Thursday, September 23, 2010

Race, sex, and the single Sailor (Female)

This is the kind of female leader that is the example - the type that gets it. The kind that gets things done regardless of her DNA. She knows she is in the military and not working for HP.

From a female reader's email, used with permission. The rest of the post is hers. You should see the whole questionnaire she sent me. It is nothing but birth control, STDs and Mommy-track questions. I'll show you a couple just for fun.
I was recently asked to participate in a Navy survey on parenting. It is possible that once I gender identified, the questions shifted to female questions, so I will slightly forgive the fact that this "parenting" survey appeared to assume only mommies are impacted by naval service.

However, of course the first question asked after gender is race.




Relevance?
...
For my write in response to the last question:

"As a single woman, I feel the Navy has, in its efforts to be more family friendly, frequently saddled me with more TADs, more IAs, more holiday duty, more last minute TAD deployments, etc. while those with families are not expected to share the load. I see this even more rampant in the junior enlisted ranks. I do not mind the additional duties, so long as come FITREP/EVAL time, it's recognized, but all too often it isn't. It is very frustrating to have to shoulder a heavier load, only to have the Navy step in and give an unfair advantage via special billets, precept language and other perks to people who have been allowed to coast. Regarding career intermissions and programs of that ilk, yes. It is more difficult to be a mother and a military leader. However, we have a number of strong women who have struck that balance. THESE are the women we should seek to promote. Women who can prioritize, multi-task, and take responsibility for their lives without special treatment or programs. They do exist. In numbers. I do not want to work for someone, male or female, who couldn't balance their own life and work without the Navy showing them the way. If they can't sort out their own life, how can they sort out mine? And part of being a leader is being able to sort out the needs and issues of your sailors, many of whom will not get the magic tap for career intermissions and other such programs. Finally, what the heck does my race have to do with the topic of this survey? Last I checked, skin color does not change how babies are made."

27 comments:

sid said...

BZ!

Skippy-san said...

I shook my head the other day when I saw a note about a female-after turning over command of her squadron, was going on a "career intermission".  So she could be "be with her husband". After a command tour-when you will be in zone for Captain in just a few years? Somehow I don't think that is who the program was designed for-and if I were one of the guys who had to go right back to a sea tour as Air Boss or CVN Ops O, I am not so sure I could be sympathetic.

The Navy is not supposed to be family friendly.

E_L_P said...

The Navy leadership is bringing back segragation and they don't even know it. Sad.

xformed said...

First line of next FITREP: "PROMOTE NOW!"

When voices like these become more common, then we're on the mend.  When voices like this are shouted down/sidelined/punished....we're headed to disaster faster.

To whoever you are:  Here's hoping you and your like minded peers make a positive impact on the future.

KhakiPants said...

Oh for the love of...

Sal, we are on the same page here, and on the same page as this female leader.

+1 for her response, especially the last line.

Mark T said...

I'd work for this young Lady any day of the week - why not fire every flag today and put her in as CNO - she can smell good leadership a mile away, may just be able to build the best wardroom and Chief's mess we'd ever have - BZ!

Stu said...

This is all a product of the ridiculous notion that "one can have it all."  Either your career is priority or your family.  Pick one.

Grotopotamus said...

Agree with your statement, Stu, but disagree with your metric.

Marriage, Family, Career - pick two.

A v interesting post, Cdr Sal - disheartening and yet heartening at the same time. Thanks for sharing, and way to go to the sailor who disclosed this mess.

kmadams85 said...

I'll betcha that umpteen-digit number in the survey URL identifies her by name in some database... may be too late, but you might want to blur it

Kristen said...

Is that last question for real?  Would anyone ever actually admit to becoming pregnant just to avoid deployment? 

MR T's Haircut said...

Not only admit to it, but BRAG about it..  seen it.. impacted a combat direction center just before a deployment that saw us deployed during the Sep 11 attacks...

AW1 Tim said...

This goes back a long ways. When I was on active duty, we single men never ever made plans for holdiays, because we KNEW we would be assigned to duty to cover for those folks with families.  It was a fact of life, and we just accepted it as the way things were done.

