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Well, Nothing's Changed Apparently


Though publicity about sexual misconduct in the war zone has focused on
rape, female soldiers said unwelcome advances, demeaning comments - and a
feeling that being alone around male comrades in arms meant being unsafe -
were far greater concerns.

"I think every female (soldier in Iraq) has been sexually harassed," said
Sgt. Yolanda Medina of Long Beach, who is doing her second tour there with
the California National Guard's 2668th Transportation Company.

When I was got to my first duty station in 1971, a brand new butter bar
Lieutenant, there was one Lt Colonel who would come in, sneak up behind me,
and grab me by the breasts. He'd fondle and squeeze them and everyone
thought it was just a hoot. Why didn't I report it? Because my boss
laughed every time it happened. The only way I stopped it was to recuit the
secretary (the only other woman in the building) as my early warning system
so I could make myself scarce when he came into the building.


God! That is horrible. I do feel for you and am so sorry you had to go through that.

Just to share ...

When I got my two-year engineering degree, I was one of only four women in the class. I could not get interviews to save my life even though my grades were higher then some of the "men" I went to school with. When I finally got my dream job at IBM testing mid-range computer systems, I was the ONLY woman on the test floor across all three shifts. I was met with such hostility. I actually had grown men tell me that I was taking their jobs and should be married and home raising a family. I cannot tell you how many times I would go home crying - but never letting them see it.

One night, though, I got to change the tables ...

There was a rather well-endowed young lady who would go home each night when we would go to get coffee. The guys I worked with had her SO paranoid that she would hug her arms around her chest when she walked past. I had a comment to make about it and was told that "it does not hurt. We are only looking."

In the mornings there was this engineer that always walked past the test floor and - damn! - he was abso-bloody-lutely gorgeous! He had the body of a dancer and was tall and had dark hair and wore suits that must have cost a fortune to tailor that way. Oh yeah ... I panted and drooled after him. So one morning I decided to watch him walk down the hallway - he moved like a cat - (pant ... pant). You should have HEARD the comments from the guys I worked with! How that was so demeaning and how it was wrong and blah ... blah ... blah. I pointedly asked them how my watching him was any different from their watching the girl at night.


They had no answer.

Sheesh ... idiots ... flippin' double standard ...

I got my revenge though ... I got promoted to department technician and all of those stupid little boys had to go through me to get to the department manager and they had to come to me for their work assignments and they had to come to me when they could not debug a problem on their own so I could help them solve it. And they hated every minute of it!!

Ah ... how sweet it was!!!
You will be glad, then, to know that I *never* had to go through anything like that. Got my BSME in 1988. And yes, I do know how much I have to be grateful for the women who went before me.

When I worked in an Air Force lab (1995-1997) I wouldn't say there was total gender parity but you could tell that things had changed a lot and were still changing. When the Lt. Col. who was a major driving force behind what that lab did celebrated the promotion of three Captains to field grade by performing "lobotomies" on each one, he was hypercareful in his "operation" on the one of the three new Majors who was female. And they presented flowers to her husband (also in the USAF) along with the ones to the wives of the other two guys.

One factor in my leaving the lab was the trouble I got into for complaining to one officer in charge of a big show we were doing. He kept referring to it as "Tailhook II", until I pointed out that to me and other civilian staff, the main images conjured by that name were of the harassment that made the news at Tailhook severl years ago. However, he trouble I got into was *not* from the Air Force officer AFAIK (he thanked me for coming to him and not only stopped saying that but told everyone why he stopped) but from my own civilian top manager for not going through channels, this despite the fact that every policy on harassment I've ever seen starts off with telling you to talk directly to the person doing it, if you're not too uncomfortable to do so.