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To think female soldiers don't get as much recognition?

(19 Posts)
WainWain Thu 25-Aug-16 01:44:17

I have a wife in the military. I'm not asking for support (really I'm not) but there's lots of things for wives of men in the military. Of course there are lesbians, so I suppose it isn't necessarily just female soldiers. I don't know, I just feel like our DC don't get as much support. Like no one even thinks that their mum may be away, etc. It's literally always assumed she died. Where as for a man there seems to be more people with an open mind. - he left, is working away for business, is in the military. I don't know where I'm going with this really, but do you know what I mean?

LucyBabs Thu 25-Aug-16 01:51:48

Maybe the first step is..? Don't join the military or marry someone who wants to join the military?
Maybe if certain countries didn't interfere in non hostile environments (that all of a sudden become hostile) we wouldn't have a world in such conflict?
Of course we need a military to control all the "bad people" take control of the oil hmm

Sorry wian wain

MsMims Thu 25-Aug-16 01:59:30

Yes, YABU.

Other mothers also work away, soldiers are not automatically heroes deserving special treatment. What sort of support are you thinking of? If it negatively affects your DC, maybe having a parent as a soldier isn't the best thing for your family.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 25-Aug-16 02:38:29

Some people still make sexist assumptions that a man would only be looking after DCs longterm if their mother has died.
There are increasing numbers of women joining the armed forces or going into other jobs requiring long absences.

I'm a military brat from the 1950s - 1960s. My mum had a great group of friends who supported each other when their OHs were posted away.
We lived in married quarters, so I played and roamed for hours every day with the other kids, leaving the adults in peace.

I know far fewer families live on base now, but have you and your wife built up a good network of military friends ?
Her unit will have a number of other families left behind, so it can be useful to keep in touch there, share experiences & discuss what has helped them.

Usually on deployment, the spouses of the CO and senior officers are supportive, but you may need to let them know you would like some help or advice, e.g. in contacting other families, socialising.
There is probably a Social Welfare officer for the unit, if you have problems, whether financial, housing or DC

Also, if the DCs are at school, make sure the school are aware your wife is on deployment.
So they are aware of the reasons if the DC behaviour changes for a while.

Catinthecorner Thu 25-Aug-16 02:39:19

When you say there's things for wives could you be more specific? (Ex military, struggling to think of any spousal arrangements that are available for wives but not husbands of serving personnel).

BungoWomble Thu 25-Aug-16 04:59:31

I generally think that female anything doesn't get as much recognition as male. The only possible exception to that is the stay-at-home mother, but that is not a high status role. We live in a sexist country, and that does have negative effects on both sexes (while generally allowing a much higher status for men and much more fear for women).

Is it social support you are thinking of? It has often been said that dads staying at home don't get as much of a social network simply because there are less of them (+ sex segregation). I am not sure what support you are thinking of for your dcs though.

Radicalrooster Thu 25-Aug-16 05:13:47

*Maybe the first step is..? Don't join the military or marry someone who wants to join the military?
Maybe if certain countries didn't interfere in non hostile environments (that all of a sudden become hostile) we wouldn't have a world in such conflict?
Of course we need a military to control all the "bad people" take control of the oil hmm*

Congratulations. Truly one of the most insightful analyses of the role of military power and foreign policy that I've ever seen. Run along now, the school bus will be leaving soon.

Bambamrubblesmum Thu 25-Aug-16 06:23:36

Totally agree Wain. When I was serving it was shocking the lack of support given to my husband when I was away on op tour. Not one support group bothered to contact him, not even my workplace which routinely reached out to wives to offer additional support when their husbands were away. He even went to one event on camp for families of deployed personnel and was made to feel very unwelcome by the wives.

Whenever anyone knocked on the door of our married quarter they always assumed it was him serving and me at home. If I ever suggested they might want to invite my husband to social events then I'd get the brush off.

There is inherent sexism in the system against female serving personnel.

phillipp Thu 25-Aug-16 06:35:40

It's sounds like your issue isn't that female soldiers get less recognition.

But that society makes assumptions about sahd and the reasons they are sahd.

And I agree. When I returned to work after Ds (who was 6 months) dh was the sahd. About 6 months after I returned to work, I got a phone call, from my older daughters school, offering me support through my difficult time.