  Didn't like it at all.  Just the way things were done.

Byron said...

I don't know who this lady is, but she's Sierra Hotel in my book.

DeltaBravo said...

They should have a questionnaire for men asking "Would you intentionally saw off your toes in order to avoid a deployment or scheduled IA period?"  Yes?  No?

Kristen said...

Unbelievable.  And shameful.

sid said...

We had a guy who bribed (with booze and dope) some others to drop the foot of a piano on his foot two days before leaving.

Bet the no good bastard is sporting DV on his license plate today and telling everyone he got the wound [with a guttral voice] "in 'nam"...

We didn't miss him.

On First Boat, another guy told the chief he was gay just before another deployment. The dude had pretty boy model good looks, but didn't act 'ghey" prior to that.

Indeed, he was married to a no joke model who made us all think impure thoughts at the very sight of her.

So maybe it was worth it to him.

Stu said...

Marriage and family are the same in my book. 

SPWalsh said...

When I read the original post this morning I was reminded of a "Humor in Unifor" item from several years ago.  It concerned some service school where the suggestion was made that the married men be dismissed early one afternnon of the week so they could spend time with their wives.  A counter suggestion was made that the bachelors should be dismissed even earlier since they had to go out and find ladies first.

CAPTJAP (RET) Deceased said...

When I was single and even newly married with no dhildren I was told that I would have all the holiday watches as CDO so the married guys could have the holiday off.  I politely (I was a LTjg then) told the CO and XO that the only way I would do that was to horse trade some days off not on holidays. My initial point was a two for one deal, which was shot down ASAP, however I was given the days off not on holidays deal.  Later I was asked by the XO if I knew that the CO could have affected my next FITREP for this deal.  I stated to the XO that I was and ujnderstood the consequesces. 
At every ship, organization etc. I was assigned to after that I implemented the deal where the single guys got compensatory time off if they worked a holiday.  I gave the same deal to the married types too and quite a few took me up on the deal.

I still believe it was only FAIR and a good leadership tactic. 

sobersubmrnr said...

Oh yes Ma'am. Lots of 'em head to Medical for pregnancy tests just before deployment. Back when women first went to sea, pregnancy meant a discharge. So a woman could get pregnant, get a discharge, then head to the nearest abortion clinic. The Navy had to change its pregnancy policy to put a stop to that.

DM05 said...

Oh yeah, it's real. Go check out the light duty "admin" jobs at any major command. There's alot of loose fitting regulation maternity smocks running around. Makes ya real proud... sarc off.

Mid Mom said...

Don't know why it can't be done the way hospitals do this for their staffs: we all have to work SOME holidays if we're essential staff (MDs, RNs, etc). Put in your requests and work from there.

Anonymous said...

Why not?  We're asking people to self identify as gay, even though it's illegal and telling them to "trust us."

Casey Tompkins said...

Skippy, wasn't there an old joke that went "If the Navy wanted you to have a family, it would have issued you one?" Or was that Marines?

Casey Tompkins said...

DB, I've heard rumors that at least a few straight enlisted men have "come out" just to get an easy discharge. Maybe we should add "Would you pretend to be gay to avoid a deployment?"

Grandpa Bluewater said...

Casey: The line went "If the Navy wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued one as part of your seabag".  Seabag here meaning not the article of luggage, but the uniform and etc issue that the seabag was mean to hold.  See also "Seabag inspection" and "having a full bag" (including toothbrush and the laundry bag used to send soiled articles of uniform clothing to the ship's laundry). If you have less than a full bag, the item could be issued and your pay docked, since you had received a uniform allowance to replace worn and lost items.

Of possible interest was the custom of referring to two bunks mounted side by side without and intervening partion (common in WWII submarine fwd torpedo rooms) as the "honeymoon suite".

Curtis said...

winter in Seattle shipyard on snowy days the XO would call the CDO and inform him that 'married men' could stay home that day.  It was me getting the call, single at the time and enjoining the Quarterdeck watchstanders to tell anybody who called that it was a snow day and to stay home.  Everyman was married on those days.