An article posted on the Huffington Post on Wednesday has caused a storm of outrage and debate. It concerns the lack of diversity in the leadership of the United States military and its ongoing treatment of women.
“Military leadership is a reflection of society and the world in general,” said the author of the piece, Elizabeth O’Bagy. She added that the “current leadership” in the military “doesn’t reflect society at all.”
According to O’Bagy, there is “no gender balance on the board that I’ve observed anywhere in the world.”
The Huffington blogger and director of a feminist media watchdog group, called “Veterans Today,” O’Bagy has previously published comments about the diversity of her male and female colleagues, citing the “high turnover rate” among some service branches. For example, among the US Air Force, she said, she often hears complaints from female colleagues.
The article makes one thing clear. The military should be “welcoming” and “equitable.” Female servicemembers, she writes, “should be fully represented and given equal opportunity.”
However, in her article, O’Bagy makes no effort to make any progress in this regard. She writes:
“And it’s not just about gender. I’ve seen the impact on unit cohesion, leadership, and morale of all the other things that go into a good ‘fit.'”
Her article goes on to compare a “male” officer with a “female” officer. The comparison is striking. While O’Bagy refers to a “male officer” in the first sentence, she uses that term for the first female. The second and third sentences are also similar, with both referring to “male officers” and “female officers.”
Even though female and male officers are in the same units and on the same deployment, the article doesn’t mention an equal ranking scheme that could possibly provide more equitable numbers between the genders.
“Women, on the other hand, are often excluded from many leadership positions and treated by their male and female counterparts in a less equal or less equitable manner,” O’Bagy writes.
So, when that male officer meets his female counterpart, he’s not going to treat her in the same way that he would a man. She won’t be treated as fully equal to him. They’re going to be treated differently. In other words, men in the military are treated as equals to women. Women
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