It turned out that some mothers had decided that since I didn't do the pick up and drop off anymore I must be really sick. They approached the school and convinced then they knew I had cancer. confused

I was at work. The headteacher was a woman and she was as shocked as I was when she realised all this had come from me simply not doing the school run. I don't think anyone assumes a dad must have cancer if he doesn't do the school run.

I don't know if you mean there is more support for military wives and not much for husbands. Or that family don't give you as much support.

If it's the military, can you organise something for other dads or for dads and mums? Are you on a base somewhere? Is there a department of the military that helps families, can you speak to them? I don't know how it all works so can't really help.

As for how society views sahd, only time will change this and more dads actually doing it until it's the norm for either parent to be at home.

MGFM Thu 25-Aug-16 06:43:41

I know exactly what you mean. I am serving, as is my husband. The community house on our patch had a poster out up for an event for 'daddies on deployment'. I was a bit hmm . I always felt out of the loop on the patch as vast majority of wives were sah. Last time I deployed (pre-Dc) no one bothered with my husband. He was just left to get on with it.

GunnyHighway Thu 25-Aug-16 08:21:22

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Bambamrubblesmum Thu 25-Aug-16 09:33:43

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exLtEveDallas Thu 25-Aug-16 09:50:15

Yeah, DH had 8 years of this (he did his 22 and I had another 8 yrs to go).

Ladies Dinner Nights
Wives Exercises
Wives Coffee Mornings
Daddies Days
Dependants parties
Babysitting circles (that DH wasn't allowed to join)

Plus when we moved overseas all the jobs available for dependants were 'typically' female - office work, nursery, TA etc. Everything else was for Locally Employed Civilians. DH had Armoury, Range, PTI and QM qualifications but was told that there was no call for his skills...and then I was put in charge of sorting out vetting for the LECs to do the jobs instead confused.

It made him very bitter (and as a consequence I stopped being interested in dinner nights/balls/piss ups...and I got a rollicking for that)

I hear you OP, and sympathise.

Tiggeryoubastard Thu 25-Aug-16 09:55:20

I was a Navy brat and exh was in the Army. Frankly even in the 90's there was fuck all support. Especially if you weren't part of a Regiment. Life was what you made it. You need to integrate (within reason) and help yourself. Support is out there, if you make the effort.

jcscot Thu 25-Aug-16 10:08:09

As a military wife (whose husband is in a cap badge with a high proportion of women) I can see where you're coming from. However, support will vary depending on your circumstances.

If you're on the patch then the support is there via your wife's UWO. There may be informal support via the patch community (coffee mornings, book clubs, other social activities) and it is just a matter of reaching out and letting people know you're there.

If you work, then these things may be more difficult to access as they often happen during the day, so are more accessible by non-working spouses. If you are in your own home, especially if you are some distance away from your wife's unit, then day-to-day support will be difficult to access but support in case of an emergency should be there. If your wife is Reserve but currently serving full-time on deployment or attachment, the same may be true.

It is a fact if miltary life that the majority of spouses are female, and support is geared around that - however, any event run by the unit etc is open to all spouses, regardless of sex.

What can be more difficult to access is the informal support network - socialising that's done in people's quarters - these groups are somewhat organic and can feel "exclusive" (by rank/gender etc) and it can feel like a struggle to fit in.

My only advice, if it's applicable to your individual circumstances, is to try and join in with one or two "official" groups (coffee drop-in at your community centre etc - the UWO should hold details of what happens when on camp).

If your wife's Mess holds guest nights, go along and meet the other spouses and you might find an "in" to the informal socialising/support network.

BadgerIsGrumpy Thu 25-Aug-16 10:18:44

From my DH's last posting we know several families with SAHD/ serving DW. The men were all made very welcome at our toddler groups, days out etc. We all were primary carers for young children and that was the connection, not gender. I don't know about the mess events side of it but I think it can depend a lot on the people you are around and where you are based.

LucyBabs Sat 27-Aug-16 03:17:23

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KatieKaboom Sat 27-Aug-16 03:26:01

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BungoWomble Sat 27-Aug-16 09:49:58

The issue with the military is how it's used by the politicians. Perhaps we can leave people to discuss how our serving personnel could be better supported rather than swearing at each other though.

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