In the last twenty-five years the U.S. military has seen the abolition of women's separate corps, the appointment of women generals, and an unprecedented increase in the ratio of women to men. Also, women are now permitted to serve on combat planes and ships. Despite these developments, most civilians know very little about women in the military. This collection includes unusual accounts by women on active duty, retired officers, women who have worked for the armed forces in a civilian capacity, and civilian academics. The book offers insights on a variety of pressing issues including minority women, lesbians, combat, the role of gender in weapons design, and the changing mission of the military. Through personal accounts and commentaries, this book dispels many of the myths about women and the military and explores the reasons for the persistence of misconceptions in the face of increased female participation. This comprehensive effort will be of interest to anyone who wants to know the truth about women in the armed forces and will be a wake-up call to women who feel that the military is irrelevant to them.
Author note: Judith Hicks Stiehm is Visiting Professor, Peacekeeping Institute, U.S. Army War College, and Professor of Political Science, Florida International University.
Preface Part I: Voices and Facts 1. Soldiering: The Enemy Doesn't Care If You're Female Rhonda Cornum 2. Duty, Honor, Country: If You're Straight Virginia Solms 3. The Creation of Army Officers and the Gender Lie: Betty Grable or Frankenstein? Billie Mitchell 4. Just the Facts, Ma'am Judith Hicks Stiehm Part II: History and Issues 5. The Military Woman's Vanguard: Nurses Connie L. Reeves 6. From Underrepresentation to Overrepresentation: African-American Women Brenda L. Moore 7. Gender and Weapons Design Nina Richman-Loo and Rachel Weber 8. Gender Ideology in the Ethics of Women in Combat Lucinda Joy Peach 9. To Fight, to Defend, and to Preserve the Peace: The Evolution of the U.S. Military and the Role of Women within It M. C. Devilbiss Part III: Reflection and Speculation 10. Pernicious Cohesion Carol Burke 11. Telling the War Story Susan Jeffords 12. Subverting the Gender and Military Paradigms Miriam Cooke 13. The Civilian Mind Judith Hicks Stiehm About the Contributors Index