Female Mids

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by SecondTime, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. SecondTime

    SecondTime Member

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    I just had an interesting exchange with a BGO whose son is a graduate. She suggested the Academy is not a place she would wish for her daughter.
    Her issues had to do with:

    1. Difficulties of being a woman at the Academy; having to be on the defensive much of the time. There are simply fewer femals at teh Academy and some of the young men [boys, really] haven't quite develope an appropriate level of respect for females.
    2. Difficulties of serving in the fleet. See above, but, at least, you are an officer and command some respect. But, females sometimes cause their own issues. See Navy Times Article about junior officer who swam topless http://www.navytimes.com/news/2012/04/navy-bahrain-bash-commodore-david-geisler-040812w/ at parties she hosted. [But also note that men are plenty stupid also; even if they are Senior Officers.]

    3. Opportunities for bonding [at least as occurs among men] are fewer. This extends to fleet opportunities where there are fewer opportunities to find suitable roommates.
    4. Biological clock issues; even if the young lady comes out the other end at age 27, the opportunities for "momdom" are starting to narrow.
    5. Relational clock issue; where do young people meet their future spouses? at school. It is difficult to start/maintain a dating relationship at the Academy for sure and even later in the fleet.

    Considering that few RECENT grads haunt these pages [really, does it do any good to talk about how it used to be twenty years ago? Whihc is the equivalent of the stone-age to an eighteen year old.]

    I wonder if any MOMS of FEMALE mids can comment? How is your daughter doing? What challenges is she facing? How is your MID doing at the Academy?


    Any RECENT fleet experiences? [Say, in the last five to eight years?]

    Have the opportunities been as your daughter expected when she was a bright-eyed plebe?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    You might get more responses in the 'Life After the Academy' subtopic, although probably not from Moms.
     
  3. futuremid

    futuremid Member

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    I have no military experience as far as being at the Academy or in the fleet, so I could probably better answer this question four years from now. But from the tiny, little experience I have as an 18 year old (which is close to nothing), I do have something to say about this.
    I had the great opportunity of playing high school football. Made Varsity my junior and senior year and let me tell you, junior year football season sucked. I had put myself in an environment I didn't belong in. The first few weeks on varsity, some boys were really upset. You could say I was quite controversial :p This motivated me because I hated the fact that I wasn't "respected."

    I made a decision to make sure that I was at every practice, every Saturday morning meeting, and every strength training session I could be at. I decided to be the best I could absolutely be and I worked my butt off every single day. I worked hard enough to be put on a defensive starting position right before hell week....as a GIRL :eek: and from how they acted, almost 100% positive my teammates could care less if I was a girl or if I was 25 pounds lighter than everyone else, as long as I got the job done.

    How did I do it? Hard work, good character, and no complaining or making excuses.

    Point is. Females, EARN that respect. You might not be the strongest or the fastest or the smartest, and you sure as heck don't need to be trying to fight for a SEAL spot, but you can be respected for your hard work, determination, and character in the fields that women can enter.
    Go after it and stop making excuses, such as "It's hard to be a women at the Academy."
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Member

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    DD

    My daughter is a junior in HS. She has had conversation with two former graduates, a LT and a LCDR. Both were very positive. She is currently exchanging emails with a Plebe that has been nothing but positive (and during the dark ages). We actually will get to meet her in person tomorrow as the softball team is in Columbus for the World Series.

    We also knew a male that attended the Naval Academy last year. He is no longer there . Felt he was being picked on so I guess it can cut both ways.
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    I am a female grad, not within the last few years, but not within the past 20 either.

    1. On defensive - I can't remember ever being on the defensive because I was a woman while at USNA. The only females that were defensive were those that weren't hacking it physcially, academically or leadership wise. There were also male mids this happened to just as much. I don't think female or male mattered, poor performance is poor performance.

