nook and cranny of the army to enhance female career advancement? Probably. Therefore, heck yeah! Let’s do it! ”Sorry sir, the mission has to wait, I have to go to
women’s couponing Divas in Boots!”
Sidebar: Who but a woman would think of a group name like “Divas in Boots”? It’s in the same style of thinking that dresses as “Slutty XXXXX” for Halloween, or thinks being sassy is actually a good thing, or… or, hell, to the chase, it’s solipsistic attention-whoring. “oh yeah! We’re divas! In Boots!”
Work-life balance is a fiction cooked up by post-workforce-entry women to escape the cognitive dissonance incurred after finding out that getting into the workplace sucks, and once in it, it’s very hard to get out of it to do what you want, and work is hard. Work-life balance in the Army is a ridiculous concept, because the Army does all the balancing for you. 2 weeks around Christmas every year, no problem — want to drive 51 (or whatever n+1 radius allowed) miles outside of post this weekend? Nope, no can do, you have to go through 3 levels of non-inclined officers to do that. But you can sure as hell wake up at 3 AM on Saturday to come into a full company or battalion formation because one guy 2 platoons down got a DUI. This obviously is less than ideal when you are the mother of small children.
So women have, after clamoring to get into the Army, and into combat arms, found out that it sucks and decided that they want exit hatches like work-life balance programs and allowances for pregnancies (which contribute to ridiculous levels of vacancies even among non-deployed units, and displace slots from men who would otherwise, y’know, do the jobs in the meantime), which is what they find out they want to do after getting their hooah merit badge, while maintaining “career” options.
Thus, female mentorship programs. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the post commander asked for this–women are perfectly able to find companionship without a during-hours, highly-visible program, particularly since women are asymmetrically distributed in military units to the non-combat arms (for example, medics), so that the “10% on post” figure is highly misleading — that’s like saying that only 13% of America is black, and therefore we need “black networking events”, but leaving out that there are places with the demographics of Detroit.
Don’t be surprised if this turns mandatory (or OVUM). It’s telling that the one gal quoted above called these meetings “classes.” “Classes” aren’t voluntary, and they aren’t fun — in the military, they’re usually training or indoctrination.
Anyway. I haven’t read the comments on the original facebook page. I am sure that they deal with many more call-outs. I just look at this and another symptom of envy, another step towards pussifying the military and away from its original intent and aim and purpose of winning wars.
It’s a small step, but one that signifies where the priorities and mindset of the leadership lies: sensitivity-based promotions.