    2. I was Marine Ground. I had no issues. A good Marine is a good Marine regardless gender. Marines know this, especially once you go to the field or war together. They know who pulls their weight and who does not, they know who they trust to make good decisions, they know who will get them home safe. And yes in some cases females bring things on themselves. Trust me I have seen it all from female officers... sleeping with enlisted, getting pregnant on deployments, and females shirk deployments by purposely getting pregnant. Then again I have seen male Marine officers sleep with enlisted, sleep with prostitutes, have affairs, etc. It goes both ways. Bottom line is if a female wants to be treated with respect then they need to be a solid leader, know their job, and take care of their Sailors/Marines. That is what is respected. Keeping your personal life in check is also critical to being a good officer. Your Sailors/Marines don't need to know about it and if you make it an issue, it will be an issue. I think this is true in any profession!

    3. Yes there are less females to room with at the Academy and in the fleet. I was lucky at the Academy and had great room mates, but I also had some horrible ones. To this day two of my former room mates are my best friends and I am the God parent to their children. There are plenty of opportunities to bond with females and males. Heck, I served as the Best Woman in my buddies wedding! Different yes, but I think it goes to show how gender views are changing in America as a whole. To be honest when I deployed to the field I lived with my male Marines either in the officer tent or with the Marines in my platoon depending on the arrangements and deployment. And yes, I was the lone female in a 120 Marine detachement for 10 months who lived with all male Marines. Was never an issue once. My Marines made me a sign for the shower tent so I had a designated shower time, that was the only accomodation I needed! To this day I have the most amazing friends from the Academy and the Marine Corps, both male and female. I do not feel in any way I lacked bonding opportunities what so ever. The amazing part of the Academy is you will bond with your peers like no other place on Earth.
    4. Really? You can have a child on active duty also. The average age of women having children is rising because of educational and work opportunities. Heck the average age of marriage has also increased in America. I have had friends have children on active duty and after they got out. Some had them at 25 and I now have friends having them in their late 30s. It has varied and I think is a representation of America as a whole for that current age range. Balancing the two is hard, but I do not think that is any different for any woman who works and balances a female either. Yes deployments make this unique for military members and that is a huge challenge!
    5. Just like any kids between 18-22 they meet each other at school, at bars, internships, etc. I dated Mids when I was at the Academy and dated Marine officers when I was on active duty. These relationships do face unique challenges with deployments, duty stations, etc. But these are things that others face when married to civilians also. The great part of dating a Mid or other military member is they get it... they get the struggles, stress, etc. There is an unspoken understanding. On my last tour in Iraq my boyfriend and I were deployed at the same time. We returned within two weeks of one another. It was nice to come home and know he knew exactly what I faced, saw, felt on a daily basis because he was in the same part of the world and saw it to.

    Any young woman I talk to today I would tell them the Academy is a great place for women. Yes we hear when bad things happen in the media. These cases in reality are few and far between and get a great deal of media attention. The Academy provides an amazing opportunity for men and women to push themselves on a daily basis, interact with top notch people, and learn to be true leaders. Bottom line, if a woman goes to the Academy and hacks it physically, academically and leadership wise she will trusted, respsected and become a great officer just like any male.
     
  6. 2012mom?

    2012mom? Member

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    I am a mom of a current (not much longer!) female Mid.

    No, the opportunities haven't been the same as when my daughter expected when she walked in to Alumni Hall on I-day. They have been better.
    - She expected some level of antagonism (probably not the best word) from the men. Instead, in her words, she now has 140 brothers and sisters - the members of her company.
    - She has had far more opportunity for "female bonding" than she expected. As a member of Women's Glee Club, she has become close friends with female Mids she would otherwise have never met. A friend's daughter who doesn't sing has had similar experiences playing rugby. Another is on the crew team.
    - In addition to "female bonding," WGC has allowed my Mid to travel literally all over the country, and to Brazil, during these four years. Sunrise singing at the rim of the Grand Canyon, or on top of a mountain at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil? Check. Sing for the President? Multiple checks. Sing the national anthem at an NFL games? Yes, multiple times.

    According to a number of female Mids, in comments made in discussions over the past four years, female Mids who receive antagonism from the guys are the ones who play the "female card." If you come in, work hard, don't expect any special consideration because you're a woman, and generally act as a good teammate to those around you, you'll have no problems. It's really simple. Service before self....
     
  7. Smith56

    Smith56 Member

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    Thank you for such encouraging words. I am waitlisted for class of 2016, and female. I too believe service before self. No matter the gender.
     
  8. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

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    OP. The BGO you talked to IMHO is a moron. NavyHoops has posted the best description of life during and after the Academy for a female Mid that I have ever seen. I will forward her response to my 2nd LT at Paris Island. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi:thumb:
     
  9. 2014sponsor

    2014sponsor Member

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    Really?

    What comes out of people's mouths never ceases to amaze.

    I'm not a Mid Mom, nor a graduate, but I am a Mom and a sponsor. It's not the right fit for HER daughter. How any individual views a situation is going to depend on that person's goals and experiences. The generalizations are really sad.

    As already said. Performance is the main thing. Play any "special" card and expect to alienate people. True, there are some men who don't like that there are different PRT standards and make stupid statements. But unkind remarks or situations directed toward females is not unique to 18-20 yr olds at service academies. There are lots of posts about how a SA is a more controlled environment for young women. Resilience is a pretty big leadership criteria and life gets harder.

    The remarks about "clocks" sounds like someone who got married and had children young. When I was 27, I hadn't even met my husband yet and we met through a mutual friend. I had one of my babies at 40 and have friends who had babies even later. And my in-laws didn't get married until they were 30.

    That is just how that particular woman sees the world and may reflect some of her regrets or issues. Consider your own daughter and how she reacts and views these issues. That's the perspective that matters.

    Also, don't dismiss the perceptions of the Mid Dads on this site. There's one post from last summer that still makes me smile : DD was on a submarine somewhere and Dad posted a line from "Under the Sea". Follow up posts indicated she'd had a great time...
     
  10. 2014sponsor

    2014sponsor Member

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    Really?

    What comes out of people's mouths never ceases to amaze.

    I'm not a Mid Mom, nor a graduate, but I am a Mom and a sponsor. It's not the right fit for HER daughter. How any individual views a situation is going to depend on that person's goals and experiences. The generalizations are really sad.

    As already said. Performance is the main thing. Play any "special" card and expect to alienate people. True, there are some men who don't like that there are different PRT standards and make stupid statements. But unkind remarks or situations directed toward females is not unique to 18-20 yr olds at service academies. There are lots of posts about how a SA is a more controlled environment for young women. Resilience is a pretty big leadership criteria and life gets harder.

    The remarks about "clocks" sounds like someone who got married and had children young. When I was 27, I hadn't even met my husband yet and we met through a mutual friend. I had one of my babies at 40 and have friends who had babies even later. And my in-laws didn't get married until they were 30.

    That is just how that particular woman sees the world and may reflect some of her regrets or issues. Consider your own daughter and how she reacts and views these issues. That's the perspective that matters.

    Also, don't dismiss the perceptions of the Mid Dads on this site. There's one post from last summer that still makes me smile : DD was on a submarine somewhere and Dad posted a line from "Under the Sea". Follow up posts indicated she'd had a great time...
     
  11. Just_A_Mom

    Just_A_Mom Member

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    Good grief. This person should not be a BGO and you are correct in taking her comments with a grain of salt. I think you should discuss her comments with the admission staff.
    Parents of sons can be quite sexist and defensive of the good ole' boy network. If she is telling you that the young men 'haven't developed the appropriate level of respect' for females - makes me question her own parenting. Their attitudes should not be considered reflective of their sons' attitude, fortunately.

    Take heed and read the advice of those above who have daughters.
    Before parent's of sons get all cranked up here - notice that I said "can" not "are". My comments definitely don't apply to all parents of sons but surprisingly there are quite a few with this attitude.
     
  12. SecondTime

    SecondTime Member

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    Interesting.
    Comments from parents of male mids have been along the lines of: "Its very different for females." Even though they have no direct experience and they admit that their sons have very close female friends from the Academy.

    Comments from parents of female mids have been along the lines of: "My daughter has had an excellent experience . . . . it all depends on how the female does [or doesn't do] her job."

    As with all comments Academy, one has to take it with a grain of salt.

    Based on what I've learned these past six [wow, has it been almost seven] y ears, each perons must make of the Academy experience what he or she can.
    Just like anywhere, if you act the fool, you will be treated like a fool.

    Good luck to all.
     

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